HITLER IN PERSPECTIVE
Today the standard view is that Adolf Hitler was the embodiment of all evil. But this is Jewish caricature, not objective history. No one before the war saw Hitler in these terms.
To a very large extent, and not just by his fellow Germans, Hitler was seen as a force for good. Germany was in sad shape before Hitler. The economy was a shambles, unemployment, prostitution and misery were everywhere. The birth rate was below replacement level. The Germans were separated from the Mother Country everywhere by the hated treaties of Versailles, Trianon and Saint Germain. The English and the French had made no effort whatever to redress the post-war grievances.
Germany, when Hitler came to power was a land of despair. Hitler by 1936, in just three years, had overcome much of this. Although he resorted to Keynesian deficit financing methods, much employment had been overcome, great roads and autobahns were everywhere being built and a sense of national pride and regeneration had replaced the despair and misery of previous days. The birth rate had been greatly increased by the Nazi system of family loans; patriotism was everywhere and the ingathering of the Germans in the Rhineland, the Sudetenland, Austria and later Poland had begun. Germany was rising again.
This national rejuvenation made a great impression on foreign statesmen and dignitaries. Sir John Simon, the 1934 British Foreign Minister, referred to Adolf Hitler as an “Austrian Joan of Arc with a mustache”. David Lloyd George, England’s war time Prime Minister, called Hitler “the George Washington of Germany”. He described Hitler as a “truly great man” and “the Germans as the happiest of peoples”. Anthony Ludovici, the famous English writer and anti-feminist, asserted that under Hitler Germany “had come alive with an almost religious fervor”. Winston Churchill described Hitler’s “indomitable will and the patriotic fervor he inspired among his followers”. He asserted that one might “dislike Hitler’s system but admire his patriotic achievement”. Churchill went on to say that “were England defeated he would look to someone like Hitler to restore England’s place among the nations”. Charles Lindberg, although deploring Nazi brutality, asserted that Germany was rising again and that there was no holding her back. Hitler, then, was seen by many as kind of savior.
What happened to change that assessment?
The first was Hitler’s program of territorial expansion. Although at first Hitler’s moves were seen as legitimate redresses of the injustices at Versailles, as he proceeded, they came increasingly to be seen as aggressive conquests aiming at empire. Hitler’s second offense was his Jewish persecution program. This program generated a huge international uproar against him. However, it is important to note that many less influential people around the world than the Jews rather sympathized with Hitler’s anti-Jewish actions.
It was well known that Germany had real grievances against the Jews. When the post-world war inflation devastated Germany following defeat in 1918, hordes of cash-rich foreign Jews moved into Germany to buy up German assets at a small fraction of their real value. This was particularly true of commercial real estate. Germany became “Jewmany” at bargain basement prices.
The Communist revolutionaries post 1918 in Germany had mainly been Jews. Kurt Eisner, Hugo Haas, Ernest Toller, Rosa Luxemberg, Leo Jogisches, Paul Levi and Karl Liebnechkt were a few of the names. It was Zionist Jews in England and America who had made that famous “contract with Jewry” to get the U.S. into the war against Germany as the price of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. Many Germans, and not just Adolf Hitler, felt that Germany had been betrayed by the Jews.
In particular, Hitler was seen as a bulwark against Communism, a movement which virtually everyone in western society at the time saw as a Jewish movement. The evidence for that belief was indeed substantial. When Communist revolution was raging in Germany in 1919, Bela Kun’s Communist dictatorship in Hungary, March-August 1919, consisted of 200 commissars, 160 of whom were Jewish. The American State Department, in that same year of 1919, was overflowing with reports describing Communism as a Jewish-controlled movement. Winston Churchill wrote flaming denunciations of Communism as a Judeo-Bolshevik movement. The American ambassador to Poland, Hugh Gibson, supported Polish anti-Jewish measures as a necessary defense against Jewish Communist subversion. In short, many knew that Hitler’s measures against the Jews were not entirely unjustified.
Today, all this has largely been forgotten. The horror of the war and the legend of six million Jews killed in “gas chambers” has buried the pre-war record. Even the nature of the Nazi camp system has been distorted. Pre-war the total number of prisoners in the system never exceeded 20,000. Of that number, a large percentage were common criminals. The percentage of Jews was never more than 15% of the total, or 3000 maximum. The vast majority of the prisoners were members of the Social Democrats, the German National Party, the Catholic Center Party and other political opponents of Hitler.
Adolf Hitler was neither the Devil incarnate of his opponents nor the Son of God of his admirers. He was an astute man who, intentionally or unintentionally, bit off more than he could chew. That fact has marred his reputation in the history books.
But it is time to put Hitler in perspective. He aimed at a German empire in the east, not the conquest of the world. He did not exterminate six million Jews as claimed but rather sought to deport the Jews from Germany, exactly like the Catholic monarchs of the Middle Ages. His rebuilding of Germany was the base of his popularity. His attitudes on things Jewish were of his times and were in no sense unique to National Socialism.
That is Adolf Hitler in perspective – and the perspective is long overdue.