"In a course for teenage girls, where I was present, the instructor asked the girls an ordinary question: 'Who is your favorite figure?' Most of the answers were interesting, and included new media figures with whom I am not familiar, especially from Snapchat. But the shocking answer given by several of the girls – which compelled me to argue with them – was that they were fans of Hitler!
"I interrupted one of the girls who said that Hitler was her favorite figure, asking her: 'Are you serious or joking?' She looked at me, amazed, and replied: 'Yes, I am serious.'
This led another girl to add: 'I too love Hitler's personality.' I asked the first girl: 'What do you like about Hitler's personality?' She responded, very confidently: 'His strength, and his ability to unite his country's military and leadership and to stand fast in war.'
I asked her: 'Do you realize that his strength caused an entire world war, and the destruction of Germany and France?' She responded: 'Yes. I read his book Mein Kampf and was impressed by his strength, his faith, and his perseverance.'
"Her answer surprised me still further, because I myself haven't read Hitler's [auto]biography, nor am I curious to read it. I told her: 'But Hitler was a dictator who heeded nothing but his inner voice, and was a racist who recognized only the German Aryan race.' She responded: 'So what? It was enough that he was strong!'
"The young girls' admiration of Hitler's personality and their inclination towards powerful [figures] led me to search for [material] on 'Hitler adoration' and fandom, and indeed, I discovered a wide spectrum of young Arabs who love Hitler.
Some said they admired him for killing the Jews, but most were enchanted by his strength, determination, and steadfastness.
This begs the question: What is behind these young peoples' love of strength? Are they fans of the violence engulfing the region? Or does the sense of helplessness and weakness [cause them] to adore of a figure who challenged the world with his strength and led an entire people to fight the world?
"We are facing a generation of young people who read [books], in an age when reading is considered obsolete – except that these [young people] read [material] of a very worrisome stripe, and acquire twisted values that could impact their future awareness, the extent of their control over things, and their situational assessments. The desire for acquiring and expressing power and for challenging the other has become a secret wish that steals into the hearts of these young people and which is expressed in many ways. This wish reflects the reality of a crisis-ridden, unstable society, [a reality whose expressions] range from suppression of free expression to the use of extreme violence on all levels – verbal, physical, and electronic [media violence]."