A Jew’s View of Adolph Hitler

As a Jew, when I think of Hitler, I don’t think of Hitler as some evil mastermind, nor do I think of him as a misunderstood soul, nor do I think of him as a non-human demon. Instead, I think about Hitler before it all began for him; Hitler before WWI.

Before WWI, Adolf Hitler was a no-name loser transient hanging out between Vienna and Munich. He was from an upper-middle-class background but became dirt poor, not due to injustice or misfortune, but rather through his own stupidity, ego, and refusal to get an actual job. He made a living drawing kitschy mediocre paintings for tourists while living in a hostel for homeless people. He got his opinions from racist tabloids and from passive absorption of Nietzsche. A man of below-average intelligence, mediocre talents, little social skills, and very, very little maturity.

The Hitler I see is not a mastermind or evil genius. He was a thoroughly mediocre man, a deeply awkward and childish man who never let go of his teenage years (which he called the best years of his life in Mein Kampf), a man who seems ironclad and resistant to letting go of his daydreams and joining the real world.

And that was Hitler. Hitler never progressed from that. He remained a mediocre, immature loser from the days he was a Vienna transient until his death in the bunker in 1945. He only gained one talent: A trained ability to manipulate, abuse and persuade people into submission, and he used that one talent well to lie, cheat, bluff, torture, two-time and scam his way into his role in history: The overseer of the industrial slaughter of the European Jews. Anyone else could have filled that role instead of him, he just happened to trip his way into the position.

Hitler was not a genius. Hitler was not a psychopath. Hitler was not Satan. Hitler was a painfully average and incompetent Gentile, and he is not one of a kind.

Commentary: Adolph reminds us of venal, incompetent people in politics today.

 

There are days like that.

 

A Human Interest Story (captioned photo above)

– MRSLL is related –

Walter Knott’s original berry stand in 1926, where Knott and his wife Cordelia sold berries, preserves, and pies to passing motorists on State Route 39 in Buena Park.

The story of Knott’s success begins more than a hundred years ago when Walter bought 32 acres of empty land near the small railroad town of Buena Park. He then brought in James L. Preston of Gardena who had been cultivating strains of Texan blackberries for more than 20 years but didn’t have a proper farm. Together, they used 19 acres of the farm to mass produce the blackberries, and then they sold them at their roadside stand. A 1923 LA Times profile says that they never brought in less than $100/day ($1,735 in 2022).

By 1928, this stand was replaced with a large, permanent stucco structure, and called “Knott’s Berry Place.” Soon after, Knott was made aware of a “large reddish-purple berry” created by a horticulturist named Rudolph Boysen, who had never been properly introduced to the world as he broke his back in an accident before his crops had ripened. Knott met with Boysen, obtained his vines, nursed them back to health, and then introduced the world to Boysenberries – another best seller.

In the mid-1930s, the Knotts opened a restaurant on site, serving chicken dinners, cooked by Cordelia, and people would wait in line for hours. So, in 1940, to keep the people entertained, Knott built an old ghost town, bringing in abandoned ‘old west’ buildings from defunct company towns that once stood in the desert.

Over the 1950s, they added a small railroad, a ‘pan for gold’ attraction, a Mine Train ride, and a log ride, and finally, in 1968, it officially became the amusement park we know today.

If you look closely inside the stand in the picture, you can see Walter greeting his customers, still with no idea of the success to come.

This could be MRSLL…

 

From Ancient Rome

This photo is an attempted reconstruction of a Roman legionary eques, middle of the 1st century A.D.

The referenced eques is wearing a partly tinned bronze helmet with iron core (copy of piece at Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins in Southern France), mail armor with shoulder doublings, flat oval clipeus, plated belt, and spatha on shoulder baldric. The overall horse harness is from selected 1st-century finds, together with glass melon beads on the mount’s chest. Extra baggage is attached to the horns of the saddle (Viroviacum-Wervik, Belgium, October 1st MMXXII)

Armored re-enactors

34 COMMENTS

  1. Hitler. All it takes is an ability to manipulate people; no great intelligence is needed, just look at our politicians today. Of course it does help if there is a gullible population to work with.

    Never knew the origins of Knotts Berry Farm, interesting.

    • Hitler may not have been a genius as the term is commonly understood. But he played the western powers like a toy piano. He ate eastern Europe “like an artichoke, leaf by leaf.” (Though he found Russia indigestible.)
      In spite of warnings by Churchill his appetite was fed by the appeasers.

