Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hitler Myth

This is a series of recent articles on the Hitler Myth by Duns Ouray, as published at Het Vrije Volk in the first week of May. It was translated into English by our Flemish correspondent VH, who added some notes and illustrations.


The Hitler myth

By Duns Ouray

One day you just do not believe it anymore.

Hitler: Man of the Year 1938“Hitler was a unpredictable idiot. A dictator who ruled Germany with an iron fist. He had a special gift: with his speeches he was hypnotizing his audience.

“The industrialists financed the Nazis to make profits from the German rearmament. Hitler was nothing more than a sock puppet of the capitalists. Hence the fierce struggle of the Nazis against the Social Democrats and the Communists.

“The Holocaust was anti-Semitic madness. But without the German law-abiding culture, the Holocaust could not have happened. “Befehl ist Befehl” [An order is an order] was the motto.

“The followers of Hitler were socially frustrated. The middle class were hoping to climb the social ladder with a membership in the NSDAP.

“With the military defeat in 1945, Nazism was consigned to the dungheap of history.”

That was roughly the image of Nazism I grew up with. The image that was presented to you in history class, in films, and in the newspaper. This image we might call “the Hitler myth”.

It is not the first time that myth has won out over reality. Perhaps Plato’s myth about the death of Socrates is the oldest example. Another historical myth is the idea that the Indians had a high culture, a pacifist mentality, and lived in harmony with nature, and that they were exterminated by white settlers.

This poses the following question: when does a myth win out over the reality? My answer: when all parties that benefit prefer the myth over the unwelcome reality. The Indians have an interest in their role as victim. And from the side of Westerners, history is written by left-wing pseudo-intellectuals: they want to paint capitalist society, and Christian America, in as bad a light as possible.

Back to the Hitler myth. At some point in time I started doubting. Just as children start having doubts about Santa Claus. It simply cannot be true. In this I was struggling with the following questions:

  • If Hitler was a madman, how could he come to power?
  • Can anyone really hypnotize his audience with a speech?
  • If Nazism only attracted losers, how could they suddenly grab power?
  • The Holocaust is a major operation and a historically unique. Would the motive for this have only been anti-Semitism? For anti-Semitism is (literally) as old as the way to Rome.
  • If Hitler was a sock puppet of the major capitalists, why did he call himself a national socialist?
  • This was the first speech of Hitler as Chancellor… a strange little man that is just screaming anything. Do you feel the spell of his hypnotic power come over you?
  • Via a “health care fund” the Dutch State pays the cost of health care of the below average income segment of our people. This fund is hailed as “a pinnacle of civilization”. However, it was established by the Nazis on November 1, 1941 [during the occupation of the Netherlands].
  • In 2006, the PvdA (Socialists) blocked the loosening of Dutch employment protection. The labor unions even called this employment protection “holy”. However, this measure was also introduced by the Nazis.
  • The dependent child allowance, one of the shrines of the Christian Democrats, was introduced by the Nazis in 1941.
  • After a long leftist life, Jacques van Doorn wrote German Socialism. In this book he demonstrated that historians traditionally portray the conservatives, the Reichswehr, the nobility and industrialists as the trailblazers to Hitler. However, the NSDAP was one of the few political parties in the German Weimar Republic that was not funded by these groups.
  • Did the massive support for Nazism really suddenly evaporate in 1945?

With so many contradictions, our image of Hitler cannot possibly be based on reality. There is a Hitler myth, but how could that occur?


Part II

Where did the Hitler myth come from? And why would you believe it?

In Part I demonstrated that a Hitler-myth exists. Our image of Hitler and Nazism is a fantasy. This fantasy was created by some special interest groups, who together wrote history. This section deals with these stakeholders:
- - - - - - - - -
1. The pre-war political establishment, which was restored after 1945.
2. The baby-boom generation, which took over power in the 1960’s.
3. The Germans who survived the war.

What special interest did they have?

1. The pre-war establishment had to explain why they did not stop Hitler and the Holocaust. They also, after 1945, had to channel popular support for Nazism to their aid. The following components of the Hitler myth were in their interest:

Hitler myth versus the interest:

  • “Hitler was a unpredictable madman.”
    — The political establishment had been unable to predict the Second World War or the Holocaust.
  • “The followers of Hitler were mainly socially frustrated.”
    — Hitler’s followers were standing outside the establishment. Hitler was hated by the establishment.
  • “With the military defeat in 1945, Nazism was consigned to the dungheap of history.”
    — The political establishment is responsible for the cleaning up the remnants of Nazism.

2. The baby boom generation were the first “children of the welfare state”. They pinched the power of the establishment. In this struggle, the leveling of the “fascism-reproach” proved to be a strong weapon: anyone who stands in the way of the baby boomers is called “a fascist”.

