One of the things that has always puzzled me is how you get a group of people to collectively go as crazy as they did in Nazi Germany. In order to get the level of atrocities committed one has to convince the people that what they are doing is good. One must also hide, as much as possible, the true atrocity and make it only known to the seriously whacked minions who will do your bidding.
Recent I was reading The Myth of the Twentieth Century, by Alfred Rosenberg. This is an example of something I sometimes do, I will read something I fully reject as a way to understand the way a group of people think. A more racist book you will not easily find. Its delusions are to many to list. Alfred Rosenberg was the editor of the official Nazi newspaper. When Hitler was imprisoned after his failed Beer Hall Putsch he appointed Rosenberg to lead the party.
Buried in all the pages was this single quote, which summarizes the whole of the matter nicely.
“However, with Christianity, a different spiritual value penetrated through and laid claim upon first place; love, in the sense of humility, mercy, subjection and asceticism. Today it is clear to every honest German that with this doctrine of love, which included all creatures of the world in equal degree, a sore blow was thrust against the soul of Nordic Europe”
Whether this idea was formulated by Rosenberg himself, or perhaps if he was expressing the idea of others already in circulation, this idea truly summarizes everything that went wrong in Nazi Germany. The idea that love and mercy were foreign corruptions of the German/Nordic ideals leaves one truly flabbergasted. Nordic Europe was to be about duty and honor, and about cleansing from all non Nordic/Germanic things. Mercy and Love were among the things that were to be swept aside, and indeed they were.
Rosenberg’s work includes what can best be described as a fully protestant description of the history of the Christian faith, but he goes much beyond that. He also blames the Jews for the corruption of the ancient faiths. He then goes on to attack the various pagan religions, or to be more precise the non Nordic/Germanic ancient religions. The ultimate goal of the writer is to sweep away all Christianity, all Judaism and all non Nordic faiths. In their stead he wishes to create a new form of philosophy/religion based mostly on the Nordic roots but with a new twist.
The idea that 1,000,000 copies of this horribly evil book sold in Germany suggests though that the ideas of Rosenberg were, while not mainstream, clearly accepted by a sizable minority.