  2. in re “a Roman legionary eques”
    unless he were preparing to go into immediate battle, wouldn’t the wearing of:
    1. the helmet,
    2. the entire mail armor ensemble,
    be uncomfortable over lomg periods
    or would it just be more inconvenient to carry it in some fashion?

    • I remember panning for gold at Knotts when our family vacationed in S. California in the 1960s. My greatest success was getting myself splashed with water. My brother did better.

    • Proper armor is comfortable to wear. Especially just a maille shirt and greaves.

      Helmets? Helmets are a pain in the neck. About as uncomfortable to wear as your basic WWI to modern combat helmet. So, if adjusted and padded correctly, not too bad to wear, especially with an open-faced helm like that. Still, at the end of the day, a pain in the neck. But carrying one? Cumbersome as all out. Unless hung where it doesn’t swing, it will swing and beat you or your mount to death by the end of the day. Hung where it doesn’t swing, that’s an unbalanced load that, at the end of the day, is a pain in whatever it hangs from.

        • And some of those servants were tasked with running into battle and yanking down the enemy.

          Just like squires in Medieval Times. (looking at you, William Marshall)(for those not knowing, he was known to squire big farm thugs to do just that in mounted tournaments and on the battlefield. went from being basically dirt poor to having serious bank by the time he died, much of which was acquired by paroling captured tournament players or captured enemies.)

          And, yes, being rich enough to have servants do all the drudge work for you and to fix you a bath and cook your meals and set up a tent for you and your field concubine is very nice. Better than sleeping in a leather tent with 9 other guys.

          • The belt helps to carry the weight of the chainmail.

            There is a very common misconception of tournaments, which were melee war games.

  3. While hosting a men’s breakfast, a man who served during WWII and afterward bcame an MD, asked what I thought of Hitler. Surprised by the question and knowing within the audience were a number of men of that era, I was very careful with my answer, even to consider it better to hold my tongue. But he asked and my speech for that morning did allude to such (they who did evil in the sight of the LORD) at least to prompt the question.

    My answer was mostly in agreement as Larry has posted, the exception being I think Hitler was a psychopath. That is at least how I understand the nature of bullies; not a master but a manipulator anyhow.

    [To my horror, the audience remained silent after I had answered. Every of my overhead questions (designed to prompt discussion) went unanswered. Finally, to my great relief, one whispered that I ‘did alright’. I lost 10 lbs by sweat that morning]

    What I had heard of Mr. Boysen was he had contacted Mr. Knott to ask for help in developing the natural taste of his berry, it holding promise but only on the cusp of being great. While the credit is given to Knott, the achievement was the result of a continued collaboration of thevtwo men. Boysen had roots (no pun intended) in San Luis Obispo.

      • That makes sense… they could do whatever with no conscience. If they got away with it they were that far ahead, if they didn’t … there were/are others pushing behind them for their turn.

  4. In all my readings, I haven’t able to gather that Hitler “…was from an upper-middle-class background…”, but rather from an upper-lower-class background.
    I’d appreciate if anyone could direct me to a reference validating the former.

  5. Along the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes, a father ran a fresh fish stand – just like all the other fisherman in the area. His daughter, Betty, asked if she could make a few desert items and sell them at the stand as well. Soon the deserts were outselling father’s fish, and then all the other fish stands as well. Father stopped selling fish and the family expanded Betty’s items – the most popular were pies using whatever berries were in season at the time.
    You can still eat at a restaurant called Betty’s Pies if you drive along the North Shore Drive.
    Be sure to leave room for desert 🙂

  6. I recalled hearing a particular Paul Harvey’s “Rest of the Story” on Hitler when one moment that would have eliminated him from the planet…didn’t happen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDLxbESNi8U

    Knott’s – Very interesting when you read “the rest of the story” as well. Many mom and pop stands turned into successful business because they work hard, placed their stands with good visibility (or drew them in for a glass of ice cold water like Wall Drug), but mostly because they sold great products that people wanted. True Americana, and The Dream to Pursue Happiness as we are [were] afforded, first by God, then our Founders.

  7. “refusal to get an actual job”

    Yes indeed and so to commentary, a politician.

    That in mind, he was, apparently, quite brave in the trenches and didn’t he have a sideline in intel between the wars?

