Video: Hitler Was All the Rage in 1932

Here’s a short clip (with a daring little pun buried inside) from one of the new episodes of my TV show, airing now across the country on public television and online in the Watch the TV Show section of my website.

We had a fascinating time filming the Nazi Documentation Center in Hitler’s favorite city, Nürnberg. It’s fascinating (and, hopefully, instructive) to think of the tenor of those turbulent times in Germany and how Hitler came to power. His specialty: huge rallies, stoking the fears of angry masses (especially fears of minorities), and a dumbed-down message that repeated lies and insults until his followers started shouting them back. He had a passion for constructing buildings as bombastic as his speeches.

To this day, Germans ask: How could this have happened? Hitler was a master of media and the mass hypnosis of the German nation. His populist promises (coming on the heels of tough economic times) led to catastrophe. One positive that came from this: to this day, Germany works to make its electorate not dumbed-down, but smarter. Perhaps another positive: that we might take the lessons history wants to teach us a little more seriously.