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> Nazi Evil
saudadesdefrancesinhas
Posted: October 18, 2006 09:00 pm
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(Victor: I noticed that the Nazi morality thread has been closed. I was just about to make a post there relating to some of the points originally brought up at the start of it, and some of the things mentioned in the later ones. I have just put it in a new topic, please move or delete the post if you think necessary.)


I noticed that in the Nazi Morality thread, there were a few references to the Nazis being 'evil'.

I would think that the Nazis do merit being called 'evil'. This is mainly because the policies of the Nazi leaders went out of the way to deliberately inflict unnecessary and pointless suffering, on their own as much as other Nation's populations.

It is true that in most European countries in the first half of the 20th Century many people held similar ideas to the Nazis. Belief in Eugenics, racist ideas, social engineering etc. was not unique to Germany. Nor was declaring war against/invading other countries and attempting to seize pieces of neighbouring Nations.

But, most other Nations and their leaders were far more balanced and limited in the scope they gave to any of these things.

The peculiarity of the Nazis is that many extremely negative tendencies and sets of ideas were promoted or allowed to dominate German national life, German foreign policy etc.

Besides promoting War and rearmament with grandiose and arrogant designs on neighbouring countries, the Nazis also established a narrow minded racist totalitarian state, which allowed corruption and abuse to flourish, hidden and protected by censorship and state repression. Instead of learning from World War One and the devastation it caused, the response of Hitler and the Germans who supported him was to try the whole thing again, with even more far reaching and unacceptable war aims than Hindenburg and Ludendorf could have dreamt up.

Quibbling about who exactly declared war on whom in 1939 is not necessary when Hitler made his own imperalistic ideas clear on multiple occasions in the years before the outbreak of war, and constantly contrived from the time of his election to bring another European war about.

Up until World War Two itself however, the results of the Nazi domination of German life were not clear. Subsequently, the perverse 'Fuhrer Principle', exaltation of arbitrary power, bullying ignorant authority and racist ideology led to the succession of unecessary crimes against humanity that led to the holocaust.

This is what makes many of the Nazi crimes different to things like the Dresden bombing, the American atomic bombs etc. About those things, it is possible to argue about whether there was a clear intention to inflict unnecessary suffering. The German bombing of London, destruction of Warsaw etc. are things that might be compared with Dresden etc. when the discussion is about whether such actions were proportionate or were not to some extent vindictive etc.

The crimes that ensured the Nazis earned a place in history as unusually and spectacularly evil were the deliberately contrived murder and destruction of 'inferior' races, and the waging of aggressive war for the sole purpose of allowing the Germans who supported them to dominate and exploit all other Nations. If the Nazis had been more moderate in their goals and had refrained from deliberately setting out to kill and enslave vast numbers of Jewish and Slavic people, probably they would not have atracted such infamy in the eyes of the rest of the world.

To come back to the point I made originally about the Nazis being all immoral the tendencies of the 'Western World' taken to extremes, I was thinking in terms of the way they seemed to represent an alliance of the most repressive (and regressive?) elements and ideas on the European Right, from the believers in Eugenics, racists, bigotted warmongering ultra-Nationalists, unscrupulous capitalist profiteers, big landowners and big business, corrupt but ambitious bourgeois civil servants and so on.

And, as far as the point about Nazi attitudes to Homosexuality goes, I think it is really more proof of their immorality rather than anything else.
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New Connaught Ranger
Posted: October 19, 2006 08:17 am
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Hallo saudadesdefrancesinhas,

I can only agree with this fair & balanced post.

Kevin in Deva :D
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Imperialist
Posted: October 19, 2006 08:44 am
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Yes, the nazis were an evil pagan threat to christian civilisation, the germans in WWI were barbarian huns, the USSR -former allies- became the "red tide" and the evil empire, the mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan -former proxies- became the evil islamofascists, in the future the chinese will most likely become the evil chinese horde. The argument can be reversed, as these guys had their own fights with the evil british, american imperialists, etc. etc. So what exactly is good and evil in politics? A propaganda tool. Politics is not about good or evil it is about power and interests.
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sid guttridge
Posted: October 19, 2006 09:15 am
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Hi Imp,

I am no believer in absolutes of good and/or evil.

