Among the literary works produced in a prison setting, Adolf Hitlerís Mein Kampf holds a place on the top shelf. This is not due to the brilliance of the prose, for there is little of that, but to its historical significance. Part autobiography, part political program, part mumbo-jumbo, it tells the story of how Hitler became Hitler, and is thus of prime importance in understanding how on earth an entire civilized nation was seduced by this man. The answer to this question is vital if we can ever hope to reduce the occurrence of similar catastrophes.
But before we examine Hitlerís personal evolution, letís take a look at how Hitler conceptualized an honorable defeat, in order to provide a segue.
Source note: The passages in red below are quoted sequentially from Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 10: Causes of the Collapse.
An Honorable Defeat.
Hitler poses a question:
"Must a military defeat lead to so complete a collapse of a nation (post WW1 Germany) and a state? Since when is this the result of an unfortunate war? Do peoples perish in consequence of lost wars as such?
The answer to this can be very brief: Always, when military defeat is the payment meted out to peoples for their inner rottenness, cowardice, lack of character, in short, unworthiness. If this is not the case, the military defeat will be the inspiration of a great future resurrection rather than the tombstone of a national existence."
Accepting Hitler's criterion, did the modern state of Germany derive "the inspiration of a great future resurrection" from their defeat in WW2? Or have they lost their national identity in the egalitarian leveling of the EU? If the latter, is this indicative of a fallacy in Hitler's logic on this point?
"History offers innumerable examples for the truth of this assertion."
Alas, he gives none.
"Unfortunately, the military defeat of the German people (WW1) is not an undeserved catastrophe, but the deserved chastisement of eternal retribution. We more than deserved this defeat. It is only the greatest outward symptom of decay amid a whole series of inner symptoms, which perhaps had remained hidden and invisible to the eyes of most, or which people, like ostriches, did not want to see."
Consider that many average Germans would have agreed with this statement if it had been applied to post-Reich Germany. Many German ostriches failed to notice or acknowledge the symptoms of decay in a regime that had outlived its usefulness to the Volk 4 or 5 years previous to it's demise. He continues:
"Think about the attendant circumstances amid which the German people accepted this defeat. Didn't many circles express the most shameless joy at the misfortune of the fatherland?"
Another admittedly out of context observation: Certainly those many millions of Germans who were disenfranchised, murdered, confined or enslaved by the Nazis had good reason to derive whatever joy their physical and mental states were able to generate at that later late date.
"And who would do such a thing if he does not really deserve such a punishment? Why didn't they go even further and brag of having finally caused the front to waver?"
This is nonsense contradictory to the full weight of historical evidence. The front wasn't wavering; it was showing undeniable signs of catastrophic collapse due to the relentless onslaught of the Allies in the wake of a failed German offensive. It was, after all, the German military leadership itself that compelled the politicians to capitulate, a plain fact vehemently denied by German nationalists of Hitler's mentality.
"And it was not the enemy that did this; no, no, it was Germans who poured such disgrace upon their heads! Can it be said that misfortune struck them unjustly? Since when do people step forward and take the guilt for a war on themselves? And against better knowledge and better judgment!"
It was either that or the Allies (criminal) blockade would continue and hundreds of thousands more Germans would have succumbed to starvation and disease. Admitting defeat and 'confessing' under such duress is not ignoble, as Hitler would contend, but prudent. This pragmatic policy did, after all, preserve a Germany able to rise up and fight again.
Unfortunately, Hitler's leadership in that second match was based on principles foreign to pragmatism, and it is yet to be seen if this modern incarnation of that great European cultural, industrial, and political power will ever again be able to project military power effectively.
"No, and again no. Observing the way in which the German people received its defeat, we can recognize most clearly that the true cause of our collapse must be sought in an entirely different place from the purely military loss of a few positions or in the failure of an offensive; for if the front as such had really flagged and if its downfall had really encompassed the doom of the fatherland, the German people would have received the defeat quite differently."
Note Hitler's use of the phrase 'the doom of the fatherland,' and consider what that entails.
"Then they would have borne the ensuing misfortune with gritted teeth or would have mourned it, overpowered by grief; then all hearts would have been filled with rage and anger toward the enemy who had become victorious through a trick of chance or the will of fate; then, like the Roman Senate, the nation would have received the defeated divisions with the thanks of the fatherland for the sacrifices they had made and besought them not to despair of the Reich. The capitulation would have been signed only with the reason, while the heart even then would have beaten for the resurrection to come."
This is a large part of Hitler's rationale for what has always been perceived by the (intellectually lazy) majority of observers as the actions of a madman: The total and absolute defeat he purposely inflicted on Germany by waiting until WELL after midnight. A downfall that "really encompassed the doom of the fatherland" would, in this fallacious but noble theoretical construct, retain the peoples honor. (For reinforcement of this interpretation, see Hitler's final political testament.)
"This is how a defeat for which only fate was responsible would have been received. Then people would not have laughed and danced, they would not have boasted of cowardice and glorified the defeat, they would not have scoffed at the embattled troops and dragged their banner and cockade in the mud."
After the complete conflagration of Germany, and considering the undeniable fact that many multitudes of German soldiers did indeed 'fight to the last man,' cowardice was not an issue. NO ONE in Germany was laughing and dancing, and the swastikas and all they stood for were dragged muddily along with a vengeance. They are now outlawed from public display under severe penalty.
It didn't work out as Hitler supposed, did it? Why? What was the X-Factor that perverted Hitler's conceptualization?
Hitler's scenario of a 'defeat for which only fate was responsible,' and the cause of the outlawing of the 'banner and cockade' and what that symbolizes, is the universal revulsion engendered by the events collectively referred to as (it does always come down to it) the Holocaust. It can be reasonably demonstrated that Hitlerís fatal errors stemmed directly from his eliminationist anti-Semitism: His unreasoning and obsessive hatred of Der Jude.
Why Jews? They werenít much of a physical threat, as less than two percent of the Germany he initially ruled was composed of ethnic Jews. They were, in fact, quite an asset. Guess which ethnic entity was vastly over-represented in the WW1 battlefield? What ethnic background was the German officer who recommended Hitler for an Iron Cross? Why is it that the US took so incredibly long to enter the first conflict while being clandestinely involved in the second from day one? Why did critical areas of technological research flounder under the Nazis? Why did overall grade achievement decline in German schools under Nazism? Why did the real strength and versatility of the German economy drop in a geometric proportion to the 'success' of Aryanization? Why did many sections of German culture go into a virtual atrophy throughout the Third Reich era? Why did so many valuable, skilled workers, become topsoil? Why did so much vital rolling stock carry helpless victims to their deaths instead of transporting desperately needed soldiers to a crumbling front? Why did so many brave German soldiers die needlessly due to a preventable shortage of doctors? Why did peoples who had been oppressed for decades by the inhuman rule of communism not welcome the Germans as liberators and help consolidate their gains? Why is it that the demonstrable progressive nature of much of National Socialism is ignored, denied, or vilified by mankind as a whole? Why is it that Adolf Hitler, a man of extraordinary ability, is considered to have been either a demon or a crazy fool, while other men of much less potential have gone down in history as great heroes?
Hitler devoted more of his written and spoken words to railing against Jews than any other single topic. Letís take a look at how he viewed the world, and the Ďlogicí behind his hatred.
Source Note: All Hitler quotes below are taken sequentially (unless noted) from Mein Kampf, vol 1, chapter 3.
The State and the 'Logic' of Racism.
"The current political conception of the world is that the State, though it possesses a creative force, which can build up civilizations, has nothing in common with the concept of race as the foundation of the State. The State is considered rather as something which has resulted from economic necessity, or, at best, the natural outcome of the play of political forces and impulses." --Hitler
Hitler himself grew up under the rule of a multiethnic state and all it's inherent conflicts. His lifelong yearning for a greater Germany, where ethnic Germans exclusively convey and control all political and cultural pursuits, made acceptance of the egalitarian principle of statehood undesirable. Since politics in public is an ass riding a donkey, particularly in a setting such as the Austria-Hungary legislative branch where perhaps as many as a dozen different languages prevailed among the representatives (translators outnumbered legislators), Hitler found it easy to disparage the entire, admittedly failed, system. Skipping most of that (about a quarter of chapter one is consumed with it), what Hitler needed was a more traditional tribal state.
"Such a conception of the foundations of the State, together with all its logical consequences, not only ignores the primordial racial forces that underlie the State, but it also leads to a policy in which the importance of the individual is minimized. If it be denied that races differ from one another in their powers of cultural creativeness, then this same erroneous notion must necessarily influence our estimation of the value of the individual." --Hitler
The very first primitive political groupings resembling functional states were of necessity mono-ethnic, a state Hitler romanticized, while ignoring the historical reality of the evident superiority of variations of the egalitarian state in the ancient and modern world (see the Roman Empire, Bismarck's Reich, the British Empire, etc.). He emphasizes race as a primordial force and utilizes this racial state construct to justify his vision of a greater, mono-ethnic Germany, as well as a foundation for a rationalization of racism.
