Who is the most evil man in history, or is such a question purely subjective?
| If you were to choose who you considered the evilest man in history, who would you choose? Now, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you chose Adolf Hitler. Was I correct? If you didn’t choose Hitler, then I must commend you for thinking further than the end of your nose. I have researched and studied The Third Reich for some twenty years, and, from my experience, most people always seem to choose Adolf Hitler. There is, however, no logical reasoning behind such a dubious honor. The facts of history certainly don’t back such a choice, and it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure that out. I want to list a few historical contenders and see how they compare to Hitler. And remember, these are in no particular order of importance.
1. JOSEPH STALIN
Most know that Stalin was the dictator of The Soviet Union from 1922-1953. It is my personal opinion that Stalin was a pig and the most disgusting figure the United States had the misfortune of being allied with during World War II. Stalin purposefully starved about eight million Russians and Ukrainians through his policies. The round figure he is said to responsible for killing in one way or another is twenty to sixty million. Even after the war was long over, some German prisoners were not released until 1952. Many never saw their homes again. Stalin was a sweetheart of a guy.
2. POL POT:
Don’t say that Pot never gave you anything. In fact, he gave us all something, by contributing the term “Killing Field” to our vocabulary, for that is what he turned the country of Cambodia into. He ordered official genocide against his entire country, killing the most people throughout the period he was in power. That figure comes to about 25 to 33 percent of the population of Cambodia. Way to go, Pol.
3. MAO ZEDONG:
Zedong was dictator of China from 1943-1976. As you can see, he had quite a while to perfect his murderous ways. Mao was another swine of a human being. His teeth were rotten because he never brushed them but just rinsed them out with different teas. What! No flossing? He also rarely took a bath, which surely contributed to his body lice and numerous skin infections. He didn’t like to use flush toilets, but just dropped his pants in the palace gardens and let her rip. Believe me, I didn’t make this stuff up. Mao was definitely a one date only kind of guy. He caused the deaths of about seventy million.
I had every intention of including GENGHIS KHAN, but I figured that you had gotten the idea. Anyway, he was just a bloodthirsty warlord that killed millions.
You may ask what all of this really proves. It proves that there have been would-be rulers of the world in every age that have perpetrated great evils upon their fellow men. Be that as it may, Adolf Hitler has usually been foremost in the minds of many as the poster boy for a genocidal psychopath. Hitler has been described as demonic, insane, deviant, a hysterical neurotic, and, just to add a little color, nutty as a fruitcake. It is beyond doubt that Hitler had issues, but it simply has not been proven by a preponderance of the evidence that he was insane; in fact, quite the opposite has been shown. For example, one of Hitler’s attending physicians at the end of war testified, that, aside from medical problems that had dogged Hitler’s life, and those that resulted from the last assassination attempt, Hitler was lucid and completely sane. The prominent historian and authority on The Third Reich, Sir Richard Evans, states that there is no evidence to support the claim that Hitler was insane. A new study of Hitler’s mental state has been recently completed using all existing data by neurologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Fritz Redlich. In his cutting-edge study, Dr. Redlich concludes that Hitler was not mentally ill. Psychiatrist, Jan Ehrenwald has pointed to the much-neglected question as to how an insane Hitler would have been able to accomplish the rebuilding of Germany without his insanity being revealed? This writer, like philosopher Hannah Arendt, believes that the willingness to commit genocide can be completely compatible with good mental health. That doesn’t mean that some despots are not crazy as Bessy bugs, because they are. However, being a dictator does not automatically place one on the crazy side of the fence. And, let me add, that each case should be examined individually. Hitler certainly came to believe things about himself that were untrue, but people do that every day and are not deemed insane.
Through my personal years of study, I have come to many conclusions concerning Hitler and his Nazi regime. One of those conclusions is, that, for most people, crimes of the magnitude committed by the Nazis must ultimately fall on the shoulders of only one man - Hitler. Though his subordinates bear their own personal guilt, the buck stops with number one. Consequently, any man who knew what those subordinates were doing, either through their own initiative or by direct order, must surely be a mad man, for only madness could explain such leadership. Such reasoning is the only way a rational mind believes it is possible to find an explanation for such horrors. To consider that a man in his right mind could acquiesce to the murder of millions is beyond possibility to most people.
