ABSTRACT

After contemplating the former century one might indeed be tempted to concur with the misanthrope Jonathan Swift’s observation on humanity in Gulliver’s Travels: ‘I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.’ 1 Yet, as Germans recovered from the Hitler regime, as they looked back into the afterglow of a brutal orgy, they could never call themselves victims: except in one sense. They were the targets of the most vigorous, lucid and sophisticated public relations campaign ever conjured in all of history, and one which both anticipated and surpassed the public opinion sorcery of the twenty-first century.