He begins with a 'truth.'
"Therefore on the volkisch principle we cannot admit that one race is equal to another." --Hitler
Inequality among individuals is much more apparent than between races in the aggregate, and in either case is entirely subjective.
"By recognizing that they are different, the volkisch concept separates mankind into races of superior and inferior quality." --Hitler
Therefore, by accepting as self-evident innate differences between races, Hitler declares the right to judge the relative merits of each. And where does this right of judgment derive?
"On the basis of this recognition it feels bound in conformity with the eternal Will that dominates the universe, to postulate the victory of the better and stronger and the subordination of the inferior and weaker." --Hitler
'Bound in conformity with the general Will that dominates the universe' is a round about way of saying 'I know and am obeying the will of God.' This is hardly a logical rationale.
"And so it pays homage to the truth that the principle underlying all Nature's operations is the aristocratic principle and it believes that this law holds good even down to the last individual organism." --Hitler
An expression of 'survival of the fittest' as a universal truth does nothing to obscure the simplistic assumption of aesthetic principles to follow.
"It selects individual values from the mass and thus operates as an organizing principle, whereas Marxism acts as a disintegrating solvent. The volkisch belief holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence itself. But, on the other hand, it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal. For in a world which would be composed of mongrels and negroids all ideals of human beauty and nobility and all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity would be lost forever." --Hitler
The reason for the loss of 'all hopes for (Hitler's conception of) an idealized future for our humanity' is evident in the illogical assumptions expressed in this narrow vision. The idiocy of formulating political theory on subjective 'ideals of human beauty' and self-serving interpretations of 'nobility' is amply demonstrated by the ultimate demise of the governmental system created from such nonsensical constructs.
Hitlerís Personal Journey.
This is the story of the process by which Adolf Hitler became an anti-Semite, or Jew hater. Some passages are often quoted in various biographies, but the authors always feel compelled to cast doubts not only on his chronology, but also on his sincerity, in order to expedite the grinding of whatever ax they happen to be sharpening, and don't give the material the objective analysis it's importance to the historical record demands. How Hitler came to be Hitler is the 6 million-dollar question, and Mein Kampf is the ledger of record. Time for an audit:
"Today it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to say when the word 'Jew ' first gave me ground for special thoughts. At home I do not remember having heard the word during my father's lifetime. I believe that the old gentleman would have regarded any special emphasis on this term as cultural backwardness. In the course of his life he had arrived at more or less cosmopolitan views which, despite his pronounced national sentiments, not only remained intact, but also affected me to some extent.
Likewise at school I found no occasion which could have led me to change this inherited picture.
At the Realschule, to be sure, I did meet one Jewish boy who was treated by all of us with caution, but only because various experiences had led us to doubt his discretion and we did not particularly trust him; but neither I nor the others had any thoughts on the matter.
Not until my fourteenth or fifteenth year did I begin to come across the word 'Jew,' with any frequency, partly in connection with political discussions. This filled me with a mild distaste, and I could not rid myself of an unpleasant feeling that always came over me whenever religious quarrels occurred in my presence.
At that time I did not think anything else of the question.
There were few Jews in Linz. In the course of the centuries their outward appearance had become Europeanized and had taken on a human look; in fact, I even took them for Germans. The absurdity of this idea did not dawn on me because I saw no distinguishing feature but the strange religion. The fact that they had, as I believed, been persecuted on this account sometimes almost turned my distaste at unfavorable remarks about them into horror.
Thus far I did not so much as suspect the existence of an organized opposition to the Jews.
Then I came to Vienna."--Adolf Hitler
Just as a Baptist or Methodist minister wedded to their respective dogmas can take the same biblical passage and formulate completely contradictory lessons, historians bent on interpreting history in conformity to ideological or political ends likewise interpret these key passages in such a way as to support their contentions.
Some would try to portray Hitler as having no particular innate dislike of Jews at all. In their view he cynically utilized the 'Jewish question' to seize and maintain power, and as a convenient force to blame for subsequent defeats; the whole 'holocaust thing' being dismissed as the unintended consequences of the zeal of overly enthusiastic followers of a too literal-minded bent.