However, I do recognise shades of better or worse. These certainly inform politics and all other forms of human interaction.

For example, WWII was fought between the better and the worse, not the wholly good or bad. What is more, not all the better or worse were necessarily in one camp.

If, for example, one cannot recognise the difference between the actions of the Nazis or Soviets and those of their Western liberal contemporaries, one has lost one's moral compass or are totally amoral in the first place.

Cheers,

Sid.
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saudadesdefrancesinhas
Posted: October 19, 2006 11:13 am
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ October 19, 2006 08:44 am)
Yes, the nazis were an evil pagan threat to christian civilisation, the germans in WWI were barbarian huns, the USSR -former allies- became the "red tide" and the evil empire, the mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan -former proxies- became the evil islamofascists, in the future the chinese will most likely become the evil chinese horde. The argument can be reversed, as these guys had their own fights with the evil british, american imperialists, etc. etc. So what exactly is good and evil in politics? A propaganda tool. Politics is not about good or evil it is about power and interests.

Hi Imperialist,

I think I was trying to sketch out on what basis you could make the argument that the Nazis were objectively and unusually 'evil'.

This has nothing to do with wartime propaganda of any kind. To make this assessment the best sources are Hitler and the other Nazis own writing and actions. None of this was available to use as propaganda during the war, and mostly has come out decades afterwards.

I was also not speaking about Good and Evil in a political sense, but as something more absolute. Placing the Nazis with that list of the other enemies of the West is wrong and misleading, because the scale of Nazi crimes is entirely different to many of them. That is an important reason why I think the Nazi mentality justifies being described as evil, not as propaganda but as a moral judgement.

Reading your post also gives the impression that the crimes of the Nazi regime were nothing but a propaganda fabrication by the Russians and the Allies.

I think also, that to assume that the Nazis worked according to conventional political values is entirely wrong and misleading. One of the characteristics of the Nazi era is the abandonment of any 'normal'or traditional (in the sense of the framework within which European states were used to conducting and thinking about these areas) attitude to politics and foreign relations in favour of something much more extreme and ideological, and more dependent on the whim and ideas of the Fuhrer.

The whole point of my argument was that even taking into account all the problems of politics and the complexity of international relations etc. the Nazis were still extreme enough in the unecessary suffering their policies and attitudes caused to be called evil. If only as a warning to future generations about adopting similar attitudes to the world...
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Imperialist
Posted: October 19, 2006 01:17 pm
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QUOTE (saudadesdefrancesinhas @ October 19, 2006 11:13 am)
Reading your post also gives the impression that the crimes of the Nazi regime were nothing but a propaganda fabrication by the Russians and the Allies.

No, the crimes were real. The propaganda of the Allies classified them as evil while the nazi propaganda labeled them as part of the fight against evil. The Allies won, so evil was evil. Today the evil deeds of the allies (like the nuclear and non-nuclear bombings) are dismissed as necessary and unavoidable in a righteous fight against evil impersonate. And general morality is unavoidably influenced by the side that wins and writes the history books.

take care
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Suparatu
Posted: October 19, 2006 02:34 pm
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the nazis were not EVIL. they may have been bad... but not evil.
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sid guttridge
Posted: October 19, 2006 03:02 pm
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Hi Imp,

I don't think the Nazis publicised their major crimes at all, even as part of some sort of fight against evil. They hid them from public exposure and comment altogether. This rather argues that they knew their actions transgressed accepted norms of behaviour and were morally unjustifiable, but went ahead with them anyway on the grounds of pure self interest. The Soviet Union had better rhetoric but a similar attitude.

However, all the Western Allied activity you complain of, whether you care to describe it as evil or not, was at worst "hidden in plain sight". Hamburg, Dresden, the A-bombs - all were fully public actions debated openly in comparitively free socities at the time.

