Saturday 8 December 2007

Hitler speaks

Here's some weekend reading for you.....

I've always had a fascination with the war era and what made a relatively intelligent German race follow a dictator to near oblivion.

It is leaders than rule and dominate like this that should signal everyone to participate and challenge democracy, no matter how small the contribution. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, or so the saying goes.

I detest all things that Hitler's legacy meant and what his Final Solution was aimed to achieve - and unless your last name is Irving, then you're probably in agreement with me here. However, I am very interested in why and how such an environment was created over a relatively short period.

No matter how vain or out of touch a leader is with it's people, it's important there is some sort of revolution. This is usually done in a normal society via an election. However in the intervening period, free debate and free thought should be allowed to prosper and rein. When there are signs, like there are in Cairns, that this is discouraged and silenced, then it's time to question the very fundamental of democracy being allowed to occur.

Imagine if Kevin Rudd and John Howard attempted to silence debate about the things that the electorate what to challenge and question? That they disagree with. The issues that they feel they were lied to or not told the whole story. That is what a free society is all about.

To this end, I've just watched this compelling doco, and with new voice recognition and lip reading experts, original film and sound engineers have pieced together many rare silent film footage to determine actual words Hitler and his comrades were saying, that we have previously not heard.

Adolf Hitler bought his secret lover Eva Braun a movie camera, to film the people and parties which occurred at Berghof, their Bavarian retreat. US soldiers discovered Hitler's private home movies, in the Berlin bunker where the Nazi leader took his own life, the films they unearthed, featuring members of the SS in a more relaxed mode, remained silent for 60 years. Leading edge lip reading software has enabled experts to re-voice these films and provide us with an insight into Hitler's private world.

I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it makes for a gripping fly on the wall about someone that has been written about and analysed more than any other 20th century figure.

The new computer software that reads lips at almost any angle was only developed recently and Hitler can be heard encouraging young children towards a life in the military, criticising even his closest henchmen and flirting with Braun. Hitler's Private World: Revealed, bought together a raft of silent footage. The film shows very different Hitler from the commanding orator who led Germany into war. He cracks jokes and talks animatedly about his love for cinema. His tastes included Mickey Mouse, not unlike our own mayor, or so I'm lead to believe.

He is also seen teasing Braun about a screening in his cinema at the Berghof: "I understand you didn't like the movie last night," he says. "I know what you want. You want Gone with the Wind!" As the war was never far away Hitler says "You talk about a dress that does not fit … imagine my problems."

The technology that has allowed the dialogue to be reconstructed is called ALR, automated lip reading, developed by Frank Hubner, a speech recognition expert. The computer recognises shapes that lips make, turns them into sounds and matches these to a dictionary.

Hitler had bought Braun a cine camera for her birthday in 1936. Given his manipulation of the German people by the use of filmed propaganda, it is hardly surprising that he showed enthusiasm for cameras. "Every German family must have one. Every aspect of the nation's growth would be captured," he said.

What also becomes clear is that Hitler did not hold back from criticising his own people. There is an amazing remark about Goering: "I looked at him across the dining table and then I knew that what they say was true," he says, "that pigs eat the flesh of their own."

Here's the doco:...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Except that it's complete nonsense. Do some Google search and/or see: