Was Hitler Left Wing?

Was Hitler left wing and were the Nazis Fascists?

When I was taught history at school, I vaguely remember that Hitler was most definitely right wing. Now I know that the party Hitler first joined was the popular German Social Democrat Party, which was then renamed the National Socialist German Workers Party, or the Nazi Party, which shifted the balance from Socialist to Nationalist. The appeal in the first instance was most definitely to the workers and the unions, but Hitler engineered the split eventually from the GSD socialists because he abhorred socialism and communism.

The Nazis, in the end betrayed the workers, and Germany.

“Stripped of their romantic trimmings, all Hitler’s ideas can be reduced to a simple claim for power which recognizes only one relationship, that of domination, and only one argument, that of force.”

The Nazi party was always referred to as Fascist in nature; although I appreciate the term correctly describes the party founded by Mussolini which has always in the past been firmly extreme right wing.

Since I left school and became more interested in political theories, I’m of the opinion that the extreme left, that is Communism, and the extreme right, Fascism, have rather more similarities than differences. I’m not sure that changing the terms of reference with which we were familiar at one time is a cynical exercise by the far right to distance itself from the pejorative accusations of Fascism, or is all such terminology becoming nonsensical meaningless jargon.

And what about the term liberal, which is now used pejoratively to mean anything but! Is it all a sort of reverse Political Correctness?

It is most certainly confusing.

56 thoughts on “Was Hitler Left Wing?”

  1. Ara, I think for some time, there has been a tendency amongst ‘educationalists’ to describe ‘bad people’ as right wing and ‘good people’ as left wing. For example, the BNP is described by Guardianistas as being right wing, though conservatives insist its philosophy is decidedly left wing. It is all very confusing.

    As for the word ‘fascism’, the idea is not entirely original. ‘E pluribius unum’ as Americans would say!

  2. Hi Sipu.

    I don’t know if it is “educationalists” who are redefining all this, when I once thought it was fairly clear-cut and we all knew what we were talking about.

    It’s worse that the Ministry of Truth. 🙂

    We all end up writing two paragraphs to define our terms before we even open our mouths!

    PS. I think the BNP are right wing.

  3. Ara and Sipu: In my distant youf I was told that fascii (sp) were the bundles of sticks wrapped around the Roman axe (SPQR and all that) and had strength only because of their unity, a very left wing concept to my immature brain.

  4. Fascism and socialism are really two sides of the same coin. The primary differences are that socialism tends to be more internationalist and fascism more nationalistic. That said, Nazism is essentially a hybrid between the two. It had all the hyper-nationalism of fascism with the social welfare state of socialism.
    If one was in the “right” ethnic group one would have a very comfortable life guaranteed by the state.
    Argentina’s peronist experiment was eerily similar to Nazism, though not quite as expansionary.

  5. “E Pluribus Unum” was the motto proposed for the first Great Seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. A latin phrase meaning “One from many,” the phrase offered a strong statement of the American determination to form a single nation from a collection of states.

    Does that mean Johnny, Benny and Tommy, were left wing little blighters despite their endorsement of slavery?

    This is how is how I see it. Since the state pays for education, the majority of teachers are its employees. Almost by definition, state employees tend to be more left wing than those in the private sector. It is logical to conclude that left wing people tend to think less of those who are right wing and vice versa. It is equally logical to conclude that people will associate negative characteristics with those they despise. Since teachers despise racists, soccer hooligans, rapists, thieves, skin-heads etc, etc, they associate them with being right wing. Children, educated in the state system are thus brought up to believe that all bad people are right wing.

    In fact, the BNP actually has more to do with the left than the right. Having racist policies does not make it right wing. That is just the tag given to it by the left.

  6. Low Wattage :

    Ara: He was certainly left handed. :)

    LW, good evening.

    As a lifelong and proud sinistral, what is your hard evidence for this monstrous slur on us cack-handers?

    I know that google will throw this assertion up but it’s not the majority assertion and, as we all know, google can throw up anything if you search long enough. Most evidence that I have found tonight seems to suggest that Hitler wrote with his right hand and that it was his preferred hand.

