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Hitler : The Rise Of Evil?

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  • #16
    Welcome back, Bill! Hopefully your job change is a positive one.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Bill
      "This is becoming a very interesting thread. When one considers the idea of a master race or holocaust we tend, quiet naturally, to concentrate on the ' jewish question' as Heydrich put it in 1942. However Hitler went far beyond this to persecute all and sundry types of people from gypsies to Jehovah's Witnesses. These are perhaps the forgotten victims of Hitlers totalitarian regime?"

      I'll take this opportunity to hop back in after a couple week absence (vacation, job change). Clearly, the assault on the Jewish population was the most pronounced, but Hitler (and Stalin, for that matter, who made Hitler look like a minor leaguer in the genocide game) was, ironically, not discriminating in his hatred. There are people (most notably Michael) who have researched this more than I have, and I would ask for their input, but my understanding is that Hitler first and foremost was taking steps (albeit the steps of a madman) to consolidate then expand his power.

      I think that in this context, the Jews were attacked less because of religious reasons than nationalist reasons. If you ask a Catholic or Protestant what nationality they are, there is almost zero chance that they will answer "Catholic" or "Protestant". If you ask a Jew what nationality they are, there is a greater likelihood, or, if you rather, at least the possibility, (depending on where you are) that they will answer "Jewish" rather than the country in which they reside. Hitler's "detente" with the Catholic Church is now well-known. I would reckon that if the Holy See had taken a firmer position with Hitler - and given him any reason to consider the average German Catholic as more likely to adhere to the Vatican than to him, the "six million" number would have climbed significantly. This, to me, explains in part why the Poles were slaughtered to the degree they were, as well as the Hungarians, but not, for example, the Catholics or the Austrians. These were not people in a strong power position, but they did present the perception, at least in Berlin, of representing a competing nationalism at a time when Hitler was relying on nationalistic pride to form his power base.
      Bill, unfortunately my time is a little limited, but certain impressions can't be left uncorrected. The Holy See did in fact fail enormously, when it could have put up a formidable resistance!
      And - no, Hitler did not plan and proceed with the extermination of the Jews for nationalistic reasons, but out of pure racism, strategic reasons and GREED (the disowning of Jewish wealth was a bonanza!) It was a strategic move to unite a nation (of whom many had racist inclinations anyway) that felt humiliated by the defeat in WW1 by pointing to a "fiendish enemy": "THE JEW" who they said had brought about the defeat and appeared to be the "Number 1 profiteer" of that war. Hitler succeeded in UNITING many, many people who wanted an obvious scapegoat. Germany felt it didn't lose WW1 on the battlefields, but by betrayal and attrition. The idea of Jewish conspiracies would have appealed to most people in Europe at that time, and Hitler and his propaganda-chief Goebbels managed to unite a strong majority of frustrated Germans. Others simply didn't care, just hoped for work and food. Making the Jews "responsible" for "the circumstances" was popular since the Middle Ages and nearly always worked. Parts of the aristocracy thought they would profit from Hitler, even in new military operations.

      WRONG, at the time Jews identified themselves with the country they were part of, not by their religion! The German Jews brought home from WW1 several thousand Iron Crosses, and if asked until even 1936, mostly considered themselves as Germans, just like Catholics or Protestants did. Hitler in his extermination politics was highly discriminative: Jews were to be anihilated, same with the Gipsies. Eastern Europeans - Slavs, would serve as "underlings" doing the hard labour, because they were seen as racially inferior. The Hungarians, let me point this out, were allies of the Germans, not victims. Southern Europeans were seen as "useful idiots" and French, Britons, Dutch etc as possible partners in ruling the world eventually.
      Africans weren't taken serious unless they mixed with "Aryans" and fouled the blood. Surprisingly, however, you found contemporary Nazi texts supporting (!) the Abyssinians during the Italian invasion of their country, these were admired in a poorly disguised manner as "Noble Primitives" who bravely defended their land.
      The Catholics made up and still make up about half of the Germans, so it made no sense to "assault" or antagonize the Catholics (who grew up mainly with the notion that the Jews had killed their Saviour and were full of prejudice anyway). Austria is even of some 90% Roman Catholic background! Hitler's family were devout Austrian Catholics.
      The Nazis and their infamous secret police Gestapo persecuted courageous individual priests of either Christian branch and killed several hundreds in the concentration camps. There were special "clergy blocks" in many of the camps. Hitler and his henchmen were afraid of ALL societies that weren't easily penetrated and forced under Nazi control: the clergy, the aristocrats, the Free Masons, of course the Unions etc. So Hitler struck a deal with the Vatican: no invasion and general permission to carry on with church services in exchange of shutting up and not criticising. It worked. But not always, there was indeed resistance and dissent, and many a brave priest payed with his life or at least just barely survived the camps.
      The overall timidness of the Catholic Church, however, is a shame, and I think the Pope apologized for it a few years ago. Look, the Axis member Bulgaria just said no to the deportation of Jews, and the Germans grumbled but accepted it! Why couldn't the bloody Church have done likewise?

