Our next Hero of the Environment made an heroic attempt in the 1930's to alert Americans about the genuine, destructive, nature of the NAZI party in Germany and particularly its leader, Adolf Hitler. In fact, our hero traveled through Nazi held Germany and met personally with Hitler. Our hero photographed much of the German landscape and Nazi party antics - and some of this movie footage was confiscated as he managed to leave the country. Only a few westerners could have toured the budding Third Reich and have access to its leaders, and one was Cornelius “Neil” Vanderbilt IV.
Vanderbilt was astonished by what he saw, and as a journalist (his self-selected profession), he felt duty bound to report it. He produced a documentary film - an interview with himself following his "escape" from Germany. Curiously, the film was suppressed in the United States. So, how does Neil Vanderbilt rate as a Hero of the Environment? How about the immense, almost unimaginable, destruction of the environment during the course of WWII? Although unsuccessful in moving most Americans to understand Hitler and his party, it was an insightful effort.
Although clumsy reenactments (by contemporary standards) may jar a bit, the effort to quickly tell his story is admirable. The money quote at the end of the clip describing Hitler:
Unquestionably he is a man of real ability, of force. But the way I sized him up after interviewing him is that he is a strange combination of Huey Long, Billy Sunday, and Al Capone…. I had never heard a man so able to sway people…. In the hour and a half that Hitler talked to that packed audience that night, he was as effective as a barker in a sideshow traveling with a circus.
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