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Did We Misunderstand Hitler?

calamity

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First, let me say this right off the bat: Hitler was a scumbag, racist genocidal maniac. Of that there is no doubt. But, there may be some things we don't quite get, and discussing those things may lead to a more thorough understanding of what exactly created this monster.

I watched this video last night. It provided a glimpse into our favorite Godwin character.

Highlights:

1. Hitler's desensitization to human suffering and his cheapening of human life may been the result of the three years he spent running between the trenches of WW1, where he served as a sort of messenger service. FYI: He received the Iron Cross for his efforts.

2. His hate of Jews could have been a result of propaganda he himself was fed early on in life, especially as to why Germany lost WW1.

3. He may himself have been a Jew. He most certainly could not prove he was not one, since he had no idea who his paternal grandfather happened to be.

4. Germany did get a raw deal after WW1, and the allies definitely exploited the little country in a very inhumane fashion. At the very least, he had a right to hate France, US and England.

5. The part of Poland he attacked had always been a part of Germany. It was land stolen by France, England and the US which was then given to Poland.

6. Communists. The battle to keep communists out of Germany began almost immediately after the Russian revolution. Back then, most people in that region saw communism as a Jewish thing. There were several armed confrontations between communists and right wingers in Germany during the two decades between wars.

7. Hitler really was a socialist. A national socialist who hated capitalism, which he considered another Jew thing.

8. He was a gifted speaker who was used by the German Right after WW1 to persuade people to hate communism, and by default Jews.

9. The WW1 vets loved him. He was a hero who spoke their language.

10. Hitler understood that to build a national coalition you need a common enemy. Jews served that role.
 

Skeptic Bob

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Well, we are all products of our environment. I think it is worthwhile examining the factors that made Hitler who he is. I highly doubt he was just born evil.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Hitler was a genocidal lunatic who is as close to evil as we may ever see. He was also, quite possibly, the most brilliant propagandist and motivator the world has ever seen... and his timing was impeccable. If he had only used his power for good instead of evil.

In today's world, he's be some really famous motivational speaker making millions selling his book on TV.
 

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Does it matter if we did?
 

celticwar17

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The Jewish/Communist connection was definitely a thing back then.... way overblown like most propaganda, but it was a thing.
 

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Hitler was a genocidal lunatic who is as close to evil as we may ever see. He was also, quite possibly, the most brilliant propagandist and motivator the world has ever seen... and his timing was impeccable. If he had only used his power for good instead of evil.

In today's world, he's be some really famous motivational speaker making millions selling his book on TV.

I dont know if I could call Hitler brilliant. Antisemitism was rampant in Europe at that time. Many Germans felt like they didnt lose WWI and many people were like minded to his cause. The country was ripe for revolution and I think he just came at the right time for it.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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I dont know if I could call Hitler brilliant. Antisemitism was rampant in Europe at that time. Many Germans felt like they didnt lose WWI and many people were like minded to his cause. The country was ripe for revolution and I think he just came at the right time for it.

I see it as both. In order to take advantage of that situation, one had to be pretty smart and savvy.
 

shagg

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First, let me say this right off the bat: Hitler was a scumbag, racist genocidal maniac. Of that there is no doubt. But, there may be some things we don't quite get, and discussing those things may lead to a more thorough understanding of what exactly created this monster.

I watched this video last night. It provided a glimpse into our favorite Godwin character.

Highlights:

1. Hitler's desensitization to human suffering and his cheapening of human life may been the result of the three years he spent running between the trenches of WW1, where he served as a sort of messenger service. FYI: He received the Iron Cross for his efforts.

2. His hate of Jews could have been a result of propaganda he himself was fed early on in life, especially as to why Germany lost WW1.

3. He may himself have been a Jew. He most certainly could not prove he was not one, since he had no idea who his paternal grandfather happened to be.

4. Germany did get a raw deal after WW1, and the allies definitely exploited the little country in a very inhumane fashion. At the very least, he had a right to hate France, US and England.

5. The part of Poland he attacked had always been a part of Germany. It was land stolen by France, England and the US which was then given to Poland.

