Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Pat Buchanan's Hitler Fantasies
Pat Buchanan has come out with a new book titled "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World is about how Churchill". Aside from the insidious title, Buchanan was on CNN recently and showed his true colors on the topic in the interview, especially within the last minute and a half:
Here is the transcript of Buchanan's ignorance:
BLITZER: Hitler had plans of exterminating the Jews in the '30s, a lot earlier.
BUCHANAN: Wolf, I have not seen any plans of extermination. Hitler went genocidal after the invasion of Russia was broken down in Russia, after he declared war on the United States, and he was looking defeat in the face. It was at that point that the Wannsee Conference was held, Wolf. as you know, that was in January of 1942.
BLITZER: What about all the anti-Semitic laws? Kristalnacht? All those Jews who were rounded up in Germany starting in the 1930s.
BUCHANAN: Look, there's no doubt Hitler was anti-Semitic from the time even before he wrote Mein Kampf. What we're talking about, when you mention the Holocaust, for Heaven's sakes, is genocide. We're not talking about anti-Semitism, there was anti-Semitism in Poland for those years. The Nuremberg Laws were in 1935, they were dreadful. As a consequence half the Jews had left Germany before Kristalnacht, which was in November 1938. Another half fled after that. They were outside Germany when the curtain fell. What Hitler did was a monstrous crime, Wolf. But it was a war crime. Had there been no war there would have been no Holocaust in my judgment.
Buchanan, who claims in the interview he has studied Hitler a great deal, seems to either be purposefully ignoring what History says happened, or he is attempting to re-write history. Hitler DID have plans for the extermination of the Jewish people. In Mein Kampf and other writings of Hitler and those close to him discuss how people such as Jews and Blacks need to be eliminated or subjugated. Hitler's claims about the "superiority" of the Aryan race and his plans were subtle, yet known. It was because of Hitler and his comrades’ speeches and writings that Winston Churchill pushed for war with Germany, to "...save Europe and the Jewish people from a mad man...”
This farce that many Jews "escaped" before the events of Kristalnacht and "another half", as Pat puts it, escaped after that is not part of the historical record. Hitler's Third Reich wouldn't let many of these Jews leave. And where could they go? The US limited the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country during the 1930's. These Jews were not welcome in the surrounding nations of Poland, Italy, and Austria. Stalin's Soviet Union looked down upon having outcasts from other countries coming into his (Stalin's) empire. Anti-Semitism was rampant also in the Middle East and the home of modern day Israel. While some Jews took refuge in Belgium and France, their "safety" was quickly turned into terror when Nazi forces invaded those nations and began rounding up anyone Jewish and anyone who was "allied" with the Jews.
Also, this fable that Hitler "went genocidal after the invasion of Russia was broken down in Russia" suggests that Hitler only committed genocide against the Jewish people because he went "nuts". Buchanan refers to the Wannsee Conference as the point when it was "decided" the implement "The Final Solution". Yet, if we look at the timeline of events, Dachau was created in 1933 and Auschwitz was transformed into a concentration camp in southern Poland in 1939. While the specific numbers are subject to question, we know a minimum of 1 million Jews were killed before the Wannsee Conference in 1942. Also, in 1941 Hitler met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni to discuss the obliteration of Jewish hegemony in Europe and the extension of the Nazi "anti-Jewish program" to the Arab world. Hitler told Al-Husayni:
Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine....Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle....Germany's objective [is]...solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere...
That is just one example that Hitler didn't walk into the Wannsee Conference in January of 1942 and during the conference say "Hey, let’s institute the Final Solution!" Historians have discovered other writings by Hitler in which he discusses his plans of exterminating the Jews and working to eliminate other lesser peoples. Hitler was a staunch believer in Social Darwinism and Eugenics, which was a complete vindication and reinforcement for the anti-Semitic and racist beliefs of Hitler.
What Buchanan doesn't mention is that he himself has an anti-Semitic history and has based many of his positions and beliefs around that dark cloud that hovers over his political career. Buchanan's desire to rewrite history to reflect his way of thinking is disgusting and conservatives should stop trying to find an ally in Buchanan for the same reason they distance themselves from the likes of Michael Savage: damaged goods. Buchanan is dangerous in that he is presented as a "Conservative commentator", as if he is someone whose opinion is worth while. But anyone, no matter what the label, who distorts truth and rewrites history should not be trusted and should be discarded. The fact that Buchanan is unapologetic about his positions in this book tells me that he is no better then the likes of any other person who twists the truth to benefit their prejudicial beliefs.
Conservatives like Buchanan are dangerous because they are trying to implant this spin into the mainstream and them, along with the isolationists, anarchists, and racists, are trying hard to gain ground. Those who care about the truth need to stand in their way and stop letting those around them fall prey to these sorts of lies. The idea that Hitler "wasn't so bad" starts us down a dangerous road that blurs the difference between good and evil, right and wrong.