“He knew his heart’s core was a fat, awful worm. His dread was lest anyone else should know. His anguish of hate was against anyone who knew, and recoiled.” -D.H. Lawrence, “The Virgin and the Gipsy”
(p.t. = personal translation)
Adolf Hitler was never brought before any court of law after ’45; a dead man, albeit living-dead, can sit on no bench. There was not even the sliver of posthumous glee which was afforded the anti-Cromwellians, who dug up that Puritan’s corpse and gave it an ad hoc hanging in retribution for King Charles’ beheading. He was soaked in gasoline post mortem and burnt by his adherents and retainers in the open air of the Führerhauptquartiere complex near the Reichskanzlei. One can even scarcer prosecute a pile of ashes.
Hence, I envy the Italians. History, in her ever-benevolent wisdom, allowed them the catharsis and emotional sadism of beating Mussolini, their plumpish dictatorial figure and his lover into unrecognizable, bloody pulps (id est, the self-aggrandizing cycle of fascism could at least be cut off by its native progenitors). Notwithstanding the brutality of the act, there is a purity in it. Non siamo gli ultimi di ieri ma i primi del domani. Because, of course, Mussolini ha sempre ragione, this phrase should by virtue of its absoluteness come to fruition in some perverse way or another. Rather, voi siete i primi del domani. There is no noi when one becomes superfluous, burdensome to one’s own people. When the Volk is empowered by its desperation to subversion, the balding fat-man-cum-father-figure with the microphone and giving orders is the easiest to kill. It is nigh oedipal, but it is grimly logical.
So too by Hitler. But he was spared; Stauffenberg failed, no visit to the Ostfront went unexpectedly awry, no bomb or spare fragment of shrapnel ever touched the Führer. He was like a god, he could hide beneath his metropolis and pinch Hitlerjugend cheeks in propaganda reels and be untouched by the Reich’s unraveling around him. He was unreadable, he was without parallel, he was the start- and endpoint of the Führerprinzip, that ideological ring vaster than even his own life. Why did a German not kill Hitler?
They had as much a right as anyone else; a shred of self-effacement for the sake of purification. Göring and Rosenberg could sit like cowed schoolchildren at Nürnberg and face an Anglo-American court for their German crimes. Hitler festered in exorbitant comfort after his and Ludendorff’s Putsch in ’23 and walked out a Politiker, a published author with a soapbox. He did the same in ’45. Hitler was never defeated. Hitler walked free into oblivion. The war in Germany continued for days after his death. His underlings handled the instruments of surrender; he never sullied his hands with such trivialities. His death was mystified, a Viking funeral in the garden of the Reichskanzlei. SS-men hailed the victorious dead.
And yet Hitler with his back to the wall is banal, backbone-less, utterly demystified when torn from his sacrosanct pedestal. He skulks in his concrete chamber of debauchery, entertaining notions of himself as a reborn Friedrich II, a Führer pushed to the brink and dragged from the maw of defeat by the hand of an Aryan God. No such aid was forthcoming.
His last will and testament is rife with contradiction, and deserves to be picked apart with utter ruthlessness. It is the only indictment I can make of him, and the strongest too.
Mein politisches Testament
“Es werden Jahrhunderte vergehen, aber aus den Ruinen unserer Städte und Kunstdenkmäler wird sich der Hass gegen das letzen Endes verantwortliche Volk immer wieder erneuen, dem wir das alles zu verdanken haben: dem internationalen Judentum…”
“Centuries will pass, but out of the ruins of our cities and our monuments of art shall the hate against the ultimately responsible people always renew itself, the people whom we can thank for everything: international Jewry…” (p.t.)
The devastation of the German war is somehow the handiwork of Rothschilds and puppet-master caricatures, the “Weltvergifter aller Völker,” the “massgebenden Kreise der englischen Politik,” always some financier- or geopolitician-cabal. There is no concept of personal culpability, not the faintest shred of remorse. I am completely and utterly justified, he says.
“Dass ich ihnen allen meinen aus tiefstem Herzen kommenden Dank ausspreche, ist ebenso selbstverständlich wie mein Wünsch, dass sie deshalb den Kampf unter keinen Umständen aufgeben mögen, sondern, ganz gleich wo immer, ihn gegen die Feinde des Vaterlandes weiterführen, getreu den Bekenntnissen eines grossen Clausewitz.”
“That I should express the deepest gratitude of my heart is just as natural as my wish that they therefore, under no circumstances, give up the struggle, but rather, wherever it should be, carry it further against the enemies of the Fatherland, true-hearted to the creed of a great Clausewitz.” (p.t.)
“Viele tapferste Männer und Frauen haben sich entschlossen, ihr Leben bis zuletzt an das meine zu binden. Ich habe sie gebeten und ihnen endlich befohlen, dies nicht zu tun, sondern am weiteren Kampf der Nation teilzunehmen.”
“Many of the bravest men and women have at last resolved to bind their lives to mine. I have implored them and finally ordered them to not do this, but instead to take part in the further struggle for the Nation.” (p.t.)
