Adolf Hitler Does Not Deserve His Reputation as Evil
Does Hitler really deserve to be demonised as he has been for the last seventy years? Or have his crimes been blown out of proportion by the media to the point where he is unfairly branded a hate figure? If we considered the crimes of his regime in a broader historical context, would Hitler still seem so evil?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Others have committed comparable atrocities
The science of the time was without a doubt completely and fundamentally flawed. However, while heinous crimes like the holocaust were committed under Hitler’s rule, aren't we still to a lesser extent committing similar crimes? The South African government has attempted ethnic cleansing. In Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations we have been trying to spread democracy by killing off the pre-existing government structures and replacing them with our own. I would suggest that many Americans, due to the negativity of the media, feel about Muslims what Germans felt about Jews. Some would even compare the former Guantanamo Bay and its gross human rights violations to a touchier camp. All through history there have been attempts at racial and cultural genocide: China in Tibet, Roman rape policy, deliberate starvation in Ireland, and South Africa to name just a few. So does Adolf Hitler deserve his reputation as one of the worst men in history? Or is our history, like Churchill said, "Written by the victors".
The scale of ethnic cleansing undertook by the Nazis fully deserves its horrific reputation. Yet it is not an isolated historical event; there have been many comparable atrocities, yet those responsible have not been demonised in the same way as Hitler.
To put recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq in the same bracket as the holocaust is frankly absurd. The Nazi regime carried out a refined and systematic extermination of various groups among the population, motivated by hatred and designed to remove them from the face of the Earth. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused civilian casualties, and have damaged infrastructure; but they were initiated in order to bring democracy and rights to the people. Even if one finds the imposition of political order by a foreign order to be undesirable, we can not class its moral character alongside acts of genocide.
" I would suggest many Americans feel about Muslims what Germans felt about Jews." This is a rather distasteful sentiment, whose comparison is inaccurate. Many Americans dislike Islamic fundamentalists; some, perhaps, may misguidedly view all Muslims in this light. But to suggest that any significant proportion of the American public would seek the death of the global Muslim population on the grounds that they are racially inferior is an assessment of gross absurdity.
"You could see Hitler like Judas the betrayer, Without him there would be no Israeli, and without Judas the Death and resurrection of Jesus could not have happened like it did. The lord works in mysterious ways, sometimes good comes from evil." Aside from the fact that Jewish lobbies had been pushing for the creation of an Israeli state long before the second world war, it would seem a little bizarre for the Lord to kill six million of his chosen people, as genocidal as His Biblical self is. To state the creation of the Israel as an equitable good for the evil of the holocaust is also repugnant; had this trade off been presented to the prisoners of Auschwitz, I think they would have chosen life over land.
'Or is our history like Churchill said "Written by the victors".' Perhaps our history is written by the victor. This is not regrettable in the modern era, however, when the conventions on human rights, international cooperation in justice and a widened respect for human life are the principles which guide the victorious powers.
Aditionally, you cannot in any way justify anything by comparison to others. They should be dealt with individually.
There is a fundemantel difference between Adolf Hitlers hate of Jews, blacks and gypsies and the American's population distrust of Muslims. Hitler believed that the arayen race was superior to any other race in the world. He believed that that the Germans were the betters of the Slavs and Jews and therefore they could be exterminated without second thought and there land could be inhabited by racially pure Germans. However the American population do not trust muslims due to the repuation of a minority (suicide bombers and extremists). There deeds are so horrific that they overshadow any attempt by modern normal muslims to stake thier claim as law abiding citizens. To the second claim that genocide occured in many other countries and therefore Hitler was just one on the list of murderers. To this I say Germany was an advanced nation not a backward and superstisious society like Rome. Many other atrocities have been comiited due to revolution in conquered territories like Tibet and Ireland but never due to a loathing of a race not of thier deeds not of thier reputation but of them that they exist.
