Whenever a historian writes a book about a certain individual (political leader, general, scientist, you name it), the former inevitably establishes a certain relationship (ultimately, a very close one) with the latter. And I am no exception, of course.
Many (possibly most) historians have problems defining the nature of their relationships with their protagonists. Fortunately, I have no such problem.
It is undeniable that Adolf Hitler was probably the worst criminal in modern history (although Stalin, Mao and especially Pol Pot would likely disagree). Hence I view myself as a civilian consultant – an outside criminal profiler working for something like the famous BAU of the FBI (my favorite fictional character is David Rossi played by Joe Mantegna in the highly successful TV series Criminal Minds).
Consequently, my job is to study probably the most well-known mass murderer in human history – Adolf Hitler. And he is for me an object of my in-depth study.
To ensure that his or her study of the criminal in question has scientific value (actually, the objective is to generate the maximum amount of functional scientific value), the criminal profiler must remain completely objective and unbiased at all times.
Which, in turn requires that he or she must remain completely emotionally detached from his or her object. In other words, stay emotionally neutral at all times. So I am emotionally neutral about Adolf Hitler – I have neither sympathy nor antipathy towards him.
A genuine historian (and I definitely position myself as one) is neither a propaganda worker nor a priest not a secular ethics professional. Consequently, it is not my job to pass moral or ethical judgement on Adolf Hitler (or even on his decisions and actions).
I can only pass the functional judgement (whether his decision or action in question was the best one under the circumstances) and the legal judgement (whether it constituted a crime – i.e. a war crime or crime against humanity).
I am no Nazi; in fact, I do not associate myself with any political ideology, party, organization or movement (in other words, I am pretty much apolitical – I do not even vote in any elections and was never ever involved in politics of any kind).
More specifically, I will limit myself to finding the answers to the following questions:
- What were the key features/attributes of Hitler’s personality (what was his functional, emotional and spiritual psychological profile)?
- What did he do, when, how and why?
- What were the intended and actual consequences of his decisions and actions and if they were different, why?