Given the current state of the world on the twenty-fourth day of August, two thousand and fourteen years after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have decided to let former war-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, have the last say on my essay on dictatorships during the first fifty years of the last century which produced two world wars.
Who, or what caused these wars? That is already well-known. Who, or what will cause the next great war? Some posit that it will be the last war. There will be no clear winners, only losers. Others say the world is already at war. There are countless examples.
Africa is plagued by one civil war after the next. Genocide is committed during these wars. The innocent suffer. The Middle East is at war. Genocide everywhere. The innocent die. The Ukraine and Crimea is in conflict with Mother Russia. Innocent people are the victims.
The great British biographer, Ian Kershaw, remarked in his mammoth tome on Adolf Hitler that the Nazi dictator’s early years as a child were modest. His allies, Spain’s General Francisco Franco and Italy’s Benito Mussolini, applied themselves as a soldier and persuasive writer respectively.
Young Adolf did not have any great skills or prospects as boy. His great love was art. But, even here he had little talent. He, like Mussolini, did have a passion for classical music, particularly the works of Wagner. He found a life-long love in architecture and applied it to his grand designs for a future Aryan Empire which would, he believed, last for a thousand years. He embellished grand designs which were already evident during the fuhrer’s reign over Germany.
When he joined the German Worker’s Party, Hitler found his true calling. Like the British parliamentarian, Winston Churchill, he had a talent for oration. But, unlike Churchill, he had charisma which enabled him to influence his German listeners with his fantastic and racial ideologies. The political and social context was convenient. Ian Kershaw explains this;
“Without the Reichswehr’s ‘discovery’ of his talent for nationalist agitation, Hitler had every prospect of returning to the margins of society – an embittered war veteran with little chance of personal advancement. Without his discovery that he could ‘speak’, Hitler would not have been able to contemplate the possibility of making a living from politics.”
Similarly, Francisco Franco, as a military officer, and Benito Mussolini, as a publisher, had no clear intentions of entering politics and were reluctant to do so when that moment came. In comparison to Hitler’s fortuitous entry into politics, Winston Churchill had every intention of following in his father’s footsteps and believed that it was his destiny to one day save the British Empire from tyranny.
Adolf Hitler, formerly an Austrian national, served time as a soldier during the First World War on the side of Germany, and was bitterly disappointed when Germany was defeated. In his earliest days as a political activist after the War, he set about establishing his Nationalist organisation and propagating the National Socialist ideologies which he believed were essential in enabling Germany to become a great nation, free from Western democratic and Soviet communist influences.
Ingrained in his national socialist thinking was the belief that the Jewish population were an inferior race which could not be trusted by truly pure Germans, and he laid most of the blame on the Jews for Germany’s defeat in the Great War.
When Hitler finally forced his way to power as Fuhrer, the partitioning and separation of Jews was rampant. It can be compared to the National Party’s institution of apartheid in South Africa. The desired effects of the two nationalist institutions were not similar. Hitler ultimately wanted to annihilate the Jewish race from Europe during his mission of creating lebensraum for the Germanic race, while HF Verwoerd maintained that the African majority were destined to inferior status as citizens in work and culture.
At the height of the National Party’s power in South Africa, HF Verwoerd was stabbed to death in Parliament by a lonely clerk of Greek origin. Defeated and destroyed, Hitler shot himself dead. His remains were burned outside his bunker in Berlin. The spoils of Hitler’s city were divided amongst Europe, the Soviet Union and the United States of America.