      More to follow, but at some other point. Also about certain Stalin-Hitler comparisons which just don't work, my friend.
      Regards, L'E
      Google ergo sum

      Comment


      • #18
        "The Holy See did in fact fail enormously, when it could have put up a formidable resistance!"

        My point exactly.

        "And - no, Hitler did not plan and proceed with the extermination of the Jews for nationalistic reasons, but out of pure racism, strategic reasons and GREED (the disowning of Jewish wealth was a bonanza!) It was a strategic move to unite a nation (of whom many had racist inclinations anyway) that felt humiliated by the defeat in WW1..."

        Not sure we are reaching a different conclusion here. I am not suggesting that anti-semitism (the use of racism kind of reinforces the other point I made that you refute below) wasn't a factor, it clearly was, but I think ascribing Hitler's actions purely to anti-semitism leaves two big questions unanswered: one, would the extermination have included the Catholics if the Papacy had a stronger backbone, and two, why then did the extermination include so many non-Jews from other countries? Not to belittle the losses in any way whatsoever (actually in one sense it makes them more heinous) I think the fact is, Hitler was able to hit two birds with one stone. I think, though, that given the choice between a) keeping power and not exterminating the Jews or b) losing power and continuing the exterminations, at least early on, the choice would have been a). Although, it is a fool's game to rationally try to analyze someone like Hitler. This is of course, academic, since we know what happened.

        "WRONG, at the time Jews identified themselves with the country they were part of, not by their religion!"

        I have to concede this; I am basing my answer on empirical evidence, which of course factors in the holocaust, so I could be wrong. I do know that in college, I lived on a floor that had about 20 Jewish students out of 40 or so residents, and I remember having this discussion with five other students (4 Jews and 2 Catholics, including me). The 4 Jewish students were adament about their nationality: Jew.

        "Hitler and his henchmen were afraid of ALL societies that weren't easily penetrated and forced under Nazi control: the clergy, the aristocrats, the Free Masons, of course the Unions etc. So Hitler struck a deal with the Vatican: no invasion and general permission to carry on with church services in exchange of shutting up and not criticising. It worked."

        I must be confused, because this is what I am saying, in essence just not as eloquently. Hitler was able to reach an implicit if not explicit accord with the Pope with effectively brought the Catholic Church to heel, and had the added bonus of marginalizing the resistors within their own group as well as within their own country. Whether he would have expanded the persecution of the Catholics is academic, as we know what happened.

        "Also about certain Stalin-Hitler comparisons which just don't work"

        Interested to hear what you have to say about 20 million killed in the name of political, religious, and racial persecution.

        Comment


        • #19
          Really, I have very little time at the moment.
          I definitely know that most German Jews considered themselves Germans, it was a shock to many that they were suddenly being singled out as something different. Many left the country too late out of disbelief. But it is certainly because of the Holocaut that many Jews today believe that in the end they will always be at the "receiving end" and have decided they are Jews above anything else. Understandably so, fat good it did them to trust the safety of being nationals of certain countries, they were so often disappointed or betrayed.

          Stalin and Hitler can't be juxtaposed by comparing the numbers of their victims. Nor by their motives. The Nazi ideology meant to exterminate all members of a race, Stalin was living in paranoid fear of all that supposedly "threatened" him, independently of race or religion. So the mere fact that you were Jewish or Gipsy ("Roma" or "Sinto" as they call themselves) was enough to be killed by the Nazis, after they got your money. Stalin did not direct his fury against the entirety of one race. He ordered several hundred thousands of German settlers deported further East to avoid them "supposedly" supporting the German Armies invading the Soviet Union when he could easily have massacred them all! Deportation wasn't fun, but different to being murdered. He could also easily have depopulated his share of defeated Germany in retaliation for the loss of 20 million lives that the war cost Russia alone, but he didn't. He massacred Polish officers and priests because they were educated hence intelligent and potentially dangerous, not because they were Poles. He slaughtered half the Russian officers' Corp after they failed to suppress the Finns effectively. Stalin ordered the execution of the head of secret services, Berija, when he thought Berija had too much power. Stalin relied on terror as a means of ruling. Stalin's regime was in many ways more paranoid in "detecting" enemies and killing them (usually after a kind of trial in which a confession was needed!) than the Nazi counterpart. He sent surviving Russian POW's to the Guklags lest they report at home what live was like in the West. Yet, there were no ideas of a Russian or Georgian (Stalin was Georgian) racial superiority over all others behind these crimes.
          Hitler and his gangsters actually believed in their "divine mission" to rid the world of the Jews and went about the mass murdering extremely methodically, first stripping people of the posessions, then singling out those who could still work and then killing them all. There was never before and never again such a methodical, cold-blooded mass murder on such a large scale. It was based on an irrational creed of course. Hitler's last comment shortly before the end of the war was that if the Germans failed in their mission ... they themselves deserved to be exterminated. He deserted the Germans because he thought they were too weak, finally, to accomplish "the mission".

