At a time when it seems impossible not to hear of a new terrorist act or atrocity when watching the nightly evening news, the following seems particularly apt. It came to my attention a few days ago and it is the commentary which accompanies the photo which is of interest. Consider too that the points made relate not only to mass atrocities, they apply equally to individual acts - the child molester, the wife basher and the like can't be picked out in a crowd or walking down the street, they look just like everyone else . . .
(Caution: the item contains some risque language)
Do you understand how scary this picture is
god forbid a real person do real person things he wasnt just a robot who killed people jesus fucking Christ
uh yeah its not like he killed and tortured six million jews or anything
Hold on just a tick. Listen, I’m Jewish, so I’m perfectly capable of understanding that what he did was just…..well, there are no words for it. But let’s not round it up to simply Jews that got killed. It was six million people that died in those camps, not just Jews. Did you know that homosexuals were sent there, too? Yeah, I’m sure you did. They had to wear special little symbols on their clothes. Do you know what it was? It was a pink triangle.
It was six million PEOPLE.
But you let that roll over in your mind for a while and you are going to forever see this man as a monster, but that’s not what he was. He was someone who thought he was truly doing something right for his nation, no matter how shitty he was doing it. Believe me when I say that I don’t like him. I really don’t. My grandfather’s brothers died in those camps, and my grandfather escaped to Spain, then to Mexico. He was lucky.
This is not a monster holding hands with a little girl.
This is Adolf Hitler, a man, holding hands with a little girl.
Yeah. It’s fucking scary. It really is. Do you know why?
It’s because you’re seeing that he wasn’t, in fact, a monster. You’re seeing in this picture that he was a man. He was a man, and that’s really the saddest part of it all.
As a History major who specialises in the history of early modern Europe, I’ve studied a lot of dictators in detail, not just Hitler. The number one mistake anyone could ever make in history is making the assumption that only inhuman monsters are capable of doing terrible things.
Stop dehumanising Hitler just so you can reassure yourself that “normal” humans aren’t capable of doing bad things. Hitler liked children and dogs, he was a vegetarian and he cried like a little boy when his mother died. I’m not saying he was a good, innocent person, but when you stop attributing human characteristics to historical figures like Hitler, it’s how you overlook people just like him in real life, and it’s how people like him end up back in power.
That’s the real truth: Human Beings are scarier than any ‘monsters’ out there because we’re all born blank slates and BECOME our legacy.