    He comes, of course, from an era when we can not tell whether that was a result of nature or enforced nurture but he certainly does not seem to have displayed any of the speech defects which often afflicted true lefties who were forced to act with the ‘wrong’ side of their brains in the bad old days.

    Ara, good evening. No and he was not right wing either. He was an extreme nationalist and a seriously flawed megalomaniac. A bit like Salmond, when I think about it.

    In my opinion.

  7. I’ll go with chris on this, but rather than two sided of one coin I prefer the metaphor of a circle, such as a frieze on an urn where the two meet and the design is integrated, not in discrete panels.
    Re the ‘right’ ethnic group. Surely one of the reasons why the population was quite happy to see the Jews persecuted was that the Jews really did take advantage of them? Times were pretty grim in Germany in the 20s. Most second hand dealers, pawn shops and traders were Jews and were known to charge usurious rates to the working classes. Jews always did have a different set of rules for dealing with the gentiles than they did amongst themselves, exactly like the muslims today. One of the most important reasons why such immigrants do not settle properly and integrate and why they stir up such hatred in the native populations.
    Interestingly it is all happening again all over Europe.
    I have always thought that Hitler would never really have got away with the whole scenario unless he had had the tacit consent of the German people.
    The continual use of the pejorative ‘right wing’ label is a scare tactic by the liberal media to describe the peasants under financial pressure who would rather have their own countries back to themselves and less parasites. It is all very well for the comfortable middle classes to deplore such but when they are hurting too it will be a different matter. As it was by the 30s in Germany.
    Forget the labels, look at the conditions that promulgate such behaviour again and again. It may be atavistic, but humanity spent several million years in tight tribal groups, such behaviour is not that easily shed, it is integral in our DNA. When times are hard we withdraw into tighter and tighter groups. (I might add that some of us have never left such behaviour, ie Wales!)

  8. Hi Christopher.

    I think you are right about socialism being more international, although it depends. If you agree with Communism being the end result in a classic Marxist theory, then socialism is either just stage, or it has evolved into a political theory in its own right. It can be democratic which communism is not, or perhaps it just hasn’t ever reached beyond the stage of a completed stage when the true proletariat have gained power.

    I certainly think that the fascism and Nazism strongly supported the concept of racial purity and Lebensraum was an expansionist policy.

  9. Thanks Sipu.
    Regarding your comment #8
    I see where you are coming from. I think one of the problems with all this is the polarisation of views, and the gap seems to be widening. I’m sure there are a great many who may define themselves perhaps as centrist who don’t see issues quite so simply. Political system change, and perhaps looking back on these developments, it is quite difficult to slot them into convenient left and right definitons.

  10. Evening, John.

    Regarding your #9

    Yes, he was certainly as you describe him, and I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion, that although I tend to associate extreme nationalism with Fascism, Hitler doesn’t conveniently slot into either left or right.

  11. Araminta: Communism was often employed in some countries for nationalistic purposes.
    Vietnam, China, and some former Portuguese colonies in Africa among them.

    There is always theory and practise. Communism is simply not viable in the real world.
    Within 20 years that became obvious as the USSR was not living up to its promises.
    In fact, the closest thing to “true communism” that the world ever saw was practised by
    the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, at the expense of killing 25pc of the population.
    Hence, a sort of Social Democracy was adapted for use in the most developed economies.

    I’m not sure you understood my point about expansionism. Nazism was completely obsessed
    with it, Hitler was committed to it. Italy and Spain were also interested in expansionism.
    Spain came quite close, in fact, to invading Portugal several times in the 20th century.
    Peronism, the fascist/socialist hybrid developed by Juan Peron in Argentina was
    not quite as expansionary as Nazism.

  12. I think most intelligent people have recognised for some time now that Communism and Fascism meet each other round the back, as in Christina’s circle theory.

  13. Hello Tina.

    Your comment #10

    I tend to prefer the circle metaphor too.