Another arguement is that the horrific way in which the Jews were murdered is testimony to the Nazis horrific deeds. Perhaps it amy be argued that there were other acts of genocide throughout history. But never on the same scale and with the same ruthlessness have 7-8 million people been murdered in cold blood.
If you compare what Hitler did to what America is doing right now in the Middle East they are far from different. The world is so blind because they focus on what instead of why. People would be so much more successful if they focus on the why instead of the what. For example, if youre at your job and you have a big project that'd be nice to finish and look really good for you because of all the effort you put into it, but blew off a small project that'd be a faster more rewarding win, then you're not doing your self or the company any good. You just did a project because of what it was, not why it needed to be done.
In this case, America is at war because of acts of terrorism. Even if you believe in 911 being a conspiracy and whatever else you want to believe, was the train in Spain a conspiracy? Terrorism is real! If you don't believe that then you're blind because they openly admit their ways! The point is, somewhere down the line these terrorists have been threatening us. Whether they have or have had nuclear weapons is not a concern, its the fact that they could one day get them. They won't warn us. They aren't going to say "hey we have Nukes, America, we'll attack tomorrow". Theyre just going to fire them at us. Are we just going to wait until they have this power or are we going to make sure that we're safe. I'd rather my government be too careful to ensure our safety then careless. So even if we are going there just for the fossil fuels (like some claim), they are also doing us all a favor!
But Hitler? Hitler exterminated people because he didn't like their race. There was no threat to Hitler. Hitler was the threat and he was eliminated. If we were to compare WWII to now, we'd have to say Hitler is in the shoes of the middle east. We are not threatening the middle east to destroy their race, they are threatening to destroy ours, like Hitler threatened to Destroy the Jews and Gypsies and Polish.
Hitler was not directly responsible for what occured under his leadership
Although Hitler had his officials organise the death camps, the ideas of racially purifying Germany and exterminating the Jews were still his idea, and thus he was directly responsible for the atrocities comitted.
Our perception of Hitler is coloured by wartime allegiances
We need only look at the image that Stalin holds in public perception to see the difference. He was responsible for the deaths of millions of Russians who starved due to his economic policies in the thirties and many more in the political purges of the USSR. Stalin's Gulags were as cruel as many Nazi camps. Yet despite the divisions of the Cold War, Stalin retains an image as a kind of 'cuddly dictator' that is far from the demonic portrayal of Hitler. Why? Because Russia fought with the Allies in WWII, whereas Hitler, in the minds of the public, is eternally the figurehead of the enemy.
Hitler's reputation is built on his actions; the destruction in Europe and the political and racial killings that he instigated.
Hitler was responding to the problems of his time; we cannot judge him in hindsight
In these kind of extreme situations, people naturally turn to extreme solutions. Fascism was a way forward for Hitler, a way to make Germany great again. Patriotism and the belief in cultural supremacy is hardly unique to Nazi Germany; it was equally part of the political belief of the British Empire.
The racist elements of Nazi ideology are naturally abhorrent to us. But at the time there were plenty of scientists who believed in the inferiority of some races and that physical appearance was an indicator of some inner nature. This thinking was behind a lot of criminological practice in nineteenth century Britain.
The point is, none of the elements of Hitler's belief were new or unique. Germany in the 1920s and 30s was an extremely problematic society. In this situation, it is almost inevitable that a radical ideology like Nazism would come to the fore as a solution; Hitler was responding to this climate, rather than actively leading Germany astray.
Fascism may have seemed a solution to the political problems of the early twentieth century but it was not the only way; Hitler and his associates made a political choice. They must be responsible for their reaction to even the most difficult of circumstances.
He CAN be judged in hindsight, not by what we think we would do but judged in comparison to those who ALSO lived in his and did not chose the path he chose.
Under the chancellorship of Stresemann, many of the problems of the time had already been solved - the reparations were no longer so crippling, hyper-inflation had been contained... While it can be argued Germany would have been justified in starting WWII following the excessively harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, by the time Hitler came in there was no longer such justification. Hitler was not simply responding to the climate, as could be argued had he risen to power through the 1920s, but at least to a degree setting the climate.
