Here is why Hitler wasn't evil(No holocaust denial)

Jun 2016
1,806
England, 200 yards from Wales
In this context, would our friends from the USA say that the USA was evil when it let loose a bombing campaign over North Vietnam by dropping Napalm bombs or Agent Orange? Would our British friends say that Britain was evil when general Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on defenceless people gathered in an enclosure at Amritsar, Punjab with only one access and the same as exit which was being guarded by his soldiers manning machine guns and rifles? And killed hundreds at least? Would the British friends say that the British people who honoured this General for his action and presented a purse to him were evil? Would my Indian friends consider Udham Singh who killed Sir Michael O'Dwyer and wounded General Dyer in London in revenge years later as evil? War is war and morals are not involved.
Well, I might say General Dwyer was very wrong (we are talking about human actions, so he or Hitler are wrong/evil not Britain or Germany).
Personally though I would reserve 'evil' for something special, things done in fear or anger or panic or in war maybe, where there is always the fear of losing, can be very wrong.
However evil I reckon is something colder, more calculated, like Hitler and his cronies sitting down and calmly planning to murder millions of people, just because of who they were. As Linschoten says, if that isn't evil the word has no use at all.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
You impose monstrous fines on them as in Versailles treaty and then a Hitler swears to take revenge. Victors in a war cannot claim that they are paragons of Virtue when they start dictating judgements on the losers.
Hitler did not simply aim for the "vengeance for Germany". His ambition had been growing to the extent of "carving the huge empire" (lebensraum) at last as he kept scoring success in territorial expansion and diplomacy one after another, culminated with the serious desire for the domination of Europe in AD 1940-41. You cannot simply take the perspective of the "common German" to comprehend a man named Adolf Hitler, who was extraordinarily devoted in fulfilling his own dream and imperial glory to seriousness that few German dared to imagine.

He militarized the Rhine frontier, he annexed Austria, then he annexed Czechslovakia, his goal heightened one after another like all those ambitive opportunitists thought. The British appeasement policy further fueled his ambition. The German nationalism was merely a tool in his eyes — the instrument for serving his military and political goals under his lead.

In short, Hitler had gone too far if his goal was merely "avenging for the unjust suffered in Versailles Treaty formulated by victors". In reality, Hitler desired far more beyond this "limited goal" — not only he wished to overturn that unjust, but "reconstruct the entire Europe" by his own term !

He conquered the entire France, Belgium, the Netherland at the western front, and pushed very eastward almost to Moscow, carrying out the militarized rule in occupied area. Are you telling me that such vastness of military conquest was only motivated by the German nationalism called for revenge ? If you call this "revenge", it had gone too far — far beyond the logics !
 
In this context, would our friends from the USA say that the USA was evil when it let loose a bombing campaign over North Vietnam by dropping Napalm bombs or Agent Orange? Would our British friends say that Britain was evil when general Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on defenceless people gathered in an enclosure at Amritsar, Punjab with only one access and the same as exit which was being guarded by his soldiers manning machine guns and rifles? And killed hundreds at least? Would the British friends say that the British people who honoured this General for his action and presented a purse to him were evil? Would my Indian friends consider Udham Singh who killed Sir Michael O'Dwyer and wounded General Dyer in London in revenge years later as evil? War is war and morals are not involved.
I understand what your saying but when we judge Hitler the difference is that yes sometimes / in fact often, civilians get killed but Gov'ts don't usually target normal civilians in a modern urban area like Berlin etc on purely racial lines.

Yes it has happened i.e in Yugoslavia or the Turkic massacre in the caucasus but ......... not their own civilians!

Hitler didn't just go to war with his neighbours, he went to war on a specific group of his own German civilians, non combatants unlike Saddam when he targeted rebel Kurds for trying to march on baghdad the Jews were not rebels and he chose to do that purely on racial purity.

That is why what he did is deemed unacceptable compared to two countries going to war or even attacking civilians of your enemy, but massacring your own due to nothing more than racial ideology is unfathomable.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
Even the contemporary politician (Erich von Ludendorf) regarded Adolf Hitler "very evil" !!
He warned Hindenburg :

"You have delivered up our holy German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I solemnly prophesy that this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery. Future generations will damn you in your grave for what you have done.” (page 427, Hitler : 1889-1936 Hubris, by Lan Kershaw)

What do you think, everyone ?
 
Likes: Tulius
Oct 2013
14,071
Europix
Even the contemporary politician (Erich von Ludendorf) regarded Adolf Hitler "very evil" !!
He warned Hindenburg :

"You have delivered up our holy German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I solemnly prophesy that this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery. Future generations will damn you in your grave for what you have done.” (page 427, Hitler : 1889-1936 Hubris, by Lan Kershaw)

What do you think, everyone ?
Well, some people (even amongst politicians) do have a realist perception.