    England and Europe too has a long history of antisemitism . The Jew have been just about tolerated at times for the reasons you mention. Usury made them prosperous, yes, I believe that usury was as unacceptable to both Christians and Muslims. They were persecuted and expelled from both England and Spain in the thirteenth century (?)and persecuted in most of Christian Europe, from memory.

    It is quite typical that recent immigrants are less tolerated in economic downturns and understandable for nationalistic feelings to come to the fore when there is less to go round. I disagree that the consent of the entire population of Germany tacitly or otherwise was gained for the mass murder of Jews by Hitler.

    Regarding the middle classes, there are usually in favour of preserving the status quo when it works for them, which is a stabilising influence so they are extremely unlikely to start a major social upheaval, unless things are really dire!

  14. Hi Sheona.

    Indeed, but when I tried to explain this Elsewhere shortly after I joined, it was met with fierce opposition.Tina may remember, she was rather inclined to my point of view on that occasion.

    It just goes to show how difficult it is to slot things into convenient labels, and how we still persist in doing so. It’s more for convenience sake that any thing else, but it helps if we all in agreement as to the definitions which is not always the case.

  15. Thanks Christopher. I did understand, but my reply to you perhaps not as clear as I would have wished.
    Yes, I agree with what you say about expansionism.

  16. JM@9: I did not look it up, it is something I have always known. Now I know it is not true. My apologies and my deepest condolences concerning your handicap. I still possess my late wife’s lefthanded dressmaking scissors, they are superficially identical to those that work.

  17. Low Wattage :

    JM@9: I did not look it up, it is something I have always known. Now I know it is not true. My apologies and my deepest condolences concerning your handicap. I still possess my late wife’s lefthanded dressmaking scissors, they are superficially identical to those that work.

    LW, #19, a handsome apology for which I thank you.

    When I was about 13, my mother went off to London to visit Big Sis who was doing the job that Maggie Thatcher used to do before she went into politics.

    They found this left-handed shop so Mum brought me back an LH can opener (which I could not use because I had learnt to use ‘normal’ can openers the wrong round); a pair of LH scissors (failed for the same reason) and a pack of LH cards which were rubbish because I fanned them backhanded as well. To be fair, I would have been happier if she had brought me back a lousy tee shirt,instead but it’s the thought that counted.

    In sum. I’ve learnt to cope in your dextral world and it’s no handicap, I assure you. I enjoy being right-brained.

  18. Araminta – The ‘circle’ theory was first explained to me at an early age as a ring with a small segment cut out. At one extreme of the resultant broken ring lay genius; at the other, madness with every form of human endeavour in between.


  19. I came to the conclusion some years ago that there little difference between extreme ‘left’ or extreme ‘right’.

    I’m inclined to Christina’s circular theory – the left marches down the road bearing a banner of ‘For the Good of the People’ and the right go round the other way waving a flag ‘For the Good of the Country’… at the end of the day both sides are intolerant and are extremely dangerous to any form of ‘civilised’ society.

    Since both policies tend to ignore the rights of the individual – I doubt it makes any difference to those millions who suffer under such extremist governments whether they have been repressed and murdered for one set of ‘ideals’ or another.

    For those who say that the Nazis could not have carried out their horrendous program without the support of a large number of German citizens, might I suggest you read “Hitler’s Willing Executioners’.

  20. Just at the moment I am struggling with a lack of confidence in my memory, and a lack of confidence in my ability to express myself clearly – which rather explains why I haven’t appeared on the Chariot beyond one post and the occasional ‘Like’.
    But this post really gave me problems, for I realized that I only know ‘Nazism’, ‘fascism’, ‘liberal’, ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’ as convenient descriptive words tied to such historical icons as Hitler, Mussolini, Jeremy Thorpe, Attila and Lenin, and didn’t have a clue about their deeper meaning.

    So I went Googling – and I learnt much.

