Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What If Hitler Had "Retired" Like Fidel

If Hitler had retired as Führer before 1939, what would the reaction of the Western media have been to his decision? Not much different, we suppose, to their reaction to Castro's "retirement" as Cuba's president-for-life. An effort would have been made to create "balance" in a record that overwhelmingly tilted morally and materially to one side: the solution of mass unemployment would be weighed against the material losses of Krystalnacht; the revitalization of Germany's economy would offset the annexation of the Sudetenland; incentives for new mothers would compensate for the sterilization of mental and physical "defectives." And what would balance Hitler's predations on human liberty and humanity iself? The promised Volkswagons? The Autobahn? The 1936 Olympics? Guns? Butter? The German "New Man?"

At least those who tried to exculpate or justify Hitler in the 1930s were not unopposed in their propaganda. There was a formidable press dedicated to denouncing Herr Hitler's crimes as then known. Unfortunately, it was the same press that extolled Stalin's crimes and ceased to condemn Hitler's when the two briefly became allies.

It was, in short, a time of partisan morality, reprehensible, certainly, but not more so than the present era of moral relativism. The media now recoils at condemning tyrants for their crimes as if their own objectivity were judged by their subjectivity to them. When forced to mention those crimes the media characterize them as allegations made by the tyrant's detractors. But their so-called achievements are never identified as the allegations of their apologists.

In Castro's case it is the infant mortality and literacy rates which are the counterweights used in his favor (though Cuba ranked higher in those areas in respect to other countries in 1958 than it does in 2008). There is one thing about Castro that should be highlighted above all else but which is never even mentioned. It is his place as the Western Hemisphere's most notorious mass murderer. Even if all that his supporters allege on his behalf were true, even if the Cuban people had prospered rather than been brought to ruin under his rule, even if human rights and Rule of Law had been respected rather than trampled underfoot every day of the last 49 years, none of it should matter or excuse the fact that Fidel Castro's name was writ large on history's pages with the blood of his countrymen.

On another blog I once demonstrated that Castro had killed more Cubans proportionately than Hitler killed Germans.¶ Many found this comparison objectionable as if to affirm one thing were to deny the other. And yet the facts are what they are. Having ruled four times as long as Hitler, and though he murdered on a smaller canvas, Castro has nonetheless managed to surpass the greatest incarnation of evil that humanity has ever known (there have been greater, of course, Stalin and Mao, for example, but their evil is apparently beyond the comprehension or condemnation of most Westerners).

Only when, as in Hitler's case, it becomes in bad taste even to suggest that there was anything that Castro did for his people that might excuse his bloodlust, then, and only then, will the apologias stop and the mea culpas begin. Obviously, after nearly 50 years, that point has not been reached yet.

The media and the world will get another chance to get it right when Fidel Castro dies.

¶ According to the census of June 1933, the Jewish population of Germany consisted of 505,000 people. Jews represented less than 1 percent of the total German population of 67 million. Approximately 300,000 German Jews managed to escape before the Holocaust. Of the remaining 205,000, 170,000 were killed in the Holocaust. (Source: The Holocaust Encyclopedia).

The Cuban Archive Project has identified and documented 102,000 Cubans killed by Castro (and this number, of course, is always growing).

Hitler killed 170,000 German Jews relative to a total German population of 67 million in 1933 (when he took over). Castro has killed 102,000 Cubans out of a total population of 6.6 million (when he took over in 1959).

Proportionally, Castro has killed 7 times more Cubans than Hitler did German Jews. Even if we relate Castro’s killings to the current Cuban population (11 million), he has still killed 4 times as many Cubans than Hitler killed German Jews.

Moreover, if all the European Jews killed by Hitler (6 million) in all countries to which he extended the Holocaust are taken as a percentage of the total population of Europe, Castro has still killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler killed Jews.

As bad as Hitler? No, worse.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, oh yes, yes, thank you for reminding me of that...German Tour Guide.Let's not forget our 43rd President of the United States... Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top.

The Iraq war, of course, has become Bush's albatross. He and his buddies are great at coining words or slogans. "Bushisms" that will haunt him historically:

* "Shock and Awe," early 2003.

* "Mission Accomplished," May 1, 2003.

* "Stay the Course," June 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

* "New Strategy," 2007.

Another term historians may weigh critically is "Decider."

Is he just a self-touted decider doing what he thinks right? Or is he an arrogant ruler who doesn't care or consider what the public or Congress believes best for the country?

Anonymous said...

If we must point fingers Mr. Bush should be included.

Anonymous said...

Before anyone dare to call me a Commie or Traitor...I was born and raised here, the good ol USA. Free to experience my Freedom of speech.Fuck Bush...Hahahaha

Vana said...

Yes Manuel he has killed his very own people, he has never cared about the people, Castro has cared only about one thing for 49 long years of immesurable hate towards his own, his "Revolution" who was his and his only, a total fiasco of a revolution, I have to agree, by proportion Castro has killed more Cubans, than Hitler his own people, and this is not to say that Hitler was not a murderer, one of the worst tyrants of the 20th Century, Castro and Hitler were cut from the same cloth. Insanity!

