Sunday, June 06, 2004

Who were the most prominent Nazis after Hitler? Most people would say Goering or Goebbels, and perhaps a few would mention Himmler.

One person that doesn't come to mind is Martin Bormann. Yet Bormann was the second person in the state after Hitler for much of World War II, dwarfing all the other members of the party by his influence. By controlling who came to see Hitler each day, and by being ever-present whenever Hitler made decisions, Bormann exercised tremendous influence, effectively controlling the day-to-day affairs of the reich.

By contrast, Goering was a drug addict who, for much of the war, lay idle in his office as head of air force without getting too involved in intra-party politics. Goebbels was tremendously important in engineering the propaganda campaign that brought the Nazis to power, but was just one of a group of high-ranking Nazi officials during the later years.


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