Glenn is something of an aficionado when it comes to books on Adolf Hitler. That’s why he was surprised to learn about one originally written in the 1930s, but published in 2002 after the manuscript was discovered by the author’s family. The book — Defying Hitler: A Memoir — was written as a warning to the world by a young man who witnessed Hitler’s rise to power.
“You name it, and I’ve read it on Hitler. I have gotten all the way down to I Was Hitler’s Chauffeur, which isn’t worth the read,” Glenn said jokingly. “You will learn more important things about what happened and what allowed Hitler to take place than any other book I’ve ever read about the Second World War.”
Not to be outdone, co-host Jeff Fisher mentioned that he’s currently “reading” a picture book about Hitler.
Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck Program:
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This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Have I told you guys about Defying Hitler? Did I tell you guys about it yesterday?
GLENN: Stu is fresh meat. Fresh meat.
JEFFY: Yeah, Stu has been gone.
GLENN: Stu, remember when I said, you need to read Garden of Beasts?
GLENN: And remember you guys heard it for about six months, until you couldn’t take it anymore?
STU: Oh, my gosh. Yes. I finally had to read it.
And then you read it, and you came back, and you were like…
STU: It was awesome.
GLENN: Right. And the reason I wanted you to read it was because it was a different perspective on Germany than you had ever read before, right?
STU: Uh-huh. Great book. By the way, supposedly going to be a movie at some point.
GLENN: I’m telling you, this one, A, it’s a lot shorter. This book that I’ve recently found is 100 times Garden of Beasts.
And what it is, is a guy who was German, was growing up in Germany, came of age about 1920. So he was a teenager during the first world war. He started writing it in the ’30s, but he’s going after all his recollections, starting at 1914. So he remembers what Germany was.
GLENN: Okay? Then he remembers the war. And he talks about the war and what happened. Then the 1920s. The Weimar Republic. Hyperinflation. He talks about that.
And then the coming of Hitler. And then Hitler and who he was and what happened.
This book was written in the ’30s as a warning to the world. He escaped Germany and came to the United States. Became a professor. He became a huge author of historic books. He’s — he wrote the quintessential book on who Adolf Hitler really was, his character and his personality, back in like 1972. He dies.
His family finds on a shelf this manuscript in 2003 or 2006, something like that. It’s published, becomes a big best-seller during the Bush years. I had never heard of it. Saw somebody reading it the other day. And I was like, what is that? Defying Hitler. And I said, “Ooh, that sounds good.” And they started talking to me about it. You name it, and I’ve read on Hitler. I have gotten all the way down to I Was Hitler’s Chauffeur, which isn’t worth the read. But, anyway, I started reading this book. You will learn more important things about what happened and what allowed Hitler to take place than any other book I’ve ever read about the Second World War. It has a completely different point of view because he’s not writing it from the point of view of the Nazis and what they were doing it. He’s writing it from the point of view of the youth of the day.
And he was — he was young. Okay? So he was in his teens when America — or, when Germany was a certain way. And that 9/11 event, if you will, that changed them, was the first world war. Then they came back, and they were at each other’s throats politically. And the churches were at each other’s throats.
And then jobs were hard to find. And then they started printing money. And then money became — you couldn’t — you know, we’ve read a million times that when you got paid, you stopped working, cashed your check, went in and bought anything you could in the store. Right?
GLENN: Because a week from now, by the end of your workday, it would be — your paycheck would be worthless.
GLENN: What he talks about is — and I’ve never heard this. It was the stock market that anybody — anybody who didn’t have a family, they took their money and they immediately poured it into the stock market. And they got wildly wealthy.
Now, think of this. Why don’t we have hyperinflation? Why isn’t our meat and milk and everything else — why isn’t that reflective of the $4 trillion that we have just pumped into the system, right?
If I said, ten years ago, you put $2 trillion into this system and you’re going to start to see massive inflation. Okay? We’re 4 trillion. Where’s the inflation? You know this. I know you know this. You’re going to go, of course, yes, when I say it.
The stock market. He need says, “Well, there’s no — the fundamentals are gone.” What they should be saying is, “The stock market is reflective of hyperinflation.” Because the stock market is a reflection of who has the money.
PAT: That and velocity.
PAT: I mean, there’s a couple of —
GLENN: So they don’t — so the people who got the money are the big corporations, the big banks. They’re not giving it to you and me.
So we don’t have too many dollars chasing too far goods. They do. And so that’s why big elaborate houses are still going through the roof. The rich are starting to feel that inflation. And it’s concentrated in the stock market. Okay?
GLENN: Well, that’s the same thing that happened in Germany. They started constantly — but everybody was doing it. I’m sorry, the youth without children were taking — they were buying a little bit of food to last them the week to the next paycheck. Then they were taking all that money and putting it into the stock market. And the stock market did what it’s doing now.
And now here’s what happened: Now, think of this. I’ve never heard this point of view before. And I think this is accurate.
He says in reading — remember, he’s writing in the mid-’30s as a warning to the West. You don’t know who this guy is, and you don’t know what happened to Germany.
