Contrary to what some believe (even some Christian priests and theologians), Adolf Hitler was not a monster. Or a “demon incarnate” for that matter. Neither was he possessed by the demons (let alone Devil himself) as his behavior demonstrated no signs of demonic possession whatsoever (I will talk about that in more detail in the chapter of the most common myths about Adolf Hitler).
He was a human being – and the only thing that made him different from the “average Joe” were his mystical abilities. However, he was a highly sinful human being – far, far more sinful than the “average Jakob”.
In fact, he was literally consumed – even “possessed” (in a psychological sense, of course) – by the very much deadly sins of pride, hatred/wrath and fear. Made even more deadly by the intellectual sloth – total lack of critical thinking capabilities. Or of the desire to honestly and objectively search for the Truth for that matter. Or question his own beliefs, convictions, values and principles.
Add to that a deep belief in violence as the best solution to all political and social problems, the inclination to choose the most radical solution in any situation, treatment of any opponent as an enemy on the battlefield who must be ruthlessly killed (and the perception of Germany being forced to fight a genuinely existential “racial war”)… and you will get a textbook-perfect mass murderer.
Who was only waiting for an excuse (or excuses) to unleash his murderous rage on the unsuspecting world – both at home and abroad. The first excuse was the Reichstag Fire (a genuine God’s gift to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis).
Which led to the establishment of an ultimately vast network of KL (“concentration camp” is actually a highly misleading term) where Hitler’s political opponents – real or perceived – were interned without trial, mistreated, beaten, tortured and even murdered.
The second excuse was the pressure from the Reichswehr, the political elites of Germany and even from some “common folk” to do something with the SA stormtroopers who were completely out of control (or so it seemed) and thus were rapidly becoming a genuinely existential threat not only to the Nazi regime, but to Germany.
This resulted in Adolf Hitler “spilling the first blood”: on June 30th 1934 and during the two following days several hundred of SA leaders and political opponents of Adolf Hitler (Catholics, conservatives, etc.) were murdered in cold blood by the fiercely loyal SS death squads.
The third excuse was the need to “pacify” the Lebensraum acquired in Eastern and Western Europe and “subdue” its population (i.e. turn them into obedient servants – if not slaves – of the victorious Germans).
Which, alas, predictably led to “preventive interment” and even mass murder of all “potential Resistance fighters”, horrible reprisals (brutal revenge against the Resistance activities) and other war crimes against humanity.
The fourth excuse was the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union – which for Adolf Hitler was both the colonial endeavor and the pre-emptive strike (there is some pretty solid evidence that Stalin intended his own version of “Barbarossa” – dubbed “Operation Thunderstorm” on June 23rd 1941).
Adolf Hitler sincerely (but erroneously) believed that the war with the Soviet Union was the genuinely existential war for Germany and the Western Civilization (which was correct); that it was the war with the Judeo-Bolshevist ideology and regime (the Bolshevist part was correct and the “Judeo” one was wrong) and that it was the racial war between the “Aryan race” and the “Jewish race” (wrong on both counts).
He also (very much erroneously) believed that to win the existential racial war (which in reality had nothing to do with race – it was a war between ideologies) he had to… completely exterminate his enemy. The Jewish race (which at that time meant the Jewish people – i.e. all the Jews in German-controlled territories).
Which immediately cause a horrible “quantum leap” from persecution to mass murder of the Jews – by the Einsatzgruppen in occupied territories (the victims were either shot by firing squads or poisoned in mobile “gas vans”) and in the death camps of Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno, Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the victims were gassed by either exhaust fumes (of the soviet T-34 tank engine, of all devices) or by Zyklon-B (hydrogen cyanide).
The death toll is estimated between 4 and 6 million (my own calculations gave about the same number).
Being always a proponent of the most radical solution to every problem at hand, Adolf Hitler ordered to treat the Soviet POWs in the most brutal and harsh manner. Which predictably resulted in another mass murder (although formally in most case it was a manslaughter – the criminal neglect that resulted in deaths of thousands and thousands of victims).
The death toll is estimated at about 3.5 million, which makes it essentially “the Second Holocaust” – in the outcome, though not in methods, of course.
Adolf Hitler advocated equally harsh, brutal and even murderous treatment of the population of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other parts of the then-Soviet Union. Hostage taking, reprisals, etc., etc.
There is no reliable statistics on the number of victims of this horrendous crime but estimates are in single-digit millions. Which essentially makes it a very much “Third Holocaust”.
Hitler’s desire to transform the German people into the “nation of the Übermenschen” was by itself patriotic, commendable and highly noble. Unfortunately, he and the Nazis in general had a totally inaccurate perception of human nature (body, soul, mind, etc.).
Which made them choose a totally wrong approach and a completely inappropriate (and even un-scientific) tools for the job – first and foremost, the proverbial eugenics.
These tools not only did not produce the desired results, but also had horrendous (and genuinely homicidal) side effects – Aktion T4 and other heinous crimes against humanity that resulted in the murder of about 300,000 mentally and physically sick and/or disabled individuals in Germany and on the occupied territories.
All in the name of “keeping the German nation healthy and its blood pure”. As always, Adolf Hitler was consumed with murderous hatred for the “enemies of the German people” and always chose the most radical (i.e. usually murderous) solution to the real or perceived problem at hand.
The fifth – and probably final – excuse was the failure of the Blitzkrieg on the Eastern Front (a 100% Hitler’s fault) and the resulting transformation of the Second World War (on both fronts) into the war of attrition.
Where the quantity and quality of the labor force was one of the key success factors. Which gave the excuse to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in general to establish an enormous network of forced labor camps in Greater Germany and on the German-occupied territories. It is estimated that about 15 million Europeans were sent to these labor camps (although for the most part they had committed no crime against the German administration).
Death toll is estimated… actually about the same as the number of GULAG victims (although the former is most likely overestimated and the latter underestimated).
And, last but not the least, Adolf Hitler was an “artist at heart”. An unsuccessful artist (mustard gas poisoning on the battlefields of the First Great War closed this career path for him permanently), but still an artist.
Hence it is no surprise that he decided to make the Greater Germany the “art center of the world”… and ordered a large-scale looting of museums, galleries and other repositories of the objects of art all over the occupied territories.
Plus, obviously, other valuables as some strategic materials could only be obtained for hard currency and the trade in stolen art was always a major source of the latter. Another one was counterfeiting – the now-famous Operation Bernhard – but it was a different story entirely.
No one knows for sure how much art (and how many other valuables) were looted by the Nazis. And (which is far more important) how much is still missing and where the hell it now is.
There is some serious (albeit circumstantial) evidence that the total value of missing art and valuables is in tens of billions of dollars (or euros) in current prices. And that most (if not practically all of it) is in possession of the “real ODESSA” (more precisely, Die Neue SS) – a secret Nazi organization committed to overthrowing the “liberal world order” and establishing the “Fourth Reich”
Organization that waits for the next Singularity Event (the previous one was the Reichstag Fire on February 27th, 1933). However, it is a different story entirely – so I will cover in one of the subsequent chapters of the book.
Now let’s find out who Adolf Hitler really was – a hero, a villain… or both.