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July 2, 2016

TIME Magazine Cover: Adolf Hitler, Man of the Year - Jan. 2, 1939

Hitler was named TIME's Man of the Year in 1938. (Adolf Hitler and his chief of police Heinrich Himmler inspecting the SS Guard, 1938. Photograph: Getty Images)

On January 2, 1939, Time Magazine published its annual Man of the Year issue. For the year 1938, Time had chosen Adolf Hitler as the man who "for better or worse" (as Time founder Henry Luce expressed it) had most influenced events of the preceding year.


The cover picture featured Hitler playing "his hymn of hate in a desecrated cathedral while victims dangle on a St. Catherine's wheel and the Nazi hierarchy looks on." This picture was drawn by Baron Rudolph Charles von Ripper, a German Catholic who had fled Hitler's Germany.

The Man of the Year cover had been a Time tradition since 1927 when Charles Lindbergh became the first Man of the Year. Ironically, Lindbergh was an admirer of Hitler and Nazi Germany; he became active in the America First organization which opposed America entering World War II in the fight against Adolf Hitler.

Photographed at work, image-heavy. Most people react, understandably and sensibly, with horror when learning that Hitler was chosen by Time magazine as Man of the Year, 1939. So the cover says it all, really.


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