BTW, thank You for the quote!
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,437
Athens, Greece
Hitler rose from the ruins of a German society brought to its knees because of the harsh Versailles treaty conditions. As Churchill says in the novel ' The Winds of War ', such a devil arises from the black forest of Germany because of the feelings of revenge in the minds of Germans. In real life, too, Churchill was against the revengeful terms of the Versailles treaty. If one thinks of Hitler as evil, one has to consider the Versailles treaty as the origin of that evil.
it is remarkable that no such Hitler arose in Germany after its defeat in WW II, most possibly because of the generous treatment given by the allies to the defeated Germany. Remember what was Churchill's reply to Stalin who proposed in Yalta that 50000 german officers should be shot. He walked out of the dinner party in disgust and was brought back by Stalin telling him that it was a joke.
Nazism and WWII was not as much a result of the Versailles treaty as it is commonly believed; rather, it was much a result of 'unfinished business' from WWI and the period prior to that, fueled by the particularly severe impact the Great Depression had in Weimar Germany: had the defeat of Germany in WWI been as thorough, total and unquestionable as that of WWII, had the Prussian military spirit of pride and arrogance been defanged once and for all, had the heinous "stab in the back" myth never been allowed to flourish, thus cultivating further hatred towards Jews and leftists, and had the Weimar Republic been allowed to continue the recovery and stabilisation of Germany, decisively interrupted and dramatically deteriorated by the Great Depression, in all probability nothing that came to pass would have happened.

Yes, the Versailles treaty was harsh, imposing unnecessary humiliation and economic burden on Germany, but what made it worse was the feeling that it was undeserved for, that the Germans never understood how and why they had lost WWI, and thus, the treaty deteriorated an already fractured German society and an already smitten economy. However, after 1924 the German economy had stabilised, the reparation demands were loosened to the point that only a small portion of the initial ones were actually paid in the end, the Dawes and Young plans helped the German economy back on its feet, the Rhineland occupation and the hyperinflation were a thing of the past, social tensions were beginning to mend with the threats from both the extreme Left and Right having been dealt with.

As a black joke from History, however, the American plans that so much helped the German economy recover, created its Achilles' heel also: a very strong dependence on US banks, which, as they collapsed after the '29 crash, withdrew from abroad, pulling the rug from under the recovering German state. The German economy collapsed; unemployment skyrocketed; the Great Depression settled in mightily, and not just as an economic term. Germany was devastated. Extreme desperation fed the Nazis. Check the elections results, all available in wiki. There is a direct correlation between Nazi popularity and the Great Depression: the Nazis had just 2,6% in 1928, two years and a Great Depression later, 18,25% (1930). In two more years and an ever deepening depression, 37,25% and first place in 1932 elections. And the rest is history.

To summarise, it was not the Versailles treaty that sowed the seeds of evil. Yes, it poured some water on them, but still that wouldn't be enough for history to materialise as it did. The damage done was reversible and was already mending. The real, irreversible damage was done by the Great Depression that hit particularly hard a country where the seeds of evil were latent from the past, never properly and decisively uprooted, nor allowed adequate time to dissolve in prosperous stability. After '29, these seeds gave birth to the monsters we all know so well.
 
Likes: Linschoten

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,437
Athens, Greece
Humanity is not far from being similar to the Apes from whom it has evolved. Please do read the ' The Naked Ape ' by Desmond Morris.We all retain our traits of viciousness and wanton cruelty. Morals developed later. But they are skin deep. You kill Germans and they kill you back. You impose monstrous fines on them as in Versailles treaty and then a Hitler swears to take revenge. Victors in a war cannot claim that they are paragons of Virtue when they start dictating judgements on the losers.
In this context, would our friends from the USA say that the USA was evil when it let loose a bombing campaign over North Vietnam by dropping Napalm bombs or Agent Orange? Would our British friends say that Britain was evil when general Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on defenceless people gathered in an enclosure at Amritsar, Punjab with only one access and the same as exit which was being guarded by his soldiers manning machine guns and rifles? And killed hundreds at least? Would the British friends say that the British people who honoured this General for his action and presented a purse to him were evil? Would my Indian friends consider Udham Singh who killed Sir Michael O'Dwyer and wounded General Dyer in London in revenge years later as evil? War is war and morals are not involved.
I disagree. Hitler and Nazism are not comparable to other horrific and evil facets of humanity throughout history. They crossed the boundary of what can be justifiable by the human mind and soul, to the inhuman darkness beyond the pale. The Nazi theory and actions sought to alter humanity itself. Not only through their vile eugenics practices, genocidal, murderous and racist policies, but also by seeking to alter the rules of morality and the very nature of the human spirit, bringing out the worst qualities there can be found within the human soul, accentuating, legitimising and rewarding them. Nazism was not murderous and evil because of a spiteful outbreak of rage, or because of an accidental or collateral damage. It was a premeditated evil, that used all the achievements and trappings of civilisation to forever alter and negate civilisation as we know it. And that, is what was most bone-chilling about it.

Not to repeat myself, my older reply to the OP is relevant towards you as well:

There are many slippery roads to hell a person can take, accidentally or willingly. The end result is what matters, not the small, individual steps. You can examine the steps to try and understand how one took the road he did, but not to justify the result. Some deeds are simply too vile to be acceptable within the boundaries of what we call human civilisation. Mass murderers, psychopathic killers, child rapist, all have certain backgrounds that led them to their heinous deeds. Understanding those is useful for sociology and criminology, as is very important for history to understand the genesis mechanics of Nazism and the driving forces behind phenomena like Hitler. Understanding does in no case negate the end result or can classify it as "normal". An abomination remains an abomination, whether one can identify its particular mini-patterns and details, or not.