Cheers,

Sid.
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saudadesdefrancesinhas
Posted: October 19, 2006 11:26 pm
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ October 19, 2006 01:17 pm)
The Allies won, so evil was evil. Today the evil deeds of the allies (like the nuclear and non-nuclear bombings) are dismissed as necessary and unavoidable in a righteous fight against evil impersonate. And general morality is unavoidably influenced by the side that wins and writes the history books.


This is a convenient distortion, through omission and drawing inappropriate parallels, of the truth.

The judgement about whether Nazism is evil has nothing to do with whether various acts commited by the allies were or were not also evil. Unless you were arguing that certain acts by either side provoked the other to similar extremes.

Drawing a direct parallel between the Nazi state and some of the western allied states (eg. Uk, France, Belgium, Netherlands etc.) and also some of the Third Reich's own allies (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria etc.) is very misleading. This is what you seem to do, by saying that the only basis for singling out the Nazis as specially evil is that they lost the war.

On a very obvious level, this is not the case: quantity, as the crudest measure, would suggest that the number of deaths caused by Nazi actions vastly exceeds in scale all the allied crimes; in Poland alone the Nazis caused 6 million people to die.

But, that is not the only reason. Given that in most nations many of the evil aspects of Nazism also existed, racism, exploitation, imperialism etc. most did not make these central parts of public policy, nor determine to make a conscious effort to spread and intensify such attitudes.

Because the Nazis went out of their way to do so, and did so in such a spectacular and devastating fashion, they earned their ideology and actions a special place in history.

The Second World War did not just happen inevitably, nor like the First, as a result of mutual build up of hostility and suspiscion. Instead, Hitler consistently pursued a course designed to lead to European War throughout the thirties, despite the best efforts of every other country to avoid it. Again, not just concerned with reasserting some level of German power and influence in Europe, the Nazis aimed at total hegemony. From which, incidentally, no other Nation would stand to benefit.

This would be enough to raise earn the Nazi regime some special place in history as pursuing a regressive and tribal agenda, totally unacceptable and impractical in 20th C. Europe.

But then, you have all the other aspects of Nazi policy. A restrictive and abusive totalitarian regime, encouraging disregard for laws and racist and violent attitudes to other nations, and so on. And the idea that such attitudes would actually benefit humanity, and working out a system of values to justify and encourage them.

Most countries, and most political systems didn't go so far in doing these things, nor cause as much destruction.

These are the reasons that Nazism can be condemned as evil, it was at the time by people who knew what as happening and what Nazi rule was giving rise to. Judging these things as evil really has little to do with Allied propaganda. During the war, much of the real evil of the Nazi regime was not recognised or even much known about, and for obvious reasons certain allied Nations, like the USSR, always avoided the truth about the evil of Nazi attitudes, because by condemning them they would be condemning themselves.



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Imperialist
Posted: October 20, 2006 06:08 am
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QUOTE (saudadesdefrancesinhas @ October 19, 2006 11:26 pm)
This is a convenient distortion, through omission and drawing inappropriate parallels, of the truth.

The judgement about whether Nazism is evil has nothing to do with whether various acts commited by the allies were or were not also evil. Unless you were arguing that certain acts by either side provoked the other to similar extremes.

Drawing a direct parallel between the Nazi state and some of the western allied states (eg. Uk, France, Belgium, Netherlands etc.) and also some of the Third Reich's own allies (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria etc.) is very misleading. This is what you seem to do, by saying that the only basis for singling out the Nazis as specially evil is that they lost the war.

I've noticed any other opinion is inappropriate, distorted. If you care to listen to others and not jump to emotionalism, you would understand that I said the nazis committed crimes, but were they to win, those crimes would have been portrayed as necessary crimes in the fight against against evil. THEIR version of evil.

take care
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New Connaught Ranger
Posted: October 20, 2006 09:28 am
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"the nazis were not EVIL. they may have been bad... but not evil."

What else would you expect to hear from a guy who complains in another thread that its unfair that he cant legaly say "heil hitler" & wear a swastika in Romania today!!.

His post is an insult to the memory of the millions of victims of nazi-terror.

And obviously shows where his true sympathys lie, at least now we know him for what he is.

Kevin in Deva.