I Hitler was responding to the crises of the time, and was left with a broken and economicly unstable country, then apparently America could have done this during the Great Deppresion, right?
No, because if he did this during a state of weakness and financial loss, then he would not bee able to afford it, because all of the terrible things he did cost money, which he would have not had.
The biggest problem with you idea of why Hitler did what he did doesn't even make sense with what he did. You say he was trying to help fix Germany. If this was true, why was he more focused on taking over more lands than doing what was right for his own country?
The gravest charge of all is that Jews were responsible for communism. They were. Not just in Germany but in Russia, Hungary and Poland as well. Any academic reference work will give the truth away. A few titles are "The Jewish Century" by Yuri Slezkine, "Jewish Nationality and Soviet Politics: The Jewish Sections Of the CPSU, 1917-1930" by Zvi Gitelman or "Dark Times, Dire Consequences: Jews and Communism" by Dan Diner and Jonathan Frankel". All these volumes show the deep Jewish involvement in communism and the warm support Jews gave it all over the globe. It is small wonder that the Germans shot hundreds of thousands of Jews in Russia. No group of criminals more surely deserved their fate. That the claims of extermination are phony is shown by the fact that all the Soviet satrapies after the war were dominated by Jewish commissars installed by the supposedly anti-semitic Joseph Stalin. (Consult "The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State" by Professor Ginsberg for confirmation.
The Jews got a very small dose of their own medicine at the hands of Adolf Hitler. One to two million died of all causes, not the fabled "six million". The twenty million or more killed by the Jewish commissars of Joseph Stalin was a lot worse. Jews like to make a big deal of their losses in WW2 to make the world feel constantly guilty. It puts the blame on the wrong people and takes the attention off the real killers-the Jewish commissars. By making the west pay reparations for "failing to rescue" a mythical "six million" the real question is obscured: Why did the very influential western Jews fail to rescue the twenty or more million being slaughtered by the Jewish bolsheviks? All peoples suffer in war and the sufferings of the Jews were no worse than the sufferings of the Arabs when Hulagu and the Mongols rampaged throught the Middle East in the early 1200's. Nor was it any worse than the atrocities inflicted upon the Irish by Oliver Cromwell.
Adolf Hitler was a conqueror and, like all conquerors, he was not a nice man. But he was going after the right people for the right reasons. Since it is now becoming increasingly clear that Joseph Stalin was himself planning to attack Europe in the summer of 1941, perhaps the world owes Hitler a great debt for beating Stalin to the punch. Had Stalin struck first, all of Europe would have been communized under the control of some very murderous Jews. And then the world would have had a problem on its hands far more severe than a bunch of Jews wailing over "gas chambers" which never were.
To then claim that the Jews were responsible for WW1 and Communism shows a distinct absence of understanding of the 20th century. America became involved in WW1 purely because it knew that it would have to act soon, and the bombing of the Lusithania was the trigger needed. Communism was barely a Jewish concept - vast numbers of Jews were killed or expelled by Stalin's regime, and the proposition would do well to actually describe the supposed 'deep Jewish involvement in communism', so that future readers may have the chance to see the reason why a proper education is important.
Saying that the Jews 'bought up evertyhing in sight while the German people starved, thereby exploiting the misery of the defeated' is yet another example of the author's ignorance. Germany had always been a centre of Judaism in Europe - it had also become a centre of anti-semitism, and this was partially responsible for Hitler's rise to power.
Onto the original point raised, nobody is claiming that Hitler was 'uniquely' evil - he was just evil.
Ultimately, I would like to remind the author than neo-Nazism is considered a crime in most of the world.
Have you never seen any footage of the Holocaust? Have you never read the Diary of Anne Frank? Have you never even left your hole in the ground of racism?
this is a neutral point
I am against racism/fear/ignorance in all forms, but understand that culture is an influence on anyone.
