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Hey Hitler, How Are You Doing?

The years between 1933-1945, was a period where one of the most totalitarian and barbaric regimes existed, those of Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler. But what if I told you that if the decision making was done by Hitler and Hitler only, then the word “barbaric” might not have been used to describe them.  I would sincerely request all readers to read the article with an open mind and refrain from any kind of prejudices about the same. I request you to keep an open mind and read this without assuming that I am a Nazi because I honestly am not. When Hitler spoke for the first time in a dark basement, he saw the desperateness in a crowd humiliated by the French and English at Compiegne. He connected to them, fed into their ideologies as well as adopted theirs, resulting in the aftermath is we all know. But 1933 wasn’t only the year when Nazis were put into power, it was also the year when the first concentration camp of theirs, Dachau, was put in place. However, the interesting fact here is that none of these were but it wasn’t put into place by Adolf Hitler. Yes, Hitler wasn’t responsible for the first concentration camp nor did he come up with the idea. Hitler threatened to put Jews into camps as early as 1921 but never made any legitimate attempts at making it a reality before and even after Hitler was announced Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933. On February 27th that same year, Hitler took swift action on the burning down of the Reichstag, apparently done by communists, and assumed full power, announcing himself as President. The next day, he announced a decree that authorized the SS to place all said opposition into ‘protective custody’ for as long as they wished. During the next two months, more than fifty thousand people were arrested and there was a legitimate concern about where to house these prisoners. Originally they were housed in an ammunitions factory but soon someone came up with a better idea, an idea that put the ‘barbaric’ term on Nazis, an idea that would define Nazi Germany for history to come. . Enter Heinrich Himmler, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany after the Fuhrer himself and leader of the SS, the official and elite army force of Nazi Germany. Himmler came up with the idea and built the first model concentration camp of Nazi Germany. Dachau, located in Bavaria, was feared as anyone who went there was ruthlessly killed and tortured. Himmler showed the Fuhrer his solution and proposed such concentration camps throughout Nazi Germany. What is unclear in this stage is the role of Hitler and whether the Fuhrer kept his silence or agreed to go ahead with the plan.   Before going any further, we need to understand that Himmler had a bad childhood and was rejected from serving in the army in the First World War, he had always dreamt of serving in the army. When Himmler saw his chance in the Nazi party, he took it and formed the SS, having his dream of serving in the army in his mind throughout. His wish to make the SS the world's deadliest force led to mass genocide. His desire to lead the world's most powerful army led to Auschwitz. By 1941, there were uncountable sub-camps and numerous main concentration camps all over Germany with unimaginable living conditions which in turn caused deaths making space for even more prisoners but, by mid-1941, there were so many prisoners coming in that sickness or individual deaths weren’t enough to make space, so accordingly, Himmler, once again on his own accord, as the commander of the lethal SS force, modified an euthanizing process used for the disabled (these processes as well were developed by Nazi doctors and given the go-ahead by Himmler, not Hitler) and applied it on a large scale to the prisoners of the concentration camps. The rest is history. I am not trying to say that Hitler was innocent. Hitler was guilty but he was guilty of inaction, guilty of keeping silent. Hell, Hitler didn’t even visit a concentration camp let alone coming up with the idea. The books of history survive while the people who lived history pass away. The books (all by western authors) presented Hitler as Nazi Germany’s only and only evil which is still believed by a majority of people today. Leaving other influential decisions in Nazi Germany and taking up only the matter of the concentration camps, facts presented repeatedly state that Hitler in this matter couldn’t oppose Himmler, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, as he couldn’t show that he was even subtly siding with the Jews due to the chance of being labeled a traitor between his own council, a council made up of Walther Funk, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Albert Speer, Karl Donitz, Erich Raeder, Wilhelm Keitel, Martin Bormann, Joesph Goebbels, Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler himself, a council of the 10 most powerful people (mentioned above in descending order of power) in Nazi Germany. Most of Hitler’s decisions were heavily influenced by this council yet we blame Hitler for all that happened and let these ten monstrous human beings totally off the noose.  How many of us reading this article right now even heard of this council, of Heinrich Himmler, of Hermann Goring?

Once again my point isn’t that Hitler wasn’t guilty, he was, my point is that Hitler alone isn’t guilty. Hitler alone doesn’t deserve to be called Nazi Germany’s evil. Hitler alone didn’t pull off the Holocaust. Hitler wasn’t the only evil of Nazi Germany. Hitler once famously said, “I don’t want history to blame Germans, Germans are like sheep with no independent judgment, they are like kids.” Often times, I think that Hitler, also, wasn’t anything more than a dumb sheep with no independent judgment. A dumb sheep with good oratory skills, that is. We extend our warmest condolences to the victims of the monstrosity that occurred between 1933-1945, to the victims of the Holocaust and to the families of the affected.


-Tareq Wahab