Denial of Collective Memory
Our newly found love for Hitler is just not comprehensible for all bad reasons. It was hard, and still is, for any sane mind to imagine that one day we would be glorifying actions of history’s one of the most awful creatures. A man who killed millions of innocents, his actions drifted world into a war that can rightfully be called history’s bloodiest. He and his actions were, rightfully, disowned by his own nation, for decades his autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ was banned in his own homeland. His last remains, a dozen of burned bones, where scattered in a plot in the heart of Berlin under tons of soil to make sure that no one would ever be able to get his/her hands on his last remains and build a memorial with an intrinsic attachment to Hitler himself to preserve, or awfully honor, his memory. Yet, the works of his person have made his memory indispensable to our conception of the modern world and its demons.
Today Adolf Hitler has got a hero’s status, anyway a short-lived venture of praise and glory, in minds of some devotee Muslims. They follow a religion that calls for universal brotherhood, makes categorical moral statements about how to treat other humans and takes pride in being the first religious tradition that provided for certain unalienable rights to each individual regardless of caste, color and creed, a religion that allows for religious freedom, although in a limited form, and that has been hailed as the ‘Religion of Peace’. If one has to be generous, then it is to be admitted with all sincerity that Hitler has not become a paradigmatic Imam, a conception of an ideal man. Yet Hitler has been made a Heracles of our time, a tragic hero. It is hard to find among his new admirers someone who will like to imitate what he did, if the true extent of his atrocities is to be made clear. But they take pleasure, or at least some satisfaction, in what he did to a certain people.
Yet, as we are revisiting our notions about the histories of heroes and who is to be called a hero, there is something worth remembering. Hitler didn’t kill Jews because he was influenced by some theological notion of Jewish hypocrisy and devilish nature. He did what he did, as he repeatedly claimed in his own autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’, because he was afraid about the racial deterioration of racially ascendant Arians (Germans) because of racial mixing with Semitic and Slavic peoples. He considered the United States of America and Great Britain decadent, because they allowed for racial mixing, even if marginally. Jews in Europe for Hitler represented those hated Semitic people. Children in German primary schools were taught and trained in racial sciences, a pseudoscience in fact. They were taught how to identify Semitic facial features and what is particularly distasteful about all Semitic peoples, their smell. He held an even more distasteful view of his Japanese allies, whom he often called monkeys. Throughout the war, it never appeared that Germans and Japanese were acting as if they were close allies and it had much to do with Nazi distrust of Asiatic people and Asiatic lack of concern for efficiency and work ethic.
We should be remindful of some knowledge of past and some facts of our present world when we yearn for another Hitler in the land of, once mighty, German race. The first victims, in this modern European conflict of race, will not be Jews, because, as many have already said, the young brown Muslim male is Europe’s new Jew. A caution is recommended, one can’t impose future’s imaginative Hitler on real historic Hitler. But there is little reason to expect something intrinsically different from real historic Hitler, given the fact that social assembly of this imaginative theater of conflict is very similar to the one that Hitler himself encountered. Social and economic mobility for Muslim communities across the western world is much higher than the national averages, as was the case for the newly emancipated Jewish communities in early 20th century western Europe. A fact that provided an economic rationale for hate and suspicion against Jews. Domestic populisms are very distrust of national Muslim populations, a fate experienced by western Jewry of the interwar period in 20th century. Above all, Muslims of today’s Europe share the hated Semitic racial identity with the Jews of Hitler’s Europe. Hitler’s war machine conquered Poland in 1939 and conquest was followed by 5 years of Nazi racial imperialism. 3 million Polish Jews perished in 5 years of Nazi rule. The true extent of atrocities was not uncovered until the end of the war when Soviet Russia conquered Poland from the East. Gas chambers were discovered and piles of decaying human flesh were removed, which revealed the true industrial scale and efficiency of Hitler’s infamous Final Solution. Hitler’s solution for Europe’s centuries-old Jewish question. A murder of a race and associated danger of racial decadence at an industrial scale with industrial efficiency. One cannot escape assuming the same fate for the Muslim equivalent if it is to be placed in an imaginative conflict in real historic Europe of Hitler. Hitler didn’t kill his victims because they were Jews by faith, it was about race. Race, a rugged demon of our modern society and central notion in Hitler’s story, the story of our newly born Hercules.
Muslims, a quarter of the world’s population, share with a small piece of humanity, Jews, this Semitic racial identity. An artificial identity that made a small piece of humanity to suffer terribly in a century whose central theme as Niall Ferguson puts it was ‘race’. There is a debate about the real extent of suffering in the Holocaust, this matter should better be left to the professional historians to deal with. But, we cannot deny a collective memory of the suffering of millions of humans, who suffered at the hands of history’s one of the most awful creatures. Actions of a few sick-minded Dutch deliberately aimed at Muslim sensibilities cannot make us lose our sanity and we can’t allow our understanding of history to be hijacked by a version of vengeance, disrespect for disrespect and hate for hate.