6. Communists. The battle to keep communists out of Germany began almost immediately after the Russian revolution. Back then, most people in that region saw communism as a Jewish thing. There were several armed confrontations between communists and right wingers in Germany during the two decades between wars.

7. Hitler really was a socialist. A national socialist who hated capitalism, which he considered another Jew thing.

8. He was a gifted speaker who was used by the German Right after WW1 to persuade people to hate communism, and by default Jews.

9. The WW1 vets loved him. He was a hero who spoke their language.

10. Hitler understood that to build a national coalition you need a common enemy. Jews served that role.

Any time there is a war, there will be propaganda to make sure the people support it. Afterwards, history is written by the winners as they say. You do kind of get a sense of what the Allied propaganda scheme was from this. How the Germans might have seen things and the historical points that sort of support Hitlers rhetoric and rise in power. How the Allies had a heavy interest in making sure the world saw things from their perspective and gloss over anything that might have garnered some sympathy with Germany's situation and history. Honestly, I think this makes it all look more real.

What I was taught in school sounded like a story with a bad plot, full of holes and bad connections. The Nazi's I always pictured as some sort of human-looking robot army, devoid of morals and mindless in their pursuit of killing. Granted I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, but I always had that feeling. I'm not suggesting none of it happened or anything crazy like that, just that a lot was left out and the major lesson was learning to unconditionally accept that Nazi Germany was the epitome of human evil. Not saying it wasn't, but I had a hard time figuring out why they did everything they did. "They hated the Jews and wanted to take over the world" was pretty much the only answer given. To hate a group of people so much that you'd, as a nation, round them up and systematically exterminate them down to the youngest infant. To blame so much on a group that obviously couldn't have caused half of what they were accused of. To go along with and support something that was such an obvious sham, with such horrible consequences. These are the parts that were glossed over or rewritten by the winners.

I would say that, if looked at this way, there is a lesson there. On how to approach war, and how to handle victory in a way that does not perpetuate it. You have to look past both sides propaganda to really see it though.
 

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Well, we are all products of our environment. I think it is worthwhile examining the factors that made Hitler who he is. I highly doubt he was just born evil.

Nobody is born evil but everyone is responsible for their actions.
 

celticwar17

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Any time there is a war, there will be propaganda to make sure the people support it. Afterwards, history is written by the winners as they say. You do kind of get a sense of what the Allied propaganda scheme was from this. How the Germans might have seen things and the historical points that sort of support Hitlers rhetoric and rise in power. How the Allies had a heavy interest in making sure the world saw things from their perspective and gloss over anything that might have garnered some sympathy with Germany's situation and history. Honestly, I think this makes it all look more real.

What I was taught in school sounded like a story with a bad plot, full of holes and bad connections. The Nazi's I always pictured as some sort of human-looking robot army, devoid of morals and mindless in their pursuit of killing. Granted I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, but I always had that feeling. I'm not suggesting none of it happened or anything crazy like that, just that a lot was left out and the major lesson was learning to unconditionally accept that Nazi Germany was the epitome of human evil. Not saying it wasn't, but I had a hard time figuring out why they did everything they did. "They hated the Jews and wanted to take over the world" was pretty much the only answer given. To hate a group of people so much that you'd, as a nation, round them up and systematically exterminate them down to the youngest infant. To blame so much on a group that obviously couldn't have caused half of what they were accused of. To go along with and support something that was such an obvious sham, with such horrible consequences. These are the parts that were glossed over or rewritten by the winners.

I would say that, if looked at this way, there is a lesson there. On how to approach war, and how to handle victory in a way that does not perpetuate it. You have to look past both sides propaganda to really see it though.

Pretty much sums up my childhood education on the issue xD
 

calamity

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Any time there is a war, there will be propaganda to make sure the people support it. Afterwards, history is written by the winners as they say. You do kind of get a sense of what the Allied propaganda scheme was from this. How the Germans might have seen things and the historical points that sort of support Hitlers rhetoric and rise in power. How the Allies had a heavy interest in making sure the world saw things from their perspective and gloss over anything that might have garnered some sympathy with Germany's situation and history. Honestly, I think this makes it all look more real.

