Hitler and Stalin

The History Channel is about to premier a new documentary series about the World Wars and the hook seems to be how the one effected the other, especially the leaders.  The ad campaign is starting to cause some grief in how they portray Hitler and Stalin.  For Hitler, the tag lines are “World War 1: Made him a madman; World War 2; Made him a monster”, while for Stalin it is “World War 1: Made him a man; World War 2; Made him a tyrant”. People are correctly pointing out that Hitler was a monster – and Stalin a tyrant – long before World War Two came along.

I don’t want to pre-judge the History Channel show – it might be good; I was intrigued when I saw an ad for it tonight – but it is clear that, as per usual for documentaries, it won’t get it exactly right.  This is because film documentaries can’t get it right – time constraints prevent a full airing of all relevant facts, even when the documentary maker is determined to be as truthful as possible.  To really explain Stalin and Hitler would take many hundreds of pages of closely typed information and to fully understand, the reader would already have to be familiar with a great deal of history leading up to their era.  Most people simply lack this – and always will.  Except for people with a genuine love for history, it just gets tedious (after all, who is going to want to get into the life stories of Georg Ritter von Schonerer and Victor Adler? Well, if you want to understand Hitler fully, you kinda have to – and then understand the complete intellectual collapse which was represented by Schonerer and Adler – who got together at one point to hammer out a social reform program only to go their separate ways…Schonerer to be the grandfather of Nazi Pan-Germanism and anti-Semitism, Adler to be the founder of the Austrian Social-Democrat Party…with the added kicker that Adler was Jewish). It is, in short, hard to nutshell people like Hitler and Stalin.  And just about impossible to do a proper study of the men in a television documentary.

And, so, if anyone is expecting the History Channel’s new show to really provide insight into such men, you are doing to be disappointed, even if the actual show itself is interesting and, at points, informative.  But there is a real danger in taking such people in a superficial manner as it can lead to gross misunderstanding of how they came about.  Remember, while people can look back in horror upon them, it must not be forgotten that at one point tens of millions of people followed them…and, especially in the case of Hitler, followed them with extreme devotion.  People really believed – and while we can comfort ourselves by asserting (correctly) that such people were tricked by scoundrels, we still have to think about just why they were tricked.

There are pat answers, of course – all of them sharing the basic fact that they are wrong. In the case of Stalin, the general line goes that he hijacked Leninism and fooled people into thinking he was the proper heir of the great man. For Hitler, it is asserted that he nursed German national pride which as bruised after the German defeat in World War Two – and both men selected enemies whom the people could hate with wild abandon (Hitler and the Jews, of course; but Stalin and the Kulaks, as well). There is some truth in that, but not even close to the actuality. The more important thing I’ve discovered, from my very extensive reading and long reflection, is that both men got on because the people they tricked had nothing else they actually believed in.

This, to me, is the key to understanding all the horrors we have subjected ourselves to this past 100 years.  Most of us believe nothing, and so believe anything that comes down the pike.  Solzhenitsyn put it neatly when he said the problem of the 20th century is that we had forgot about God.  Not having anything real to repose our trust in, we have given our trust to one charlatan after another.  Not all of us, of course – a few have had the saving grace of believing in something and thus keeping a clear eye.  Of course, a great deal of precisely such people were mown down in the death camps of Hitler and Stalin.

People like Hitler and Stalin, like all good con artists, insert into unbelief something to believe in.  Something which seems neat, logical and covering all bases.  These two men used terror as a means of reinforcing their deceptions, but terror wasn’t needed all the time – and in Hitler’s case, was hardly needed at all, in the sense that most Germans weren’t terrified by the Hitler regime, but delighted with it (unlike Stalin’s, Russia, in Hitler’s Germany people could come and go pretty much as they pleased – Stalin dared not let anyone out, while Hitler was certain that any Germans he allowed to travel out of Germany would come happily come back…in the end, Hitler was the more astute liar than Stalin). But Hitler and Stalin weren’t alone – and they have their legion of successors in the modern world.  People who give people lies to place where faith in God should be.

We can solemnly intone “never again” about the horrors of Stalin and Hitler, but unless we start to believe, in overwhelming majority, in something that is true, we’ll continue to be hoodwinked in large and small matters…and the rise of another megalomaniac mass-murderer is going to remain just around the corner.

 

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19 thoughts on “Hitler and Stalin

    • GMB May 26, 2014 / 5:18 am

      And again, another article that describes the party of schikelgruber as “rightwing” . This taints everything else the article brings up with the agenda of trying to separate the national from the socialist. Hint bozo, it can not be done.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program

      schikelgruber carried out these 25 points to the best of his ability. He only got into trouble when his national socialist thought it would be a good idea to try and take on the international socialist.

      • tiredoflibbs May 26, 2014 / 6:10 am

        GMB, the creepy clown does what he does best – a mindless drone regurgitating dumbed down leftist talking points. He falls for the propaganda each and every time.

