We’re all kind of schizo about Hitler, don’t you think? Our Nazometers are set on high. We see Nazis in anyone and everyone we don’t agree with. Yet at the same time nobody seems to believe that anything like Hitler could really happen again. Not here. Not there.
Recently we’ve had lots of talk about countries walking out on Ahmadinejad at the United Nations because he’s a Holocaust denier. But isn’t this the same UN that essentially ignored the holocaust going on in Darfur. Ahmadinejad should fit right in there. And he does.
Sure, he might hit an awkward moment or two when he says something derogatory about gays at brunch but a few huzzahs of “Death to Israel” and they’ll all be eating out of his hand again at the UN.
And while Ahmadinejad may deny a holocaust which occurred 60 years ago, I’m more worried about those who deny present genocides or think we’ve evolved past worrying about another Hitler rising. I worry that there are those who believe the lessons of Nazi Germany have been learned, internalized, and bear fruit.
Hearing people talk of Hitler and Nazis worries me. They seem to speak of Nazi-ism in a vacuum as if it had no precedent or future. They speak of Hitler as if he were the product of an almost supernatural confluence of circumstances which birthed the embodiment of true evil.
Hitler was evil to be sure. But as far as pure body count he had rivals. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot are just a few of them. In today’s day and age we don’t lack for evil. (See: the unborn)
The plain truth of it is that Hitler was not and is not an anomaly. Churchill was. The world is full of Hitlers. It is Churchill’s we lack.
Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad…the list goes on. All vied for their place in the Evil Hall of Fame.
But somehow other mass murderers just get categorized differently. Do you hear anyone in power talk about the hundreds of millions killed in the name of communism under Mao, Pol Pot, or Stalin. You never hear about those. Where’s the museum erected to the victims of communism? Where’s the movies about them?
We say “never again” while it’s going on around us. Violence is around us everywhere. Government sponsored violence is a regular routine in many parts of the world.
The formula is a large centralized government and an unwillingness to acknowledge the sacredness and God given rights of the individual. Shake well. Results should appear within a decade. Let’s face it. Hitler happens.
And we can keep saying “Never again” like some kind of spell or mantra that wards off Hitlers of the future but Hitlers happen. All the time.