[March 4, 2023] Think briefly about what Adolf Hitler should have done if he wanted to win the war. He would have enslaved the Jews and the Gypsies and worked them all to support his war effort toward victory. Of course, he wanted to liquidate them, but logic would say he would kill them only after he had won. Hitler was more evil than we think.
That is the logical thing to do if you want to win. But that is not necessarily a prudent conjecture about Hitler’s aims. Remember that Hitler was evil, and our assumptions about what he wanted might be wrong. We are in error if we believe that he aimed at the good that he promoted, by his own words, the glorious rise of the Third Reich that would rule for a thousand years.
By his own thinking, what should Hitler have done with the Jews and the Gypsies? Round them up, yes. Put them into concentration camps, yes. Kill them, no! Certainly not. Killing them during the war is counterproductive because he now must devote a substantial proportion of his war resources, especially while he was losing (as was happening in the last two years of the war). Hitler actually accelerated the rate of the killing of Jews and Gypsies.
What happened as Hitler was starting to lose those last two years? He believed the German people had betrayed him with weakness, and he was perfectly willing to accelerate the rate at which Germany was losing the war.
Hitler and his senior leadership under him had a choice during the last years of the war while losing. First, he could suspend his campaign to exterminate the Jews and Gypsies, win the war and then revive his extermination after his victory. Or, second, he could accelerate the mayhem while losing, even if that was grossly counterproductive.
What decision did Hitler make? He chose the latter to accelerate the mayhem of killing. Carl Jung proposes an idea. If you can’t determine why someone is doing something, look at the outcome and infer the motivation. If Hitler was after the extermination, then perhaps he was aiming at it.
This is the thing about warfare. You can attribute much of it to territoriality, a war for resources and glory, and that might just be a simple-mindedly over-exaggerated explanation of the superficiality of war. The idea that we fight over resources and glory is a simplified and inadequate explanation of war. These are often cover stories for real motivation.
Adolf Hitler’s real motivation in the war was the extermination of the Jews and Gypsies, over 6 million deaths, not the Third Reich and its glory. And that is why he was more evil than we think.
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