Hitler's World War One comrades called him a 'rear area pig'

Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 11:53 [IST]

London, Aug.18 (ANI): Newly discovered war logs show that German frontline troops despised Adolf Hitler during World War One, and referred to him as a "rear area pig".

A new book by historian Dr Thomas Weber also reveals that Hitler was nowhere near the frontline fighting, and was only awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class for bravery in 1918 because he was friendly with the senior officers who handed them out.

While Hitler later claimed that he delivered messages from the frontline in France and Belgium, the fact is that he delivered messages between regimental headquarters.

He was rarely within five kilometres of any combat, leading comrades to brand him "Etappenschwein" - a rear area pig.

Dr Weber, of the University of Aberdeen, said: "Hitler knew all the people who had the power to nominate him for an Iron Cross. Generally, soldiers fighting in the front line weren't nominated for it, which made them despise people like Hitler even more. They did hardly any work and got all the glory."The myth of Hitler as a brave soldier and the camaraderie of the trenches was used by the Nazi party from the beginning in order to extend its appeal beyond the far right," Dr. Weber added.

According to The Sun, Hitler's war medal became a cornerstone of the evil regime's propaganda machine to build his reputation as a courageous soldier and German hero. He claimed his heroic service and time in the trenches helped form his cruel world view and propel him to power.

According to the Daily Mail, no individual has been more scrutinized than Hitler, and letters and a diary disclose that frontline troops regarded him as an impractical object of ridicule, joking about his starving in a canned food factory, unable to open a can with a bayonet.

His comrades in regimental headquarters viewed him as a loner, who was neither popular nor unpopular.

They referred to him as the 'painter' or the 'artist' and noticed that he did not indulge in their favourite pastimes - letter-writing or drinking - but was often seen with a political book in his hand or painting. He was also particularly submissive to his superiors. (ANI)

 

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