Hitler myth versus the interest:

  • “Hitler was financed by the great industrialists.”
    — The baby boomers saw capitalism as an obstacle on their way to power. Therefore capitalism had to be portrayed as the breeding ground of Hitler and Nazism.
  • “The Nazis disputed social democrats and communists.”
    — The baby boomers identified themselves as socialists and/or communists. Now they also could delude themselves as the “victims of Hitler”.
  • “The Holocaust was enabled by the German law-abiding culture.”
    — If a law-abiding culture had led to the Holocaust, then the fight against the authority simply had to be justified. And the baby boomers fought against authority in the 1960s.
  • “The followers of Hitler were the middle class that grabbed the chance to improve their situation through he Nazis.”
    — The baby boomers view themselves as real intellectuals. They detest the middle class.

3. Germans who survived the war had to find ways to justify their participation. Therefore the reality was modified:

Hitler myth versus the interest:

  • “Hitler ruled Germany with an iron fist. And with his speeches Hitler hypnotized his audience.”
    — The Germans themselves were also victims of Hitler.
  • “Hitler was financed by the great industrialists.”
    — Against this financial force majeure the Germans stood no chance.
  • “With the military defeat in 1945, Nazism was consigned to the dung heap of history.”
    — Nazism is a black page in history, but fortunately we left that behind us.

As you can see, the Hitler myth has something in it for everyone. But can we still find out how it really stuck together?


Part III

To me, the book by Sebastian Haffner (Anmerkungen zu Hitler and Geschichte eines Deutschen) was a real eye-opener. Haffner describes the bizarre everyday life in the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless, Hitler in general was regarded as a distasteful little man, cherishing weird ideas.

But when he came to power in 1933, Hitler proved to be hugely successful: unemployment was resolved, prices became stable, Germany hosted the Olympic Games, and regained international respect. Haffner summarized this as follows: if Hitler had lost his life in 1938, he would be have been remembered as the greatest German statesman of all time. Therefore you had to be very confident in the 1930’s to abhor Hitler. [1]

Another eye-opener is the book Hitler’s Beneficiaries by Götz Aly. It describes how the Germans progressed financially under Hitler. You can even question whether Hitler might be called a dictator. Firstly, Hitler came to power after a resounding election victory. Secondly, the popularity of Hitler rose enormously between 1933 and 1938.

Thirdly, a widespread repression was not necessary at all for Hitler to keep power: the Gestapo in 1937 had only 7,000 men in service, which includes office workers and supporting staff. That is probably proportional to the security personnel that currently keeps the Netherlands on track. And compare that to the DDR (only 25% of the size of Hitler’s Germany). They had 190,000 “observers” in service.

In other words, the Nazis could count on the support of a large majority of the German population. That was not so strange since Socialism had been for generations the Political Hope for the people. But the Nazis were the first to successfully bring socialism into practice.

Götz Aly cites these examples:

  • The Nazis brought the automobile within reach of the people.
  • They doubled the number of holidays for workers.
  • They introduced agricultural subsidies for farmers to protect them against the risks of weather and a fickle world market.
  • Prices of food were set by the government.
  • The Nazis introduced the progressive income tax (still a “sacred” item for the leftist parties).
  • The Nazis were not just leftists, they were green as well: they were the first to make care for the environment a government responsibility.
  • Landlords were required to charge their tenants affordable rents.
  • The legal position of tenants was strengthened.
  • Child benefits were introduced.
  • Pensions were increased.
  • The cost of health care was paid for by the government. [2]
  • The only tax increase that hurt “the common man” was a 50% increase on the duty on tobacco and alcohol.
  • And in the war a “special social benefit” was introduced: benefits for the cost of rent, insurance, coal, potatoes and other essential goods.

And the great industrialists? How did they do under Hitler? Companies had to pay 98% tax under Hitler. In some cases even 104% of profits had to be paid. And the weapons industry? The Nazis seized all “war-related” profits. Or, in the words of Hitler himself: “As long as there are soldiers fighting at the front, nobody will be allowed to make profits from the war.”

Investors had to hand in all dividends above 6% to the State. In 1941 this was followed by a special profit tax. In that year homeowners suddenly had to pay property tax in advance over the years ahead. An increase of residential rents was not allowed.

How socialist was Hitler? Let us look at the government contributions to social security between 1938 and 1943 (in millions of Reichsmarks)

1938 640  
1939 749 +16%
1940 940 +26%
1941 1395 +48%
1942 963 -31%
1943 1119 +16%

This is how socialist Hitler was. He commanded a solidarity and social justice policy the current Social Democrats can only dream about.

The question is: how could Hitler pay for this all? Well, the 31% decline in spending on social security in 1942 reveals it. In that year, the expropriation of the rights of Jews to social security was processed in the accounts.

Hitler’s welfare was paid by the theft of Jewish property and wealth. First in Germany and later in the lands under German occupation. Six million people were first robbed and then forced to work without payment. Only when Hitler’s Socialists couldn’t make any money on them anymore were they murdered.

