2006/08/25

Darwin & Hitler?

[Ann] Coulter, who also wrote the bestselling "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," said Hitler simply was taking Darwinism from the theoretical to the practical.

"He thought the Aryans were the fittest and he was just hurrying natural selection along," she said.

"We talk about the link between Darwin and Hitler, and in the middle ground, eugenics," said Newcomb. "Darwin led to eugenics, which led directly to Hitler."

Abortion follows, because the logic supporting that says not all human life is to be protected.

"To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler," said Kennedy, who is host for the special. "Hitler tried to speed up evolution, to help it along, and millions suffered and died in unspeakable ways because of it."

I'm sorry, but Coulter and Newcombe are both giving Der Fuehrer far too much credit here. They're both making the presumption that Hitler justified the Holocaust on pseudo-intellectual grounds. He did not. Hitler had every intention of similarly slaughtering several million inhabitants of what was then the Soviet Union. He is documented as expressing the desire to turn Moscow into a lake and to turn vast numbers of the Slavic peoples into slaves.

To argue that Hitler was basing his theories on any sort of intellectual theory is to argue that the Unabomber was justifying his theories on similar grounds. Sorry, but the Unabomber was just a deeply disturbed man who murdered his victims at a distance. Nothing more.

If we were to look for what made Hitler's theories popular to Germans, if we were to look for why regular Germans found Hitler's theories attractive, we need only look at the German propaganda of World War I. German authorities constantly told the German people that they were winning. The German people were constantly being told of heroic German victories and crushing Allied defeats.

When the Western Front collapsed and Allied soldiers were soon walking the streets of German cities, regular German citizens were absolutely flabbergasted. "What happened to all of our great victories?" They cried. "We thought the Allies were on their last legs" They muttered.

Hitler explained all that. "We were stabbed in the back," he said. From THIS grew the Holocaust. Evolution was, at most, a convenient justification put out to satiate those with intellectual pretensions. At best, it was used to allow smarter German people to justifiy the barbarity of the Holocaust.

No, there's no connection between Darwin and the Holocaust. Had Darwin's theories not existed, Der Fuehrer would have simply used some other justification.

Update: As my commenter points out , Hitler didn't even use Darwin as a rationalization. Der Fuehrer was a straight Creationist/Biblical literalist/Intelligent Design-er.

Further update: The Anti-Defamation League chimes in.

1 comment:

Steven Carr said...

were concerned.

Hitler explicity rejected Darwinism and the evolution of man.

From Hitler's Tischgespraeche for the night of the 25th to 26th 1942 'Woher nehmen wir das Recht zu glauben, der Mensch sei nicht von Uranfaengen das gewesen , was er heute ist? Der Blick in die Natur zeigt uns, dass im Bereich der Pflanzen und Tiere Veraenderungen und Weiterbildungen vorkommen. Aber nirgends zeigt sich innherhalb einer Gattung eine Entwicklung von der Weite des Sprungs, den der Mensch gemacht haben muesste, sollte er sich aus einem affenartigen Zustand zu dem, was er ist, fortgebildet haben.'

I shall translate Hitler's words, as recorded by the stenographer.

'From where do we get the right to believe that man was not from the very beginning what he is today.

A glance in Nature shows us , that changes and developments happen in the realm of plants and animals. But nowhere do we see inside a kind, a development of the size of the leap that Man must have made, if he supposedly has advanced from an ape-like condition to what he is' (now)