This post has been edited by Victor on October 20, 2006 04:34 pm
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Suparatu
Posted: October 20, 2006 09:45 am
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QUOTE (New Connaught Ranger @ October 20, 2006 09:28 am)

"the nazis were not EVIL. they may have been bad... but not evil."

What else would you expect to hear from a guy who complains in another thread that its unfair that he cant  legaly say "heil hitler" & wear a swastika in Romania today!!.

His post is an insult to the memory of the millions of victims of nazi-terror.

And obviously shows where his true sympathys lie, at least now we know him for what he is.

Kevin in Deva.

what is your point?

i maintain my position that i think it is wrong to impose people a unique mindset by censorship. even worse, to make a crime out of speaking in some way or another, dressing one way or another , wearing one symbol or another.

the state i live has no right to impose these things on me. even more so when it is NOT the will of the majority, but the will of a minority.

if i want to sing the marseillezze or Hortst Wessel in my home, no law should deny me that as long as i do not harm anyone.

QUOTE
His post is an insult to the memory of the millions of victims of nazi-terror.


well at least i did not offend the millions of victims of communist terror, which were even more. or almost the entire population of american indians decimated by the friendly white men.

what the nazis did in my book is equal to what white people did to the indians. even more so if it would turn out that the numbers of indians killed by the white people would be greater than the one killed by the nazi regime.

if the native american lobby would now be as powerful as the jewish one maybe we would read in the history book that the white leaders were nothing more than criminals, not the father of the nation as they are revered today.

so spare me the self-righteous attitude, you have no customers for that on this forum.
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dead-cat
Posted: October 20, 2006 10:02 am
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QUOTE

what the nazis did in my book is equal to what white people did to the indians. even more so if it would turn out that the numbers of indians killed by the white people would be greater than the one killed by the nazi regime.

not quite. what's unique about the nazis is, that they industrialized the genocide.
it certainly wasn't the nor the first or the last genocide and counting communist purges, maybe not even the most numerous, but certainly (and hopefully bound to remain so) the first and last (so far) industrialized geonicde.

the nazis didn't invent antisemitism. they didn't invent concentration camps. they wern't first to use biological (not sure about chemical tho) means of exterminations, but they were first to implement a well planned industrialized extermination and given enough time they would've succeded.

it's one of the things i'd certainly classify as "evil".

This post has been edited by dead-cat on October 20, 2006 10:03 am
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Suparatu
Posted: October 20, 2006 10:24 am
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ok sure. but from the moral point of view they are equal. and this is what this discussion is all about. not the method used in genocide, but the genocide in itself.


and also, the word "evil" has a religious conotation about it. this is why i do not agree with using the word evil for human actions. cause i imagine evil is worse then genocides.
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Posted: October 20, 2006 10:27 am
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what the nazis did in my book is equal to what white people did to the indians. even more so if it would turn out that the numbers of indians killed by the white people would be greater than the one killed by the nazi regime.

if the native american lobby would now be as powerful as the jewish one maybe we would read in the history book that the white leaders were nothing more than criminals, not the father of the nation as they are revered today.



Every chance he gets he has to refer to the Americans and now the Jews, the post was about the nazi morality or the lack of it!!

Why not go on to refer to the Spanish exterminations of the Mayan and the Inca peoples, these carried out when the civilized world was emerging from the dark ages, the acts also carried out against the Red Indian Native peoples of North America (Canada and the USA) were begun during a period of ignorance of other peoples values and cultures.

And there never was over 6 million + native peoples killed in a planned systematic campain, along the lines of hitler and his minions.)

(However that excuse cannot be used by any means for the Evil inflicted upon the Europeans by the Nazi's or as an excuse by their misguided supporters today.

"the state i live has no right to impose these things on me. even more so when it is NOT the will of the majority, but the will of a minority."


Poor guy, he also thinks the majority of Romanians are oppressed by not having the right to wear swastikas and say heil hitler.

Can he offer any statistics to prove his naive claim with regards the Minority & Majority, when statistics show only a small number of extreme right wing extemist exsist in European countries, and their continuing failure to get a viable polictical platform.

Kevin in Deva.
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