There was nothing irrational about the Holocaust. It was the only way Hitler could finance his social security. And that very same social security was the reason that the Germans got carried away with him, despite the hardships of war. They gained: the companies and houses of Jews were available for “nothing”. Jewish household goods and clothing went to those who lost their homes in the bombings. Money, jewels, and gold went to the state.

Götz Aly explains the explicit link between the welfare state and the Holocaust: “Significantly, the will to achieve social reform was strongest among those leaders within the Nazi Party who were also the most actively involved in pushing forward the agenda of ethnic genocide.”

It seems unlikely that Hitler’s followers were amongst the wealthy, or even amongst the small firms and traders. They lost out. But if you were earning a below-average income, you gained substantially.

The Social Democrats and the Communists shared their constituencies with the Nazis, and were therefore also the biggest political threat. That is probably the reason why leftist political leaders were terrorized by the Sturm Abteilung [SA].

Besides workers, also young people were attracted to the Nazis. Jonah Goldberg points out in his superb book Liberal Fascism that fascism was a youth movement. For example, what were the ages of the Nazi leaders? When they came to power in 1933, Joseph Goebbels was 35, Reinhard Heydrich was 28, Albert Speer was 27, Adolf Eichmann was 26, Joseph Mengele was 21, and Heinrich Himmler and Hans Frank were both 26. Hermann Göring was 40 years and a real granddad amongst Hitler’s socialists.

Jonah Goldberg claims that Nazism was an egalitarian youth movement with free sex. No “Befehl is Befehl”, but a precursor of the hippies. Regarding Frei Körper Kultur there has to be no doubt that it did exist. But in Intelligence in War John Keegan adds a salient example:

The Germans developed their secret weapons in Peenemünde. The intellectual achievements, especially in V2 [rocket] design, were formidable. This was made possible by the egalitarian, free atmosphere in Peenemünde. Everyone could talk to about anything. Nobody cared for rank and status. But Peenemünde was as leaky as a sieve: the British were well aware of everything.

The contrast with the British intelligence center, Bletchley, is substantial. Ten thousand men worked there on a strict need-to-know basis. The Germans never knew of the existence of Bletchley.

Keegan does not mention Los Alamos, but it was the same there. Under very strict military rules the atomic bomb was developed. Richard Feynman was able to tell excellent stories about that. And again, the Japanese and the Germans were ignorant of its existence (although the Soviet Union did have a spy in Los Alamos).


Part IV

How Hitler won the war: Socialism and Democracy

The inherent problem of democracy is “the dictatorship of the majority”. In order to come to power, the politicians have to forge a majority coalition. This majority will only vote for them when there is something to gain. But where should that money come from? That can only be taken away from the minority.

In they era before Hitler, Socialism was seen as weird, intellectual, and unsuccessful. Hitler made two innovations that were crucial for the practical success. And finally Hitler succeeded in transferring money from a minority to a majority.

1. The Pincer

Hitler went to work as a pincer. At the top the NSDAP took part in democracy as a legitimate party. At the bottom “the activists” terrorized his opponents. Hitler maintained sufficient distance from his activists to prevent legal and public-relations trouble.

Moreover, Hitler himself was (in Mein Kampf) rather generous. He gave the Social Democrats all the credits. Hitler supposedly learned the Pincer from the social-democratic activists in Vienna. But who will say whether this is just propaganda?

2. The Coalition of the Profiteers

Hitler welded a coalition of people who benefited from his policies. That was “the common man” and “the youth”. They were favored. The bill was paid by wealthy people and especially by the Jews. Since those who gained from Nazism were more numerous than its victims, Hitler had no need for widespread repression to stay in power.

Modern social democracy

While he is not awarded the honor, Hitler is the founder of modern social democracy. Both tactical innovations, the Pincer and the Coalition of Profiteers, were embraced by leftist parties after the war (and of course Hitler’s welfare state was expanded further).

In this matter we recognize the Dutch squatters’ movement, environmental activists, and other (professional) demonstrators. It is their duty to eliminate social opponents outside the parliament. Officially, the leftist parties keep themselves well-distanced from this terror. But there are many links between them.

  • Firstly, the puppets are often the same. Many leftist politicians have a history in activism.
  • Secondly, the living costs of the activists are paid for by leftist parties, through benefits and grants.
  • With regard to housing we must congratulate the leftist politicians on their inventiveness. Hitler arranged “affordable rent” by law. But by squatting, our present politicians arrange for rent-free housing for their activists. It is no coincidence that the losing parties, the property owners, are not supporters of the leftist parties.

The power of the Left is still formed by the Coalition of Profiteers. But there have also been some changes in it. Because of technological progress, labor productivity rose substantially. Therefore you can grab enough from the minority through taxes keep the majority happy.