          Enough books have been written about Hitler and Stalin, I offer to search them for you if desired.

          To answer the hypothetical question about the extermination of the Catholics: No, Hitler couldn't exterminate the Catholics on a large scale, it probably didn't even cross his mind. For, half the German population was Catholic. At least half the Nazis themselves were Catholics, and even more, because from 1936 on Austria joined the jolly raiding party and so probably two thirds of the Nazis and their armies were Catholics. Would have been pretty difficult to invade even Luxemburg after the carnage the persecution of Catholics would have caused.

          Why then were so many others killed besides Jews? Because they were "hostile aliens" and didn't just stand by when German stormtroopers poured uninvited into their countries! Those who collaborated or even joined the ranks of the many foreign army units within the German forces weren't bothered very much.
          In time I will gladly procure the figures. However, the people who died at the extermination camps were nearly all Jews and Gipsies.
          The many million others died defending their countries in one way or the other, as soldiers or irregulars, Dutch, Polish, Italians, French, Greeks, Russians, Yugoslavs, Norwegians, Danes etc. 3,6 million Russian POW's were starved at POW camps. And several hundred thousand Germans were killed in various Concentration camps (other than "Extermination Camps") or in prisons and elsewhere. They opposed Hitler in one way or the other as critical artists, writers, journalists, unionists - and homosexuals. Alone some 25000 deserters were shot or hanged. (While in all of WW1 48 German soldiers were executed for desertion ...!) Some were perhaps cowards, but so what? Many didn't believe in the Nazi regime. There are memorials for these deserters today in Germany!

          So, sorry if I'm a little touchy if you try to belittle Hitler against Stalin. German perfectionism, ever heard of it? You just can't compare a Hitler with any Eastern run-of-the-mill dictator, or a Mercedes with a Fiat, can you?
          Google ergo sum

          Comment


          • #20
            "So, sorry if I'm a little touchy if you try to belittle Hitler against Stalin. German perfectionism, ever heard of it? You just can't compare a Hitler with any Eastern run-of-the-mill dictator, or a Mercedes with a Fiat, can you?"

            Hey, no need to apologize; I am certainly not arguing with you, although I would continue the academic discussion if you have the time and inclination. I am grateful for the perspective; I have read much on Hitler, not much on Stalin.

            "There was never before and never again such a methodical, cold-blooded mass murder on such a large scale." AND "Because they were "hostile aliens" and didn't just stand by when German stormtroopers poured uninvited into their countries! Those who collaborated or even joined the ranks of the many foreign army units within the German forces weren't bothered very much."

            I see your point, but I would say just two things as comment, and not as counter argument:
            1. While I don't doubt the veracity of what you say, in my readings I always got the sense that the Hitler motivation was never so pure as to be solely about religious purity (sorry to use the same word twice). Sure that was the propaganda, and as you correctly state, it worked in the context it was used. But I always had the sense, especially later, that there were accurate comparisons between Stalin and Hitler from the perspective of the paranoia and protectiveness of the power they were acquiring.
            2. I am not belittling either figure, nor am I really comparing in the competitive sense. Six million or 20 million, to me after the first killing, everything is moot.

            "Enough books have been written about Hitler and Stalin, I offer to search them for you if desired."

            Actaully, if you have recommendations on Stalin biographies, I would be most grateful.

            "However, the people who died at the extermination camps were nearly all Jews and Gipsies."

            Maybe relatively speaking, but I can tell you there were a significant number of Poles brought to the camps and exterminated as well, including women and children. By the way, this is such interest to me becuase my grandmother on my father's side is 100% Polish (and lost family members in the Polish occupation and in camps) and still maintains contact with family in "the old country". My grandmother on my mom's side is Hungarian Gipsy. I know little about that side of the family, and nothing about the impact of the war on the family.

            Comment


            • #21
              Bill, thanks.
              Just a kwiik one.
              Of course many Poles died in the camps (in addition to those Poles who were Jews), yet the very camps were not built to exterminate the Poles! Just as there wasn't a "Wannsee Conference" seeking a dreadful "Final Solution" to wipe the Poles off the face of the world. The Poles that were killed either just happened to be "in the way", or they refused forced labour, or they were killed in (awful) retaliation for resistance acts as the ill-fated Uprising of the Polish Home Army on August 1st 1944 (with Stalin's Red army sitting close by and watching the outcome (Stalin knew whatever the result it would be positive for him ... the Germans decimated - fine, the rebelloius Poles killed, just fine too, less opposition forces in future ...)
              Hitler's motives weren't pure. No, but the obsession with removing Jewish life from this planet became more and more a central war aim. Even after defeat was apparent the Nazis dedicated a lot of resources to fulfilling this target that would have been needed by the army!