Others would contend that Hitler was always a Jew hater because all Germans are Jew haters. These narrow theorists go to enormous lengths attempting to prove this supposed universal prejudice in Germans by overanalyzing German literature and underhandedly emphasizing the excesses and influence of brilliant but erratic composers and artists. Taking the esoteric thought formulations of philosophers of uncommon genius out of context adds insult to the already considerable injury done to and by a people with an unfortunate history punctuated to an extraordinary degree by the very depths and the very heights of human misery and achievement, respectively. Let's face it, Germans are 'typical humans' if there are any, and representative of the species.
I've come across no compelling argument, however, that leads me to suspect that Hitler's autobiographical account should be taken at anything less than face value. His characterization of the 'old gentleman' that was his paternal progenitor matches exactly the testimony of all who were privy to the old farts political views. The 'one Jewish boy' at Realschule is also documented, as is the fact that said boy was considered by all Hitlerís peers to be a 'strange bird.' His description of Linz is similarly authentic. There is little doubt that he is relating his conversion as he himself believed he experienced it, making it extremely valuable and near definitive testimony well worth delving into at length.
"Preoccupied by the abundance of my impressions in the architectural field, oppressed by the hardship of my own lot, I gained at first no insight into the inner stratification of the people in this gigantic city. Notwithstanding that Vienna in those days counted nearly two hundred thousand Jews among its two million inhabitants, I did not see them. In the first few weeks my eyes and my senses were not equal to the flood of values and ideas. Not until calm gradually returned and the agitated picture began to clear did I look around me more carefully in my new world, and then among other things I encountered the Jewish question." --Adolf Hitler
At least one author has inferred by the above that Hitler, at what was then the lowest point of his life, was desperately in search of scapegoats by which to explain and blame his failure to succeed. This is overstating the point, but cannot be entirely ruled out as a partial motivational factor. That the story is a very personal one, and that he was attempting at a quite young age to come to grips with a confusing and seemingly incomprehensible world, is plain.
"I cannot maintain that the way in which I became acquainted with them struck me as particularly pleasant. For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others." --Adolf Hitler
Here Hitler denies any prior prejudice against the Jewish religion as a competitor for Catholicism, Hitler's family religion, or any other reason, and maintains that his tolerance of the religious beliefs of others is fundamental to his outlook.
Aside: Is their any cause to wonder how many Jehovah's Witnesses who declined to fight Hitler's wars considered their stay in the concentration camp a product of tolerance?
"Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation." --Adolf Hitler
At this point in his account Hitler goes off on a long tangent about the deficiencies of the press; to summarize, he contends that the Viennese anti-Semitic press 'did not enjoy an outstanding reputation' and was 'mistaken' in their 'point of view,' while 'the really big papers' dealt with the 'attacks' efficiently or 'simply killed them with silence.' On the 'so-called world press' he 'was amazed at the scope' and 'objectivity of individual articles' and 'respected the exalted tone,' though the overall effect caused him 'inner dissatisfaction,' which he halfheartedly convinced himself was 'due to the rhythm of life in the whole metropolis.' What 'repelled' him was the 'undignified fashion in which this press curried favor with the Court.' It seemed 'artificial' and a 'blemish upon liberal democracy,' as well as detrimental to the 'dignity of the nation.'
Hitler goes on to relate how he observed with 'pride and admiration' the 'rise of the Reich' where 'events in the field of foreign politics' filled him 'with undivided joy' until the 'restrictions of speech imposed on the Kaiser by the Reichstag angered' him 'greatly' but he 'was even more indignant' that the 'press...express its criticisms of the German Kaiser.' The future Fuehrer of the Greater German Reich continues sarcastically:
"Of course it had no intention of interfering with conditions within the German Reich-oh, no, God forbid-but by placing its finger on these wounds in the friendliest way, it was fulfilling the duty imposed by the spirit of the mutual alliance, and, conversely, fulfilling the requirements of journalistic truth, etc. And now it was poking this finger around in the wound to its heart's content.
In such cases the blood rose to my head."--Adolf Hitler
After criticizing the Viennese press for a pro-French bias, he comes to what he claims to be a major influence in his conversion to the cult of anti-Semitism.
"At all events, these occasions slowly made me acquainted with the man and the movement, which in those days guided Vienna's destinies: Dr. Karl Lueger I and the Christian Social Party.
When I arrived in Vienna, I was hostile to both of them.
The man and the movement seemed 'reactionary' in my eyes.
