Hitler was totally insane and could be quoted on either side of any issue one cares to mention.
Hitler : early 21st c. :: Napoleon : early 20th c.
It’s time to retire the bogeyman.
If you only have a minute, I recommend 2:40 to 3:40.
“Hitler was totally insane and could be quoted on either side of any issue one cares to mention.”
That is the most stupid explanation that still seems to have some currency among the less well informed.
Hitler was far from insane. He might have lost the grip on reality after the defeats in Russia, and especially in the last months of the war and the weeks in the bunker in Berlin.
His first successes during the war until the US joined the war show that he had some decent grasp on strategy and especially politics as shown during his campaigns to win over the German people, his successes bolstered even the fascists – and not only those -in the UK and America.
If you wish to get closer to Hitlers thinking, read “Mein Kampf”, which is chock full of statements of his believe in a God and the special role the German Folk has to play to fulfill this Gods plan.
Hitler definitely wasn’t an atheist, but the Third Reich’s relationship with religion was quite complicated. They managed to gain and maintain the support of the Christian religions, with the exception of Jehova’s Witnesses who were sent to concentration camps. What I find interesting is that Himmler & his SS hierarchy tried to create a pagan religion out of ‘Arian’ mythology – so these weren’t your regular ‘Sunday go to meeting’ type Christians. In any event, the effort failed, which just goes to show you how powerful Christian dogma is and how amazing L. Ron Hubbard must have been.
To qualify the above: Hitler was as insane or as rational as any believer of an ideology or religion (to be shorthanded – both are ideologies) who defends this ideology in the face of the evidence that proves his ideology to be in conflict with reality and desired outcome; be it the evidence that his ideology is ultimately not only destructive to his enemies, but to the defenders of the ideology themselves or that the premises of the ideology are untenable in light of all evidence.
The insanity of Hitler, if you want to label it such, is at the same level as that of any autocratic tyrant, be it the tyrants of religion or politics. He was just so much more efficient and his henchmen that much more organized.
Although – the Hutu in Rwanda managed with much more primitive weapons to eliminate 800 000 in just six month. Quite impressive what humans can achieve when exited.
It’s nearly impossible to get to the bottom of Hitler’s religious beliefs – his public statements were influenced by political expediency, and his private statements on the subject are confusing and contradictory. Ironically, that makes the only thing you can definitely say on the issue that Hitler was not an atheist – he definitely believed in some higher/supernatural force in charge of human destiny. What, precisely, he imagined that force to be – in general, or at any specific point in his life – is not clear. Personally, I’d suggest a mindset not uncommon in his generation – a nominal attachment to a traditional faith community (Catholicism), with actual beliefs constantly vacillating between a meaningful adherence to the traditional faith and vague deism at different points in life.
Well, I was raised primarily as a German/Irish Catholic. The bulk of the stuff we believed and the stuff we actually did, including the artifacts and the ceremonies, were all about strange and scary superstition. I don’t think we were unusual. The possibility that demons possessed inanimate objects or individuals or controlled (or tried to control) situations, but that individuals believers were protected by god/jesus if the right talisman’s were used, prayers spoken, etc. was run of the mill. Decades earlier and in the Old Country, I have to assume that “attachment to a traditional faith community” would have involved that sort of thing as well. We also certainly trusted in deals we would make with church representatives or the church itself. Soul saving with good works or good conversations with people on the inside. In the case of Hitler, he apparently had some highly placed connections (though our family did have an arch bishop, so if we, like, murdered somebody or something, we’d probably be covered).
Greg Laden @ #8:
Decades earlier and in the Old Country, I have to assume that “attachment to a traditional faith community” would have involved that sort of thing as well.
Hitler’s native Austria was a special case in that regard – starting in the 18th Century, the Habsburg monarchy had made a concerted effort to suppress ‘primitive’ folk religiosity in favour of purer Catholic doctrine. Results varied: middle class people and urbanites mostly turned away from the more obvious superstitions, but they remained firmly rooted with the lower classes in the cities and the rural folks, so there was a strong element of class distinction to it. Given Hitler’s middle class background and class consciousness (in his youth), he probably fell into the first group.
“a concerted effort to suppress ‘primitive’ folk religiosity in favour of purer Catholic doctrine. ”
Yeah, that’s probably when my people were thrown out.
Just like the Bible!
Hitler was far from insane. … His first successes during the war until the US joined the war show that he had some decent grasp on strategy and especially politics
Hey, nobody said he was dumb. A mad genius can accomplish a lot. Although one might wish he hadn’t.
@#4 – I’m sorry but it’s documented, he was being medicated for psychiatric disorders and everything. He was also addicted to meth, which is known to cause delusional thinking in close to 100% of cases. I mean you’re just wrong.
It has nothing to do with what Hitler “believed.” You want to get into that well Hitler believed that the Ayran Race were the decedents of the peoples of Atlantis and that they had lost their magical powers through mongrolization and a whole bunch of other creepy/bs occult stuff that most Christians would probably dismiss out of hand. rotten.com has a pretty good run down on what Hitler was “for” and “against” and, as you can see, he borrowed as many positions from the left as he did from the right.
Godwin’s Law persists today precisely because of what I said about Hitlers “positions” being all over the map. Maybe he believed in Evolution AND a Young Earth as he can be quoted on both sides with absolute assurance but Occam’s Razor favors my hypothesis that the guy was mentally ill.
It isn’t as though being batshit insane precludes you from having a really good run at actually taking over the world.
All you need is a bunch of crazy-ass teabaggers with sociopolitical motivations you can control.
Hitler and the Nazis, Palin and the Teabaggers, whatever.
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