    Hitler was, apparently, adamant that Nazism was not right-wing, nor was it left-wing; he was highly critical of both. What it was, he insisted, was an example of Syncretic Politics; not left, not right and not centre, but a mixture of bits and pieces from all over, mixed and melded into a different way of looking at things. There’s load on the web about Syncretism. Oops – I’d never heard of it before! 😳

    So my answers to Araminta’s two opening questions are “no” and “no”.
    I shall now go silent again, for a while. 😀

  21. Boadicea: I’ve known many Germans who were alive at that time. The scale of the atrocities, over 11 million dead, mostly within 5 years, was too much for there not to have been a lot of people taking part. My point of contention with Goldhagen, along with many other Holocaust scholars, is that there is an almost exclusive focus on Jewish victims. The Jews constituted by far the biggest group of victims, 6 million, but there were many others.

    Moreover, many of those who partook in the atrocities were not Germans. Hitler didn’t want too many death camps on German soil. He considered that sacred and preferred to do it elsewhere, Poland especially. Nor were Germans uniquely anti-Semitic. There was a strong vein of anti-Semitism in Germany, but it existed as strongly elsewhere. Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Latvian, French, Austrian, etc Jews were also quickly handed over and many citizens from those countries took part — willingly — in the atrocities.

    CO: the Jews were money lenders and bankers because they had little other choice for most of their history. Literate and numerate, they were inevitably going to be more successful than the illiterate and innumerate Christian masses around them. They were ghettoised early on and prevented from taking virtually any other position in society that didn’t deal with finance, be it banking or mercantile activities. (The most notable exception is farming)
    Did they profit?
    Yes, of course. They had to survive somehow and, as it was virtually impossible to get money elsewhere, they would naturally make a lot of money as so many people came to them.
    The sad bit is that the Catholic church was equally guilty.

  22. sheona :

    I think most intelligent people have recognised for some time now that Communism and Fascism meet each other round the back, as in Christina’s circle theory.

    Yes, the circle has extremism at one pole, liberalism at the other. Go left or right, it matters not!

  23. Bearsy, I think the circle I describe in #25 might support your findings. A totalitarian ruler doesn’t use a text book but chooses convenient policies to preserve his regime.

  24. Christopher

    I, too, have a problem with the overwhelming focus on Jewish victims with ‘all the rest’ (a mere 5 million or so!) being treated as a far lesser problem. But, I suspect that Goldhagen’s contention that the removal and transportation of Jews could not have been achieved without the compliance of the local population would apply equally to the insane and others who were removed “For the Greater Good’.

    As to anti-Semitism – it was rife throughout Europe, including Britain, and the US… I tend to agree with A.J.P. Taylor who said something along the lines that the horror Europe felt at the Holocaust was partly to do with the fact that anti-Semitism was so pervasive and many recoiled from the fact that a civilised country (like their own) could descend to such evil.

    I am convinced that the reason that so many of my mother’s generation cannot forgive the Germans is that they thought Germany was civilised. They are able to forgive the Japanese – because they never really considered them civilised at all.

    My mother can remember anti-Jewish slogans pained on the walls in Southwark in the late 1920s. My grandmother sent her five daughters out with scrubbing brushes to remove them from the walls of the buildings where they lived.

    I think it is often forgotten that there were many poor illiterate Jews in Germany who had fled Russia, as well as the better off who had been residents, and integrated, into German Society for generations.

  25. Boadicea:

    My grandmother recalls that, when the Jews started disappearing, very
    few people said anything. Many owed the Jews money, sometimes a lot.
    When they disappeared, their debts disappeared with them.
    When poor Jews disappeared few said anything, either. There was a sort of
    “polite segregation”. While people walked passed each other on the street,
    went to the same schools, and shopped in the same shops they tended
    to stick with their co-religionists. Catholics with Catholics, Lutherans with Lutherans,
    and Jews with Jews. When poor and middle class Jews disappeared people noticed it,
    but they did not say much as they often did not have that much to do with them.

    Many Jews had long been either Christianised or Secularised.
    Heinrich Heine and Mark Marx most prominent among them.
    Even those Jews who remained faithful to their religion sought to
    narrow the distance between them and the Christian majority,
    especially during and after the Enlightenment and the secular society
    that emerged.

  26. There is a book called Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts. Worth taking a look at. In it he describes a hypothetical situation involving rioting.

    Imagine you have a crowd of 100 people. Each person has a unique score of 0 to 99. That score represents the number of people who need to influence the individual before he or she will riot. So the person with a score of 0 will instigate a riot. The person with a score of 1 will be influenced by the fact that one other person is rioting and so he will start. The person with a score of 2 will see two people rioting and so he will join in. And so on until all 100 people are rioting.

    Now, imagine in a town, not far away, or perhaps in another country, there is a group of another 100 people. They have almost identical tipping point scores of 0-99. Except, that there is nobody with a score of 3, but two people with a score of 4. The first 3 people start to riot, but since there is nobody with a tipping point of 3, the riot fizzles out.

    Sociologists will ask all sorts of questions about why one group rioted and the other did not. What was it about city A that made it so different from city B. Was it deprived youths, police brutality, unemployment, ethnic dissatisfaction etc? The reality is that the were remarkably similar in all respects.

    There was another experiment carried out which involved thousands of volunteers downloading music from the internet. The people conducting it, compiled a selection of music by relatively unknown musicians. They divided the volunteers into 10 small groups and 10 large groups. The 10 small groups were each given access to the music to listen to and download. Their choices were displayed next to the tracks on each of 10 websites. The ten large groups were then each assigned one and one only of the smaller groups whose preferences and downloads they could see alongside of the tracks on their corresponding website. They could also see what other members of their own larger group were downloading during the course of the experiment. It became very clear that the larger groups were heavily influenced by the choices initially made by their own smaller group and by each other, though there was no collaboration between any of them. At the end of the experiment, there was very wide disparity between the choices of music of each of the groups. Song A might have been far and away the most popular with group 1, but hardly go a look in with group 10.

    I think this sort of study of social behaviour goes a long way to explaining how so many Germans were able to accept the horrors of Nazism. Initially, the vast majority would have been totally horrified that their country could sink to such depths, but as the movement grew and more and more people joined, more and more were persuaded to tolerate and even endorse it. The same idea helps explain apartheid and, if you think about in positive terms, such things as the abolition of slavery, sexual and racial equality, acceptance of homosexuality and so forth.

    Ultimately, behaviour becomes acceptable, or unacceptable to each of us, depending on how many others have gone before. Each of us has a tipping point. They may be very different, like the rioters whose scores ranged from 0 to 99, but very few people are absolutely moral or immoral and if they are, they are probably mentally unhinged.

  27. Sipu, yes. Our moral attitudes are all more or less influenced by our environments and personal circumstances. We can suppress our principles to suit our needs and most of us are not brave enough to make a stand against the majority. I’m not sure that people who do are nuts though.

  28. Sipu: the last of the great Confucian philsophers, Hsun-tzu, wrote brilliant commentaries on human nature.
    He disagreed both with the great Confucian philosophers who came before him (Confucius and Mencius) and the Legalist Han Fei-tzu. The former believed that human nature was inherently good, the latter that human nature was iredeemably bad. According to Hsun-tzu, human nature is inherently selfish.
    With proper ritual and social training, however, human behaviour can be improved and made proper.
    He based his theories on his observations as a court scholar. He supported it by referring to the behaviour of babies. Not yet trained to be good or bad, they cry and demand to be taken care of immediately with no regard for their family members or nurses. When this behaviour is not rectified the child will grow up to be
    self-obsessed and unrestrained. When the behaviour is rectified the child will grow up to be more respectful.
    While there are no universal outcomes, these outcomes are generally the case.

  29. Janus :

    Sipu, yes. Our moral attitudes are all more or less influenced by our environments and personal circumstances. We can suppress our principles to suit our needs and most of us are not brave enough to
    make a stand against the majority. I’m not sure that people who do are nuts though.

