Adolf Hitler, In His Own Words
Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) emerged from the devastation of World War One embittered and vengeful. He found kindred spirits in the German Workers' Party whose membership was so small in 1919 they held their meetings in beer halls. After a life of drifting aimlessly and four years of war on the Western Front, Hitler had found his niche. He became their leader and soon the party's name was changed to the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), or “Nazi” Party, shortened from the German pronunciation of “Nationalsozialistische”. In the cauldron of chaos, revolution and desperation in 1920s Germany, the party flourished, but so did many such revolutionary parties. What stood the Nazi's apart was Hitler's almost intuitive understanding of the darkest side of human nature and his absolute ruthlessness when implementing his ideas. Under his leadership the Nazi Party eventually seized power in Germany allowing him to enact his megalomaniac fantasies and plunging the world into war.
His quotations regarding propaganda show his understanding that lies are paramount, that truth must not stand in the way of getting the desired results and that the masses can be swayed by simplistic repetitions of even the biggest lies:
- “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
- “As soon as by one's own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one's own right is laid.”
- “By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
- “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
- “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
On Leadership and Politics
His quotations regarding leadership and politics show he considered truth an obstacle and compassion a great weakness. He believed that the strong had the right to govern the weak and that, to fight it, other nations would have to adopt the very methods they were fighting against:
“How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.”
“It is not truth that matters, but victory.”
“The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”
“The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ”
"Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction."
"Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future."
"Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice."
Whether or not Hitler actually considered himself a religious man, he knew religion was a powerful force and could be used for his own ends:
“As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.
“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”
“Who says I am not under the special protection of God?”
Hitler was a Human Being
Hitler understood that totalitarianism thrived on lies and secrecy, that greed and ignorance were its best friends and an informed electorate armed with the truth its greatest obstacle during its formative stages.
Many people all over the world think of Hitler as evil incarnate and, as such, he has become almost synonymous with the devil. But such a comparison diminishes the evil he did. If Hitler is thought of as almost supernatural in his capacity to do evil, that lets humanity off the hook. The critical thing to remember is that Hitler was a human being and, therefore, responsible for his actions. Those actions should not be attributed to mystical, mythical or supernatural powers. The question of his sanity is as moot as it is irrelevant. He was a ruthless man who knew how to control and manipulate people and millions perished because of his actions. He is dead, but his methods can and are still being used by other human beings.
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