Moreover, high taxes are much more elegant than a holocaust:

  • Firstly, you can only rob and murder someone one time. However, higher and higher taxes can be demanded each year. [4]
  • Secondly, the Holocaust was a publicity nightmare for Hitler’s Socialists. But high taxes can be justified with beautiful concepts such as “solidarity”, “social justice” and “redistribution of wealth”.

Because changes in society happen quickly, the composition of the Coalition of Profiteers has to be adjusted as well. The “Fortuyn-period” [2001-2002] was such a landslide: the classical worker nowadays faces more drawbacks than benefits from the welfare state. He is the main victim of crime and lack of civil order, while the Santa of increased prices tiptoed past his little rented house [late nineties]. And therefore the Left can no longer rely on “the people in the old neighborhoods”.

(If you remove the social housing associations, and the offer the houses at a reduced price to the tenant, the Right will finally be able to score a large election victory.)

Hitler had it much easier. He could work with a majority of workers, but the workers nowadays are threatened with extinction. They have been replaced by an army of managers and bureaucrats.

It is not difficult to point out the new Coalition of Profiteers. Just follow the money. The media, universities, NGOs, the immigrants, the beneficiaries, officials, the semi-officials and care sector. They all gain from the welfare state.

The leftist policy is the art of a balancing act: one must over and over again forge a Coalition of Profiteers. And when this is successful, the left owns the future!


Notes

[1] One of the first measures of Hitler when he was in power was to make May 1 not only the official workers’ day, but also a holiday: “Der 1. Mai ist der Feiertag der nationalen Arbeit; signed: Adolf Hitler; Frick; Dr. Goebbels” [The first of May is the feast day of the national workers; Berlin, April 10, 1933]
 
[2] Already in 1933 the National Socialists had organized the welfare state through the “family welfare security,” the NS-Volkswohlfahrt. In their advertising they showed the wealthy capitalists with their private security on one side and on the other a happy National Socialist family looking down upon them.


Capitalists and Nazis
[3] Appeal by The Reich Leader of the German Labor Front, published in the Völkischer Beobachter (November 20, 1939)

In the following excerpt from the [National Socialist] party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter, Dr. Robert Ley, the leader of the German Labor Front [Deutsche Arbeitsfront or DAF], addresses the German workforce, highlighting the regime’s success in prosecuting the war and emphasizing that conditions for workers had improved since the first weeks of hostilities. […] Ley interpreted the forced improvements as proof of the socialist character of the German Reich, which had to assert itself in the face of threats by capitalist England.
 
[4] It is not well known that the Turks tried an in-between strategy during WWII with the Wealth Tax. After the death of Kemal Atatürk in 1938, the ruling elite slowly fell back into usual Islamic behavior. After an agreement with Nazi Germany in 1941, the Turks rounded up Jewish, Armenian and Greek males between the ages of 18 and 35. They were sent to labor camps. But to displace later fears onto the minorities, the Turkish government placed the blame for he financial crisis on the non-Muslim businessmen and implemented the “Varlik” tax (1942). A wealth tax of sometimes far over 100% of the total value of property and savings. Those who were unable to pay within two weeks lost everything to the State and were sent to labor camps. This included family members and even children. Tax “assessment” was estimated and in three categories: M for Muslims (ca 0%-15%), G for non-Muslims (Gayrimüslim), E for foreigners (Ecnebi) and D for Dönmde, members of the Jewish clan who chose to convert in stead of being murdered. Category G for instance (Greek Christians and Jews), was taxed from 50%-100%+. This led not only to a horrible persecution of non-Muslims but also a continuing crisis in the economy till long after the war.

Dutch Nazi party (NSB) posters from How leftist was the National Socialist Alliance (NSB)?: “Our Socialism, Your future”

Our Socialism

and “Together with Germany AGAINST Capitalism”:

Tegen Kapitalisme

A German NSDAP poster form 1932: “Work and Bread, through list 1”:

Work and Bread

33 comments:

Natalie said...

Excellent, excellent piece. Very well done indeed. Hitler, one of the most infamous people in our history, and also one of the most frequently written about, is often the most misunderstood.

Zenster said...

He had a special gift: with his speeches he was hypnotizing his audience.

Who were we talking about just now? Oh, yes, Adolph.
Carry on.

EscapeVelocity said...

The Nazis were certainly a faction of the Left. As the Soviets were Russian Nationalists with pretenses to universalism, the German movement was more nationalist and exclusary, but it still adopted underlings like the Vichy French and others.

They were fighting for the same support from the same groups of people, that is why the nastiness between the factions on the Left in Germany. The Nazis beat the Communists in Germany, because of its tayloring to the German people and their culture and concerns, as opposed to the subordination to the Soviets of the Communists.

It was imperative for the post war Left to paint Nazism as a far Right movement so as to tarnish the Classical Liberals and the Libertarians with mud....a convenient slander to strike fear into vulnerable people.

