Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The 'Paper-Hanger' Status

There's a code-word-like phrase that people will use when referring to Adolph Hitler in some fashion....the 'paper-hanger' phrase.

Well.....in a curious way, it comes off comments of a Catholic Cardinal from Chicago.....George Mundelein.

Cardinal Mundelein ends up giving a pep-talk or speech to his graduating group of a seminary.  So, he's chosen recent German events.  The speech was given on 18 May 1937.  The phrase gets used by some journalists, and was used more as a insult than anything else.

The Cardinal refers to Hitler in the form of the 'paper-hanger'.....suggesting that a mere paper-hanger or wall-paper guy....was now running Germany. In this period (1930s)....when you had the profession of wall-paper hanging....you were at the bottom level of tasks and it was the type of job that any idiot could accomplish.  Other than an eye for making things match up....there's no real intelligence required for the job.  So the Cardinal is suggesting that Hitler is a dimwit.

If you go back and look at Hitler from 1907 to 1913....he is unemployed and mostly living in shelters and doing day work (house-painting is typically suggested by historians) when he can find it.  At some point in the summer of 1913....he gets an inheritance from his father, and on slightly better ground, but still not a real trade or craft that would pay for a regular life.

So the paper-hanger status is hung upon Hitler for this reason....whether logical or factual.....you can't really say.

If you read through the entire history of Hitler, you come to 1932 and ask what his resume said.  It's a eight-line resume....not to slam the guy, but it's fairly limited.

He was a 'never-accepted' artist (the Austrian academy didn't see any real qualifications).  The only real trade or craft that you can find is the house-painter work.  From the Army period.....he did make it to Corporal....with the chief job being courier of messages.  After the war, he's the frontman for the Nationalist Socialist Party and gives dynamic speeches.  University time?  None.  Craftsman time?  None.

In some ways, the Cardinal was right....Germany signed up and depended on a guy who gave great speeches and got them feeling enthusiastic after losing WW I.  While you could slam the Kaiser (Wilhelm II) for having a 8-line resume as well....at least he was given a fair amount of training in his youth and that gave him some potential for the job.

2 comments:

Fredericka said...

Why would you be reluctant to "slam the guy"? If there was ever a person who needed slamming and still does, it is Hitler. His resume was the pits.

R Hammond said...

My 'slam' comment was geared toward his resume and experience. If you took every single German or Prussian leader of the past two-hundred years....he's the most unqualified guy for the job. On accomplishments.....you could write a thousand of pages of negative material or how he literally destroyed Germany ten times over. The whole issue of DDR existing for forty-odd years, and the billions upon billions of Euro spent on enhancing eastern Germany (from your own pocket)....all the fault of this incompetent guy and his leadership. Even today....Germans in some fashion are still 'paying' for his screw-ups. There is this point where a guy can make good speeches and a point where an individual can lead a nation....the best you can say with Hitler is that he gave enthusiastic speeches....beyond that, he's a party-created fraud.