Friday, August 28, 2015

A "Radical" New Way to See Hitler?

I found it in the Afterword to the Updated Edition of Ron Rosenbaum's Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origin of His Evil. In the Afterword, Rosenbaum mentions an essay by Sir Richard Evans about Hitler's war aims that appeared in the December 2013 issue of The New York Review of Books. The essay contended that, for Hitler, WW2 "was a racial war in which the extermination of six million European Jews...was a paramount war aim." Rosenbaum comments:
"A racial war": In other words, what the late Lucy Dawidowicz called "the war against the Jews" (in her book of that title) was of greater importance to Hitler than the war against the Allies. That was "what the war was really about." And that, according to Evans, more than anything was why Germany lost the war.
But did he really? Lose the war, I mean? Says Rosenbaum:
There is one respect in which I would take Evans's characterization further. A point that Lucy Dawidowicz makes...: Hitler didn't lose the war. Not the war Evans, I'd say persuasively, argues was the most important to him: the racial war. He won that war. Six million to one. Yes, he committed suicide at the end. (And, yes, 50 million others lost their lives so he could win the part of the war he cared about most. Collateral damage.)
What follows it the part where Rosenbaum suggests a "radical" new approach to viewing Hitler:
Thinking about that suicide now, in light of 9/11 and the subsequent exaltations of suicide bombing on messianic, theological grounds, does in fact offer a radical new way to think of Hitler. In retrospect at least, it's tempting to argue that Hitler was, if not the first, then by far history's greatest single suicide bomber. He blew up Europe to kill the Jews in it, even if it meant killing himself and tens of millions of others in the end.
Yes, that does sound "radical." Until, that is, you recall that Hitler laid it all out in a book called Mein Kampf, which, in Arabic translates as My Jihad.

Update: There's no need to see the Grandiose Ayatollah in a "radical" new way. He's laid his cards (and his "Kampf") on the table for all to see.

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