The account of Hitler given below is reasonable on the whole but is rather laughable in the way it reveals that none of the authors concerned seem to have actually read "Mein Kampf". They breathlessly reveal that Hitler's conversion to antisemitism did not happen until he was in Vienna in the 20s. Yet that is precisely what Hitler said of himself in "Mein Kampf".
They also seem to find it surprising or hypocritical that he had a brief flirtation with Bavarian Reds in the immediate aftermath of the war. But that should not be remotely surprising. Nazism had much in common with Marxism. Its major difference was in being a more moderate version of Marxism! Hitler rejected the "class war" ideas of Marxism in favour of a war against the Jews but that was the major point of difference.
They also say that Hitler's war service was not in the front lines and imply that it was not therefore dangerous. If so how did he get gassed?
And if they had read "Mein Kampf", they would not conclude "we still haven't answered the question of what turned Hitler into an anti-Semitic idealogue". Hitler offers a perfectly cogent explanation of that in "Mein Kampf" but they make no attempt to discuss it so clearly have not read it. See here for a summary. Whether or not one agrees with Hitler's account of how his own thinking developed, it was surely worth discussing
Incidentally, the fact that Hitler reached only the rank of "Gefreite" (corporal) in WWI was not seen by him as any embarrassment. He in fact put up posters boasting about it in his election campaigns. He saw it as credentialling himself as a plain man of the people
Translation: "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights"
When Nazi Germany took over Austria in March 1938, there was an outburst of not just anti-Semitism but outright sadism against the Jews. They were, among much else, made to scrub the slogans of the previous regime off walls and pavements. Then the expropriations started. An elderly Jewish couple who lost their shop appealed to Hitler in Berlin. Did His Excellency the Chancellor, they wrote, perhaps remember that as a young painter before the war selling his paintings on the corner of the Siebensterngasse, he would when it rained drop in at a certain shop and be given a cup of tea? Could he now see his way to helping the people who had treated him with such kindness? Hitler marked that the letter should be ignored, and the old couple surely went to a death camp.
We owe our knowledge of this fact to a remarkable 1999 book: "Hitler's Vienna" by Brigitte Hamann. Her extensive research revealed that Hitler was not really an anti-Semite until after World War I. What had happened in those crucial wartime years is the question that Thomas Weber now answers in "Hitler's First War." Like Ms. Hamann, he has searched out original documents and found new material. Like her, he fundamentally alters our understanding of one of the most studied figures of the 20th century.
Hitler wrote about his war experiences in "Mein Kampf" (1925), and biographers have generally relied on his account. He put himself across as a soldier-hero: a "runner" carrying messages back and forth through machine-gun fire and artillery, twice decorated with the Iron Cross for bravery, wounded and then, toward the end of the war, blinded by poison gas. He learned of the end of the war at a military hospital in Pasewalk, not far from Berlin, and he wept.
In Hitler's version, the weeping soon turned vindictive against the soft-brained academics, Jews and members of the left who, he alleged, had caused Germany to lose the war. Remaining in the army, he was sent to Bavaria to fight against left-wing revolutionaries. (And yet Mr. Weber has discovered that, briefly at the turn of 1918-19, and unmentioned in "Mein Kampf," Hitler wore a red brassard and supported the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic.) Demobilized, he became an informer for the army's propaganda unit— though whether he volunteered or was coerced because of his short-lived involvement with the Bavarian Soviet Republic, Mr. Weber admits we cannot know—and was sent to monitor a meeting of the obscure German Workers' Party, soon to be re-named National Socialist German Workers' Party. Hitler was deeply impressed by the party's hypernationalism and anti-Semitism and joined within a week of attending his first meeting. He also found that he was a tremendously effective public speaker. The speeches do not translate: What sounds superb in one language can sound plain comic in another. But desperate Germans were soon paying to hear Hitler speak, and, as the party's chief source of revenue, he took over the leadership.
How did the young Hitler—diffident, gauche, without solid political convictions—turn into the fascist demagogue of 1922? There is no simple answer to this question, but "Hitler's First War" debunks some of the standard responses. Biographers have long assumed that the war marked a turning point: the comradeship of the trenches, the common soldier's hatred of the profiteers in the rear and the sense of betrayal with the peace made in 1918. Yet there was the nagging question of why the brave, decorated soldier of "Mein Kampf" was not promoted. Hitler served more or less for the whole of the war and never rose above the rank of corporal, which, given that he undoubtedly had leadership qualities, comes as a considerable surprise.
