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Religion and Totalitarianism
47
men marching in perfect order, the music of the massed bands, the
forest of standards and flags, the vast perspectives of the stadium,
the smoking torches, the dome of searchlights. The sense of power,
of force and unity was irresistible" (p . 379).
With all this going for him, Hitler' s oratorical del ivery was hard to
resist. According to one observer, he " was an evangelist speaking to
a camp meeting, the Billy Sunday of German politics." It's no wonder
then that Goebbels likened these oratorical extravaganzas to " the di–
vine services of our political work...
Spiritually speaking, Hitler also had plenty of help - especially
when he was in the middle of one of his speeches. As another ob–
server put it: " 'After about f ifteen m inutes ... there takes place what
can only be described in the primitive old figure of speech: the spirit
enters into him ' " (Fest ,
Hitler,
p . 327).
Hitler admitted as much himself. He once stated: " But if the
voice speaks, then I know the t ime has come to act. " And on another
occasion he made th is chill ing remark : " I go the way that Providence
d ictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker. "
The French ambassador called him " a man possessed." So did
one of the defense councils at the Nuremberg trials. Numerous
people who came in contact with h im made comments similar to this
one: "The fanaticism in his eyes was the most commanding thing
about him . . . they possess a hypnotic quality that can easily per–
suade his followers to do anything the mind behind the eyes desires"
(/s
Tomorrow Hitler 's?,
p .
43).
Hitler himself also took a perverted pleasure in haranguing the
masses. He often compared the German people to a woman and
called them his " only bride." His speeches tended to fulfill his twisted
desires. According to Joachim Fest: " The sound recordings of the
period clearly convey the peculiarly obscene . . . character of mass
meetings" (op.
eft.,
p . 323).
Concerning Hitler 's speaking, Fest went on to say: " With wild
explosive movements, driving his metallicly transformed voice merci–
lessly to its highest p itch , he would hurl out the words. Quite often, in
the furor of his conjuring , he would cover his grimacing face with his
clenched fists and close his eyes, surrendering to the spasms of his
transposed sexual ity "
(ibid.,
p . 327).
In view of what followed in Nazi Germany, the biblical warnings
concerning " seducing spirits" and " doctrines of demons" are cer–
tainly apropos when applied to the Fuehrer of the Third Reich .