From William L. Shirer's 1960 definitive account of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:
Such were the ideas of Adolf Hitler, set down in all their appalling crudeness as he sat in Landsberg prison gazing out at a flowering orchard above the River Lech, or later, in 1925-26, as he reclined on the balcony of a comfortable inn at Berchtesgaden and looked out across the towering Alps toward his native Austria, dictating a torrent of words to his faithful Rudolf Hess and dreaming of the Third Reich which he would build on the shoddy foundations we have seen, and which he would rule with an iron hand.
That one day he would build it and rule it he had no doubts whatsoever, for he was possessed of that burning sense of mission peculiar to so many geniuses who have sprouted, seemingly, from nowhere and from nothing throughout the ages. He would unify a chosen people who had never before been politically one. He would purify their race. He would make them strong. He would make them lords of the earth.
A crude Darwinism? A sadistic fancy? An irresponsible egoism? A megalomania? It was all of these in part. But it was something more. For the mind and the passion of Hitler -- all the aberrations that possessed his feverish brain -- had roots that lay deep in German experience and thought. Nazism and the Third Reich, in fact, were but a logical continuation of German history.
Tags: William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich