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30 November 2017

Another Fake Hitler Quote from a Novel

Last July I exposed a speech ostensibly composed entirely of Hitler quotes as being composed mostly, in fact, of fake Hitler quotes.

The debunking of fake Hitler quotes seems to be a never-ending task, because people are inventing new ones. One of the fake quotes that I debunked was this:
"It's not the truth that matters, but victory."
That fake Hitler quote is from a novel, Mist of Love, Fog of War by Alain J. Zgheib, published only in 2016.  From the same novel, we have this:
"And the victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
The fake quotes from that novel spread very quickly. I have encountered them several times.

According to Snopes, this is also from a novel:

It is from a slightly older novel, Pat Miller's Willfully Ignorant from 2014.

The propagation of a fake quote like this raises some questions. 

One could ask about the thought-processes of the person who decided to take a sentence from a novel and to misrepresent it as a quote from Adolf Hitler. Obviously such a person has no scruples.

More important, however, is what it says about the people who readily embrace such a misrepresentation.

In the first place, it shows that, despite the obsession with Adolf Hitler in popular culture, much of the general public knows practically nothing about him. They never perused Mein Kampf to get a general idea of what Hitler said -- which is rather the opposite of what is attributed to him here. The whole spirit of Mein Kampf is blunt and honest.

Furthermore, it suggests that they are still under the influence of old war-propaganda alleging that Hitler presented in Mein Kampf theories about how to deceive the public. Anyone who investigates what Hitler wrote will find that he warned against the Big Lie as a tactic of the Jews. But the vast majority of people will never check, and the few who have checked either could not or would not obliterate the false belief.

Dinesh D'Souza, in his public presentations about his idiotic book The Big Lie, speaks as if Hitler had advocated the Big Lie. D'Souza indicates in his book that he knows better, but for whatever reason he chooses in his public presentations to conform to the old, false propaganda. The fact that he can do this in presentations at universities without suffering embarrassment is remarkable. Perhaps the people who recognize the deception just don't want to be seen defending Hitler. (Many of Dinesh D'Souza's followers however are simply stupid.)

The belief  that Hitler would have written such statements in a book for publication also shows an utter lack of critical thinking. 

The statement shown here resembles something from The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which was alleged to be a secret document that ended up being published only because it was leaked.* There is no similar background story to explain how similar admissions from Hitler could become public. We are supposed to believe that Hitler deliberately wrote down his evil intentions and had them published. People are just not thinking.
* Incidentally, Protocols is clearly not an authentic document either, although, unlike this statement attributed to Hitler, it at least has some resemblance to the truth.


Signifier said...

Thank you, Hadding Scott, for your diligence and conscientiousness in regard to Hitler. I recently found the following shallow statement from a book ironically titled, "The Natural Science of Stupidity" by Paul Tabori:

"No nation has an inherent love of tyranny and oppression, not even the German. But when the stupidity of the herd instinct spreads into politics, when the folly of national masochism becomes general, then the Hitlers, the Mussolinis, and the Stalins arise. Lest you should think this oversimplification, read a few pages of Mein Kampf; study Mussolini's speeches or Stalin's pronouncements. There is not a line that an intelligent or normal brain would accept. Most of it is such errant nonsense that a ten-year-old could detect its spurious logic, its extreme3 vacuity." (page 13)

Here is a statement by an author who is counting on an unthinking public when he makes bald, insupportable and absolutistic utterances from a post-war culture replete with received ideas.

Hadding said...

Mein Kampf is the book that everybody pretends to have read, just so that they can dismiss it. Tabori talks as if he hasn't read it either. It is possible to make some criticisms of the style of Hitler's writing, but to call what he wrote nonsense is absurd. H.L. Mencken actually wrote a review of Mein Kampf, and he said that there were no NEW ideas in the book. In a way, that's an endorsement. If Hitler was assembling commonplace ideas, then he was certainly not writing nonsense.

Mussolini made some very striking statements. Here's one: "Fascism sees in the world not only those superficial, material aspects in which man appears as an individual, standing by himself, self-centered, subject to natural law which instinctively urges him toward a life of selfish momentary pleasure; it sees not only the individual but the nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which, suppressing the instinct for life confined in a brief cycle of pleasure, builds up a higher life, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists."

About Stalin, I don't know. But somebody must have found him compelling.

Signifier said...

"Tabori talks as if he hasn't read [Mein Kampf] either." I agree. That's why I wanted to quote him as an example of the kind of unthinking stupidity that sounds off as critical intelligence when it comes to Hitler.

That quote you gave from Mussolini is excellent. There's a similarity here to the Third Reich's political philosophy in that quotation. No wonder Ezra Pound and Hitler were enamored of him -- at least in the beginning.

About Stalin -- you don't know? I think you were enjoying being funny here: "somebody must have found him compelling."

Thanks for your words.