Hitler not such a monster after all?

Photograph of Adolf Hitler in a modern fashion styleWhat do you think of Daniel Eatock’s “modern” version of Adolf Hitler (pictured)? He actually looks quite striking, does he not? Follow the link and you’ll see a similar treatment of Winston Churchill too.

Whenever we see Hitler on TV, he’s rendered in slow motion and we hear the droning, threatening music. The message is extremely unsubtle: This Man Is A Monster.

I think it’s dangerous to depict Hitler that way.

Yes, of course Hitler was a monster. But if we ever need to deal with another charismatic, psychotic, genocidal maniac there won’t be some invisible orchestra playing the theme from Jaws so we can spot him. We’ll have to figure it out for ourselves.

That’ll be tough. Just as Hitler and his mates used the best media technology and techniques of their age to craft their public image, any new Hitler-esque politician will do the same. Their PR agency will craft an image we can relate to. If they’re a Rising Star of politics, the magazines will commission photo shoots — and it’ll all look something like this photo.

Remember, Hitler was Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938. In 1942 it was Joseph Stalin. History has since decided they were probably not the best of people.

(In Time‘s defence, I should point out that their Person of the Year, as they call it now, is for the man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Certainly Hitler influenced the events of 1938!)

While Hitler did personally order one of the greatest genocides in history, he was also legally elected Chancellor of Germany by ordinary people who, presumably, were not monsters. As I said in a previous post:

It’s easy to forget that Hitler was head of the National Socialist Party from 1921, fully 12 years before he became Chancellor in 1933. And it was another 6 years before WWII officially kicked off with the invasion of Poland…

My guess is that for the vast majority of people the rise of Hitler had very little impact on day-to-day life — just as today the distant wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have virtually no discernible impact on my life in Sydney. Nor do the many minor changes to our laws which increase the powers of central government without any balancing increases in our own ability to hold that government accountable.

In the summer of 1932, a few politically-aware people sitting in sunny cafés might have discussed that odd Mr Hitler’s failed run for the presidency, but I doubt anyone would have seen it as heralding global war.

Sixty years on from WWII, we know the symbols of storm troopers and swastikas mean “bad”. I suppose that’s why I keep banging on about human rights. We won’t know what the new symbols of evil will be until it’s too late. We need to be alert to the actions, and nip the problem in the bud.

[Hat tip to Memex 1.1. And yes, the title of the article is link bait. Watch them swarm…]

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9 comments

  1. Quatrefoil’s avatar

    Very, very well put.

    I remember watching an interview with David Oldfield of One Nation some time ago, and thinking that he was suave, well spoken, charismatic, sophisticated and charming – and mad as a cut snake. It occured to me at the time that that’s probably exactly how someone like Hitler had managed to get the popular support he did, and that it was time to stop One Nation before we went down the same path again. I think that we were quite lucky that it was the politically naive Hanson and not Oldfield leading that party, but in the end the Howard government was willing to do their dirty work under the guise of a less radical conservatism. And now that we appear to have a more reasonable government, it is no time to let our guard down.

  2. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @Quatrefoil: Thank you. David Oldfield is exactly the sort of example that fits, yes. Another example is the fictional Michael Rimmer in the 1970 Peter Cook film The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer. I’m pleased to see from that Wikepedia article that the film has finally been released on DVD.

  3. Jake’s avatar

    I stopped reading at “Yes, of course Hitler was a monster.”, shortly after nearly stopping after seeing that homo-errotic, demeaning photo-shopped picture. You’re the same as the Jews who tell us he was ‘evil incarnate’, made lampshades out of Jew corpses and was a perverse child prositute and later drug addict who was obsessed with feces. Lies lies lies.

    Those who lie are worse than the defamatory picture they paint of great men; and worse than the bad men who they depict as great.

    Manipulators, cancer of humanity, permitted by their hateful religion to lie in order to acquire a superabundance of power and preponderance over their goyim “cattle”.

  4. Bob Fairlane’s avatar

    I think a couple years ago Time’s “man of the year” was The Illegal Alien. Adolf Hitler defended his country in 2 wars, and won his faithful by defending the right of Germans to live without Jewish interference and Communist despotism.

  5. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    Why on earth has this post attracted two comments tonight, within 45 minutes of each other, when it was written nearly four years ago?

    @Jake: I’ll leave your comment about the image being homoerotic pass, since tastes vary. I don’t find the image the least bit erotic myself. It’s just a man standing in a neutral pose. But if you find it erotic that’s your business. Each to their own.

    What intrigues me more is that you find the image “demeaning”. How? It’s just Hitler dressed in different clothes — clothes of quite neutral fashionability.

    @Bob Fairlane: Here’s a list of every TIME Person of the Year, since you’d rather “think” things are true rather than look them up. I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make.

  6. Jake’s avatar

    His hair is photoshopped slightly and the body isn’t his (if it is kudos on finding a picture of him dressed like that and underweight), to make him something he was not – nay, in ANY context – is demeaning, in my opinion.

    Did the NSDAP have control of German media? Of course, and why shouldn’t they have, til then it had insidiously fallen into the clutches of a foreign body that used it for their own selfish aims, to subversively spite the Fatherland into an uprooted, folk-less, cosmopolitan, subjugated state of workerbees. I read a great comment on Youtube yesterday concerning NS Germany & Hitler I’m going to post now.

    “Placing Jews in camps because they declared war on Germany ( March 24, 1933 ) was kindness. If Stalin had run Germany on March 24, 1933, he would have wiped out every Jew in 6 months with one bullet each. Hitler was exceedingly respectful and patient. Jews as well as Catholic died inthe camps from Typhus, but that WAS not a holocaust. The Jews were open traitors, and Hitler had a duty to protect 70,000,000 non Jews in Germany.”

  7. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @Jake: “Cosmopolitan… Belonging to all parts of the world; not limited to one part of the social, political, commercial, or intellectual world… Free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.” So says the Macquarie Dictionary.

    Cosmpolitan is a bad thing? Huh? You want to limit yourself to one tiny part of the world’s possibilities?

    What are you afraid of, Jake? Why does a world of “cosmopolitan” possibilities scare you? Did something happen to you?

  8. Jake 2.0’s avatar

    One can have Universal / Cosmic values and mores without being pro-cosmopolitan in the political, Marxist sense. Divide is natural in all facets of Nature and Life. Although every living creature has its intrinsic place in the universe, nothing’s equal – universal balance exists in the struggle to surpass – not to ‘make equal’, and that humans have defied this and deny the weeding out of man’s weak in favor of carrying the dead weight of billions, is indicative of the end stages of this Dark Age in which we live. A critical change MUST occur.

    National Socialism is “evil” by present standards because it’s actually honest (albeit the media has frabricated its so called war-crimes and make it dispicable even to noble persons who would otherwise be drawn toward it) therefore abrasive against the degenerate morals that have accumulated in the genetic fabric of the masses – the most degenerate lot of which is empowered by a Jewish elite, as the Jews’ emphasis on “equal rights” and anti-aristocratic nonsense exalts the weaklings and encourages their over reproduction – via government incentives – and “special interest” influence in this wretched democratic system.

    What good can come of this? What good HAS come of this, aside from momentary materialistic gain, alas, a vain ‘pro’ which is but a ‘con’ in disguise?

  9. JC’s avatar

    Hitler was not a monster. He was a demagog, political leader and statesman, and dictator of Germany. But that did not make him a monster any more than Mussolini, Roosevelt or Stalin should be called monsters.

    It amazes me that many people describe Hitler “literally” as a monster. They are dreaming…

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