Vana said...

Anon:

Yes, but you've only had Bush for eight years, not for 49, besides those boys over in Iraq are there because they volunteered, they were not drafted as in Vietnam, yes I support them and my heart goes out to them and their family, but you must see the facts for what they are.

Daniel @ Garanhuns said...

Didn't Pinochet "step down" (or aside?). I bet you could dig up archives and see what the press said then. (BTW, did you get me email asking about Mariel stats?)

Charlie Bravo said...

Anonymous,
You're saying it with your own words and you don't even realize it: you could not have worded your feelings that way in Nazi Germany or in Cuba without having your ass hauled to jail, and the key tossed away, that if you were lucky.
I guess you have never lived in Cuba.
I can tell you, one day of life under Castro would make you appreciate the liberties you have in the USA under any president as the biggest treasure imaginable. I guess you bought that computer you're using under the "Bush regime", that you do not go undernourished, and that you haven't been strip searched, thrown onto the pavement and stepped over, beaten by a mob, or spat over just because you think different. Tell me that it is not beautiful that you have the freedom to call the president of the United States to task for all you feel you have to call him to task.
And yes, you know that the maximum you have to deal with a president of the USA is eight years, if that much. Haven't seen the secret police dragging American citizens who criticize the government out of their houses, at least, they haven't dragged me out of mine, and I am pretty critical. By the way, in Cuba they did.

Ms Calabaza said...

Excellent post.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Daniel:

Pinochet, of course, turned power over to the opposition after losing free elections. Castro turned power over to his own brother. There is no comparison in point of patriotism or accomplishment between them. I've made that point in hundreds of comments on other blogs before I had my own. I'm sure that I will never be able to track down all the debates about Pinochet which I've had with his detractors over the years, but here are some where Castro and Pinochet are contrasted:

http://criticalmiami.com/2006/12/12/WhatsupwiththeNewYorkTimes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/12/13/do1305.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/12/13/ixopinion.htm
http://andresoppenheimer.blogspot.com/2007/02/castro-death-party-is-bad-idea-una_01.html

http://the-reaction.blogspot.com/2006/12/excusing-pinochet.html

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/agrandillusion/116582431009175573/

And here's a comment from the obliterated Stuck on the Palmetto:

Hitler was not an unknown quantity when he was democratically elected in 1933. In fact, few men have been as candid as Hitler about their beliefs and plans. Anyone who had the least doubt about what Hitler stood for need only have consulted Mein Kampf.

Nevertheless, Germans detached themselves sufficiently from reality as to vote for this madman. By doing so they did indeed commit mass suicide, and their decision, besides involving them in war and genocide, will always be a bar sinister on German history and culture to the last generation.

Of course, it could have gone much worse for the Germans. Henry Wallace, FDR's second vice-president, might not have been replaced on the ticket by Harry Truman, in which case Wallace would have succeeded Roosevelt as president.

Wallace favored levelling the whole of Germany and returning it to a feudal existance. He believed that if this was not done the Germans would some day precipitate World War III. Truman, unlike Wallace, saw that the real threat in the post-war era came from the Soviet Union and vetoed Wallace's plan, which Roosevelt had nearly adopted with Stalin's approval.

Henry Wallace was a Soviet mole. Fortunately, he never became president; but another Soviet mole, recruited at the same time, did later ascend to the presidency of a neighboring republic. His name was Salvador Allende. His ties to the KGB were confirmed after the fall of the Soviet Union but had always been suspected.

In fact, it was the Soviet Union that secured Allende's razor-thin win by bribing rival candidates to drop out of the election. Even with Soviet support, Allende managed to get only 34 percent of the vote. Still, this was enough for him to prevail.

His actions in office were so detrimental to the nation that Chile's Chamber of Deputies impeached Allende and removed him from office. Since Allende did not accept his impeachment, the legislature declared him a renegade and ordered his arrest.

When the army moved to remove him as ordered by the legislature, Allende committed suicide.

Pinochet, the head of the Armed Forces, then assumed control of Chile.

Wouldn't it have been wonderful if a Prussian general, in 1935, had decided that the democratically-elected Hitler was a menace to the German nation and needed to be removed?

Well, the Junker class, which despised Hitler, nonetheless declined to move against him.

It was a most fortunate thing for Chile that its military did not hesitate to fulfill its duty.

12/11/06 7:32 PM

Agustin Farinas said...

Charlie,
is useless to explain the gamma of colors who one who is blind. Don't waste your words or your time with the likes of the previous anonymous. He will never get it until his hands are behind his back and is told: "shut up and put your hands behind your back and get back in line", on his way to a labor camp. I have met his kind many times during my travels throughout the USA. They simply do not have a clue about the democratic system they live under and even less knowledge about the workings of regimes in communists countries. It is useless to explain the inner workings of a communist system to those who have never lived under one, is like explaining the color green to a blind man. He simply would not know what you are talking about. In some cases, is called by its proper name: IGNORANCE