Every non-fiction book needs a starting point. A firm foundation on which the author(s) will build the whole content of the book in question. A bootstrap, a springboard for the whole narrative, for the whole story of the book.
For the Essential Guide to Nazi Germany this starting point, the foundation, the bootstrap, the springboard is the psychological essence of the Nazis.
The Nazis called themselves national-socialists. Which was true and correct – I will later prove beyond the reasonable doubt that Nazis, indeed, were both nationalists and socialists. But it was not national-socialism that defined their very unique psychological essence. It was something different.
National-socialists were more than just that. They were national-sociopaths. And thus were driven by two very different kinds of emotions – genuine patriotic love for Germany and German people and by virulent fear of, and hatred for other nations.
Two very deadly sins (as it turned out very soon). Sins multiplied by two other deadly sins – pride and greed (albeit the latter was of a somewhat unusual kind). And this is the only paradigm that can adequately explain decisions and actions of the Nazis both before and after they came to power.
In other words, you can understand the Nazis and the Nazi Germany only if you understand, acknowledge and accept this dual ‘black-and-while’ (‘good-and-evil’, if you will) drive that guided, led and motivated them.
A classic sociopath (by definition) is an individual who loves only himself (or herself for that matter) and cares only about himself/herself. He/she considers all other individuals as tools that he/she uses to satisfy one’s needs, wants and desires. Often with devastating consequences for the tool in question.
The ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’ of a sociopath are short and simple: What is good for me is good; what is not good for me is bad. What is good for me is Good; what is not good for me is Evil. Thus, a sociopath does not give a rat’s ass about needs, wants, desires, well-being and happiness of other individuals.
A national-sociopath, again by definition, is the one who is a genuine patriot of his/her nation, loves it dearly, has an irresistible desire to serve it to make his nation happy – and even is consent to die for his/her Fatherland, if necessary. But he or she sees all other nations only as tools that he/she uses to satisfy needs, wants and desires of his/her nation.
Thus, a national-sociopath does not give a rat’s ass about needs, wants, desires, well-being and happiness of other nations. He/she views some nations as partners (to be used and exploited nevertheless), others as servants or even slaves (ditto) and some others as mortal enemies (to be ruthlessly exterminated).
And that’s exactly who the Nazis really were and that’s exactly why they did what they did.