Archive for the ‘INVASION OF RUSSIA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ALFRED ROSENBERG’S JUST-DISCOVERED DIARIES – ROSENBERG’S REAL STATURE IN NAZI GERMANY – HOLOCAUST IN RELATION TO INVASION OF RUSSIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This is an important discovery for students of the period.

But I take exception to the Globe’s characterizing Rosenberg as a powerful figure.

He was not, indeed he was a quack, even by NAZI standards.

He held a position resembling that of some cardinal in the Vatican whose job it is to codify official doctrine.

He wrote stuff no one actually read and was regarded as a bit of a joke by the real players in NAZI Germany.

The real players all were men who lusted after power and influence, and many of them had little use for a good deal of NAZI doctrine.

Still, he heard a good deal of insider information, and he undoubtedly made some important observations.
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“I, for one, look forward to reading more about this discovery.
“Possibly the most shocking book I have read to date (actually I had to stop reading it, so graphic was it!) was a book I got at the Public Library and which is also available from booksellers:
The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders [Hardcover] Ernst Klee (Editor), Willi Dressen (Editor), Volker Reiss (Editor)
“Having also visited Dachau and the beaches of Normandy (twice), I believe we must never forget such atrocity and each of us has a responsibility to condemn racism in its many repugnant forms. Having lived as a stranger in a strange land, I cherish our rights and freedoms.”

Yes, but there was not just one atrocity.

Hitler was largely responsible for a war that killed more than 50 million people and destroyed the lives of countless millions of others.

The invasion of Russia was the most terrifying event in all of recorded human history with 27 million Russians being killed as well as millions of Germans.

The totality of destruction was like nothing seen before, or indeed since.

Its impact included decades of Soviet domination in Europe and the creation of Israel, which itself has been a trail of tears for millions.

The Holocaust itself was only launched using the chaos and massive brutality of the invasion of Russia as a cover.

Even Hitler didn’t dare such an undertaking without the being able to bury it, as it were, in an even greater horror.

And we should always remember that Hitler and World War War II were the result of the terrible business of World War I, a meaningless war in which 2 branches of a royal house fought for supremacy on the continent of Europe and managed to kill 20 million people.

The Treaty afterward was far too harsh on Germany, especially when the Great Depression rolled in, and the resulting set of conditions and the uncompromising acts of many statesmen gave us Hitler and another war.

Germany after WWI had a very liberal government with many enlightened views, but the West gave it no help and support in its many difficulties.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HITLER AND WINTER AND THE INVASION OF RUSSIA

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A BOOK REVIEW IN THE TELEGRAPH

Hitler suffered several setbacks to his invasion, including the Greek situation. These were important, and might have made the difference, but there were other essential ingredients to the failure of Operation Barbarossa.Hitler unquestionably believed that his army would wrap up the campaign in three months, and he might have been right under ideal conditions. After all, his victories in the West had stunned the world, and he genuinely believed the Russians were untermensch, incapable of competing with Germans. And, as it proved, Stalin went into a drunken stupor after the initial success of the Germans, and no Russian general dared make a major move not approved by Stalin.

Hitler started the invasion believing in a fantasy idea of the abilities of Russians, and anyone who undertakes a great destructive task motivated by fantasy usually fails, just as the Crusaders centuries before. But it is important to keep in mind that Hitler’s racial fantasies were perhaps no sillier or less factual than the religious beliefs of many: he was not mad – several psychiatric studies have said so – but he had a foolish, superstitious, and destructive faith.

Germany’s taking over the best Russian lands – without their people or with the people reduced to slaves – was unquestionably Hitler’s great mission in life. All else was prologue. He believed he was a kind of savior for the German people in achieving their destiny.

Germany’s destiny, as he saw it, was to be able to do what America had done in building a vast empire that ultimately created the kind of economies of scale in its markets to be a great economic force in the world. Hitler understood these principles, and he knew America had had a relatively easy time of it, facing weak opponents like native people and Spanish settlers.

That is why he insisted on absolute ruthlessness in the Russian invasion: while he had contempt for Russians as people, he knew the numbers were not on his side.

He knew the invasion would be very bloody, and that is why he used it as a cover for the beginning of the Holocaust. He not only believed that the death camps would be lost in the noise and horror of the greatest battle of all time, but his strange religion caused him to believe that, with young Germans dying in the East, it was somehow right that the Jews’ numbers should be reduced.

Hitler’s underrating of the Russians included military technology, but, while Germany was in many areas more advanced, the Russians produced some very effective weapons, including perhaps most importantly the T-34 tank. Stalin also kept vast armored reserves hidden in the East, reserves of which Hitler was not fully aware. They proved decisive when the Germans had expended their first great energy.

Winter played a role in Hitler’s defeat of course, but the fierce heroism of the Russians stunned the world as well as Hitler.