Through Hitler’s words

Adolf Hitler visits Berlin Stadium (FO 96/221)
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A charismatic leader?

The man gave off such charisma that people believed whatever he said…

Emil Klein, Hitler Youth leader

He was adored by crowds and mobilised a nation. So how did Hitler rise to such power?

This workshop questions whether Hitler was a charismatic leader and whether it was his ability to captivate his audience with his words which ultimately led to the rallying of the masses.

By studying War Office and Foreign Office files, students analyse speeches and news articles focusing on Hitler as an orator. Applying the German sociologist Max Weber’s model of ‘charismatic authority’, students examine evidence to determine whether Hitler was a charismatic leader.

The session concludes with a showcase of a range of documents from our vast collection, which portray Hitler in different ways including cartoons, cigarette cards and a fake passport.

[The session] gave the students an opportunity to build confidence with the content and encouraged students to have their own opinions

A level teacher

This session is delivered as a workshop. Find out more about the types of session we offer.

Session options

This session is delivered as a:


at The National Archives

2 hours

Available: All year

Cost: Free to UK schools

Suitability: Key stage 5

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All activities must be booked in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 5365

Fax: +44 (0)20 8487 9202

Contact the education team