My common sense of justice, however, forced me to change this judgment in proportion as I had occasion to become acquainted with the man and his work; and slowly my fair judgment turned to unconcealed admiration. Today, more than ever, I regard this man as the greatest German mayor of all times."--Adolf Hitler
It's never been determined just how acquainted Hitler and Lueger were, but it's accepted by even the dullest of biographers that the mayor was a major role model for Hitler's Fuehrer, practically a prototype. (To be fair, Hitler perfected the model and brought it to a point that probably would have shocked if not completely horrified the man who was it's earliest inspiration.) Lueger was opposed by the Kaiser himself, and his political skill at playing every conceivable card, including the Rabbi of Spades, filled Hitler with an admiration that drove him to emulate the mighty mayor. I am of the opinion that a greater share of this admiration was due to the practical results achieved by this unique form of populist anti-Semitism than of any paradigm shift of consciousness upon encountering a universal truth Hitler claims to have felt.
"How many of my basic principles were upset by this change in my attitude toward the Christian Social movement!" --Adolf Hitler
Ok, so far, so good. At this point, we have a young man confronting a world he seeks desperately to comprehend. He has many basic questions and few clues. Then he encounters a confident and charismatic political legend of consummate skill, with all the answers at the ready. Recognizing something unique and potentially powerful when he sees it, he thinks to himself, 'Hmmm...'
"My views with regard to anti-Semitism thus succumbed to the passage of time, and this was my greatest transformation of all. --Adolf Hitler
That Hitler struggled with the implications inherent in his growing awareness of 'race' is apparent throughout his account and rings authentic to a large degree. We have seen him progress from a youth who, having been caught up in the successive waves of nationalism prevalent throughout his formative years, comes upon the subject of the Jewish question while indulging this passion. Not thinking highly of either the style or the forcefulness of argument contained in the anti-Semitic literature of nationalist elements in the press, he remains unconvinced of the basic precepts of anti-Semitism until the influence of the famous Munich Major Karl Lueger, who uses the question in a populist manner that the young Hitler greatly admires. It is at this point, under the influence of Lueger, that Hitler declares his 'greatest transformation of all.'
He now goes about explaining the cognitive path he traveled to achieve this inner transformation, with nonsensical proofs and twisted logic presented as spiritual enlightenment.
"It cost me the greatest inner soul struggles, and only after months of battle between my reason and my sentiments did my reason begin to emerge victorious. Two years later, my sentiment had followed my reason, and from then on became its most loyal guardian and sentinel.
At the time of this bitter struggle between spiritual education and cold reason, the visual instruction of the Vienna streets had performed invaluable services. There came a time when I no longer, as in the first days, wandered blindly through the mighty city; now with open eyes I saw not only the buildings but also the people."--Adolf Hitler
Hitler begins to look upon the world through the filter of the populist anti-Semitism of his new mentor. He sets about collecting from firsthand observation any 'fact' or impression likely to bolster this new faith and discourage the doubts bound to form from objective investigation.
Below is the famous 'apparition in a black caftan' passage seen so often. Much has been made of this passage by some researchers, and others have also dismissed it as probably apocryphal. It seems likely that the experience Hitler relates is authentic enough, and the reasons cited by those who would claim it is not are unconvincing. Keep in mind, however, that chronologically, this apparitional experience took place before his meeting with Lueger, in his Vienna days, not immediately afterwards, as the flow of the story as dictated by Hitler would suggest.
"Once, as I was strolling through the Inner City, I suddenly encountered an apparition in a black caftan and black hair locks. ĎIs this a Jew?í was my first thought.
For, to be sure, they had not looked like that in Linz. I observed the man furtively and cautiously, but the longer I stared at this foreign face, scrutinizing feature for feature, the more my first question assumed a new form: Is this a German?--Adolf Hitler
This is a common human experience, the first confrontation with a truly foreign individual. Most of us experience this phenomenon at a much younger age, probably while walking along in motherís hand at the Mall, or whatever. Mom reassures, we remember the experience and draw whatever lessons individuals will. In the modern age, with TV, etc., the shock isn't much for most and just another day. For Hitler, the circumstances underlying this first face-to-face with a truly strange appearing human being were tragic.
Here was a young man who, during his early schooling was always considered the brightest of students with much potential. His artistic skills were well known and apparent, and his intellect made studying for mere schoolwork unnecessary. His family situation, regardless of how he tended to downplay and misrepresent it, was what we would today consider upper middle-class; he was never a poor boy and never did without. His father dies, it affects him but hardly traumatizes him. He'd already been doing poorly academically while insisting on pursuing a career in art, but then things get much worse in a hurry. He stakes everything, including his self-esteem, on entering art school, but miserably fails the exam. It is then that he realizes things aren't going to go exactly as he'd supposed. But then, BOOM, his beloved mother expires and Hitler later compounds the isolation by abruptly severing ties with his only real friend, possibly due to reasons of pride. He finds himself at some point completely down and out and alone and prowling the 'inner city,' when he encounters the apparition, as he puts it.