  8. Yay, a Roman equestrian without stirrups. To those of us nerds and pedantic people, no stirrups is a period thing. There was a famous cavalry vs cavalry between Eastern Romans and Persians that started out with everyone mounted and ended up a giant infantry battle.

    Without stirrups, swinging and missing with a weapon means the weapon will pull you off the saddle, unless you have the mass or leg strength to hold your seat. No couched (held under arm) lances, just overhead jabbing. Even firing a bow from saddle without stirrups is a difficult thing, and to do a Parthian shot (firing to the rear of the horse) takes exceptional skill, basically the type of skill you only get from being born into horse-born warfare.

    • The Roman Empire lasted a long time and the army and navy evolved. They had a marine corps as well. It was, for the most part, a true combined arms force, rare in that time, with emphasis on heavy articulated artillery. Mounted troops didn’t have the utility that they would later have and legions often used auxiliary cavalry from conquered nations with a more developed horse culture to handle their scouting and other cavalry needs. The Romans had vulnerabilities like everyone else but their system of making roads and of engineering was unmatched so they were able to move cavalry, infantry and logistics very quickly within that system of highways. They also had an evolved postal system that allowed for dispatch riders to deliver messages throughout the empire very quickly for that time.

      • Roads… The Romans had good roads, that allowed them to trade & move with relative ease, that gave them an edge.

        I really think that roads (the interstate system) and the GI Bill for education gave the US a huge step up in the generation following WW2.

        • And aqueducts. They brought clean water to places where it had been scarce. The legions were put to work on construction projects when they were not campaigning and it reached a high art.

        • It wasn’t a magic bullet, but it explains why they could win against long odds in hostile territory. They brought their fortifications with them and set them up every night, systematically.

          If you were a “barbarian” and a Roman surveying team showed up marking a road, there was cause for concern.

      • The Mongols made good use of the stirrup and created (much through the use of Chinese infantry and artillery) a true combined arms force that was completely unrivaled. Without the stirrup, who knows how far they would have gotten?

  9. Knotts was a fun place in the 60s. Re the Roman eques, if I remember correctly (big IF), there was a wide ‘horn’ on the saddle that you could hook a knee under from either side to at least brace a little bit.

  10. Hitler was a pretty astute politician. He rose to power in a vacuum, got himself appointed chancellor and supreme ruler, took the Sudetenland, Austria and Czechoslovakia without a shot fired and correctly predicted how the leaders of France, the UK and Russia would back down. But, after 1942 it was all downhill, he fired his general staff and took over the running of the war….big mistake.

    • He considered himself to be a military genius. He played the political fiddle well but fell short militarily. And as Germany lost, his generals feared execution so didn’t act in the army’s best interests. He seemed to leave the U-Boats alone.

      • He hated most of his generals because in his view, they were part of the Prussian aristocracy, the old school elites, the guys who he blamed for surrendering in 1918. He had a handful of generals and admirals who he favored, but the rank and file were afraid of standing up to his idiotic orders. (No retreat! Die to the last man!) I love history.

  11. Mein Kampf showed a capability for keen insight. Hitler made no bones about the genius of Anglo-American propaganda and how it helped to tear Germany apart during the first world war, and he put that insight to great use in his rise to power. His insight into the problems of the Austro-Hungarian empire were spot on. I wouldn’t classify him as a genius, but he was no dummy; and Germany having pulled off what it did in the first years of the Second World War was nothing short of audacious given the actual comat readiness of the German military in the early years. The “incompetence” of the latter years was more a matter of making do with diminishing resources outnumbered by the military and industrial might of the two largest powers of the world at that time (US and USSR … aside from being a good jumping off point, the UK was essentially a spit in the bucket).

    Hitler figured, quite wrongly, that the his German cousins in the UK might sit out or join in his mission. That more than anything was his fatal mistake. Some might say it was the invasion of Russia, but there are some who would say Germany had no choice, as the Russians were massing to “liberate” Western Europe.

    The is little question that Hitler was a sociopath, but then what politician isn’t.

    • Only a fool fights a war on two fronts. Hitler: “Hold my schnapps.” (Actually, he never drank alcohol, so make it tomato juice)

      • There is also the Princess Bride quote about not fighting a land war in Asia. Hitler thought that he was cooler than Napoleon — apparently not.

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