Darrin Hodges said...

I was wondering where this was going, but in the end a very good essay. The pincer movement and the profiteers is a suitable description of the various political establishment currently operating in the west.

PatriotUSA said...

There are parallels to to what we have in the POTUS right now that are a bit scary, to say the least. I am not saying the mullah obamaham is like Hitler. Prayerfully , the world will never see another Hitler. How easily one can slipstream between Hitler and Obama while reading this most excellent essay.

Whiskey said...

As someone who wrote his thesis on Konrad Adenauer's Rhenish Separatism during Weimar, I have a couple of quibbles.

First, the Holocaust was an insane policy, because the policy of industrial extermination took scarce and critical resources away from the fight on the Eastern Front. It was indeed insane, from a purely war-fighting viewpoint.

Second, the Wansee Conference where industrial extermination was set (the "Final Solution") was done at the sacrifice of German nationalism (valuable/scarce resources including Jewish scientists) were deliberately sacrificed when the outcome of the War was far from certain.

Third, the Holocaust was not unique. Mass slaughters on the religious and ethnic variety (or both) were not unique, and date back to ancient times. In fact, the Interahamwe (literally. "We who kill together") in three months of April-June 1994, killed nearly a million people, about the industrial killing output of Auschwitz in the roughly 3.5 years it was in operation. The Rwandan Hutus did this with stones, clubs, and machetes, mostly.

The murders in China, or the Philippines, were equally as horrid, as that of the Final Solution, but less well documented and photographed. There was nothing unique about the Holocaust, sadly, in that the Imperial Japanese also wasted war-fighting resources on orgies of killing civilians instead of the enemy. As did the Rwandan Hutus up until the moment Kagame's forces of the RPF annihilated them.

Finally, Hitler's rise came about because ordinary civil German society was incapable of "crowding him out" with more functional (and less insane leaders) and real conservatives and liberals. Most of Germany still lay in deep division over religion: Catholic vs. Lutheran, region (Rhenish, Bavarian, and North German separatism were real issues) allowing normally fringe parties to act as "unifiers" ... the Communists, Nazis, and so on. The dumping of millions of demobilized men out of WWI allowed these groups to build up political armies (out of the Freikorps) that would have been unsustainable otherwise. Germany had been a unified nation for only 70 years or so, and was quite fragile, with deep Catholic-Protestant divisions going back to the slaughter of the Thirty Years War (1/3rd German speakers perished 1618-1648). Critically, Conservative challenges to the National Socialists were never mounted because they were often diverted into romantic but stupid separatist movements designed to recreate the Germany before unification.

Those quibbles aside, yes Hitler and the Nazis had the OVERWHELMING support of Ordinary Germans, on a deep and wide basis. Even more depressing, the Final Solution had overwhelming support in the Occupied nations save Denmark, and Bulgaria, which alone saved about a third of pre-War Jews. [I like the Bulgarians.] The French shamefully were among the worst in shipping Jews off to the Gas Chambers even when it did not profit them, matched only by the Dutch. [The Italians, mostly left their Jews alone. Primo Levi's mother and sisters rode out the War untouched in their home. The Italians I also like.]

Hitler also had the enthusiastic support of the Wehrmacht and his early successes quieted any real resistance. The Stauffenberg plot was idiotic, and had little support even as it was obvious the War was lost. Which is why it failed.

Whiskey said...

A follow-up.

Adenauer is a good example. During the Weimar Republic, he was occupied with a doomed attempt to create support for various autonomy schemes leading inevitably to separatism ... in attempt to recreate the Palatinate states along the Rhine. His vision for Germany was "small," one that had at it's core a withdrawal from the wider Germany and indeed Europe into a series of small, Catholic-Reformist states that had as it's basis romantic, intense devotion to place and "smallness." That and greenbelts were his main occupation in the Republic.

Thus when it came to challenging the National Socialists, he was both unwilling and unable to credibly mount an alternative. Even if he had, his vision of Germany broken up into small little bits had little appeal, no matter how romantic it might be to nostalgia filled Rhenish inhabitants.

The Nazis imprisoned him but did not torture him during the War. They didn't consider him a very serious threat.

YoelB said...

Götz Aly also demonstrated that Nazi Germany systematically exported its WWII inflation to the countries it occupied by a combination of currency manipulation and plunder. This permitted Germans to maintain a pretty good standard of living until almost the end.
Whiskey didn't go far enough in discussing the Final Solution. Lucy Dawidowicz' The War Against the Jews documents the extent to which the murder and robbery of Europe's Jews was the German war aim. Witness the diversion of critical rolling stock to the extermination of Polish Jewry at the expense of bringing critical supplies to German troops in the East.
And ordinary Germans knew a lot more about what happened to the Jews than they liked to admit after the war.
I agree, ya gotta love the Italians. Mussolini refused to turn Italian Jews over to the Germans for deportation and it wasn't until the Germans took over after his overthrow that the mass roundups started -- despite the anti-Semitic laws Mussolini instituted at German behest in the late 1930s.
The Italians also had (have?) a pretty strong tendency to basically ignore the government as much as possible. This was a major factor in saving much of Italian Jewry (along with a great deal of Italian courage) once the Germans took over.
It was across the board, too: from the Communists to the Church (and all the way up to the Pope.)

duckman said...