Possibly recognizing the fear aspect of the experience and its obvious emotional root, he sets about to intellectually confirm or deny the uncomfortable conundrum.
"As always in such cases, I now began to try to relieve my doubts by books. For a few hellers I bought the first anti-Semitic pamphlets of my life. Unfortunately, they all proceeded from the supposition that in principle the reader knew or even understood the Jewish question to a certain degree. Besides, the tone for the most part was such that doubts again arose in me, due in part to the dull and amazingly unscientific arguments favoring the thesis.
I relapsed for weeks at a time, once even for months.
The whole thing seemed to me so monstrous, the accusations so boundless, that, tormented by the fear of doing injustice, I again became anxious and uncertain.--Adolf Hitler
Most 'scholars' refuse to accept Hitler's claim to have agonized over his decision to become an anti-Semite. Their reasoning seems to have a base in bias, as I can see no good reason to doubt his sincerity. What I will question below is his powers of logic.
"Yet I could no longer very well doubt that the objects of my study were not Germans of a special religion, but a people in themselves; for since I had begun to concern myself with this question and to take cognizance of the Jews, Vienna appeared to me in a different light than before. Wherever I went, I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity. Particularly the Inner City and the districts north of the Danube Canal swarmed with a people who even outwardly had lost all resemblance to Germans. --Adolf Hitler
That Adolf Hitler hated Jews is obvious. Why did he hate Jews so? Is hate even explicable?
We have seen Hitler's growing awareness of 'race' and the evolutionary process leading to his eventual emergence as Anti-Semite Number One. In this passage, he attempts to justify and rationalize his instinctive emotional revulsion. Let's see how the master propagandist tackles this cognitive chore.
"And whatever doubts I may still have nourished were finally dispelled by the attitude of a portion of the Jews themselves.
Among them there was a great movement, quite extensive in Vienna, which came out sharply in confirmation of the national character of the Jews: this was the Zionists.
It looked to be sure, as though only a part of the Jews approved this viewpoint, while the great majority condemned and inwardly rejected such a formulation. But when examined more closely, this appearance dissolved itself into an unsavory vapor of pretexts advanced for mere reasons of expedience, not to say lies. For the so-called liberal Jews did not reject the Zionists as non-Jews, but only as Jews with an impractical, perhaps even dangerous, way of publicly avowing their Jewishness.
Intrinsically they remained unalterably of one piece.--Adolf Hitler
Hitler is attempting to deny the massive political and cultural differences then prevalent among Germanys Jews. A large and influential segment of the Jewish population had converted to Christianity and was completely assimilated into German society. They spoke German, thought in German, dreamed in German, fought in her wars, paid her taxes, raised their sons and daughters to do the same, and flew the colors of the Reich proudly over the front stoop. These Jews wanted to forget their hereditary origins, and were well on their way to doing so when along comes the Zionist movement. Similar to the opposition many German-Americans expressed at the prewar German-American Bunds, which tended to make all Germans seem less American by emphasizing the German half of the hyphen, these assimilated Jews fought the Zionists bitterly.
Another of Hitler's reasonable sounding statements replete with fallacious logic is his dismissing the liberal Jew's opposition to Zionism because they 'did not reject the Zionists as non-Jews.' This is ludicrous. Why would assimilated Jews desperately denying their OWN Jewishness even think to term radical Jewish nationalists 'non-Jews?' It would only make sense the other way around. But Hitler is not intent on making sense at this point, but is merely attempting to sound reasonable while propagating a political philosophy. Hitler's conception of the Jewish people as a monolithic bacillus in human form necessitated that no concession be made to the liberal Jews regarding their adopted German status. All Jews must be portrayed in the same light, with no room for exception. He does this by simply stating that both sides of Jewish opinion are 'unalterably of one piece' without providing any reasonable argument to enable one to accept the premise. The following is more of the same.
"In a short time this apparent struggle between Zionistic and liberal Jews disgusted me; for it was false through and through, founded on lies and scarcely in keeping with the moral elevation and purity always claimed by this people.
The cleanliness of this people, moral and otherwise, I must say, is a point in itself. By their very exterior you could tell that these were no lovers of water, and, to your distress, you often knew it with your eyes closed. Later I often grew sick to my stomach from the smell of these caftan-wearers. Added to this, there was their unclean dress and their generally unheroic appearance.--Adolf Hitler
Hitler considered this a reasonable intellectual observation, which is quite enough to make a thinking man 'sick to my stomach.í After giving his expert opinion on the 'funny' odor and appearance of 'Jews,' Hitler continues his line of 'logic.'
