Spider’s Web with CHEELA CHILALA
IN HIS book â€˜The Mind of Adolf Hitler,â€™ Walter Langer says of the German dictator: â€œHe will go down in history as the most worshipped and the most despised man the world has ever known.â€
This, of course, sounds like a contradiction. How can one man be both despised and worshipped at the same time? The statement reflects what I said last week â€“ that it is not just â€œgoodâ€ people who inspire others, but even individuals that have been, or can be, considered villains have inspired others.
Hitler, in short, was both villain and hero â€“ which is why even today his legacy lives on.
There are still thousands of neo-Nazis today, people who espouse and advocate the doctrines that made Hitler a villain.
Born on April 20, 1889, in Austria, and ruled Germany from 1934 to 1945, Hitler had a complex: he rated himself more highly than what he actually was.
This is what he said of himself: â€œI am one of the hardest men Germany has had for decades, perhaps for centuries, equipped with the greatest authority of any German leaderâ€¦but above all, I believe in my success. I believe in it unconditionally.â€
Hitler, as a matter of fact, had a messiah complex, seeing himself as the God-sent messenger who would build Germany into the greatest and most powerful nation on earth.
He was the messiah that could make no mistake. â€œI cannot be mistaken,â€ he once said to Strasser when the latter suggested the Fuhrer could be wrong.
He was obsessed with making history, hence adding in his response to Strasser: â€œWhat I do and say is historical.â€
Hitler was not just obsessed with making history â€“ he developed a dangerous ideology which centred on the superiority of the German people; what he called an Aryan â€œmaster raceâ€ designed and destined to conquer and rule the whole world.
He emphasised the need to preserve the â€œpurityâ€ of the Aryan race.
The doctrine of a superior Aryan race also had its backside: the idea that the non-Aryans were inferior races who were there to serve the master race.
He did not therefore see anything wrong with exterminating or conquering the â€œinferiorâ€ races or nations.
This in part explains why his regime exterminated over 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.
His ultimate plan, in fact, was to eliminate all the Jews. The Nazis had no regard for the Jews, whom they saw as vermin and a danger to the German nation.
It also explains why Hitler did not see a problem with his expansionist military adventures.
Hitler had no regard for the welfare or life of those he considered inferior.
He also started to purge German society of those Germans who were too old, the handicapped, and the mentally disturbed. He wanted a nation of strong people.
He therefore once said, â€œThose who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.â€ This is the man who set out to conquer the world.
But we know that Hitlerâ€™s dream never materialised. After the initial highly successful blitzkrieg through Europe, Hitlerâ€™s military machine was crushed by the Allied Powers.
Seeing no path to victory, Hitler committed suicide on April 30 1945, along with Eva Braun, the girlfriend whom he had married in a small civil ceremony in his Berlin bunker only the previous day. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.
The question is: how could such a man, with such evil schemes, ever inspire anyone? But then he did inspire millions, and still inspires thousands, if not millions.
They may not agree with all his doctrines, but his followers are many.
Who is your inspiration? An agent of good or evil?
Spider’s Web with CHEELA CHILALA