It seems to me that there is a lot of effort that goes into making Adolf Hitler look crazier than he may have, in fact, been. Almost 70 years after he's gone, some writers on occasion come up with articles similar to the one that follows what I'm writing here.
No doubt about it, Hitler was an evil man. He had it in for Jews, blacks, people with disabilities, gay people, and anyone else he felt superior to. He was the poster boy for intolerance and bigotry at its' finest. But, is he alone?
If Hitler's mind took him to the extremes you hear and read about, does that make our much smaller, subtle, and usually secretive beliefs about other people more palatable? Is that why people want to continually portray Hitler as this larger than life madman, that we cannot identify with? Is it possible that there is a multitude of "little Hitlers" among us, and we just don't want to see it?
Most of the people I know, both able bodied and disabled, refuse to admit there is something wrong in the way people with disabilities are looked at. It's eerily similar for black people, and if that were UNTRUE, you'd see equality in housing opportunities, employment opportunities, and treatment by the police/court system.
Truth is, if we can focus on people (like Hitler) who blatantly show disdain for those they feel superior to, it gives the rest of us a pass to continue looking down our own noses at people WE feel superior to.
From yesterdays' New York Times...
Hitler’s Talking Dogs
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 12, 2011
Times Topic: Adolf Hitler
At this late date, when we believe we know absolutely everything about Adolf Hitler, could it be that he was even crazier than we thought?
From Caligula to Nero to Qaddafi, dictators are often not just cruel and evil, but lunatics. It’s very rare to find a rational dictator. Absolute power deranges them and gives them delusions and fantasies. So we shouldn’t be surprised by news reports suggesting the Führer was batty beyond even Mel Brooks’s satire.
First, an MI5 document was declassified in London in April, revealing megalomaniacal schemes for Nazis to rise again if they lost the war by scattering sleeper agents around the world; and by killing Allied officers with poison infused in sausages, chocolate, Nescafé coffee, cigarettes, schnapps and Bayer aspirin.
German agents said they were instructed to first offer Allied targets a cigarette treated by Nazi scientists to give the smoker a headache, then finish the job with a poison aspirin that would kill within 10 minutes.
Secret weapons included a pellet that would emit a fatal vapor when heated by cigarette ash; poison for books, desks and door handles; a tablet of exploding powder that would activate when placed next to a wet glass; and a belt buckle with a silver swastika that concealed a .32 pistol that could fire two shots.
“The Werewolf organization, a network of Nazi saboteurs who would fight to create a Fourth Reich in the event Hitler’s empire crumbled, were to leave tins of instant coffee powder and other foods laced with toxins where they could be found by British and American soldiers,” The Daily Mail of London wrote, describing the declassified dossier.
Four German spies captured after they parachuted into France in 1945, including one woman, spilled some of the assassination plots. Female agents were given purse mirrors with microbes hidden inside them, so they might infect top Allied occupiers with deadly bacteria.
British military officials at the time considered the agents’ stories “somewhat fantastic,” but were worried enough to prohibit “the eating of German food or the smoking of German cigarettes” by advancing Allied troops.
A new book, “Amazing Dogs,” by Dr. Jan Bondeson, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales, reveals that Hitler supported a German school that tried to teach large, muscular mastiffs to “talk” to humans. This story set off a panting spate of “Heel Hitler,” “Furred Reich,” “Wooffan SS” and “Arf Wiedersehen” headlines in British tabloids and plenty of claims that Hitler was “barking mad.”
“There were some very strange experiments going on in wartime Germany, with regard to dog-human communication,” Bondeson writes, wondering: “Were the Nazis trying to develop a breed of super-intelligent canine storm troopers, capable of communicating with their human masters of the Herrenvolk?”
He discovered a 1943 Nazi magazine piece about the headmistress of the canine school, a Frau Schmitt, claiming that some of the dogs spoke a few words. “At a Nazi study course, a talking dog was once asked ‘Who is Adolf Hitler?’ and replied ‘Mein Führer!” Bondeson writes of these claims, noting that “the Nazis, who had such conspicuous disregard for human rights, felt more strongly about the animals.”
Nazi propaganda dwelled on Hitler as a dog lover. He owned two German shepherds named Bella and Blondi. He tested a cyanide capsule on Blondi and killed her just before he committed suicide.
The Nazis took their dogs seriously. As The Guardian reported in January, the Nazi government was so furious about a dog in Finland that had been trained to imitate Hitler with a Nazi salute that the foreign office in Berlin started “an obsessive campaign” to destroy its owner.
Bondeson writes that in Germany in the early 20th century, some people had a strong belief in the potential of super-intelligent animals. He said that along with Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse, an Airedale terrier named Rolf was considered one of the leading German intellectuals of the time. Rolf’s owner said she taught him his own alphabet with a system of taps of his paw on a board and, Bondeson notes drolly, “he successfully dabbled in mathematics, ethics, religion and philosophy.”
The latest wacky Hitler story comes from the British author Graeme Donald. He says that, while researching a military book, he stumbled across a story that Hitler and Heinrich Himmler were so worried about German soldiers’ getting sexual diseases from French hookers that they cooked up a plan for soldiers to carry small blow-up blond, blue-eyed dolls called “gynoids” in their backpacks to use as sex “comforters.”
Donald said Himmler ordered 50 dolls but the soldiers were too embarrassed to carry them. “In the end the idea fizzled out,” Donald told The Sun, “and the place where they were made and all the dolls were destroyed in the bombing of Dresden.”