|“||The guy is like a hypnotist — a madman who can make a whole country nuts.||„|
|~ Indiana Jones on Hitler.|
|“||The Ark belongs in the Reich. Something of such antiquity belongs in Germany.||„|
|~ Adolf Hitler.|
|~ Hitler's salute|
Adolf Hitler (also known as the "Führer") is the overarching antagonist of the first three films of the Indiana Jones series, being a mentioned antagonist in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark and a cameo antagonist in the 1989 sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Adolf Hitler is the leader of Nazi Germany and is described by Colonel Musgrove as being "obsessed with the occult", hence his interest in acquiring the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. To acquire both artifacts, he hires people like René Belloq and Walter Donovan to find them for him and has many fierce officers like Herman Dietrich and Ernst Vogel, willing to accomplish his orders.
His interest in the occult and in archaeological artifacts prompted Nazi research and recovery expeditions into artifacts to either support his views of Aryan racial superiority or to be used as weapons against Nazi enemies.
Hitler met with archaeologist René Belloq in 1936 to hire his services in acquiring the lost Ark of the Covenant. After Indiana Jones thwarted Hitler's plans on numerous occasions, including his desire to claim the Ark, the Führer personally assigned Hans Degen to assassinate Jones but the attempt ended in failure. In 1938, Hitler was presiding over a book-burning rally in Berlin outside the Institute of Aryan Culture. As he was being escorted from the forum, he came face to face with a man in a Nazi officer's uniform who held a book in his hands. Not knowing the man was a disguised Indiana Jones or that the book was the Grail diary his agents needed to find the Holy Grail, Hitler took the book, motioned one of his aides for a pen, signed the book, and returned it to the startled 'officer' before continuing on his way.
Seeking to expand Germany, he first used diplomatic means to gain territories in building a greater German state, then invaded Poland in 1939, initiating World War II. In 1945, Hitler appeared in Professor Jones' vision where he claimed ownership for the Spear of Destiny. Later that year, with the defeat of Germany likely, and Berlin near invasion, he committed suicide.
- Despite being mentioned several times and making a cameo appearance, Hitler is obviously The Heavy of at least the first and third films in the series as the Nazis (including René Belloq and Walter Donovan) were all answering to him since he's behind the plans to obtain the Ark and the Holy Grail.
- Over the years, many fans have assumed that had Indy not retrieved the Ark, Hitler and all his inner circle of officers would have all died as a result of the Ark of the Covenant's powers once they opened it (Belloq only opened it at the Tabernacle to check it with the pretext of not risking Hitler's life), therefore making Indiana Jones unnecessary to the plot. In the wake of this, both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas revealed that Hitler would have been savvy enough to not open the Ark, cementing Hitler as a more threatening and calculating antagonist than Belloq.