But, there is yet another part of this equation, and that is that people believe they are in some way obligated to claim that Hitler was insane. My God, how will they appear to the rest of the world if they insist that he wasn’t? They will be labeled as Nazi lovers or antisemitic. They fear that others will see them as defending Hitler, and, in some way, being in sympathy with his actions. They, therefore, join with those many who view history through the lens of emotion and collective judgment rather than truth.
In fact, there is no such thing as a man you might judge to be the most evil. Any man or woman has the capability of committing the most heinous acts imaginable. We know this to be true through the news or any of the countless television programs which detail the cases of murders and serial killers. It has almost become a weekly occurrence to hear of mass shootings in our own country or somewhere in the world. Some of these slaughters are obviously committed by individuals with mental problems, but not all. People kill others for many different reasons. The Tutu tribe in its genocidal acts against the Tutsi was obviously not a case of mass mental illness, but rather, a skewed belief system. The Tutus believed that they should kill these people whom they saw as less than human. When you add long-standing tribal rivalries to this belief, as well as governments that allowed it, you have a blueprint for genocide.
All of this should sound very familiar when it comes to any discussion of Hitler and the Nazis. The Nazis believed. We will see what they believed shortly. Belief is a very powerful force for either good or evil. We have all been witnesses as men with an unshakeable belief flew planes into the twin towers, taking the lives of thousands. Were they insane? No, they most certainly were not insane. They simply believed enough in what they were doing to give their lives for that belief. Hitler and the nazis also believed that the people they murdered needed to be eradicated in order that a better Germany, and ultimately a better world - one by Hitler’s design - would result from their elimination. It may be impossible for some to believe that human beings could believe such things, but they do, and it doesn’t mean that they are insane for believing such - at least not all of them. Some may be insane, but usually not, and Hitler was not.
In conclusion, let me say that this argument can go on and on, but I have determined to end it with a few very pertinent remarks. Firstly, it is essential to see Hitler as a man of his time. That being the case, he would have been greatly influenced by the thinking of his time. Hitler was also a high-end autodidact. He was a voracious reader. He was particularly interested in the cutting edge studies in evolution and eugenics. He was very captivated by the works of Darwin and his theory of survival of the fittest. Hitler held to a Darwinian worldview. This view held to the essential element of war and conflict. Not unlike the higher classes in North America, he believed that the lower classes of society should not be allowed to breed. President, Teddy Roosevelt, said: “Someday we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty, of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.” And you should know that the Germans were very impressed with what the Americans were doing in the field of Eugenics and racial hygiene. America did peer into the abyss of Euthanasia but drew back for fear of public outcry. Were those American scientists who pondered on such dark matters insane? No, they were not, but they were also men of their times.
As concerns Hitler and his outlook on the Jews, and here I must be concise, Hitler believed that the Jew embodied the potential destruction of racial balance in Europe. To Hitler and the Nazis, the Jews and those seen as sub-human represented a killer bacillus in the body of National Socialism. Just as a doctor would do everything in his power to save his patient from such a killer invading the human body, Hitler set out to cleanse the body politic from the cancer of Judaism and Bolshevism, which to Hitler was one and the same. He saw this ideological conflict as his divine mission, his destiny. The final eradication of these deadly parasites was the only way to build a new Europe and a new world.
So, if you still continue to maintain that Hitler was the evilest man to ever live, you are going to encounter a number of major roadblocks. Most notably, there is the fact that many of the men that history has applauded as great statesmen and leaders, as well as those captains of industry whom we extol as having built the modern world, had views of the world very similar to Hitler’s. Were these men also evil and insane? No, they too were men of their times, and the beliefs they had concerning the future world order can still be found in those who were to follow them, even to this very day.