What I was taught in school sounded like a story with a bad plot, full of holes and bad connections. The Nazi's I always pictured as some sort of human-looking robot army, devoid of morals and mindless in their pursuit of killing. Granted I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, but I always had that feeling. I'm not suggesting none of it happened or anything crazy like that, just that a lot was left out and the major lesson was learning to unconditionally accept that Nazi Germany was the epitome of human evil. Not saying it wasn't, but I had a hard time figuring out why they did everything they did. "They hated the Jews and wanted to take over the world" was pretty much the only answer given. To hate a group of people so much that you'd, as a nation, round them up and systematically exterminate them down to the youngest infant. To blame so much on a group that obviously couldn't have caused half of what they were accused of. To go along with and support something that was such an obvious sham, with such horrible consequences. These are the parts that were glossed over or rewritten by the winners.

I would say that, if looked at this way, there is a lesson there. On how to approach war, and how to handle victory in a way that does not perpetuate it. You have to look past both sides propaganda to really see it though.

Yes, exactly. The reason I posted this is to dig deeper than the official story, which I too find at least a little lacking. That's not to say I do not believe the basics. I just do not buy the ascribed motives.

What created this evil? Surely something like this does not just appear from nowhere. It takes years of...something (I am still not sure what it is exactly) to drive a whole nation of normal people to suddenly reach this level of insanity. And, even more so, what was it that took Hitler himself to this place? Surely, he was just not some nut who hatched into existence in early 1933.
 

LowDown

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Yes, exactly. The reason I posted this is to dig deeper than the official story, which I too find at least a little lacking. That's not to say I do not believe the basics. I just do not buy the ascribed motives.

What created this evil? Surely something like this does not just appear from nowhere. It takes years of...something (I am still not sure what it is exactly) to drive a whole nation of normal people to suddenly reach this level of insanity. And, even more so, what was it that took Hitler himself to this place? Surely, he was just not some nut who hatched into existence in early 1933.

Hitler wanted to create a utopia for the German people based on the ideal German social order, which is that everyone has his place and one either leads or follows. It's a warrior's social order. Concepts like democracy, egalitarianism and freedom were considered to be Western corruptions. There had to be a chief of the tribe, a leader, and from him (always him) authority derives. Hitler had a very different vision that was irreconcilable with the rest of Europe. The French and the British might be brought around to the right way once they were defeated, but most others needed elimination. Hitler's vision of the future required land and resources.

Surely wanting a safe place for your kin to prosper is a noble goal. The problems in the way Hitler went about it stem from the time discount and a loss of the sense that human life is sacred. It's OK to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet. And if you have to kill millions of people to gain your utopia then the ends justify the means. We've seen many other leaders use the same rationale, and in the 20th century many of them were leftists. Currently they are radical Muslims. I think that murder and the violation of human rights in the pursuit of an ideological or religious agenda is very different from killing people in self defense. All who do the former are the embodiment of evil in the 20th and 21st centuries because they pursue a utopia at the cost of innocent human lives and dignity.

There is no utopia and no justice in this world. All who insist on it are doomed to anger and frustration.
 

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When attempting to identify his potential modern successor, yes, it would matter. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

Then we're all doomed to repeat it as the only ones who really know history are those who lived it first hand. What we call history are our impressions of what happened garnered from knowledge that is written largely by the people and attitudes in power.
 

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Then we're all doomed to repeat it as the only ones who really know history are those who lived it first hand. What we call history are our impressions of what happened garnered from knowledge that is written largely by the people and attitudes in power.

You may be correct, yet I still strive to learn as much as possible in hope.
 

calamity

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This is amazing

Recreating the real Hitler, using private home movies and modern technology to determine what he said in private. Trivial perhaps, but a pretty amazing insight into the private world of Hitler.
 

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They were essentially the modern day Spartans - the Nazis. The Spartans would determine whether or not a newborn infant was racially pure or not, and if it was not - for example, if it had any form of abnormalities (underweight, deformities, sickly, etc) it would be cast off a mountain to die.
I have a twisted, self-loathing sort-of respect for the Nazis and Hitler. He was unequivocally a strong leader and a good head-of-state, and the Nazis were systematic and damn-near mathematically-methodical in their controlled, directed man-made attempt at rendering entire demographics, cultures and gene-pools of people extinct.
 