", about the industrial killing output of Auschwitz in the roughly 3.5 years it was in operation."

you do need to remember however that for most of that time Auschwitz-Birkenau was not an extermination camp but a mainly forced labour facility.

While there were gas chambers in operation those were mainly used to kill off those inmates who were no longer economical (the sick, the infirm, the very young and very old).
The majority of deaths during those first years were due to starvation and work related accidents, plus executions as punishment for disobedience or attempted rebellion.

The same is true for most other German camps, many of them started out as extensions of ordinary prisons during the Weimar Republic.
Similar facilities were set up by most European countries (including the Netherlands, France, and the UK) and the US (and probably others as well), though the regime in German camps was stricter and the death toll higher than that elsewhere.

Some more things Hitler introduced that people would never call bad are the highway system and package holidays.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I suspect those "similar facilities" didn't include gas chambers.

Anyhoo, package holidays and motorways are bad now, they harm nature by causing global warming and make us all evul sinners against gaia. Haven't you been reading the watermelon press?

JacksonvillePat said...

Whiskey presents a very important perspective. "First, the Holocaust was an insane policy, because the policy of industrial extermination took scarce and critical resources away from the fight on the Eastern Front. It was indeed insane, from a purely war-fighting viewpoint."

Pursuing Whiskey's reasoning it seems that abortion on demand, primarily for convenience, is a similarly insane policy considering that the West continues with an alarming decline of replacement birth rate. Also it seems that the decision to abandon family and child rearing is proportional to affluence and a desire for self independence. Perhaps this worship of self will be the primary reason for the decline of Western Culture.

There also seems to be some sinister ideological elements of the Nazi party that are currently embraced in our modern society. I have recently read Edwin Black's book "War against the Weak, Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race." Edwin Black has also written "IBM and the Holocaust." I have only read the first and was surprised by how supportive the American Eugenics movement was toward those in Germany with a similar view. One of my favorite books is "Eugenics and Other Evils" by G. K. Chesterton. I suspect many liberals still embrace many aspects of Eugenics.

Henrik Ræder said...

Regarding eugenics, I have heard that John M. Kaynes (yes, the economist) was a board member of the British Eugenics Society all the way up to 1945. Is anyone able to confirm that?

I hope is economical theories are better than that...

The Italians also had (have?) a pretty strong tendency to basically ignore the government as much as possible.Pretty healthy in context. Basically, no Jews were harmed in Italy, except in the north when the Germans took over. Mussolini reportedly employed many Jews in his administration.

Hitler also had the enthusiastic support of the Wehrmacht.As far as I know, that didn't come initially. The army was, I believe, very suspicious of him well into the 30's. The Stauffenberg plot is kindof a different story, as that was well into the war.

Cugel said...

Let's see: The Pincer and Hitler's aloofness, sounds like ACORN and His-Nose-In-The-Air. Massive expropriation of industrialists; sounds like the "bailout."

Socialism proves always to be a disaster, but it keeps rearing its ugly head. Seems the thrist of the masses for envy and a "gimme" dependency is unquenchable.

God's second mistake said...

Yoel
Much of Lucy Dawidowicz' work is unsubstantiated. She oversimplifies the causes and mechanisms that lead tot he Holocaust. The German war aim was to build a great empire and Hitlers overriding purpose was to be emperor. Killing European Jews was the means to the end not the other way around.

Whiskey

What about the Serbians? Is it true that they hid and protected Jews at their own expense and often paid with their lives?

I've read that this whole "genocide against Muslim Bosinians" was more about the Serbs not wanting their country to become a Califate than out right racial elimination.

Henrik R Clausen said...

As for who inspired the actual killing of Jews, I believe Icon of Evil is worth a read.

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Henrick

Yes I think Keynes was a member of the Eugenic society, but then so was H. G. Wells a couple of Darwin's kids and Darwin's cousin Galton started the whole thing off, if I remember correctly, but then so was my Granddad he was a great pig breeder. In fact Charles Darwin practiced it, because there is a long history of inter breeding between the Darwins and Wedgewood families. I seriously suspect that he didn't take it seriously apart from an intellectual exercise. He was in fact one of the worlds greatest dilettantes as he didn't even get his degree in Economics, and he certainly didn't practice it because according to legend he spent his time at University when not studying buggering his fellow students such as Rupert Brook and Lytton Strachey

adagioforstrings said...

re: duckman:"...The same is true for most other German camps, many of them started out as extensions of ordinary prisons..."It sounds like you're engaged in holocaust denial. The German camps were set up to kill Jews & other people deemed undesirable by the Nazis.

