‘A harmless lunatic with the gift of oratory’

‘A born natural orator’: Irish student’s account of Hitler in 1921 emerges

“His purple passages were greeted with roars of applause, and when finally he sank back exhausted into his chair, there was a scene of hysterical enthusiasm which baffles description. As we left the meeting my friend asked me what I thought of this new party leader. With all the arrogance of 21 I replied: ‘A harmless lunatic with the gift of oratory.’

I can still hear his retort: ‘No lunatic with the gift of oratory is harmless.’”

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