With some luck and a lot of diligence, Mr. Weber has discovered the missing documents of Hitler's war service, and it is fair to say that very little of Hitler's own account survives the discovery. There were indeed two Iron Crosses, but his regimental runner's job was not necessarily dangerous, and he lived in relative comfort at the regimental headquarters away from the front lines. Ordinary soldiers referred to such men as Etappenschweine ("rear pigs") —all armies have such a word: "cushy number" and "base wallah" are British examples. Officers had to dish out a quota of medals, and if you did not offend them they would just put your name on the list. Hitler was not, it appears, particularly courageous. He was just there. And, as it happens, a Jewish superior officer, Hugo Gutmann, recommended Hitler for his first Iron Cross. He was not thanked for this act in later life—though his fate, emigration to the United States, was greatly preferable to that of the old couple in Vienna.
There also wasn't much comradeship. When Hitler broke surface in politics, he asked his old comrades in the regiment for support and discovered that on the whole they had not liked him one bit. Men who had fought at the front in World War I were, moreover, not at all keen on staging a second war, and extraordinarily few of Hitler's old comrades went along with Nazism. Most supported the Weimar Republic. Mr. Weber's research shows that it's not really possible to connect the brutalization of men in the trenches to the birth of National Socialism.
It is very much to Mr. Weber's credit that he has managed to dig out the details, and we can place his book together with Ms. Hamann's as a triumph of original research in a very stony field. The conclusion that might be drawn is that Hitler was far more of the opportunist than is generally supposed. He made things up as he went along, including his own past. If we still haven't answered the question of what turned Hitler into an anti-Semitic idealogue, at least attention has been shifted to the Bavarian years of 1919-22. Ms. Hamann and Mr. Weber point the way forward for the next scholar's diligent researches.
Some America-hating sponsored by Obama
Obama appointed Jim Leach as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Leach is a RINO with a Master of Arts degree in Soviet politics and a series of Green/Left "achievements" in Federal politics. RINO though he is, it is hard to believe that he authorized the hate below for any other reason than to pander to Obama
In July 2010 the NEH sponsored a workshop for college professors at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. The title of the conference was "History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War." As one of the 25 American scholars chosen to attend the workshop, Professor Penelope Blake anticipated an opportunity to visit hallowed sites such as Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial and the Punchbowl Cemetery and engage with scholars who share her interest in studying this often neglected part of World War II history.
Instead, Professor Blake was treated to the most disturbing experience of her academic career, a conference which she found to be driven by an overt political bias and a blatant anti-American agenda. Professor Blake has forwarded to us the following letter dated September 12, 2010, to Illinois Rep. Donald Manzullo, her congressman, documenting examples of what transpired at the conference. Copies of the letter were also sent to members of the NEH Council and to Leach. Professor Blake writes
Dear Congressman Manzullo:
As one of twenty-five American scholars chosen to participate in the recent National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop, "History and Commemoration: Legacies of the Pacific War in WWII," at the University of Hawaii, East-West Center, I am writing to ask you to vote against approval of 2011 funding for future workshops until the NEH can account for the violation of its stated objective to foster "a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups" (NEH Budget Request, 2011).
In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented.
In both the required preparatory readings for the conference, as well as the scholarly presentations, I found the overriding messages to include the following:
1. The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a "pristine collective memory" of the war. The authors/presenters equate this to Japan's almost total amnesia and denial about its own war atrocities (Fujitani, White, Yoneyama, 9, 23). One presenter specifically wrote about turning down a job offer when he realized that his office would overlook a fleet of U.S. Naval warships, "the symbol of American power and the symbol of our [Hawaiians'] dispossession...I decided they could not pay me enough" (Osorio 5). Later he claimed that electric and oil companies were at the root of WWII, and that the U.S. developed a naval base at Pearl Harbor to ensure that its own coasts would not be attacked (9, 13).
2. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression (one speaker likened the attack to 9-11, saying that the U.S. could be seen as "both victim and aggressor" in both attacks); that American "imperial expansion" forced Japan's hand: "For the Japanese, it was a war to defend their unique culture against Western Imperialism" (Yoneyama 335-336); and the Pearl Harbor attack could be seen as a "pre-emptive strike." (No mention of the main reason for the Pearl Harbor attack: the U.S. had cut off Japan's oil supply in order to stop the wholesale slaughter of Chinese civilians at the hands of the Japanese military.) Another author argued that the Japanese attack was no more "infamous" or "sneaky" than American actions in Korea or Vietnam (Rosenberg 31-32).
3. War memorials, such as the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery (where many WWII dead are buried, including those executed by the Japanese on Wake Island and the beloved American journalist Ernie Pyle), are symbols of military aggression and brutality "that pacify death, sanitize war and enable future wars to be fought" (Ferguson and Turnbull, 1). One author stated that the memorials represent American propaganda, "the right to alter a story" (Camacho 201).
4. The U.S. military has repeatedly committed rapes and other violent crimes throughout its past through the present day. Cited here was the handful of cases of attacks by Marines in Okinawa (Fujitani, et al, 13ff). (What was not cited were the mass-murders, rapes, mutilations of hundreds of thousands of Chinese at the hands of the Japanese throughout the 1930s and 40s. This issue is a perfect example of the numerous instances of assertions made without balance or historical context.) Another author stated that the segregation in place within our military and our "occupation" of Germany after the war was comparable to Nazism ('we were as capable of as much evil as the Germans") even though the author admits, with some incredulity, that he "saw no genuine torture, despite all the [American] arrogance, xenophobia and insensitivity." He attributes American kindness towards conquered Germans to our "wealth and power" which allowed us to "forego the extreme kinds of barbarism" (Davis 586). Another author/presenter compared the temporary relocation camps erected by Americans during the war to Nazi extermination camps (Camacho 206). (This is perhaps the most outrageous, offensive and blatantly false statement I have ever read in a supposedly scholarly work).
5. Those misguided members of the WWII generation on islands like Guam and Saipan who feel gratitude to the Americans for saving them from the Japanese are blinded by propaganda supporting "the image of a compassionate America" or by their own advanced age. One author/presenter questioned whether the Americans had saved anyone from anything (Camacho 177, 209), arguing that the Americans could be seen as easily and justifiably as "conquerors and invaders" (199).
Much more HERE
Race and the 2010 elections
Will the NAACP be celebrating the arrival of two new black faces to the U.S. House of Representatives? Don’t hold your breath. They certainly will not. These two new black congressmen are Republicans.
There’s a powerful message here that should and must be digested. We have arrived in post-racial America but establishment blacks – lodged in the political left – refuse to accept it and are doing all they can to get black citizens to refuse to accept it.
The sobering reality is that the black political establishment doesn’t want Dr. King’s dream. They don’t want an America where people are judged by the content of their character. They want an America that is Democrat and left wing and this is what they promote today under the banner of civil rights.
The campaign by the NAACP and leading black journalists – all liberals – to paint the Tea Party movement, the push back against government growth and intrusiveness over the last two years, as motivated by racism is shameful.
Shortly before the elections, the NAACP produced a tome called “Tea Party Nationalism,” alleging racist connections to the Tea Party movement. The day before the elections, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote a column suggesting that the Tea Party movement was a well funded racist pushback against President Obama which started the day of his inauguration.
Tim Scott and Allen West, our new black Republican congressmen, are both aggressive and unapologetic voices for everything the Tea Party movement stands for. They were just elected in districts that are overwhelmingly white. Both also defeated white Republican opponents in their primaries.
Scott’s district is Republican. But West’s is not. Florida’s 22nd district that just elected West voted for Barack Obama in 2008, John Kerry in 2004, and Al Gore in 2000. I guess these white Democrats and Independents didn’t get the racism memo.
The political tsunami, washing in a wave of new Republicans to Washington, was caused by a major shift in the vote of political independents, overwhelmingly white, and who largely voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Who turned on the light after the presidential election that caused these white voters to discover that the man they voted for, to their horror according to the NAACP and Eugene Robinson, is black?
Tim Scott and Allen West won their races. But there were 14 blacks total running as Republicans in congressional races around the country, including me. We hate racism because it denies that what is in a person’s mind and heart has nothing to do with the color of their skin. Almost everyone in America today, Thank God, appreciates this truth. When will the left wing black establishment wake up to it?
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)