Jonah Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism points out that evil philosophies blamed on the right, are really leftwing weirdoness.

M. Simon said...

The Manhattan Project consumed 1/6th of the American electrical supply. And the Germans knew nothing.

BTW linked at Paying For Social Security

Sultan Knish said...

I would offer that the Nazi persecution of the Jews began as a classic "expel and expropriate" program, of a kind that had deep roots in Europe. And it fit the economic hole that Hitler and the Nazis were digging for Germany through populist socialism.

However it increasingly turned irrational and insane, as it became an extermination program. Persecuting Jews stopped being a means to an economic end, and became an economic end in itself, that seriously damaged Germany, see Deutschland ohne Juden. Particularly when it came to Science.

This ties into the way that revolutions built on cycles of violence will spin out of control into the red hazed madness of bloodshed.

The USSR too went from persecuting class enemies, to a cycle of terror. So did the French Revolution.

Nazism by separating out the Jews, focused the bulk of its terror on a separate population, combining revolutionary terror with ethnic genocide.

Sultan Knish said...

"Jonah Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism points out that evil philosophies blamed on the right, are really leftwing weirdoness." It might be more accurate to say, that the two are not really very different.

The far right and the far left both agree on the basic, total government control, i.e. socialism, unlimited power, enemies of the state, etc...

The Communists co-opted Russian nationalism once in power. The Nazis co-opted social programs. Both were simply tools for staying in power by totalitarian ideologies run by people who wanted to maximize their personal power.

The ends and the means on the far right and far left were basically the same.

YoelB said...

second mistake wrote:
Much of Lucy Dawidowicz' work is unsubstantiated. She oversimplifies the causes and mechanisms that lead to the Holocaust.Whiskey wrote:
First, the Holocaust was an insane policy, because the policy of industrial extermination took scarce and critical resources away from the fight on the Eastern Front.Hitler saw eliminating the Jews as the sine qua non of the "civilization" he wanted to create: it was not compatible with Jews being alive. He wrote as much in Mein Kampf at the beginning of it all and even at the end, when all was lost he wanted to bequeath a Judenrein Europe to the world and kept the murders going.
Lucy Davidowicz may have gotten some details wrong, but she was right about the big idea.
Scarce railroad rolling stock that could have supplied and evacuated German troops from the Eastern front was instead diverted to transporting Jews to the death camps. It was an expression of the priority at the heart of the Nazi enterprise.

Engineer-Poet said...

Quoth Jacksonville Pat:

"Pursuing Whiskey's reasoning it seems that abortion on demand, primarily for convenience, is a similarly insane policy considering that the West continues with an alarming decline of replacement birth rate."

"Convenience"?  The US government has decided to socialize the benefits of child-bearing, while leaving the majority of the costs to be borne privately except by the poor.  Support for "the poor" combined with contraception is enough; abortion is at most a contributing factor.

Another issue is the political elite's decision to support open borders, admitting tens of millions of mostly-unskilled immigrants through the diversity lottery, family "reunification" and outright illegal entry.  These drive up living costs while sapping tax revenues.  The people paying the bills for this are paying for the babies of the world; they can't afford children of their own.  And if they think their own nation is too crowded, who should be able to deny them what they want?

"Also it seems that the decision to abandon family and child rearing is proportional to affluence and a desire for self independence."

Children are welfare-supported among the poor, fashionable among the rich.  It's that vast middle where replacement is a problem.

"Perhaps this worship of self will be the primary reason for the decline of Western Culture."

It's not selfishness that's responsible, it's forced selflessness.  People may want to do the right thing, but when government has taken all the resources to give to the "wretched refuse yearning to breathe free", it's mighty hard to impoversh yourself enough to make up the difference.

There are as many as 20 million illegal immigrants in the USA today.  Imagine what a difference we could make in living standards and public expenditures if we deported them!  And if the middle could afford to have children, they would do so.

M. Simon said...

Re: The Watermelon Press.

They are advocates of The Great Leap Backwards

M. Simon said...

The Stauffenberg plot was idiotic, and had little support even as it was obvious the War was lost. Which is why it failed.The Stauffenberg plot failed because they failed to kill Hitler. It only missed by inches.

The follow up plans, had Hitler died, were rather well organized.

mholt said...

Is this essay available in a form easier to transmit to others?

Craig Spencer Llanrwst said...

Indeid we both agree Hitler was great leader.

USpace said...

.
Excellent post! I am tweeting this to the world! twitter.com/USpace123

The Left is addicted to thinking of Hitler as completely 'Right-Wing'. Tell a Liberal that Hitler was a creature of the Left and they will shriek with indignation.

