The enormity of the holocaust, the most grotesque exhibit of perversity of mankind the boundless inhumanity of people.
Fascism and ultimately Hitler, rose from the ashes of Germany’s total devastation and even more importantly humiliation after World War I. The victorious countries, including the United States, France and England, stripped Germany of its status in the world. And, again, more importantly the inbred pride and fierce nationalism of its people. Hitler promised economic prosperity and ultimately world domination by the German master race.
Fascism became not a political movement. Rather a religion based on lies, hatred, redemption of national pride, economic prosperity, intolerance and extreme violence against all others not a part Hitler’s master race. And, ultimate world domination.
Very quickly, Hitler transcended politics. He was a public relations genius without equal. Ever. He was the absolute best puppet Goebbels could have dreamed of. Even better than the phenomenal Churchill. And, truly propitious, the great new medium, radio, became the mass marketing tool that Hitler exploited with incredible aplomb.
Hitler became an astoundingly beloved, no, revered leader. He spoke to the masses. He did in fact put them back to work on mostly irrelevant, massive public works. Even the emerging middle-class followed! While getting wealthier, it was essentially spineless and might have become rudderless, fearing that next time it will be them! Or… The new economy was without solid economics and finances at its base. Thus, likely to fail, stripping them of all their wealth.
He preached and demanded obedience to authority. That was and remains a cornerstone of cultural norms in Germany.
Individualism was entirely lost. Deliberately decimated. He fashioned a new community, no, a civilization based on his insane fascist machinations.
Proverbial bogeyman, in Hitler’s case, bogeymen were needed! That is a frequent paradigm. You can see that today around the world! Some external evil is the root of all things bad in society.
First, Communism, the natural enemy of fascism. And others, none as critical an impediment to world domination by the master-race than the Jews. Hitler masterfully pounded home the myths of the “blood libel” from the middle ages, to evoke fear that the Jews were contaminating the superior Aryan race. And that the Jews conspired, worldwide no less, to stop Germany’s domination of the world. Therefore, according to Hitler’s doctrine, all Jews and their genetic pool had to be eliminated.
The power of words, a topic I write and speak about often, is astounding. None more than Hitler’s. Following Goebbels’ paradigm – repeat something often enough and forcefully, that becomes true … Germans, again, paradoxically but ultimately understandable as a matter of economics and the fierce inborn Prussian national pride, became desensitized to “words,” elected to embrace their destructive power. They simply adopted them. Thus making those acceptable.
Those morphed into accepted concepts. Once widely adopted, those mutated into sickening social norms.
Beyond that, one can readily predict the natural progression to social, economic, political actions. And genuine disasters.
All that traded in for misguided pride, a low paying job and the promise of ownership of a Hitler-mobile. A Volkswagen.
Add to that rampant anti-Semitism, absolute war on truth, total control on the media, natural – inbred ultra-nationalism and Hitler’s successful ability to stroke hatred rather than inspiring the masses.
On a purely intellectual level, the most astounding thing about the holocaust is how the leaders of the third Reich, Hitler’s sycophants, with the expressed knowledge and vociferous support of tens of millions of Germans, embraced the deliberate, entirely bereft of any human emotions Nazi FINAL SOLUTION. Starting with book burnings to stamp out all semblance of adverse thought, in consort with total intolerance of even academic discourse. Somebody brilliant prophetically wrote: “First you burn books. Then you burn people.” Then October 1938 witnessed Kristallnacht. Then the holocaust.
The banality of evil.
Beware all thinking people : it is a fact that evil can and is frequently accepted as banal! The banality of evil is real and is within too many populations. At this very writing.
Credit to the brilliant Hannah Ahrend who coined “Banality of evil.”
©2022. Steven J. Manning. All rights reserved worldwide. Any reproduction, in part or whole, in any medium whatsoever, is strictly prohibited.