    Often they are. Martin Luther was arguably bipolar/manic depressive. His writings alternate between
    some of the most brilliant commentaries ever made and the barely coherent ramblings of a madman. Sometimes people have to be a bit “off” to be willing, able to not only risk their social positions but also carry on past the point of personal ruin.

  30. Janus, I said ‘few people’. I would go further and suggest that in fact nobody is absolutely moral or immoral, so the point is academic.

  31. Christopher, I get your point but were/are Socrates, Gandhi and Mandela nuts too?

  32. Christopher, I would certainly agree that human nature is inherently selfish. I remember the moment in my youth (I had a very sheltered upbringing), when I realised that I was not the only person who felt that way. I was reading Somerset Maugham’s, ‘Of Human Bondage’. The failed artist who befriends Philip in Paris argues that even heroes who risk their lives for others, do so for selfish reasons. The potential shame of being branded a coward is too great. Of course Richard Dawkins pretty much proves the case with his book ‘The Selfish Gene’.

    The question of whether people are good or bad, depends on the definitions of those words and the ultimate goal of human behaviour. If one ascribes an alternative purpose to life other than pure physical survival and that of one’s genes, then behaviour can possibly be described as good or bad. Otherwise, it can only be described as successful or unsuccessful. Morality is either a result of human evolution or it is a divine gift that has purpose beyond the physical world. If it is the former, then how it effects an individual’s actions only matters to the extent of whether or not they help the genes of that individual to survive. If there is a divine being who has a purpose for us, then morality takes on a very different function. I don’t think one can have it both ways. If there is no divine purpose to life then describing people as good or evil is as nonsensical as describing a rock as being good or evil. Of course, even atheists get confused by the idea of morality.

  33. Janus :

    Christopher, I get your point but were/are Socrates, Gandhi and Mandela nuts too?

    Mandela? You must be joking. He is as venal as any man and a terrorist, adulterer and sheep rustler (by his own admission) to boot. I suspect too that Socrates and Gandhi were a long way off being absolutely moral.

  34. Morning, Boadicea.

    Regarding your #22.

    I certainly think it would have been impossible to hide all the activities in the death camps, especially towards to end of the war, but as Christopher pointed out, not all were in Germany. I absolutely agree with you, about regarding the Germans as civilised, so the events were all the more shocking. I just have no idea how many Germans were aware. Haven’t read the book, as you can probably tell my knowledge of modern history is very patchy.

    As Sipu explained in his #29, some of this behaviour can be explained by group dynamics, or more rightly group psychosis.Even in civilised societies the unthinkable becomes acceptable.

    Oops forgot to mention, I absolutely agree with you, to the most of the population there is very little difference in the politics of the totalitarian regime responsible for the oppression!

  35. Hi Bearsy.

    Good to see you and thank you for your contribution.

    I did do some Googling too, and the the volume of contradictory information did little to lessen my confusion, hence this post! Interesting link -thank you!

    Third Way is one way of describing it, or seriously flawed megalomania as per Mr Mackie’s observation above!

  36. Janus :

    Christopher, I get your point but were/are Socrates, Gandhi and Mandela nuts too?

    My knowledge of Greek history is a bit patchy. I know who Socrates is and how/why he died, but little more.
    Gandhi was nuttier than squirrel excreta. I frankly loathe the man. I hold Nehru in great esteem, even Jinnah, but not Gandhi. The man would rather have his wife die than accept life-saving medicine from the British. Yet, when he had a bout of malaria, he quickly ran to the British because he didn’t want to feel bad.
    The more one learns about Gandhi the less fondly one thinks of him.

  37. Sipu: I agree with you about Mandela. As much as I loathe apartheid, the man is not the saint many think he was.

    Araminta: from what I could gather people knew something was wrong, very wrong. People knew
    that a lot of people were disappearing. Few people asked questions. There were some Germans who tried to hide “undesirables”, more than many might think, but most did nothing. Even if they didn’t like it they accepted it. Germans at that time were very obedient to the state, both by culture and by fear of what would happen to them if they raised their voices too much.

  38. Sipu :

    Janus :

    Christopher, I get your point but were/are Socrates, Gandhi and Mandela nuts too?