        History in its real form is not something the proggies take seriously. They do not want to learn from history (they are destined to repeat it). All they want to do is take pieces and rewrite it to shape it for their own means.

    • GMB May 26, 2014 / 7:32 am

      bozo. Just as a lesson in futility, go back in time for a bit. I want you to start at August 24, 1939 and read about a couple of guys named molotov and ribbentrop and what they did on that day. Read any opinions from the left if they be academia, the media, or government, up until June 22, 1941.

      Hint again. They were all more than welcome to include schikelgruber and his party among the left, even though schikelgrubers “drang nach osten” was no secret. It was not until after 0315 hrs on June 22, 1941 that a “right wing” narrative was needed.

      nazis and commies, each others useless idiots.

      • Amazona May 26, 2014 / 9:35 am

        GMB, bozo serves a purpose, which is to constantly illustrate the frantic need of the RRL to link the Right with Hitler. It requires a collection of lies and missatements, ranging from the denial of Nazisim as a left-wing construct to trying to make the term “Right” mean the same thing in 1930s Germany as it does in 2014 America.

        If only Adolf had thought to get rid of that inconvenient “Socialist” part of the name of his party, he would have made it so much easier for his political descendants to twist facts and distort history. (Sigh…)

      • Cluster May 26, 2014 / 9:52 am

        Just as progressives deny that Democrats were the segregationists and opposed to civil rights in America’s past, so to they deny that the Nazi party was the Socialist Party. Even more damning is the fact that Hitler shut down debate and called his opponents extreme, much like we are seeing the progressives do today.

      • Amazona May 26, 2014 / 10:04 am

        Cluster, those are two extremely excellent and relevant points.

        “Even more damning is the fact that Hitler shut down debate and called his opponents extreme, much like we are seeing the progressives do today.”

        If you want to see someone with his hair on fire, compare the efforts of the Left today to silence all opposition and impose legal restrictions on free speech with Hitler’s actions in his day.

        We keep hearing the old adage that those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, but it is pretty dismaying to see it played out right in front of our eyes. We have not yet had a Kristallnacht moment, though the rabidly radical Left has kind of tried with its “Own” movement and public temper tantrums and black radicals have made threats, but just as Hitler fanned hatred of the Jews we are living with an administration openly fanning hatred of whites, and the embers have been created and merely need Obama to blow on them to fan them into riots. Some thought this might happen before the last election, to justify the imposition of martial law and the cancelling of the election.

        Well, as Curly said, “day ain’t over”.

      • Cluster May 26, 2014 / 10:33 am

        As you said, their lack of a Kristallnacht moment is not due to their trying. They really tried to gain traction with the racial comments of Cliven Bundy and still are for that matter. They are doubling down on the race card with AG Holder recently citing the disadvantages black youth face in this country in a recent commencement address, similar to how the Nazi’s defined the disadvantages German nationalists faced against Jewish leadership. Harry Reid has gone so far recently as to call his opponents un-American and “greased pigs” for opposing his progressive agenda and strangle hold on the Senate. There are definitely similarities.

      • Amazona May 26, 2014 / 2:22 pm

        I think the first real effort to incite a race war, or at least large riots, centered around the wholly invented George Zimmerman thing. We had the Attorney General of the United States, the President of the United States, the usual race pimps, the New Black Panthers, and the Complicit Agenda Media all doing their best to generate enough heat for it to burst into flame, and in spite of their efforts it just sputtered out, though it left a man’s life in ruins and enough remnants of artificially concocted racial unrest to provide tinder for the next time they see a chance.

      • Amazona May 26, 2014 / 2:23 pm

        Now we have Michelle Obama giving what is purportedly a commencement speech but is really a blatant effort to keep those embers hot and glowing. These people are truly shameless.

    • M. Noonan May 26, 2014 / 1:31 pm

      Yadda, yadda, yadda – love how the article makes reference to MIT BRENNENDER SORGE but then claims that the “silence” of the Church was a problem. I guess we were somehow silently talking.

      And if we were silent, it was better than the Progressives and their appeasement of Hitler on one hand and their lauding of Stalin on the other.

      • bozo May 26, 2014 / 10:43 pm

        Funny I don’t have to say a word, and everyone explodes in fits of political Tourette Syndrome. Project much?

        I guess Mark’s claim that the German people had nothing true to believe in could mean that a country full of Catholics and Protestants had nothing true to believe in. My bad…

        German progressives like professors and intellectuals, gays, immigrants and people of color appeased Hitler by first standing their ground for their beliefs, and then absorbing his bullets with only minimal complaining.

        “Blogs For Victory: Trivializing Atrocities For a Better Tomorrow”

      • M. Noonan May 27, 2014 / 12:04 am

        Bozo,

        You don’t have much of a familiarity with Nazi Germany, do you? People of color? Like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem? Gays? The SA was shot through from top to bottom with homosexuals. Intellectuals? You mean people like Alfred Baeumler and and Martin Heidegger?

