East Kilbride Probus Club talks about the rise of Nazi dictator Hitler

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The East Kilbride Probus Club heard a lecture on the rise of Hitler at their last meeting.

President Ray Jones opened the meeting, conducted club business and then introduced guest speaker Roy Johnstone.

He was a lawyer for 40 years and had a great love of history and now that he is retired he has returned to his first love of history.



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Mr Johnstone began by showing a baby photo of Hitler, born in 1889 in Austria near the German border.

He didn’t do well in school and was a bit rebellious and lonely.

His father died when he was 13 and his mother a few years later and within three years after the family money ran out he was staying in hostels.

World War I broke out and he joined the Expedition Corps, wounded twice and awarded two Iron Crosses.

In the trenches his philosophy of life began to take shape and it was that humanitarianism should not stand in the way of war.

When Germany surrendered at the end of World War I, he baselessly blamed Jews and Communists.

He joined a right-wing party and often practiced his oratory and gestures in front of the mirror and quickly rose through the ranks.

In 1923 Germany was bankrupt and a failed coup saw him confront the police.

In prison with a five-year sentence, he wrote his “famous” book Mein Kamp (My Struggle).

Released after 13 months of a five-year sentence, he watched Mussolini in Italy and loved the way he conducted himself and where he received the Nazi salute from.

In 1928/29 there was the great worldwide depression and he defeated Hindenburg and became the chancellor/prime minister and was later elected leader and dictator in 1934.

War was declared in 1938/39, he declared war on the United States in 1941 seeing them ally with Britain.

In 1945 Hitler thought he was at the height of his power, but D-Day on June 6, 1945 saw the end and he died in a Berlin bunker shooting himself.

Barrie Crawford cast a vote of thanks and thanked Mr. Johnstone for his absolutely fascinating story and his ability to cover 20 years in an hour.

The meeting was closed by the President who wished everyone a safe journey home.

For more information, contact the secretary, Mr Eddie Holmes on 01355 234 942

The next meeting will be on March 2 with a ‘Searching for Polar Bears’ topic by Ms Heather Kerr at Glebe Street Hall in the village.

For more information, please access the EK Probus website.

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