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The Hitler As Symbol Chart

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50 Responses to The Hitler As Symbol Chart

  1. Lee says:

    Some of the replies to this post are really going to depress me aren’t they?

  2. Matt says:

    The problem with rules 1-5 is that they leave no room for the fact that there could be another Hitler. As in: it insists Hitler was a complete historical anomaly, and no one else could ever really be as bad as *that*, so don’t you even go there. But the thing is, even Hitler wasn’t always HITLER. And to reserve all comparisons to Hitler until someone has emerged as a clear, irrefutable new HITLER is to keep the historical lesson in our collective back pocket until it’s entirely too late.

    • invitro says:

      “it insists Hitler was a complete historical anomaly, and no one else could ever really be as bad as *that*” — Good grief. Stalin and Mao were worse or even far worse than Hitler. Pol Pot, too. Macias Nguema may be the worst of them all — he killed a third of his country’s people, which is most impressive.

      • SDG says:

        The reason Hitler is considered (rightly) so evil is because he came from an advanced, civilized nation, and there was no reason for what he did. A lot of dictators killed a lot of people which is. of course, morally wrong. But, rightly or wrongly, we have lower expectations for people who don’t come from a prosperous, cultured, educated, nation with an advanced civilization and scientists, artists, and philosophers. It;s almost expected that people in other, backwards countries behave like this, but not a nation that closely resembles our own. More to the point, Hitler exterminated the Jews (and other groups) for no reason. Usually when dictators murder their people, it’s for land or to consolidate power, or for some reason. Again, which is horrible. No one has ever defended Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot by saying, “well, at least they weren’t Hitler.” But there is something especially cruel about coldblooded mass murder for no reason except you don’t like someone’s ethnicity.

        And I can’t believe I’m talking about Hitler on the place I go to talk about baseball. This won’t end well.

        • invitro says:

          I do understand your point, but…
          ‘No one has ever defended Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot by saying, “well, at least they weren’t Hitler.”’ — I think that’s actually been the majority opinion. It certainly was when Roosevelt decided to leave Stalin alone at the end of WWII.

          ‘But there is something especially cruel about coldblooded mass murder for no reason except you don’t like someone’s ethnicity.’ — Funny, that’s a pretty good description of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor .

          • Marc Schneider says:

            No, Roosevelt left Stalin alone at the end of WWII because he had no choice short of another war.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            Invitro, can we at least agree that Hitler didn’t deserve the Nobel Prize for Peace or is that going too far in defending Stalin?

          • invitro says:

            Marc, that is true and also doesn’t contradict what I said. So why the “No”?

          • MikeN says:

            Marc, Roosevelt had no choice but to leave Hitler alone short of a war.

            Patton was eager to have that war, and tried to start it by himself. He was held back. If they had given him 30 days, Eastern Europe would have been free.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            Invitro, The no is because I think your statement suggests some sort of normative judgement of Stalin vs. Hitler. I don’t think it had anything to do with that, although I acknowledge that many people in the West at the time were sympathetic with Stalin or at least with the Russian people. But WW II occurred, not because Hitler killed millions in Germany and the east, but because he waged aggressive war in the West (and, obviously, Russia). The question of “who was worse” in a moral sense was irrelevant to the issue of how to deal with Russia after the war.

          • invitro says:

            “Invitro, can we at least agree that Hitler didn’t deserve the Nobel Prize for Peace or is that going too far in defending Stalin?” — Well, probably. But Obama got the Nobel Prize for Peace, so who knows what the criteria are… 🙂

        • MikeN says:

          > No one has ever defended Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot by saying, “well, at least they weren’t Hitler.”

          After explaining why they aren’t Hitler.

        • MikeN says:

          Those cultures are so inferior, it’s not so bad if they murder tens of millions. They can’t help themselves.
          And you are talking about Russia, which had its European culture for 1000 years before Stalin. If Putin heard you talking like that, he might have you poisoned.

        • Rob Smith says:

          This is a bit of a mis-read on post-WW1 Germany. It may have been an advanced civilization at one time. But, the country was in chaos with a weak and failing government, runaway inflation and a collapsed economy. Not to mention the war reparations they owed. In fact, post war Germany was no longer an advanced society & was the perfect situation for a dictator. A hopeless situation with a powerful orator offering simple solutions and scapegoats for their dire situation. Hitler used his initial popularity to rewrite the Constitution and the laws to give him absolute power. And while he was clear about what he intended to do, most people just didn’t care and didn’t see anyone else offering solutions.

