[February 17, 2014] Senior leadership is about providing a clear and compelling vision for the future, as well as how and with what to accomplish it. Adolf Hitler had a vision of the future and while it was clear and compelling for many German citizens, it was far from acceptable to the rest of the world.
Hitler’s plan for Germany post-war was wide in scope and involved a serious reordering of not only the “Fatherland” but its conquered countries in particular. This would begin with the current war and after it was won, further measures would be instituted. For example, his expansion of strict gun control so that citizens who fought back would not be a major threat.
Some of his vision revolved around expansion of the “Arian race” but it also included the elimination of “useless eaters” and religion, the building of vast cities, changing the educational system, and converting the economy into a socialist state-controlled entity.
We all know about Hitler’s hatred for the Jews; those he blamed directly for Germany’s loss of World War I. His plan was for their total extinction. Much less known, was that he also said that socialism and Christianity could not coexist. The “state” was to replace all religion. Religious leaders would be killed outright.
Also, we know about Hitler’s dislike for Gypsies; they were to be executed when found. Others were also on his list for execution or starvation. These were the Slavs explicitly and most non-Germanic peoples who would mostly perish through starvation and slave labor.
Hitler planned for and was actively killing the handicapped, old people, those in mental institutions, and Germany’s own seriously wounded military veterans. Tens of thousands of these were murdered under Hitler’s orders until their surrender in 1945.
Those German males who survived the war would be encouraged to marry a woman, live on a farm (lands east of Germany and stolen from others, recently depopulated), and obligated to have many children. Multiple wives would be encouraged and having children by other women would be acceptable.
Liberal Arts education as we know it would be eliminated and replaced by less intellectual pursuits and substituted more with physical-fitness training for future soldiers. Future cities would have grand architecture and massive structures made of stone to emphasize the importance of the state and diminished stature of the person.
The economy would be driven by the socialist state with government ownership. All capitalistic enterprises would be removed or fall under the direction of a centralized socialist economic plan. Politics dominated economics, not the other way around.
Hitler also studied the reordering of the world after the war with the Japanese Empire controlling much of east Asia and central and South American with Germany having absolute power over all of Europe, the north half of Africa, the Middle East, and the eastern United States.
For those who are still attracted today to Hitler’s and other socialist schemes, this should be a wake-up call. As a leader, his vision was clear and compelling. It is fortunate that it was so clear, that other leaders finally recognized the danger of it and decided to do something to stop it.
A good book on the subject is by Gerhard L. Weinberg in Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. 2005.