              The numbers again ... while Hitler murdered six million Jews the entire casuallty figures of war that he started amount to something like 60 million dead. Plus those driven out of their homesteads and injured and maimed etc. The Soviet Union lost 20 million lives.

              Will find you information on Stalin soon. There was a lot about 9 years ago when the 50th anniversary of V-day was celebrated.

              Regards, L'Etranger
              Google ergo sum

              Comment


              • #22
                Bill,
                here some reading suggestions to start with:

                Stalin and His Hangmen: An Authoritative Portrait of a Tyrant and Those Who Served Him -- by Donald Rayfield – I have a gut feeling that this is what you’d need to read.

                Stalin's Terror: High Politics and Mass Repression in the Soviet Union
                by Barry McLoughlin (additional reading)

                Ian Kershaw is currently considered the top-notch expert on Hitler, also in Germany, not to be missed in any collection of books about the period. Several books available.
                Google ergo sum

                Comment


                • #23
                  Why does everyone always want to focus in on the negative aspects of Hitler.Hitler loved his country,his people,his lover,and animals.Few know he was a vegaterian because he loved animals so much.A man who loved so much should not be so villified.His heart was in the right place he was just misguided.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Anonymous
                    Why does everyone always want to focus in on the negative aspects of Hitler.Hitler loved his country,his people,his lover,and animals.Few know he was a vegaterian because he loved animals so much.A man who loved so much should not be so villified.His heart was in the right place he was just misguided.
                    Your for real, right? Regardless, the cruelty that he put forward can't seriously be overlooked by the fact that he 'loved animals'.
                    Call me cockey, but if there\'s an alien I can\'t kill, I haven\'t met him and killed him yet!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bob
                      Originally posted by Anonymous
                      Why does everyone always want to focus in on the negative aspects of Hitler.Hitler loved his country,his people,his lover,and animals.Few know he was a vegaterian because he loved animals so much.A man who loved so much should not be so villified.His heart was in the right place he was just misguided.
                      Your for real, right? Regardless, the cruelty that he put forward can't seriously be overlooked by the fact that he 'loved animals'.
                      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: No,I am a figment of your imagination conjured from perpetual drug consumption.:::::: (Overlooked) your word.:::::::::: If all focused totally on only the bad Bob has done you would be ostracized and loathed.:::::::::: I forgo your offer.A road laden with what appears to be a majority of your cerebral cortex would most definitely be a deleterious journey.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Whoever you are "guest", you've just ruined my day, thanks.

                        Hitler loved his country - don't give me that! he didn't know his country!

                        He was a small minded little turd. And he was a vegetarian because he had bad guts, not because he loved animals.

                        I can't believe I'm even dignifying "guest" with a response.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ReaveTheJust
                          Whoever you are "guest", you've just ruined my day, thanks.

                          Hitler loved his country - don't give me that! he didn't know his country!

                          He was a small minded little turd. And he was a vegetarian because he had bad guts, not because he loved animals.

                          I can't believe I'm even dignifying "guest" with a response.
                          :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Your welcome,purveyor of what is true.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::And you do outlander.:::::::::::Can't stop bringing up your excriment fetish,hey Reave.:::::::::::::::::So,what's knew heaper of mal content,you have yet to dignify your life.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Next time,find a cookie that isn't laced with drugs.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            ".[/quote]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Your welcome,purveyor of what is true.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::And you do outlander.:::::::::::Can't stop bringing up your excriment fetish,hey Reave.:::::::::::::::::So,what's knew heaper of mal content,you have yet to dignify your life.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Next time,find a cookie that isn't laced with drugs."



                            "Hi, Kettle? This is Pot. Um, you're black."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bill
                              ".
                              :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Your welcome,purveyor of what is true.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::And you do outlander.:::::::::::Can't stop bringing up your excriment fetish,hey Reave.:::::::::::::::::So,what's knew heaper of mal content,you have yet to dignify your life.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Next time,find a cookie that isn't laced with drugs."



                              "Hi, Kettle? This is Pot. Um, you're black."[/quote]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::Upon your introduction,you forgot to state your last name,Head,right.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::Yes,I am black and you are white even without the sheet.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::But wait,my point was only no one is one hundred percent evil.Are you one hundred percent good.Agree and this is resolved.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Berry, Mayday!
                                I think most of us would consider legitimate the deleting the postings of bored saboteurs who have nothing but crap to contribute.
                                Google ergo sum

                                Comment

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