I used to watch tv movies like "sobibor", "Schindler's List", etc., and feel just as angry about the atrocities portrayed in such movies. Let me tell everyone, that I felt similar feelings when I saw the Abu Ghrahib gallery.
At that point, I realized that any culture, any civilization, can become insane/evil. In fact, the ones most likely to become 'evil' are those who believe it cannot happen to them. I do not know how this applies to Germanica; all I know is my own time.
The truth is... is that all we 'know' about WW2 has been taught by textbooks and movies written by people who have taken second hand information for truth without critical thought.
It has occurred to me that most educated civilians everywhere on Earth regard war and violent conflict of any kind as repugnant. So a government needs to sell the idea to its people. Like the 'secret map' speech by FDR (later debunked by, of all people, the Swiss), or the 911 attacks, dissectible by anyone with the presence of mind to digitally record the news from Hour One on that 'fateful' morning, or anyone with enough memory to remember the way the Mujahideen (Taliban), or Saddam Hussein were glorified by the US during the years of Reaganomics.
The truth is, that the US needs its underclass, to ignore the inconsistencies and unexplained anomalies whenever a foreign conflict is brewing. Such an underclass is, by nature _and_ nurture, incapable of collecting all of the historical data in order to think critically about whether or not to rush into battle with a culture they have never bothered to learn about, and, even more insidiously, anyone with enough education/intelligence to question, is probable worried about social standing and credit rating enough to not want to rock the boat. Even Noam Chomsky, an outspoken critic of US foreign policy, or the author of Zeitgeist (a flawed and yet uncowardly vocal masterpiece regarding that which 'everyone "knows"' about the last hundred years of Western/Judeochristian civilization/economics) remain tight-lipped when it comes to the most relevant questions about the last few decades of the world.
Consider this a completely _neutral_ comment about Hitler. If there were such a person as described by history or Spielberg, then, yes, such a person would be considered a psychopath. However, it has also been demonstrated that everything we know about these things is a product of media; media which can be controlled/censored/corrupted by interested and entrenched parties with a determination to control that which we think. In other words, if I am to truly hate someone or characterize him/her as evil, someone who I have never met (and never will), then I reserve the right to demand an opportunity to examine _critically_, the very facts upon which such a powerful, potentially negative/destructive emotion is based upon. And unfortunately, the opportunity here is limited... rendering this entire debate moot.
Mother Teresa has the reputation of being a woman of virtue who helped poor people all over the world. Was this because the media or the government tried to sell the idea or because it was written in the point of view of someone who admired her? No, the fact is, she did do a lot of charity work and helped those less fortunate around her.
While I do agree that people tend to dramatize and exaggerate on some points (it is still highly debatable whether Hitler did have his men make book covers out of Jews' skin for example), Hitler does deserve his reputation of being evil because of the unbiased fact that he killed millions of innocent people. How do we know it's not made-up? We have a myriad of solid historical evidence: from Hitler's own recorded speeches, books, accounts, photos.. etc. to back this up.
Does it all revolve around the Jewish People?
All of you say that Hitler is 'Evil' because he killed 6 million Jews but have you ever met Hitler? No...You never will
You base your conculsion on one fact that he killed 6 million Jews, but what about all the other ethnicities he killed? huh?... you give no mentiont to them its always '6 million jews', you cannot sustain an argurement on one fact.
Do we CLEARLY know why he commited mass genocide? No...
Do we CLEARLY understand how Hitler thought? No..
Do we CLEARLY know what he was like? Yes..., but you dont want to know becuase it is positive!
The film Downfall is based on his Secretary Traudl Junge's account of him, so why do we all discredit this interpreation? because she was biased? No, because it was positive and that Hitler was 'a nice guy'. This cannot posibly be the personality of a mass murder, 'IT MUST BE FALSE!' obviously not when it is one of 'THE ONLY' recently living (died in 2002) FIRSTHAND account of Hitler.
The last living tesimony of someone who was there, why is this not true?...
