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March 14, 1980 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-03-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8 Friday, March 14, 1980

'Meaning of Hitler' Fills Historical Blanks

HONEYWELL BARBER SALON

By ALAN HITSKY

German-born Sebastian
Haffner, a journalist who
fled the Nazis in 1938, only
to return 16 years later as a
free-lance writer, has writ-
ten a powerful treatise on
"The Meaning of Hitler"
(Macmillan).
Haffner's 165-page vol-
ume is an essayist's ap-
proach to history, which
gives him the advantage of
being able to draw conclu-
sions from the events of
Afolf Hitler's life and politi-

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cal decisions. Coupled with
the events of history, it
allows Haffner to tear away
the myths about Hitler and
reveal the inner-workings
and the drives that moved
one of history's most power-
ful criminals.
The author admits that
many of his suppositions are
subject to debate. His book,
however, presents a power-
ful agrument, stripping
away the myth of an obscure
madman. Haffner accuses
Hitler of losing the war in
1941 by inviting disaster on
the Russian front and invit-
ing America to join the
battle.
In his final chapter,
entitled "Betrayal,"
Haffner accuses Hitler of
deliberately punishing
Germany for losing the
war and its lack of total
resolve and obedience in
following his plans.
"Hitler's policy during
that final phase had three
clearly distinguishable ph-
ases. During the first
(August to October 1944) he
successfully prevented the
discontinuation of the lost
war and made sure there
would be a fight to the
finish. During the second
(November 1944 to January
1945) he made a surprising
last sortie — to the West.
Rut during the third (Feb-
ruary to April 1945), with
the same energy he had de-
voted to his conquests until
1941 and from 1942 to 1944
to the annihilation of the
Jews, he pursued the total
destruction of Germany."

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history of the land and the
people's aims and aspira-
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In his chapter on
"Crimes," Haffner labels
Hitler a mass murderer who
killed for the sake of killing.
"Hitler's mass murders
were committed during
the war but they were not
acts of war. On the con-
trary, it may be said that
he used the war as a pre-
text for committing mass
murders which had no
ing to do with the we
but for which he had al-
ways felt a personal need.
If the best men were kil-
led at the front,' he had
written in 'Mein Kampf,'
`then at home one could
at least exterminate the
vermin.'
"The extermination of
those human beings who
were vermin to Hitler was
related to the war only in
the sense that the war di-
verted attention from it.
Otherwise it was, to Hitler,
an end in itself and in no
way a means to victory or
the averting of defeat.
"On the contrary, it im-
peded the conduct of the war
because thousands of SS
men, who were fit for active
service but who were
engaged on this operation,
were lacking at the front —
all in all the equivalent of
several divisions . ."
Haffner's "The Meaning
of Hitler" is an engaging
piece of supposition, mus-
tering arguments and
counter-arguments to fill in
the blank spaces history
leaves in the over-all pic-
ture of Adolph Hitler.

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Haffner theorizes that
Hitler was obsessed with
avoiding the humiliating
armistice Germany suffered
in November 1918. In
August 1944, Hitler ordered
the arrest of 5,000 former
German ministers, mayors,
members of parliament and
civil servants — "in a sense,
Germany's political re
serve." He did not want a
governmental fabric avail-
able to deal with the Allies.
"Between the mass of
the German population
and Hitler a gulf had
opened in the autumn of
1944. The mass of the
Germans no longer
wanted the hopeless fight
to the finish that Hitler
wanted.
"Whey wanted an end,
just as in the autumn of
1918; and they wanted as
lenient an end as was possi-
ble, which was in the West.
To keep the Russians out
and let the Western Powers
in had become the last
secret war aim of most
Germans by the end of 1944.
And that Hitler was still
able to spoil for them by his
Ardennes offensive.
"He could not have every-
body beheaded who thought
such thoughts because
there were too many of them
and most of them were care-
ful not to speak their
thoughts out loud. But he
was able to make sure that
if they did not follow him
through hell and high water
they would be left at the
mercy of Russian ven-
geance."

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this guide can locate al-
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While each of the 1,800
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major spots of interest are
supplemented with the his-
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achievements in Israel, the
progress they continue to
make.
The full-color road maps,
provided by the Survey of
Israel, give this guide book
its completeness.
—P.S.

Teachers Strike in Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA) — All
Israeli educational institu-
tions, from kindergartens to
universities, were closed
Monday as teachers and fa-
culty members went on
strike in support of wage
demands.
The teachers, in the
elementary through high
school grades, have been
fighting for months for a
pay increase that would
bring their salaries to the
same level as government-
employed engineers.
They won their point as a
result of a court order up-
holding their demands and
were putting the final
touches to a new contract
that included a 15 percent-
plus wage hike. But when
the Finance Ministry de-
manded that the teachers
undertake a no-strike
pledge for the rest of the
year -as` a' 'condition of their

-

raise, the union balked.

The university faculties
called a three-day strike
back up their demand
the same supplementary
payments that were
granted the teachers.

The government failed to
get a court order to head off
the teachers' strike until
next Monday when a higher
court will rule on the state's
appeal against the original
court order granting the
wage increase.

Map Protested

BUENOS AIRES (ZINS)
— Jewish organizations
have protested to the news-
paper El Dio for publishing
a map of the Middle East
that labeled Israel "Occu-
pied Palestine." The news-
papees.editotr rig Jewish* •

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