Norman Mailer has written a novel asking when Hitler became evil. To me the question is pointless. Evil is a supernatural invention allowing people to be not responsible for their actions. To be evil is to be taken over by the Devil, and there is nothing you can do about it.
This said, I believe Hitler, and the German process of Nazification, can be answered through the same psychology and sociology as the cult. In my post, The Guru, I point out that the classic guru is a loner with an abnormal upbringing who descends into a form of mental illness.
The ‘cure’ to the illness is to believe in something, and the transition at the end of this process can lead to a charismatic who can ‘hypnotise’ all who come across him. This process applies to cult gurus and Hitler alike.
As for the cult/nation itself, in the post, Who Joins a Cult, I make it clear that cult disciples are invariably intelligent, young and middleclass. They are searching for something and will eventually believe anything.
If we really want to understand what happened in Germany leading to World War Two, we must understand cult mentality and sociology, and realize it can so easily transfer to society in general.
© Anthony North, Feb 2007