That is the biggest success of the Left so far, brainwashing people that Hitler was from the Right. Hopefully, they will have no bigger success.

"Move Left everyone, or you'll get to Hitler's way if you move Right." Because of this, many so-called 'Liberals' think the Right and conservatism is more dangerous than communism.

The main principle of 'conservatism' is 'individual liberty', that is instinctual and naturally understood. We must keep planting this thought in the minds of young people, so that they will be better able to resist their institutional brainwashing. 'Leftism' is a lie, it is phony, and it is racist at its core.
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
the principles of FREEDOM

fascism comes from The Right
that is the lie of The Left

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never mock The Left

it's just their religion
you RIGHT-WING INFIDEL

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
the principles of FREEDOM

fascism comes from the Right
that is a lie of the Left

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
YOU'RE RIGHT WING

you know that free markets
are best for everyone
.
USpace
.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Visit: HaltTerrorism.com
.

Trenton said...

This is a fantastic post/comment discussion! Many thanks to everyone for your contributions, but especially to Duns Ouray for providing the initial research.

Please visit Essays from an Old Whig and Conservative Front

tahDeetz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

tahDeetz --

Read the rules about civil commenting at the top of the comment window. I deleted your comment because of the insult you directed at your fellow commenter.

Since you're new here and presumably not yet used to the rules, I've redacted the insult and reposted your comment below.

=====

tahDeetz said...

Sultan Knish said...
""Liberal Fascism points out that evil philosophies blamed on the right, are really leftwing weirdoness." It might be more accurate to say, that the two are not really very different.

The far right and the far left both agree on the basic, total government control, i.e. socialism, unlimited power, enemies of the state, etc...

The Communists co-opted Russian nationalism once in power. The Nazis co-opted social programs. Both were simply tools for staying in power by totalitarian ideologies run by people who wanted to maximize their personal power.

The ends and the means on the far right and far left were basically the same."

[He] completely misses the point in that the far, extreme right are the intellectually honest anarchists. No government at all is the idea & end result. The political balance is a straight line, not a circle.

He sounds like a pissed off leftist trying to perp the false paradigm once again.

Sorry. . . Progressive, liberal, commie, socialist, maoist, marxist, & yes Nazi are all cut from the same cloth of collectivism & Govt control.

To the right, government is a necessary evil that must be tightly controlled & limited in scope.

Chechar said...

@ There was nothing irrational about the Holocaust. It was the only way Hitler could finance his social security.

Duns Ouray is dead wrong on this one. One of the things that I most disagree with both Bat Y’or, Fjordman and the rest of the “canonical” interpretations of the West suicide in the counter-jihad movement is their belief that the whole process is conscious (e.g., to gain power, economic gain, etc.). In his 1996 study about the Holocaust Daniel Goldhagen demonstrated that, irrationally and incredibly, in 1945 the Nazis used trains that were very badly needed to impede the advance of the Russians for an alien purpose: to get more innocent Jews into the camps, including women and children. (Whiskey is right in his post way above.)

Rational explanations of this sort of behavior will never, ever do it! Nor rational explanations can account for Hitler’s invasion to the Soviet Union when his generals advised him against the move.

In my second and third books of my series (only the fourth is being published, step by step, here in GoV) I include an analysis of the motives of Hitler’s willing executioners. Too complex to be discussed in mere posts. The following is must reading for those interested in the subject of a profound psychological analysis of the mind of Hitler and the Nazis (instead of glib, politically-correct explanations):

1) The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust by Lloyd deMause

and:

2) For Your Own Good by Alice Miller.

Miller’s book has a very different title in the original German edition, “In the Beginning it was Education”. It contains a chapter about the way that a radical form of Prussian pedagogy tormented a whole generation of German children, from the late 19th century to the early 20th century (Hitler’s generation). Miller’s whole book is readable in the above link. If that’s a lot of reading, take at least a look at the deMause article linked above.

My own chapter on the subject (in my 2nd book) is titled “Tormented Babies—Willing Executioners”. Should I translate it for GoV?

Zenster said...

I just finished reading de Mause's "The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust" and it is a deeply disturbing essay. Both in its exposure of Central Europe's abominable childrearing practices during the late 19th and early 20th century and how well it explains the connection between those abuses and the externalization of them during the Holocaust.

This is a MUST READ for those who remain skeptical of Chechar's recent works about psychohistory and for informed people in general. It certainly explains a lot about Islam's preoccupation with genocide and ethnic "cleansing".

It also confirms many of my own suspicions about how my parents were raised and why they resorted to abusive methods in raising their own children.

Anonymous said...

I am confused on one point, "You can even question whether Hitler might be called a dictator. Firstly, Hitler came to power after a resounding election victory."

Though elected by popular vote did he not orchestrate the burning of the reichstag, and subsequently take over, never to relinquish that power?