Humans are a warlike species, let's face it. We have been fighting wars since the dawn of mankind, often trying to incorporate the very act of mass killing that wars are, in human civilisation. Until the 20th century and WWI, soldiery was even considered a noble occupation, and wars were often regarded as a measurement of one's manliness, bravery, honour, even nobility (at least as far as the officers were concerned). In many societies, like in Ancient Greece for example, wars were fought in a very ritualistic manner, following strict rules, acceptable by all. Rules in war had been the commonplace in mankind's history of warfare, with notable exceptions of course, up until the totality of WWII. We humans are capable of the greatest evil and the lowest instincts, as well as of the exact opposites. Establishing rules and acceptable paths to channel the former, temper and control them, is an essential process allowing us to continue to co-exist as a species, and not kill each other to the last man, woman, or child, ad infinitum. War, within certain boundaries and rules, has been established as a sometimes necessary horror and as the most terrible acceptable thing humanity can resort to. In a sense, war is the furthest boundary of human civilisation, its most extreme border.

The Holocaust, on the other hand, is beyond that border. Systematically, purposefully and coldly exterminating whole groups of people, men, women and children, non-combatants, following the decision to do so in the most efficient way to the final completion of that goal, is a decisive step away from what humanity considers canonical. What was astonishing, and perhaps most frightening about the Nazis is that they used all the advancements of civilisation and a strict sense of rules, to break all existing rules and negate civilisation. There were genocides before and since, some were horrifically brutal and instinctive, other were systematic yet inefficient and incomplete, some were even not premeditated. Never before and since has humanity witnessed such detachment from the deed of extermination itself, a deed reduced to the level of other industrious processes in Nazi Germany, performed in a mechanical, extremely efficient industrial way. There's something deeply inhuman about this, something beyond the boundaries of humanity. All genocides are fringe human behaviours, fortunately never established as a normal way for humans to resolve their disputes, in contrast to war within rules. But if genocidal planning is an exception, much scorned upon, the Nazis sought to establish it as a standard, justified policy, introducing it into human civilisation as an acceptable pattern, thus profoundly altering human civilisation itself.

Yes, innocents died both in wars and in the Holocaust, but there's something in humanity that can help come to terms and even justify the horrible death of a warring soldier, whereas there's something deeply dehumanizing, simply going beyond humanity, in the systematic killing of 1.5 million children, or in the boiling of amniotic fluid and the explosion of gassed pregnant women's bellies at the pyres of Treblinka.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
"War is war and morals are not involved."

To me war is murder and hence a crime in and of itself.The necessity for war is a deeply divisive argument. My perception is that there is something appealing about war and solving problems with violence for men...If this was not case violence war would be rare. Could it be a case of the reptilian brain stem taking over towards a perceived threat?

Before the Holocaust, Crimes committed in war were rarely considered crimes.

However, The Holocaust was not about war. It actually began in 1935 with Goring's Nuremberg race laws which removed all citizenship rights from Jews. The extermination of the Jews as policy, in context of the morality of the time was a special case. This was not simply a war crime, perhaps the greatest premeditated state evil in recorded history, but I won't quibble over the superlative. The Holocaust was pure, refined evil.

Interesting about Dyer: In Attenborough's film "Gandhi" Dyer was hauled over the coals for his actions. Although he came across an especially odious part of The Raj, and his actions were evil, I'm not sure about the man.

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OT; Your opinion on the film "Gandhi" would be appreciated. How was it received in India? Having read a bit about Gandhi's life, I thought the film was a hagiography , on the legend of Bapu gandhiji.
, not Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Imo Richard Attenborough did the same thing with "Chaplin" ; he made a film about the legend, not the man. ( would be fascinated to see how he would have presented that nasty old bitch Mother Theresa of Kolkuta)
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
Re treaty of Versailles and WW2: . The treaty was pretty vindictive. As I understand, at the time there was one voice warning about Germany's inability to pay the absurd amount of war reparations. That was the economist John Maynard Keynes, who estimated the maximum Germany would be able to repay at $US10,000,000.

Did Germany's hyper inflation wipe out the the war reparation debt, or did Germany simply refuse to renegotiate the amount?

I also half remember something about the US repatriating gold bullion it had in Germany, adding to thee causes and effects of the Great depression in Germany, in 1929. . (?)
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,115
here
"War is war and morals are not involved."

To me war is murder and hence a crime in and of itself.The necessity for war is a deeply divisive argument. My perception is that there is something appealing about war and solving problems with violence for men...If this was not case violence war would be rare. Could it be a case of the reptilian brain stem taking over towards a perceived threat?

Before the Holocaust, Crimes committed in war were rarely considered crimes.
Is that true?

IIRC, contemporaries of Napoleon took issue with his execution of prisoners at Jaffa. Other examples would be Henry V at Agincourt and Alexander at the siege of Tyre.