- “Sure, Hitler did terrible things, but you have to admit he was a brilliant man!” I have to do no such thing. He was a shiftless, self-absorbed layabout who found pontificating and rabble-rousing easier than doing actual work. Like many essentially worthless human beings, he did have a great deal of skill in manipulation, which enabled him to draw people in and use them, but I don’t call that genius.
- “The Nazis eliminated unemployment!” Any improvements the Nazis made in the German economy were short-term and unsustainable. Unemployment was eliminated in a manner of speaking – by running up ridiculous amounts of debt, cutting wages by 25%, and interning or declaring ineligible a sizable portion of the work force. Rationing began in 1937, two years before the invasion of Poland – a healthy peacetime economy does not have rationing. Their economic model relied on taking over other countries and stealing their resources – it was the only hope they had of making up the deficit.
- “The Nazis were brutally efficient!” Nothing the Nazis did was even remotely efficient. Hitler’s idea of governing was to put businesses and state departments in direct competition with each other for his personal favor. This resulted in massive corruption, bureaucratic bottlenecks, and an untold waste of time and resources. The economy wasn’t put on a full wartime footing until 1942 because no one was able or willing to do so.
- “Okay, maybe Hitler wasn’t that smart, but he was still a military genius!” Germany’s military successes during the first half of the war can best be explained by their choice of opponents – most countries were hopelessly overwhelmed, while France not-so-secretly wanted to be Germany’s girlfriend – and by the skill of the senior officers who came up through the old imperial system. When faced with opponents who actually had their shit together (and in the case of Soviet Russia that’s being charitable) Hitler’s vaunted strategic abilities were shown for their true worth – little to none.
- “Nazi science was phenomenal!” Please stop learning things from History Channel specials about “Hitler’s UFOs.” The Nazis sucked as bad at science as they did at everything else, in large part because they outright rejected a lot of theoretical advances as “Jewish science” and drove some of their greatest minds out of the country (who promptly came to the US). There’s a reason we developed the atom bomb first, and it’s because we had all their best scientists and they were left with the time-servers and jackboot-lickers.
- “But if they hadn’t invaded Russia they would’ve won the war!” Anyone who offers this as a counterfactual has completely failed to understand what Nazism was about, and it bugs the shit out of me. This wasn’t some accidental miscalculation. It was actually the entire point of National Socialism, the entire point of the whole war – carving out “living space” in the East. Was it a stupid thing to do? Sure! But here’s the thing you need to understand about the Nazis: hatred always won out over practical considerations. They hated Russians, they hated Communism, they wanted to destroy Russia’s Jews, and they weren’t about to let silly things like “reality” or “good sense” get in the way of their glorious destiny. It’s the same thing as rejecting good science because it was developed by Jewish people. They didn’t give a shit about objective reality; all they cared about was the glory of the German race and the destruction of all others. If you don’t understand this, you will never understand Nazi Germany, and you will continue to swallow lies like the ones listed above.
tl;dr: Nazi Germany was a huge fucking mess from beginning to end and anyone who says otherwise is totally ignorant and very likely a Nazi apologist.
And do realize that the History Channel and Military Channel have been spewing disgusting Nazi prop for more than a decade.
don’t forget “Hitler Was A Liberal”