Do you agree with Ian Kershaw that Hitler was a lazy dictator?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Kershaw concludes that there are many reasons why he sees Hitler's rise to power as a dictatorship.  I don't think that laziness is part of this.  I think that Kershaw concedes that Hitler is able to "ride the wave" of social and economic conditions that enable him to gain power and to consolidate his control of reality.  Yet, I don't think that Kershaw depicts him as lazy or someone that was simply passive.  Kershaw shows Hitler to be an active recipient of social and economic conditions and an active manipulator of his ability to gain and control power of the time period.  Consider that there is a complexity in Kershaw's depiction.  When Kershaw speaks of “the continuing duty to seek understanding of how Hitler was possible," he speaks to the idea that the understanding of Hitler's rise to power is a complex one, filled with many different reasons as to how he gained power and was able to exert power on such a wide level with such wide implications.  It seems to me that in making this argument in such a varied manner, there is not much in way of "laziness" as being part of this schematic.


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