Yes, I believe we do know clearly know why he committed mass murder, there are a couple hundred people out there who have dedicated their lives on looking into Hitler's pesonality, beliefs, and mentality. On top of that, we have books he wrote (the most famous one being Mein Kampf) and records of his speeches. How can a man who killed millions of inncoent people in the name of his country's so called "glory" and Aryan supremacy be in his right mind? Nothing positive can come out of killing born from evil and unjust causes like Hitler's.
Also Secretary Traudi Junge was biased. Your only explanation on why it wasn't bias is "because it was positive and that Hitler was 'a nice guy'. How do you know? There is nothing to back this up. But there are many things to back up the point that this person's opinions were biased. This person worked under Hitler in an office filled with people who admired Hitler in a society that admired Hitler. Last testimony or not, if you asked anyone who lived under the circumstances of Secretary Traudi Junge, they would all call Hitler a 'nice guy.'
In your Theory you're saying we can not call massive genocide a bad thing? You're basically saying Hitler killed 6 million jews and on top of other ethnicities but thats ok. The extermination of 6 million plus people can be justified, so he's a good guy."
NO! Justification does not make him any less wrong. In fact, people know him for killing 6 million jews because the main population of his targets were jewish. They estimate a minimum of 11 million people died in the holocaust which leaves jews at over 50%. None, the less killing such a high amount of people is, in most minds, an act of evil.
He was not in his right mind
Answering this question depends entirely on how one perceives and defines the notion of evil.
What exactly is evil? The concept of evil is very complex and ambiguous. One would say it's simple: that evil is 'what is bad', that it is ' what is morally wrong', 'that which is in violation or has the intent of violating moral code". Here lies the problem though and the inherent ambiguity: of what consists the moral code? Morality is not easy; it has many paradoxes:
"If you think something is morally wrong but society (or other people) thinks it's morally right, is it right or wrong?"
"If one believes (as Hitler did) that a certain class of people (the Jews) are the root of all that is morally wrong (evil), shouldn't that person act on those beliefs? Shouldn't one deliver oneself and others from evil?"
Genocides, torture, and other 'crimes against humanity' are not the product of a person's senseless actions or a certain mystical/absolute evil. These acts are the cause of irrational group (because it's never just one individual) behavior stemming from misperceptions, ethical ideals, psychological traumas, delusions, dogmas, radicalism and loss of control over emotions (irrational hatred). There are many examples of this: Rwandan genocide, the heretics during the Middle-Ages, the witch hunts, the terrorism of Al-Qaeda so on and so forth. Even modern examples such as the Srebrenica massacre, the Sabra and Shatila massacre; these happened during warfare by groups of people who had an irrational hatred, who were under a state of mind of warfare and brutality.
Hitler wasn't evil, he was racist, he believed that the Jews were inferior and extremely detrimental to society and on the other hand that Germans were a superior race. He actually (along with his followers) lifted germany from the rubbles of WWI and made it (arguably) the most powerful nation during the late 1930's, early 1940's.
One should not judge by evil or good. Hatred breeds hatred. One should understand and learn from the past, not condemn its actors.
Hitler banned Smoking and Vivisection..
,German Soldiers were forbidden to smoke and drink in occupied France and rapes committed by Germans was virtually unheard of (The liberating allies especially Red Army went on a raping spree)
Poland: 1940 the Jewish led NKVD executed 25.000 Polish officers.. In 1941 the Nazis discovered the Mass Graves and attempted to report their findings to the wider World but the controlled Media under orders from allied governments blamed the atrocity on the Germans.
Propaganda Before During and after the War : It is a documented, verified fact that Hitler did not want War but the British antagonists ensured war would be waged ,, The Brits gave Poland the incentive to destabilise Germany and when it was discovered that ethnic Germans in Danzig and Bromberg were being massacred by Communist dregs (58.000) Hitler found himself in an hopeless situation.. (Hitler had offered the Poles favourable terms before the massacres) .. When Hitler invaded Poland (If you research Poland invades Czechoslovakia reasons become clearer) the British and France declared War against Germany .