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First, let me say this right off the bat: Hitler was a scumbag, racist genocidal maniac. Of that there is no doubt. But, there may be some things we don't quite get, and discussing those things may lead to a more thorough understanding of what exactly created this monster.

Highlights:

1. Hitler's desensitization to human suffering and his cheapening of human life may been the result of the three years he spent running between the trenches of WW1, where he served as a sort of messenger service. FYI: He received the Iron Cross for his efforts.

2. His hate of Jews could have been a result of propaganda he himself was fed early on in life, especially as to why Germany lost WW1.

3. He may himself have been a Jew. He most certainly could not prove he was not one, since he had no idea who his paternal grandfather happened to be.

4. Germany did get a raw deal after WW1, and the allies definitely exploited the little country in a very inhumane fashion. At the very least, he had a right to hate France, US and England.

5. The part of Poland he attacked had always been a part of Germany. It was land stolen by France, England and the US which was then given to Poland.

6. Communists. The battle to keep communists out of Germany began almost immediately after the Russian revolution. Back then, most people in that region saw communism as a Jewish thing. There were several armed confrontations between communists and right wingers in Germany during the two decades between wars.

7. Hitler really was a socialist. A national socialist who hated capitalism, which he considered another Jew thing.

8. He was a gifted speaker who was used by the German Right after WW1 to persuade people to hate communism, and by default Jews.

9. The WW1 vets loved him. He was a hero who spoke their language.

10. Hitler understood that to build a national coalition you need a common enemy. Jews served that role.

Germany got what they deserved at Versailles. They started WW1, they paid the price.
The part of Poland that "had always been part of Germany" was only part of Germany after the Germans joined Russia and Austria in the three partitions of Poland.
 

calamity

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Germany got what they deserved at Versailles. They started WW1, they paid the price.
The part of Poland that "had always been part of Germany" was only part of Germany after the Germans joined Russia and Austria in the three partitions of Poland.

First off, giving them "what they deserved" resulted in 50 million deaths a few short decades later. And, second, I'm not so sure it is as simple as "Germans started the First World War."

BTW: as in WW2, Russia fought on our side.
 
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Jack Hays

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First off, giving them "what they deserved" resulted in 50 million deaths a few short decades later. And, second, I'm not so sure it is as simple as "Germans started the First World War."

There was going to be a second war no matter what. And yes, the Germans started WW1.
 

calamity

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There was going to be a second war no matter what. And yes, the Germans started WW1.

Considering you got which side the Russians fought on wrong, I am certainly not taking your word for it.
 

Jack Hays

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Considering you got which side the Russians fought on wrong, I am certainly not taking your word for it.

I haven't mentioned the Russians except for the partitions of Poland, which ended in the 18th century. I fear your knowledge of the history of the region is deficient.
 

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Eddie Izzard explained it all long ago....



 

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I haven't mentioned the Russians except for the partitions of Poland, which ended in the 18th century. I fear your knowledge of the history of the region is deficient.
I assume you mean "were completed by the end of the 18th century".

Poland didn't really come into being as a sovereign state again until 1918.
 

Jack Hays

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I assume you mean "were completed by the end of the 18th century".

Poland didn't really come into being as a sovereign state again until 1918.

Yes. And it had nothing to do with WW2.

Partitions of Poland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitions_of_Poland


The Partitions of Poland were a series of three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place towards the end of the 18th century and ended ...‎History - ‎Aftermath - ‎"Fourth Partition" - ‎Historiography

The Partitions of Poland[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][2][/SUP] were a series of three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place towards the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of the sovereign Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania for 123 years. The partitions were conducted by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Habsburg Austria, which divided up the Commonwealth lands among themselves progressively in the process of territorial seizures.[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4][/SUP][SUP][5][/SUP]
The First Partition of Poland was decided on August 5, 1772. Two decades later, Russian and Prussian troops entered the Commonwealth again and the Second Partition was signed on January 23, 1793. Austria did not participate in the Second Partition. The Third Partition of Poland took place on October 24, 1795, in reaction to the unsuccessful Polish Kościuszko Uprising the previous year. With this partition, the Commonwealth ceased to exist.[SUP][1][/SUP]

 
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