June 3, 2018
I get what the guy is trying to do.
Germany has a very long history, and Hitler was a very small part of it.
The co-leader of a German far-right nationalist party is under scrutiny after dismissing the Nazi era as a “speck of bird poop” in the nation’s long history.
Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told the party’s youth movement Saturday that Germans must take responsibility for the 12 years of rule by Adolf Hitler, but claimed it’s only a small part in Germany’s history.
“Hitler and the Nazis are just a speck of bird poop in more than 1,000 years of successful German history,” he said, according to dpa news agency. “Only those who acknowledge the part have the power to shape the future.”
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the secretary general of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, slammed Gauland on Twitter, saying that “50 million victims of war, the Holocaust and total war are just bird poop” for Gauland and his party.
The thing about this is… Hitler has already been permanently identified as the defining aspect of German history.
This is repeated constantly, and often in explicit terms – “this is the defining aspect of our history as a people.”
So there just isn’t any way to tiptoe around it, or try to reduce it.
It has to be dealt with head-on.
Ironically (or not), Putin has put forward a model of dealing with this. He says “yes, a lot of the things about the communist era were bad, but it wasn’t all bad, and it is a part of our history that we accept as a part of our history, and though we are not proud of the bad parts, we remain proud of the good parts.”
And let’s be real: in hindsight, Hitler did do some dumb things. He rushed the invasion of Poland, thinking he could take on the entire world at once, and he declared war on the USSR and the USA with the same thinking.
His dumbest move of course was his decision to not gas millions of Jews to death with insecticide in fake shower rooms and turn them into furniture and cleaning products.
The good parts we all know well: he was a genius who brought the country out of moral depravity and economic decay, making it the single most powerful and productive country on the planet, the innovations of which remain a part of the daily lives of Western man. He employed science in the management of society in a way that no one had ever done before, and no one has attempted since.
Furthermore, he was an overwhelmingly powerful personality, which is in itself something to be respected, even if it is not honored.
So the “moderate adult” position for any cuckservative German to take would be: “Hitler, like all great men of history, was a human being, who made mistakes while also accomplishing great things.”
They could say: “look, we’re not Nazis, we’re not necessarily trying to resurrect the Third Reich, but we’re also not babies who believe in a childish narrative of ‘pure and unadulterated evil.'”
That is certainly better than dismissing him as “bird shit.”
But of course, a nuanced, adult perception of Adolf Hitler is not allowed, so even the right-wing has to attack him.
I don’t think that strategy is working or will ever work.
I’m not going to say that a German political party should be openly praising Hitler, necessarily. But as I just said – there is a middle option between outright praise and “bird shit.”
If you’re apologizing, you’re losing, and any German right-wing party who outright attacks Hitler is apologizing.