          In the end, Hitler did rebuild the economy & made Germany powerful as he had promised. But he also promised that he would punish the jews and showed that he would use violence to achieve his ends. People, however, embraced him & maybe naively though it wouldn’t go as far as it did.

          I look at Hitler as a cautionary tale for any civilization that is in crisis and looks for easy answers from its politicians. But humans have proven to be incapable of resisting the lure of easy answers. It’s gone on since the Kings of the Old Testament to today. It will continue unfortunately. Maybe the dictators that arise in current times won’t take it to the degree of Hitler, but they all have their scapegoats and they all murder their opponents.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            The fact is, most people in Germany did not vote for the Nazis. The Nazis never got more than 37% of the vote (until the rigged elections under the Nazis.) What really happened is that, with the onset of the Depression, the center parties collapsed and the extreme parties of both the left (Communists) and the right (Nazis) got stronger. The conservatives who were in the government (e.g., President Hindenburg) weren’t necessarily thrilled with Hitler but they thought he was a safer alternative and that they would be able to control him. And the middle classes thought Hitler would be safer than the Communists. Plus, the Nazis, although not a majority, had enough strength to demand that Hitler be made chancellor. Hitler didn’t necessarily focus on killing the Jews; he focused on taking Germany back and regaining its strength in the world. Anti-Semitism was, obviously, always part of that, but it wasn’t necessarily everything. The Weimer Republic was weak and unpopular but I think your analysis understates the effect of the Depression. Without the Depression, it’s quite possible the Nazis were never have come to power.

          • MikeN says:

            If they were not so advanced, how did they develop all those weapons, or have the industry to conduct their war?

            True, people did not take his statements seriously. Germany was considered the most Jew friendly country in Europe, and people mocked those who sounded the alarm.

          • invitro says:

            “If they were not so advanced, how did they develop all those weapons, or have the industry to conduct their war?” — I bet Kim Song Un knows…

        • MikeN says:

          >especially cruel about coldblooded mass murder for no reason except you don’t like someone’s ethnicity.

          That’s what Stalin did to the Ukraine. New York Times won a Pulitzer for their reporter who lied about it and glorified Stalin.

      • Marc Schneider says:

        “Stalin and Mao were worse or even far worse than Hitler.”

        Not for Jews.

        • invitro says:

          They also didn’t hate blacks and Hispanics. Maybe I’m wrong about Stalin and Mao? 🙂

        • MikeN says:

          Because there were lots of Jews in China. Soviet Jews were not treated well either, but you are right, not as badly as under Hitler.

    • SDG says:

      Agreed. Usually when the comparison is made (and sometimes the comparison IS valid) is because that particular evil hasn’t been wiped out. Racism from some nobody on 4chan is still racism. Racism that has a wink and an “lol libtards are so sensitive I’m just trolling” is racism. No, these people aren’t as bad as Hitler but that’s really not a justification or excuse.

  3. Matt says:

    But, specific to Spicer today…yeah, he should have followed the chart.

  4. MikeN says:

    Didn’t think to bring this up anytime Trump was called Hitler, or even ‘literally Hitler’?

    • Crazy Diamond says:

      It’s ironic that when people loosely (and recklessly) use Hitler as a comparison to Trump, nobody bats an eye. But if Sean Spicer refers to Hitler? Everybody loses their minds. Sean Spicer is a Grade A idiot – a smug, condescending little man who probably punches babies. I just wish the outrage aimed at Spicer would be consistent and also aimed at other idiots who compared Trump (or, really, anyone) to Hitler.

    • jalabar says:

      No one called Trump Hitler. No one. It has been said, correctly, that the start of the Trump regime bore resemblances to the start of brutal fascist regimes like Hitler’s. The attacks on the judiciary, the free press, and the opposition are textbook totalitarian strategies. Even Keith Olbermann, one of the most brutal (and accurate) Trump critics has not called Trump Hitler. He has said that Trump’s governance resembles that of the onset of the Nazis. Which it has mirrored the starts of many totalitarian fascist regimes.

      • invitro says:

        And the attacks the Obama administration made on people living outside of big cities, on industry, on police officers, and on the opposition are textbook (Saul Alinsky’s textbook, among others) totalitarian strategies. And these strategies did a huge amount of real harm, unlike Trump’s calling out of lie-mongering reporters. 🙂

        • Marc Schneider says:

          Trump is not Hitler. He is just a despicable,ignorant, mendacious, narcissistic piece of crap. How is that?