Death, quoth Hitler, is cowardice, or at best a misguided show of loyalty to the ultimate detriment of the Kampf/national-suicide going on outside the Reichskanzlei. Id est, death according to Hitler is desertion, except, of course, for Hitler. He is free to stumble gallantly forth, to fall upon his sword, an ersatz Antony with an ersatz blonde Cleopatra in Eva. Vomit.
And lastly, Hitler begs his adoring legions:
“…meiner Aufforderung zu gehorchen und in diesem Falle das Interesse der Nation über ihr eigenes Gefühl zu stellen.”
“…to obey my request and, in this case, to put the interest of the Nation before their own feelings.” (p.t.)
Before their own feelings. His spirit, he promises, shall flit amongst them for all time, a constant companion and giver of advice, an inciter to further barbarism.
- Hitler does as Hitler pleases
- Hitler does what others are explicitly forbidden from doing
- Hitler is not bound by his own Führerprinzip in his conduct
- Hitler does as Hitler pleases
- Hitler gives up when Hitler wants
- Hitler is above the reproach of his own people and his external foes
- Hitler does as Hitler pleases
Why did he not present himself before a Tribunal? If the Allies must have their pound of flesh off every marked Nazi, why should Hitler not shed his blood, and be sent to the ravens at the gibbet? You have done this, goes the cry through shellshocked Germany, you have done this to yourself and to us, your payment is the noose.
It is the weakest and most morally bankrupt excuse of a Führerprinzip one could possibly conceive of. His categorial imperative is simply not valid if, by God, it should be turned upon himself. Continue the struggle, I merely require the respite of suicide, keep up the good work, ye blond beasts of Germania! Utter disingenuousness, and repugnant to any self-respecting Kantian, hive-inducing to anyone with the slightest idea of what loyalty means. And Hitler speaks of a Volksgemeinschaft.
What should he have done, or rather, what should they have done to him? Let us consult Snorri Sturluson’s Ynglinga saga, the first in the Heimskringla corpus and a retelling of the godly origins and earthly woes of the Swedish Yngling dynasty:
“Dómaldi tók arf eptir föður sinn Vísbur, ok réð löndum. Á hans dögum gerðist í Svíþjóð sultr mikill ok seyra. Þá efldu Svíar blót stór at Uppsölum; hit fyrsta haust blótuðu þeir yxnum, ok batnaði ekki árferð at heldr. En annat haust hófu þeir mannblót, en árferð var söm eða verri. En hit þriðja haust kómu Svíar fjölment til Uppsala, þá er blót skyldu vera. Þá áttu höfðingjar ráðagerð sína; ok kom þat ásamt með þeim, at hallærit mundi standa af Dómalda konungi þeirra, ok þat með, at þeir skyldu honum blóta til árs sér, ok veita honum atgöngu ok drepa hann, ok rjóða stalla með blóði hans. Ok svá gerðu þeir.”
“Dómaldi succeeded his father Vísburr, and ruled his lands. In his time there was famine and hunger in Svíþjóð. Then the Svíar held great sacrifices at Uppsalir. In the first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but even so there was no improvement in the season. The second autumn they held a human sacrifice, but the season was the same or worse. But the third autumn the Svíar came to Uppsalir in great numbers at the time when the sacrifices were to be held. Then the leaders held a council and came to an agreement among themselves that their king, Dómaldi, must be the cause of the famine, and moreover, that they should sacrifice him for their prosperity, and attack him and kill him and redden the altars with his blood, and that is what they did.” (Heimskringla Volume I, Finlay/Faulkes).
8.23% of the German population in 1939 was dead by the end of the war in Europe. Of all the allied bombs dropped in the war’s duration, 81.4% were dropped from 1944 to 1945. By March 1945, there had been 314 air raids on Berlin, and the Soviets and Western Allies combined dropped more than 105,000 tons of their murderous payloads throughout the war on the German capital. Electricity, water, and the basic necessities of modern life were all obsolete by May 7. Hitler was the cause of this.
No altars were reddened. This is the supreme frustration of the past century. One can almost imagine the ideal scene. Hitler, led bound up past the Reichskanzlei, is presented as a christening gift to Zhukov, who can barely conceal his joy at having been offered such a prize. He is put on trial. His rhetoric fails, he is struck dumb, flabbergasted, baffled. He brings a cyanide capsule on his person, but this is discovered and denied to him. He is inevitably found guilty. A German crowd crushes about him as he led out, mixed of those thronging to his side with plaintive wailing and with the heckling of limbless veterans, childless parents, and homeless children. He is taken to an anonymous prison courtyard and disposed of.
No one was granted this. Hitler never truly died. He merely disappeared, he was not banished. He is still alive, and may very well never die.
Fimbulwinter never ends.
“Durchs Gefild der Unermeßlichkeit,
Seit das Chaos kreißte, fortgetragen,
Heischt sich Helios Unsterblichkeit.” -Friedrich Hölderlin, “Hymne an die Unsterblichkeit”