"All this could scarcely be called very attractive; but it became positively repulsive when, in addition to their physical uncleanness, you discovered the moral stains on this 'chosen people.'
In a short time I was made more thoughtful than ever by my slowly rising insight into the type of activity carried on by the Jews in certain fields.
Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it?--Adolf Hitler
The excesses of Catholics, Muslims, and Nazis come to mind.
"If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light-a kike! --Adolf Hitler
Are you impressed by Hitler's argument yet? Keep in mind that this not a conversation or an informal talk or a even a speech transcript we're examining, but Hitler's best selling autobiography purporting to be a definitive statement of his political philosophy. He was in prison when he dictated volume 1 of Mein Kampf and had few distractions and plenty of help. This was the best he could do, a fact indicative of the basic soundness of his thesis. Let's let him go on at length; try to find a single fact among the anecdote.
"What had to be reckoned heavily against the Jews in my eyes was when I became acquainted with their activity in the press, art, literature, and the theater. All the unctuous reassurances helped little or nothing. It sufficed to look at a billboard, to study the names of the men behind the horrible trash they advertised, to make you hard for a long time to come. This was pestilence, spiritual pestilence, worse than the Black Death of olden times, and the people was being infected with it! It goes without saying that the lower the intellectual level of one of these art manufacturers, the more unlimited his fertility will be, and the scoundrel ends up like a garbage separator, splashing his filth in the face of humanity. And bear in mind that there is no limit to their number; bear in mind that for one Goethe, Nature easily can foist on the world ten thousand of these scribblers who poison men's souls like germ-carriers of the worse sort, on their fellow men. --Adolf Hitler
Bear in mind that in none of the above is their a single documented fact. One could play this game with any group or nationality. By merely culling from the newspapers any crime, sordid act, or cultural achievement open to criticism perpetrated by individuals identified with that group, and often going no further than the reading the surname in way of investigation, a case on exactly the same intellectual level could be made on the basis of the volume of anecdotal evidence alone against absolutely ANY 'race' or group one would care to target. Popular prejudice and gullibility do the rest.
"It was terrible, but not to be overlooked, that precisely the Jew, in tremendous numbers, seemed chosen by Nature for this shameful calling.
Is this why the Jews are called the 'chosen people'?--Adolf Hitler
Hitler's sarcasm is typical, disingenuous, and hypercritical to boot. Elsewhere in this series we will see Hitler orating eloquently about the 'Aryans' as a chosen people, with the same arrogance and primitive tribalism that proponents of ANY chosen people scenario display.
"I now began to examine carefully the names of all the creators of unclean products in public artistic life. The result was less and less favorable for my previous attitude toward the Jews. Regardless how my sentiment might resist, my reason was forced to draw its conclusions." --Adolf Hitler
Hitler's 'reason' is suspect as his 'conclusions' are based on prejudicial opinion and anecdote exclusively.
"The fact that nine tenths of all literary filth, artistic trash, and theatrical idiocy can be set to the account of a people, constituting hardly one hundredth of all the country's inhabitants, could simply not be tanked away; it was the plain truth." --Adolf Hitler
A listing of the literary works burned by Hitler's Nazis, works of art termed 'degenerate' by thieving Nazi 'art experts,' and theater and musical productions featuring such 'filth...trash...and idiocy' as Jazz, etc., banned by these self-appointed representatives of 'Aryan Culture,' should give any objective observer pause at the ethnocentrism and anti-intellectual sentiments so grossly displayed. To endow Hitler's 'logic' with respectability would put a prostitute on the throne of public opinion, which is precisely what happened in a country enamored with the 'spiritual pestilence' of Adolf Hitler's 'thought.'
Skipping a long section devoted to Hitler's 'investigating' the prevalence of Jews in the popular newspapers, an investigation no more extensive than a perusal of surnames, Hitler finally arrives at what he would like you to believe is the crux of his intellectual argument.
"Inspired by the experience of daily life, I now began to track down the sources of the Marxist doctrine. Its effects had become clear to me in individual cases; each day its success was apparent to my attentive eyes, and, with some exercise of my imagination, I was able to picture the consequences. The only remaining question was whether the result of their action in its ultimate form had existed in the mind's eye of the creators, or whether they themselves were the victims of an error.
I felt that both were possible.
