Was Hitler a passionate lunatic? Hitler is perhaps one of the most notorious characters of the 20th century. We know what atrocities were committed during the 12 years that Hitler led Nazi Germany and therefore, we have very firm opinions about him. Using hindsight (looking back with the knowledge of what has happened) we often ask why he was not stopped earlier. However, at the time, people could not predict what he would go on to do. Or could they?
By looking at sources from the time, we can see how people viewed him. Was he regarded as a "passionate lunatic" who would wreak havoc all over Europe? Or a slightly odd eccentric who was rebuilding Germany?
The sources below are from 1937. By this time Hitler had begun to reverse the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding his army and moving troops into the Rhineland. He had also tried to unite Germany and Austria. Throughout this time he made passionate speeches about expanding German territory. These words and deeds worried some foreign observers. Look at Source 1