Friday 06 September 2013

Who even knew that one of Hitler’s bodyguards was still alive? (He’s not anymore but we’re getting to that.)

I’m certainly no specialist on World War II or the Nazis. I know enough – good clothes, didn’t like Jews – not to be confused when the subject is talked about generally. I do watch some things about the whole thing: I watched some documentaries; I saw Escape to Victory lots when I was younger. But I’m not some kind of expert, I don’t know the difference between Goebbels and Goering – I kind of know what each of the people did, just not which was which. I’m also not an idiot. I did kind of assume that all the people in the inner circle were long dead.

But they weren’t. One of Hitler’s bodyguards died yesterday. Shame.  So, you assume this guy had spent the last 60 years serving penance and realising the error of his ways. Not so much. Turns out that he thinks everybody was a bit mean about old AH and he refused to accept his wife was (at least part) Jewish. Old habits, and bodyguards, die hard it would seem.

He is quoted as saying that Adolf was “a very normal man… he was no brute, he was no monster.”  Only he was a …he was Hitler. You have to be a pretty stubborn, horrible old bastard to NOT think Hitler was a monster. Another of his lines is that there were no wars where atrocities were not committed – and remember I’m not an expert on World War II – didn’t the atrocities kind of make the war happen?

He also sentimentally talks of Hitler ‘just being the boss’ as someone might say about someone like Alex Ferguson. Like someone might say about someone who was good at their job, did a lot of good things but had a bit of temper. It doesn’t quite work when it’s something like, “He worked hard and he could be a bit of a tyrant but he liked to paint and loved a game of Cluedo. Sure he committed genocide on a scale that will make his name echo through the ages – but haven’t we all at some stage?”

Loyalty is often a quality handed the highest esteem when found in a person; I can’t find anything to admire in loyalty to that bloody bugger Hitler. I don’t have the hate for a daft old racist to be glad they are dead but I don’t think the world has lost anything special, regardless of his link to a historical bastard.

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