Unlike WWI propaganda where stories of Germans eating Babies was the norm (Post Rothschild meeting with British War ministers after Britain had LOST the War) during WWII Atrocity stories were significant but also German expansionist (conquered Nations) goals were used to frighten Citizens to accept the draft (UK: conscription) ;(German propaganda warned of Communism).
Propaganda after the War was by way of the Nuremberg War crimes trials, The sole mechanism was to point all the blame at Germany and white wash the allies. (1.5 000.000 German prisoners of War were starved to death in open fields after the War .. Fuerstenfeldbruck was Hell on Earth but that has been omitted from school History books)
Is Hitler evil ?? God no but i know a few who are .. Stalin, Churchill Eisenhower, Ilya Ehrenberg(Kill) Lazar Kaganovich (Gulags)
Your idea that the Jews declared war on Germany is so twisted from the facts as to not be worth responding to.
Hitler was no worse than Churchill or Stalin
Hitler is evil
he got inicent litle disabled babies killed with out thinking twice so he killed a poupilation of pure Germans.
so that means he was out of his mind beacause how can you get babies killed.
and in the end he was so scared that he commited suicide.
so that proves it that he was a coward a murdrer a madman i mean he should have been in a mental ayslum instead of the fuher of Germany
What is evil then?
He is the epitome of evil...do you now think that killing innocent people is not evil?He did this for no benofit to the world,for his own selfish thoughts and childish unrealistic wants.
killing is the worst you can do to someone as their life is over,there is nothing to carry on with and this can never be undone.
Not only did he kill Them but he tortured them..
If this is not evil,and you cannot get much worse than killing people,then what is evil!
What the hell you talkin bout foo?
Being evil does not just mean doing things yourself but setting the conditions for it is equally 'evil'. Creating an ideology where such a thing is acceptable or even encouraged is a worse kind of evil as it is deeply insidious twisting others morals. Many people learn what is right and wrong from those with authority and based upon 'the moral standards of the time'. If those in authority are setting moral standards that are abhorrent evil will result.
What Hasn't He Done?
Furthermore he is rumored to kill his niece Angela (Geli) Raubal. Though the official documents say she killed herself and he wasn't there at the time, some back up look at the situation would say that even if she did kill herself (using Hitlers gun), she did so because Hitler refused to let her live the life she wanted. Hitler and her were having sexual relations but she wanted to be with someone else, which he forbid. Even if he didn't kill her you must think its odd that 3 woman he had been involved with committed suicide and 2 others attempted.
If you want to talk evil, lets look at the methods he used for executing conspirators. He would sit them down in a Garrote. Which is essentially a chair that the victim sits in. A Strap is put around their neck with a stick in the back that is twisted to tighten the strap around their neck. For the conspirators, however, Hitler had enforced Piano wire to be used instead of the normal straps. He allegedly brought these conspirators to near death via strangulation several times before allowing them to be executed. (It is also rumors that these executions were video taped for him to watch in his own leisure.
A small known fact states that Hitler loved the circus because he loved the idea that under paid people were risking their lives to please him. This is an act of selfishness and disrespect toward others. Its an evil way to view a circus act.
He also played favoritism. He did not follow the simple psychological human behavior "Leadership by example". We learn by watching people we look up to. However, Hitlers view was if he liked you, you could not commit crime. If the low class stole it'd be punishable by death, but if someone close to him stole it would not be considered a crime. His law also stated that you could not publicly speak out against his ruling, however, stating something in private would get you executed as well. His law spoke "A person taking an object not belonging to him is not therefore necessarily a burglar - only the nature of his personality can make him such". This meant all "belonging to the polish subhuman race" and jews were much more subject to breaking the laws since Hitler deemed them as less human. Hitler believe Jews created and earned nothing, which in turn meant they stole everything they have.
His story contains murder, incest, torture, self entertainment at others physical pains and deaths, suicides of those around him, a group he's led to commit mass genocide resulting in over 10 million deaths and finally his own suicide. If this is not evil, i don't know what is
What do you think?