A Hitlerian Monster to Do Evil By

Copyright © 2007 Jordan White



            Norman Mailer has just published a new novel, The Castle in the Forest, which is based on the life of Adolf Hitler.  His premise seems to be that Hitler was evil because the devil nudged him to do bad things.  He also did bad things, it seems, because he had a very bad father, Alois, who was evidently a very lousy role model, since he married his own biological daughter and killed bees and did many other dastardly things.


            Oh, please.


             Now, before I get lots of letters accusing me of lionizing Hitler, let me first say that that is exactly what I am not doing.  I am just going to point out  (1) what Hitler thought he was accomplishing, and (2) why many others, throughout history, have done the exact thing or nearly the exact thing.


            Hitler was a fanatic.  He wanted to preserve Germany at all costs, and I mean at all costs.  You see, Germany was having a very hard time.  That is why the German people were desperate enough to let a rogue like Hitler take the helm.  It was a young state in the frame of history, and, since it was formed from many small states, it was having a hard time staying cohesive.  Hitler thought that the way to solve Germany’s problems was by removing disparate elements that were dividing it and causing it to drag down financially. 


            In his fanatic way, Hitler decided that certain elements had to go.  The Jews were one element he wanted to get rid of because he felt that, for such a small segment of the population they had way too much power and controlled too much of the gross national product.  The Jews were not the only element Hitler wanted to purge.  He didn’t like any dark-skinned people, such as the Romany people (“Gypsies”).  He didn’t like people who cost too much to maintain, such as mentally challenged people or people with other chronic maladies.


            Would Germany indeed have been vastly better off if it had not been invaded and had been allowed to achieve Hitler’s grand dream by exterminating unwanted elements of the population and by being permitted to conquer other nations in order to build a stronger, more resource-rich nation?  We will never know, because Hitler’s dreams for a new Germany were cut short when it was invaded, ultimately resulting in Hitler’s death.


            I wish Mr. Mailer would explain why he evidently feels that Hitler was a monster of such great proportions that he could only have been prodded by Satan to accomplish his evil deeds.  After all, many countries around the world have thought that they would be better off without certain elements of their populations, and no one is accusing them of being inspired by the devil.


            How about the “Manifest Destiny” doctrine of the US, which destroyed so many Native Americans?  How about Sudan’s campaign against the Fur people?  How about the Australians, systematically mowing down Aboriginals in Tasmania?  How about Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds?  Oh, and he also invaded Kuwait, which means he also did the evil invasion thing that Hitler did.  Was Saddam Hussein influenced by his own special imp?  Or did he do those things on his own, just to increase his power and wealth?  (And held responsible for those acts, as he, quite rightly, was.)


            And, ironically enough, how about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians?  They began wholesale slaughter of these innocent people in 1948, only three years after the end of World War II and the downfall of the Jews’s own persecutor, Hitler.  And the US sends billions of dollars to Israel a year, and provides it with weapons earmarked for “defense only”, then looks the other way when, for instance, a tank shell is used to blow a human being to smithereens.  Did the devil make them do it?


            Frankly, folks, I don’t think it matters whether Hitler’s “Final Solution” would have worked or not.  I don’t think it matters whether or not eliminating certain elements of the population would have made for a “better” Germany.  It is never “better” to destroy human lives.  It is never “better” to invade other lands, merely to enrich oneself with the resources that rightly belong to them.  It is never a good thing to wage an offensive attack against anyone.


            It is easy to vilify Adolf Hitler.  He was a truly evil, fanatic man.  But, if you are looking the other way when your own country invades Iraq and Afghanistan, killing thousands, or if you are cheering on Israel as it destroys Palestinians, stealing their land, olive groves, and yes, their very lives, you are actively condoning the very evil deed perpetrated by Hitler.  I don’t think we need to look as far away as the Inferno to spot the culprit here.  Just looking in the mirror should suffice.


              “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was… This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  James 1: 23-24, 27 (NAS)