The Successes and Failures of Adolf Hitler

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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JLAD Prove Me Wrong
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The Successes and Failures of Adolf Hitler

Postby JLAD Prove Me Wrong » 6 months 12 hours ago (Mon May 25, 2020 7:25 pm)

So today when I was watching TV, there was a show about Hitler. I said, "my hero", because of what that man tried to do for us. He turned Germany from zero to a powerhouse. My dad and I talked about it, and while he did agree with me that Dresden was bad, he brought up the fact that the Germans lost the war, and that the Germans also bombed British cities. I am wondering how I should respond to this?
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Re: The Successes and Failures of Adolf Hitler

Postby HMSendeavour » 6 months 4 hours ago (Tue May 26, 2020 3:23 am)

With issues like this you need to break the dichotomies held as convention in people's minds, not reenforce them with purely technical arguments.

Whatever Germany did, whatever operations were conceived or implemented all gets laid at the feet of Hitler as his actions, it's taken for granted that those around Hitler somehow lack autonomy; even those around Stalin are portrayed as having more autonomy than those around Hitler, not because it's actually true, but because nuance is reserved for those who receive historical sympathy. Evidently Hitler doesn't receive any. The aim is to simplify the historical drama to make Hitler individually guilty for whatever it may be levelled at him. This is the first thing to keep in mind.

The second most important thing is that you're facing a purely moral issue when you talk about anything related to Hitler. It's taken for granted more so here that whatever Hitler did, even if others are guilty of it, is evil and wrong because Hitler was doing it and it would invariably benefit him and his cause. Because Hitler's cause is deemed as the epitome of "immoral" anything which Hitler did, even if it's benign has to be considered as a historical "crime". The bombings of Britain serve as a very good example of this.

Peter Hitchens points out in "The Phoney Victory" the double standard in regards to aerial bombardment:

The general response of perfectly nice, gentle and well-brought-up British people, polite and kind to neighbours, shocked by rudeness and violence in daily life, is to say illogical things about the Blitz. Introduced to this nasty piece of history, they will say, correctly, that Germans deliberately killed many British civilians in their own homes. They will mention the raid on Coventry, horrible and inexcusable indeed, but small compared with what the RAF would later do to many German cities of similar size. They will rightly condemn this as an uncivilised form of warfare. And they will then absurdly and irrationally use this as an excuse or justification for our doing almost exactly the same thing. The logic remains inescapable. If it was uncivilised for the Germans to do it, and it was, it was uncivilised for us to do it.

Hitchens characterizes the moral debate on this issue by saying that in response to the above, regular people will resort to justification of otherwise "inexcusable", "reprehensible", "immoral" acts of violence that if committed by Germans would be condemned a such, and are in the cases where the Germans are deemed to have done it, namely Coventry as Hitchens uses in his example:

Or they will say that the German civilians ‘deserved’ to be crushed, suffocated, dismembered or burned to death in their homes, for having supported (or failed to oppose) Hitler.

The point illustrated here is that moral argumentation is used to force their opponents to yield, as to go any further would be to defend Hitler and National Socialism. Obviously nobody would even consider doing this and they'd just agree, even if the acts of atrocity although they remain, still leave one sick to their stomach. Suddenly these atrocities on their own aren't reprehensibly evil, but they're justifiable and even worthy of celebration if it is against a widely acknowledged group whom it is acceptable to target.

But Hitchens is guilty too, and goes on to only point out that the Germans who were bombed didn't deserve it because:

the bombed areas, chosen because they were tightly packed with the apartment blocks of the urban poor, were those where Social Democrat and Communist voters lived. These were the very people who defied the Nazis to the last

This is the moral argument. Excessive violence is okay for me but not for thee. It comes down to the dichotomy I mentioned at the start. The British are "good" and the Germans are "bad" so the actions taken by either side are not deemed equal. Nothing, is going to be fairly judged, especially not in a vacuum.

To sum up:

You could mention how the British started terror bombing first, or used more tonnage of bombs on Germany than Germany did on any of their raids on Britain but these arguments will do you little good because they can be mitigated by morality on behalf of your opponent. So, you must do this before they can.

You need to:

Frame the debate and change the essential nature of the discussion. Because this isn't ever going to just be a technical debate in regards to Hitler, but a moral one, you need to change the nature of morality in the debate first and foremost. You need to question various aspects of the issue and moral character of the question.

So. I would ask why exactly the German bombings are particularly worthy of scorn? Is bombing not an appropriate offensive strategy in war? What else could Hitler have done to try and defeat Britain? Similarly what else could Britain have done but bomb Germany? Did the Luftwaffe purposely target civilians or were they indirect casualties? You need to point out that nothing Germany did was unique, that Hitler's strategy would have to be the same as Britain's if either country were going to actually fight each other. Britain declared war, Hitler did not. Therefore the British could only expect bombing as it was the only way a confrontation of arms could be achieved on their side.

If the argument is used that the British "had no choice" and were "responding" to German bombings, one should ask what exactly Britain would have done differently to attack Germany after they declared war. If the British were going to have to bomb Germany then what exactly is immoral about Germany bombing Britain? Did the British expect no conflict? Why not surrender after the fall of Poland? Why should Germany have to fight a war that Britain declared in such a way as to avoid stepping on eggshells around Britain and potential civilian casualties?
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference

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