In the one case it was the duty of every thinking man to force himself to the forefront of the ill-starred movement, thus perhaps averting catastrophe; in the other, however, the original founders of this plague of the nations must have been veritable devils- for only in the brain of a monster-not that of a man-could the plan of an organization assume form and meaning, whose activity must ultimately result in the collapse of human civilization and the consequent devastation of the world.--Hitler
No, I didn't skip over the pertinent passage where Hitler demonstrates logically the above premise. He doesn't. Hitler's unacknowledged source of 'information' on said 'plague of the nations' was, of course, 'The Protocols...í a spurious forgery based on an obscure French novel and embellished by the Czarist secret police. One cannot let the above pass, however, without adding the succinct observation that the 'consequent devastation' caused by Hitler's own 'ill-starred movement' has caused many to ask the same question regarding the nature of 'brains.' Hitler's, in particular.
"In this case the only remaining hope was struggle, struggle with all the weapons which the human spirit, reason, and will can devise, regardless on which side of the scale Fate should lay its blessing.
Thus I began to make myself familiar with the founders of this doctrine, in order to study the foundations of the movement. If I reached my goal more quickly than at first I had perhaps ventured to believe, it was thanks to my newly acquired, though at that time not very profound, knowledge of the Jewish question. This alone enabled me to draw a practical comparison between the reality and the theoretical flimflam of the founding fathers of Social Democracy, since it taught me to understand the language of the Jewish people, who speak in order to conceal or at least to veil their thoughts; their real aim is not therefore to be found in the lines themselves, but slumbers well concealed between them.--Hitler
What a Jew says, according to Hitler, is not to be believed at face value. Only a 'brain' as sharp as Hitler's is able to correctly interpret what a Jew REALLY means. A religious leader must, in order to not become redundant and continue to be employed, convince his congregation that the leaders own interpretation of scripture is divinely superior and that the congregate is unable to grasp the TRUE meaning without his guidance; that only the minister knows the inscrutable mind of God. The minister also claims to know the mind of the devil. Likewise, Hitler claims to 'understand the language of the Jewish people,' and is more than happy to 'interpret' for us poor, unenlightened souls.
"For me this was the time of the greatest spiritual upheaval I have ever had to go through.
I had ceased to be a weak-kneed cosmopolitan and become an anti-Semite.
But once more-and this was the last time-fearful, oppressive thoughts came to me in profound anguish.
When over long periods of human history I scrutinized the activity of the Jewish people, suddenly there rose up in me the fearful question whether inscrutable Destiny, perhaps, or reasons unknown to us poor mortals, did not with eternal and immutable resolve, desire the final victory of this little nation.
Was it possible that the earth had been promised as a reward to this people which lives only for this earth?
Have we an objective right to struggle for our self-preservation, or is this justified only subjectively within ourselves?
As I delved more deeply into the teachings of Marxism and thus in tranquil clarity submitted the deeds of the Jewish people to contemplation, Fate itself gave me its answer.--Hitler
'Fate,' in this case, is Hitler's term for God. He is claiming divine inspiration while equating Marxism with being Jewish, and extrapolating his perceptions of both into a cognitive framework based on fallacious supposition and presented as an intellectual discourse of noble ideals. Observe how he cleverly frames his argument.
"The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight. Thus it denies the value of personality in man, contests the significance of nationality and race, and thereby withdraws from humanity the premise of its existence and its culture. As a foundation of the universe, this doctrine would bring about the end of any order intellectually conceivable to man. And as, in this greatest of ail recognizable organisms, the result of an application of such a law could only be chaos, on earth it could only be destruction for the inhabitants of this planet.
If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men.
Eternal Nature inexorably avenges the infringement of her commands.
If today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.--Hitler
His first fallacy, of course, is that Marxism and Jewry (elsewhere he adds capitalism, democracy, and internationalism to the same soup) are one and the same. This is demonstrably false. If all Jews are Marxists, Capitalists, Democrats and Internationalists, then it follows that all Germans are Nazis, Pacifists, Protestants and Catholics, etc. The second is his further assumption that his conceptualization of 'the aristocratic principle of Nature' is valid; it is not. 'Leveling' has been the spurious charge of elitists for a few centuries now. Hitler just revises the terms. In sum, there is no 'logic' to speak of in Hitler's racism. The theoretical concepts he devised were merely weak rationalizations for prejudice and hate. The aggregate of garbage-in becoming garbage-out is so overwhelming at this point that the whole just naturally digresses to appeals to supernatural forces, thus revealing with clarity the paucity of logic contained within this convoluted philosophy.
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