    Mandela? You must be joking. He is as venal as any man and a terrorist, adulterer and sheep rustler (by his own admission) to boot. I suspect too that Socrates and Gandhi were a long way off being absolutely moral.

    My issue here was not their morality but whether they were/are nuts.


  40. As ever our assessments of people depend on our own prejudices. The Sophists in Athens had to get rid of Socrates because they disliked his ability to expose their illogicality and hypocrisy. Freedom fighters are often accused of madness because their fanaticism doesn’t suit their antagonists, who are probably no less fanatical themselves. This is clearly true of Gandhi and Mandela!



    Aye weel, Manon. Good evening to you.

    I assume that your use of ‘nosotros’ and your surname means that you are of German descent even if you choose to blog in Spanish.

    If you read his book. I think that you will find that he is a wee bit miffed about the fact that he had been born in an area that had been Bavarian but was Austrian by title at the time:-

    ‘In this little town on the Inn, haloed by the memory of a German martyr, a town that was Bavarian by blood but under the rule of the Austrian State, my parents were domiciled towards the end of the last century. My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duties very conscientiously. My mother looked after the household and lovingly devoted herself to the care of her children. From that period I have not retained very much in my memory; because after a few years my father had to leave that frontier town which I had come to love so much and take up a new post farther down the Inn valley, at Passau, therefore actually in Germany itself..’

    He clearly thought of himself as German and made no common cause with the ethnic mix that was the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

  42. Manon

    I don’t know who you are, but I would point out that this is an English speaking site, where we do not use capitals (which denote shouting at our audience). If you wish to comment further here would you please write in English and use the Upper and lower case letters.

  43. Sipu, Hitler and his followers were very clever about wiggling their way into power in Germany. They made the German people feel better about themselves, created new jobs (even if they were building motorways). People originally thought Hitler was a good thing, but once the Nazis had wormed their way in, nasty things started to happen and many Germans were too caught up to do anything. The Versailles treaty had dented German pride and Hitler restored it. Hans Fallada’s books show clearly that life in Germany was like life under communism. If you were a party member, everything was easy.

    Bearsy, I’d never heard of this “syncretic”. Thanks for the info. Take things easy.

  44. Boadicea: before I forget, I remembered something interesting today. US veterans of the Second World War generally hold Germany and German people in high regard. The most common comment one is likely to hear is “in any other situation we’d likely have drunk beer together”. Their counterparts who fought against the Japanese more often than not do not accept the Japanese as truly human and harbour little more than hatred and contempt for Japan and the Japanese.

  45. Janus, what is your point with number 43? You don’t have to be nuts to take a principled stand. You really don’t You should try it some time. (But that assumes… Oh well never mind.)The whole question of mental instability arose because I said that people who were absolutely moral or absolutely immoral were probably unhinged. Just being fairly moral or immoral is quite usual. I suggest the people whose names you mentioned, fall into that range. In any event, the position taken by such characters is often entirely selfish. Principles are frequently in the eye of the beholder. While Zionists might describe the members of Irgun as being principled men, I am sure the families of the victims of the King David Hotel bombing and the Deir Yassin massacre would have an opposing view.

  46. Sipu, once again you become offensive with an adhominem remark: “You should try it some time”. Not acceptable.

  47. Having been away from any internet connection for a while, and having fun in Dorset, I’m now delighted to see some more contributions.

    Thanks to you all, and especially good to see Bearsy back in pretty good form, I would say, despite all that he has undergone recently.

    It’s been an interesting thread, and I’ve learnt a great deal from all your comments.

  48. Sipu :

    Oh Janus, stop being so sensitive and answer the damn question. I thought you were a teacher.

    Oh, Sipu, stop being so offensive. I was a company director for many years, then a teacher in semi-retirement. I hope that helps you, if it has any relevance.

  49. My apologies, a company director who became a teacher. As an aside, I wonder what you think my reaction was and should have been on learning that information; I mean considering what it was that prompted you to tell me.

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