        And, yes, plenty of ostensible Catholics and Protestants also backed Hitler – but others didn’t, or at least eventually came to understand that he had to be stopped, come what may. The main person behind the July 20 attempt was, Claus von Stauffenberg, was a devout Catholic. Deitrich Bonhoeffer was a devout Protestant. There were, of course, also a few in the plot who could be considered “progressive” by your lights, such as Helmuth von Moltke…unfortunately, most of those who can be classed as “progressive” didn’t take much of a hand in actually trying to get rid of Hitler…though, of course, Hitler being Hitler still tried to kill them all after the plot failed.

        The point I’m making is that those who kept backing Hitler and Stalin were people who had no actual beliefs; specifically, a belief in God, or at least in the sublime truth that human life is inherently valuable. Plenty of people mechanically go to Church and don’t allow a bit of it to enter into their lives – in a certain sense, they are not much different from the people who don’t go to Church, but who also don’t allow anything larger than themselves to enter their lives…but the trouble with such people, in and out of Church, is that if you don’t have some great, true thing to believe in, then eventually something will be inserted into that part of the human soul which needs the true thing to be believed. It is true that if you believe in nothing you’ll eventually believe in all manner of nonsense. Hitler and Stalin found things to insert – and other people continue to do so today.

      • bozo June 1, 2014 / 10:05 pm

        So you’re ok with calling the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum “dumbed down leftist talking points” and even “propaganda” that I fall for every time?

        Ok then.

  1. Amazona May 26, 2014 / 9:55 am

    “We can solemnly intone “never again” about the horrors of Stalin and Hitler, but unless we start to believe, in overwhelming majority, in something that is true, we’ll continue to be hoodwinked in large and small matters…and the rise of another megalomaniac mass-murderer is going to remain just around the corner.”

    Which takes us back to the dangers of Identity Politics. Aside from your very valid point that demagogues succeed when, as you put it, people become gullible when they believe in nothing and then manipulators “insert into unbelief something to believe in”, people today are suckered into defining politics by name and identity, and schooled to be unaware of the political system lying behind the words that appeal to them. This is why when we try to discuss the very real, open, blatant, documented actions of Obama they can or will not see beyond the identity of The One We Have All Been Waiting For.

    As for the rise of demagogues to power, I remember watching the bizarre spectacle of Obama’s acceptance speech at the Dem convention in Denver, and its eerie echoes of Hitler——the massive columns, the dramatic lighting, and most of all the reverb in the sound system that piled on the impression that his words were weighty and significant. Knowing where the venue was located, I joked that it was chosen because when Obama saw that it was on Speer Boulevard he thought it was Albert Speer Boulevard.

    I watched this, and the weeping, swooning, adulating masses falling at his feet, and I shuddered, seeing at least four years (and who could have possibly realized the stupidity of the nation in granting another four?) of a government based on mass hysteria and absolute blind dedication to an image. A nation held hostage to Identity Politics.

    • Cluster May 26, 2014 / 1:08 pm

      ….a government based on mass hysteria and absolute blind dedication to an image.

      And that image has turned out to be a mirage. Yet the adulation continues, although slightly less enthusiastic.

  2. Cluster May 26, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    A good Memorial Day read from Star Parker and the excerpt below is the take away:

    Lincoln told America that it can’t be half slave and half free. It will become all one or all the other.

    Tea Partiers have been the voice of opposition from the grass roots. The question remains if Republicans will listen and respond with the same boldness to lead in the direction of freedom as Obama and his party have in leading in the opposite direction.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/starparker/2014/05/26/can-republicans-be-as-ideological-as-obama-n1842468

    • Retired Spook May 27, 2014 / 8:51 am

      Cluster,

      As you know, I’m not a big social issues guy, but this paragraph from the Star Parker article really identifies one of the key social issues of our time:

      Despite claims that so-called “social” issues are different from economic issues, the evidence is overwhelming correlating poverty, lack of education, and lack of upward mobility to growing up in a home without two married parents. Can we continue to delude ourselves that we can have a free, prosperous country when almost half our babies are born to unwed mothers?

      I would contend that virtually EVERY politician in Washington KNOWS that the above statement is true, and Republicans are the only ones in recent memory who tried to do something about it when they dragged Clinton kicking and screaming to sign welfare reform. So the inescapable conclusion is that they either Democrats want it to be true, or they simply don’t care. The historical evidence is overwhelming that it’s the former.

      • Cluster May 27, 2014 / 10:55 am

        There is no question about it that children in single parent homes are at a disadvantage. The evidence is over whelming. Yet simply mentioning that is somehow “pre judging”, and construed as a “war on women” – when in fact – it is MEN’S fault. I blame the men.

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