Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The Ghosts of Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler, that “remarkable” German leader, who in about 12 years (1933 – 1945) managed to engineer and inspire a most “remarkable” war machine that in the final reckoning was directly or indirectly responsible for the death of seventy-five million human beings throughout the world as well as the physical, emotional and psychological damage inflicted on so many in the post- World War II era. He was a madman who has been dead for almost eighty years, yet his ghosts still haunt humanity.

These ghosts have successfully populated the mind and spirit of current day madmen who have aspired to leadership positions throughout the world. Individuals such as Vladimir Putin of Russia, Donald Trump of the United States, Viktor Mihály Orbán of Hungary, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Ali Khamenei of Iran have taken on this “glorious” mantle.

These individuals espouse and attempt to propagate those core values as established by Adolph –

· The imposition of autocratic and despotic rule over an entire population.

· Unbending adherence to lies at the expense of the truth.

· Arbitrary judgements and pronouncements at the expense of reason and the rule of law.

· The blind acceptance and belief of the absolute superiority of a particular ethnic group and/or ideology.

· The unrelenting focus on demeaning and undermining a particular group(s) usually a minority, those who express contradictory points of views, those who are a minority in terms of sexual orientation or religious affiliation. This kind of dogged antagonism is usually designed to inspire the loyal adherents to fascistic principles to act with malice and violence against the designated “scapegoats.”

· The use of collective punishment directed at those deemed inferior who rebel against the ironclad and autocratic rule that defines their existence and usurps their freedom. Current examples of this practice can readily be seen in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza. These two examples reflect a careless brutality and total lack of respect for human life; for the safety and well-being of children, the elderly and the weak who are treated as less than human on account of their association with what is considered to be an inferior group.

At the end of his despotic reign, Adolph Hitler killed himself and left his native Germany in ruins. Strangely, it seems that the policies, as outlined above, still seem to have traction in this twenty-first century. The human world apparently has learned little from the clear and explicit lessons of the past.

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