The older people in Germany are not with him. The youth are with him. And here’s why: Because they were too young to really understand the real German society. The German ethics and being kind to each other because they went — they came of age during the war. And then they came to age during the war. And then right after the war, then the people turned on themselves, were arguing politics, demonizing each other. The Weimar Republic came in, delegitimized the money. All morals went out the window.
So if you’re 25, you have no kids, you’re going out to the cabaret every night, you are with — you have a ton of money because you put it all in the stock market. You’re living large. You’re a titan. You’re getting all of the girls. Your life is absolutely sweet.
Then what happens? At the end of the Weimar Republic, a sensible guy comes in, an older statesman comes in and says, “I can fix the hyperinflation.” He fixes the hyperinflation. He fixes the fact that — he says, “For two years, during this guys’ rule, we’re not even talking about politics anymore.”
No one is arguing politics. We’re on the road back to the way we were.
But all those youth who were bank presidents — they were 25-year-old bank presidents, they’re not bank presidents anymore. Because they were all discredited because it was a game of — it was a shell game. It was like Wall Street, you know, the movie. Just a shell game. So those guys don’t — they have to go now into other jobs and work hard for their money. And those days are over for them. Those glory days. They want the glory days. So when Hitler comes in and says, “We’re going to set the rules. We’re going to privatize business with us — and if you’re in with the Nazi party, you’re going to be able to make it.” They recognize this game of — just do — the ends justify the means.
And I could have that life back. So the youth throw their lot in with Hitler. And that’s why it worked. I had never heard of that before.
STU: It’s really interesting.
GLENN: That’s like the first third of the book. It’s really good. Called Defying Hitler.
STU: I’m in. I’m in. I just finished Hitler: Ascent.
GLENN: I have not read that one.
STU: It’s the new like — the ascent is till 1939. So it’s a two-part series. The 1,000 books per edition. A dozen pages per edition. You know, one of those types of books. But, I mean, fascinating.
Just the chapter on Hitler and the churches is so worth your time. If you’ve ever had the argument with someone on Facebook where they say, “These mass murders are fueled by religion.” Hitler? He was. Look at this quote by Hitler. He says —
GLENN: All prior to 1933.
STU: All of it happened really early on, in the first few weeks of his reign as chancellor. But, I mean, the behind-the-scenes quotes they have from this guy, his entire mission was to discredit the churches afterwards.
It was like, living space, get rid of the Jews, then let’s get rid of the churches.
STU: That was his plan. And he used those relationships, tried to destroy the churches, and the quotes they have from him and Goebbels, and — it’s amazing.
GLENN: Hitler’s Ascent?
STU: Hitler: Assent. It’s — Volker Ullrich is the guy who wrote it. It’s the new sort of —
GLENN: Oh, Volker? Yeah.
STU: Oh, yeah.
I mean, it’s amazing.
It’s the new, like, biography on Hitler. The new one. Every ten to 15 years a new one gets written.
GLENN: Yeah. And that’s the problem too because the farther we get away from these guys —
STU: It’s a double-edged sword.
GLENN: Yeah, it’s a double-edged sword. You want to be — the time to write it is when some of the people are still alive, but they’re not powerful. So at the end of their life. So they can still — you can still check and say, right? Right? Right?
GLENN: And if you use original sources, you’re good. So the first ones that are written in the first 30 years are probably a little skewed. Probably. Unless they’re attached entirely to original first person sources.
STU: Right. And so you had — you’ve had this where — Joachim Fest had one, which was influenced by a lot of the people who were alive, but a lot of the people who wanted to rehabilitate their reputations.
Albert Speer, being the main one. And that one came later.
Kershaw’s in 2000, I think, was seen as the standard. And this one I think — because while you’re right, a lot of these guys aren’t around anymore to tell the stories, more and more documentation has come out.
And really, I mean, the fuel for the industry, if you want to say the Hitler — you know, the Goebbels diaries. Those changed the world on how much we understand. The guy was writing a diary entry about every meeting he was having during the era.
GLENN: That’s the great thing — and the Founders too.
But with Founders, they stopped using those diaries. They stopped using the original sources because it didn’t give them the narrative they were looking for.
The narrative on the Nazis is, they were bad guys. And so their diaries back all of that stuff up. So as long as you’re pegged to original sources, you’re good.
STU: This has been Hitler book corner.
PAT: I just finished Hitler’s Mailman’s Neighbor.
GLENN: Did you? Wow.
STU: Oh, wow.
PAT: Yeah. He died in 1934. So he doesn’t have a lot of perspective. But he talked about the junk mail he heard Adolf got early in his chancellorship.
GLENN: Original sources and footnoted?
PAT: All footnoted.
STU: Can I get your copy? Do you mind if I borrow it?
PAT: 823 pages of footnotes.
GLENN: So the three books — the three books — one I’m talking about is Defying Hitler. Hitler Ascent is Stu’s. And Hitler’s Mailman’s Next-door Neighbor.
PAT: Mailman Next-door Neighbor is the third one.
GLENN: Thank you very much.
STU: It’s a long read. Pat’s, I will say is a little bit academic.
GLENN: There’s no pictures even of the mailbox.
PAT: It’s 2400 pages.
GLENN: And he dies before 33.
PAT: He dies —
JEFFY: My Hitler book has pictures.