Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Mention Lebensraum

A recent lecture by Mark Weber, and the riposte by Michael Shermer, have exposed some contradictions in how deniers approach Hitler's motivation for invading Poland and the USSR. I summarize three of those contradictions below.

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Firstly, deniers wish to pretend that Hitler's actions were defensive. He was hemmed in by the other powers; he needed to recover land stolen from Germany at Versailles; and Stalin was gearing up for an assault on the west. The obvious refutations of these points - the fact that Britain's approach was to appease rather than provoke; the fact that Stalin was purging his generals; the fact that Hitler always took far more territory than was in dispute and declared his intention to hold on to it permanently - will always fall on deaf pro-Nazi ears.

Where the contradiction arises is from the fact that deniers then claim (as Weber did when interviewed by Shermer) that the world would have been a better place had Germany won the war and Communism been destroyed. Suddenly a war of self-defence becomes a justifiable war of annihilation. The defensive pretence is no longer maintained when the glorious victory over Communism is discussed.

Secondly, it follows from the tears shed over the Nazi defeat that the measures that would have been necessary to secure victory - including mass starvation of the Soviet population and the Jews - become justifiable. One cannot will the ends without willing the means.

Thirdly, deniers are also thus forced to concede that which they cannot mention: Lebensraum and Holocaust. Anti-Communism for Hitler was ipso facto an ethnic re-ordering of Europe using (to borrow Nick Terry's excellent phrase) "a political economy of racial value." Weber happily acknowledges that deniers share this eugenic fantasy, yet once again they shy away from the obvious conclusions: no Lebensraum could have been achieved without mass killing. There was nowhere to send the Jews once it became obvious that the Soviets were not simply going to cave in.

The 'defensive Hitler' fallacy is not therefore just apologia: it is denial of the facts that flow from Hitler's aggressive reality.


Student of Life said...

Just after reading up some of the blogs on here, all I can say is that they are written by assholes. It's pretty easy to write an argument/counter-argument with straight facts. However, the ones that need to use insults are nothing more than illusionists who are distracting the audience. I know you think it's cute to put in insults and attack someone's character, but you aren't really persuading anyone. The one's you are persuading are so gullible that you aren't accomplishing anything. That is why you will forever be an amateur in life. Good luck to you and your insecurities.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

First of all, Holocaust deniers don't need their characters attacked, as they by definition do that to themselves.

But more importantly, do realize that none of us here are "amateurs in life." Besides the fact that all of us have professional "day jobs" and all of that (including as university professors teaching this material), not to mention marriages, families, etc., that you write to us under a fake name and that name is "Student of Life" would seem to indicate whom the amateur really is.

Are we assholes? I can answer only for myself: Yes.


steve said...

"Student of Life" starts off by calling the bloggers here "assholes". He then proceeds to say "the ones that need to use insults are nothing more than illusionists who are distracting the audience." Student of Life undoubtedly fails to see the irony in this, leading to the conclusion that Student of Life is really, really stupid.

Moranen said...

Is this a correct interpretation: "Stalin didnt plan to invade Europe because he felt he had to purge his generals"? Are you kidding? How about this: Hitler wasnt gearing up for because he purged people too(?).

Concerning Hitler's invasions: Have you ever heard the phrase "Offence is the best defence" or "If you are too weak to defend, then attack" (or something like that). If the world Jewry wanted to destroy Germany (because Germany was kicking the Jews out); if Britain, France and USA wanted to destroy Germany (for their own political and economic reasons and due to Jews' influence); and if Soviet Union headed by Stalin (at least as ruthless dictator if not more) is planning to attack Germany and Europe as Hitler and his military leaders thought; and if none of these wanted peace, then wouldnt it make sense to try to defend oneself by any means? Perhaps trying to attack them first... Hitler felt he was sieged by enemies from everywhere.

There is btw an interesting theory about Stalin, Britain and France making a secret agreenment on 10/15/1939 and then confirming it later on 2/7/1940 where they planned to occupy and then form a united Northern front from Scandinavia to attack Germany in the spring of 1940. Stalin might not have exactly gone along with it but he was just going along with it (his army wouldnt have been ready so soon). According to this theory, Hitler found out about this by having Germans capture the Soviet plane which delivered to Soviets the plans. After this Hitler totally changed his policy and started quickly making pre-emptive invasions to pre-empt the coming stranglehold (Britan, France and USA in the west while Soviet Union attacking from east and south east, plus the Northern front). This theory depends entirely on the supposed S-32 file of the Finnish supreme commander and later president, field marshal Carl Gustav Mannerheim. The file is "missing" or it doesnt exist. When this theory was first published in book, Erikoistehtävä (1971) it received a furios reception, from our politicians.

Anyway true or not, this theory too brings up the siege mentality that Hitler had towards the West and the East.

Another point not related to this text: It is precisely because Holocaust is so full of propaganda lies, stupidites, impossiblities and improbabilites that the strict hierarchy of evidence has to be applied (which of course pretty much refutes the Holocaust and the 'eyewitnesses'.

Let me get this straight: Do you believe in the 'gassings' of humans in Poland? If so, why? And why dont you believe in steamings, electrocutions, vacuumings, admitted lies about gassings in Dachau, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen? Dont you think that the gassings of humans in Poland might also be propaganda lies?

I've visited Auschwitz and I find it hard to believe that anyone, who has first bothered to read and understand revisionist arguments against the 'gassings', would still believe in 'gassings' even after visiting the camp. Or especially after visiting the camp. Seriously, the camp was exactly what it seemed; a big and ordinary concentration camp. And were it not Jews with their present influence in media, people wouldnt even know about it.

Tens of millions died heroically fighting and most of what we hear is about people who were imprisoned in one concentration camp. And meanwhile people with truly heroic, educational and moral stories die off without getting to tell them to masses. What a waste.

Moranen said...

Corrections: Stalin was pretending to go along, but he couldnt get his army ready so soon so he propably wouldnt have attacked then. He would have let the West and Germany to exhaust themselves and then later invade Europe.

In addition:
"According to this theory, Hitler found out about this by having Germans capture the Soviet plane which delivered to Soviets the plans." The plane was coming from Britain, delivering the plans and the documents concerning Stalin's, Britain's and France's and later USA's co-operation and attack against Germany.