        • Bookbook says:

          In vitro, the biggest difference is that those didn’t actually happen. Obama didn’t attack rural voters, his criticism of police was limited to those actually abusing their power, the environmental concerns and need for prudent regulation on industry isn’t an attack, but a balance of the needs of people vs the abuses that come from an unfettered short term profit motive, (Laissez Faire capitalism has led to disaster for most citizens whenever and wherever it has been tried.)

      • Marc Schneider says:

        Absolutely correct.

      • MikeN says:

        If by no one, you mean lots of people, then you are right. Sean Spicer didn’t call Assad Hitler either. He actually claimed(wrongly) he was worse on one detail, making a big gaffe.

      • Hamster Huey says:

        Huh, there appear to be more Trumpeters amongst the BRs than I might have guessed. For anyone keeping score at home, please do NOT count me amongst them – far from it. But, Louis CK is presumably at least one of the people whom the OP might be referring to, since he did so in a high-profile email to his fan base, and since Joe has written more than once of his admiration for, um, Mr CK?

        • invitro says:

          Here’s what Louis C.K. said: “It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the ’30s. Do you think they saw the sh-t coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.” Well, he’s just an ignorant laugh-man.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            I always have problems with entertainers pretending to be historians. Louis C.K. obviously knows little, if anything, about the history of Germany in the 1930s. It also ignores the constitutional system in the US, which is far stronger than in Germany in the 1930s. I don’t in any way think Trump is Hitler.

            But it’s fair to say, I think, that Trump has appealed to some of the same fears and resentments that Hitler appealed to. If you read about the Nazis (and I do), you see a lot of the same kinds of themes in their speeches. I mean, they didn’t go around saying, let’s set up concentration camps for Jews and gypsies. They talked about how Germany had changed and needed to restore its place in the world. I’m not saying that the working classes that voted for Trump are all racists and violent nationalists. But not all the people that voted for Hitler were either.

  5. Rob Smith says:

    It’s called Gideon’s law. It’s well known in political circles and always surprising when it’s violated.

  6. MikeN says:

    Spicer was sinking on his own, but calling a Holocaust denier is just stupid.

    • Rob Smith says:

      I agree. I’m not a Spicer fan, at all. And the Hitler analogy is just something you wouldn’t expect from a President’s Press Secretary. He’s supposed to be the most media savvy person in the country, and he uses a Hitler analogy? That’s pure incompetence. But, I agree. The fact that it is the Passover, is an unfortunate coincidence for Spicer. He’s not a Holocaust denier or a jew hater, or anything like that. He just made a ridiculous comment, at the worst possible time, for which he had to (eventually) apologize.

      • Marc Schneider says:

        I agree. I don’t think Spicer is smart enough to actually make a reference like that even if he wanted. He either didn’t know or wasn’t able to connect zyklon-b and chemical weapons. The problem is, this isn’t the first time he has made idiotic comments. It’s just another example of what an incompetent boob he is. Even for the various incompetent boobs that is the Trump White House, Spicer will eventually be too much.

  7. Wes Rickards says:

    There is a silver lining for Sean Spicer – Hitler jokes won’t disqualify him from hosting ESPN’s Sportscenter with Michael Smith.

  8. Luis says:

    Where was this chart when Hillary’s camp kept telling us we were going to elect the next Hitler?

  9. Jamie says:

    The backlash to people referring to Trump as Hitler is silly, though I agree it is always dumb to compare anything to Hitler. Obama was compared to Hitler and Bush/Cheney also had people who would compare them to Hitler. I am not certain but I would certainly bet that Clinton and Reagan also had their share of these absurdities while Carter, HW Bush and Ford may all have avoided this because of general unpopularity or ineffectiveness. The point being is that it is a staple of American politics that a loud minority of the opposition party will make a fool of themselves by comparing the President to Hitler. For whatever reasons though Trump supporters feel like they need to defend him from these accusations when it would be far better to just let this go and accept it as part of anyone’s presidency.

    • invitro says:

      “Trump supporters feel like they need to defend him from these accusations” — I think most Trump supporters (and conservatives and moderates) are just laughing at the accusations. The same as they do to the snowflakes and microaggressees.

    • Berto says:

      Trump isn’t Hitler. Trump is a Republican, with all the Southern Strategy and failed ideology that comes with.

  10. Kuz says:

    Oh God, please make it stop. Only read the first few responses.

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