Adolf Hitler was responsible for World War II, at least the European portion of it. There is no way that his rise to power in Germany can be overemphasized. Had he not come to power, which he did legally in Germany, we quite likely wouldn’t have seen the atrocities of the Holocaust against six million Jews and six million others in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Hitler was not a military man, but a political opportunist. Revisionists claim that some of his programs to lift Germany out of its post-war funk were a positive move and it did improve Germany’s economy and the government did put people back to work. Absent from that argument is that everything that Adolf Hitler did was for Adolf Hitler and his rise to power and increase his standing and his good public relations in the eyes of the German people. He was an opportunist who took control of the government apparatus to meet his own ends. He did not have the good of the German people anywhere in mind. When I teach courses on World History to high school students, I continually emphasize this point.
Adolf Hitler was evil from Day One, even before Day One. His rantings in Mein Kampf, written in prison while serving time for his attempt to take over the Bavarian government, shows that he had everything planned, his plans to take over Europe for the purpose of housing the growing German nation were well outlined. He even said he would go east first, which he did by attacking Poland on September 1, 1939.
Some history textbooks do give little light to the Holocaust. One textbook that I was assigned to use has three scant pages on the atrocities. It is up to the professionals, the teachers, to fill in the gaps of what is written in the textbooks and what is not written. Adolf Hitler was responsible for those atrocities, plain and clear.
In one of my very teachable moments a number of years ago, I began lecturing about the Holocaust about 8:20 in the morning and the next time I looked up it was 9:50, just a few minutes before our first break. I always speak proudly upon that.
Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust and World War II are interchangeable. None of them can be discussed without discussion of the other two.
If we don’t learn history, we are doomed to repeat it. When evidence of ethnic cleansing’ surfaced in Bosnia in the 1990’s, it was people, many of whom had learned the lessons of the evil of genocide while studying the Holocaust in their history classes, began to put a stop to it, unfortunately too late for the thousands already killed.
To the teaching professionals who may be reading this, keep up the good work of emphasizing the evils of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.