Hitler is one example of the sadistic, nonsexual necrophiliac. Having possessed no core self, he was a man who continually rejected all the demands of reality. To make up for his inferiority complex borne out of being undisciplined, he sought to control those around him. History shows that Hitler was undisciplined and lacked a sense of responsibility. He was a high school dropout, an art school reject whose sketches appeared lifeless and pedantic, and for a while a tramp living on the fringes of society. It was during that latter period when Hitler came across street propaganda slanted towards German Nationalism, `National Socialism', racism, and antisemitism. In 1919, he joined the Socialist Worker's Party which at the time had about fifty members. He would eventually rename the party the National Socialist German Worker's Party.
Hitler soon enough was leading a powerful fascist party which dispensed with a reactionary nationalism based on vengeance and his faith in the superiority of the Aryan blood. In his eyes it was the Jews who were poisoning the German state. They were the killers of Christ and along with the revolutionaries were responsible for the selling out of Germany with the Versailles Peace Treaty. On January 30, 1939, Hitler told the Czech Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky,
We are going to destroy the Jews. They are not going
to get away with what they did on Nov. 9, 1918. The
day of reckoning has come. (10)
But Hitler did not stop there. He also advocated for the destruction of all weak, including those with syphilis and tuberculosis. He even called for all the mentally ill to be put to death. From Mein Kampf Hitler said that,
Defective people must be prevented from propagating
equally defective offspring... for if necessary, the incurably
sick will be pitilessly segregated- a barbaric measure for the
unfortunate who is struck by it, but a blessing for his fellow-men
and posterity. (11)
Hitler would use the mythology of the superior Germany of the past to manipulate the mass culture. By hating not just Jews but all that is not German, he exploited the destructive ecstasy found in the masses. The greeting `Heil Hitler' and the swastika are two examples of mythological symbols Hitler utilised to harness power against weak, alienated individuals. However, Hitler's necrophilia would be his own worst enemy. He had been such a hater of the life-force and humanity, that as the war was waning he ordered Paris destroyed. This order was never carried out. Then in September 1944, Hitler declared the "Scorched Earth" decree, the destruction of Germany itself. As recollected by Albert Speer,
Everything, simply everything essential to the maintenance
of life would be destroyed; the ration card records, the files
of marriage and resident registries, the records of bank accounts.
In addition, food supplies were to be destroyed, farms burned
down and cattle killed. Not even those works of art that the
bombs had spared were to be preserved. Monuments, palaces,
castles and churches, theatres and opera houses were also to
be leveled. (12)
When the end finally dawned on Hitler of his failures, he ordered his own death along with the death of his dog. Against Adolph's orders Eva Braun also joined them in death. As regards to Eva, Hitler had not even admired or respected her. That she submitted to his authority explains why he had spent any time at all with her. Yet her allegiance to him still did not prevent Adolph from cruelly having her brother-in-law executed. However, before we can seal off Hitler as the `antichrist', it must be remembered that he was a human being. The important lesson of Hitler is that evil monsters don't have to look the part. Although with this example, some might argue that as fact. Potential Hitlers are everywhere. They are products of repressive social structures.
Comparatively speaking Hitler's parents were `normal'. Klara Hitler led a joyless life as a subservient housewife of an authoritarian husband. Alois Hitler was an imposing patriarchal character who often beat Adolph and chastised him for his failures at school. It is precisely this pathological `normalcy' in the adults that helped foster a sadistic goon in Adolph. To not see that `poisonous pedagogy' continues the vicious chain of violence between child and parent and child again is to miss the crucial point that Hitler types are found all throughout western civilisation; only they haven't been at the right place and the right time like Hitler was. No man is an island just as Hitler was no devil.
It can now be seen that the bureaucrat has in common with the sadist a submission to a reality outside oneself. In bureaucratic systems people look down on those below them while those above spit down on them. Because the sadist and the bureaucrat both lack a core self that `just is', he/she strives to control human beings. Nazism thus is the bureaucratic world gone violent.
An example of the bureaucratic Nazi is Heinrich Himmler. Himmler, the `bloodhound of Europe', was responsible for the structures that eliminated twenty million Jews, Russians, Poles, or in a word- humans. Himmler was the bureaucratic kind of guy who was also a dehumanised one. He may have looked like the insurance agent next door with his characteristics of being pedantic and precise. Yet, for those who submit to a pathological normalcy, restrictions on the development of the entire personality prevail.
A dry, pedantic life has a pathogenic character, as intensified joylessness breeds more impotence and resentment in the person. Himmler, along with Hitler, was on the lowest fringe of society. With increased power, they had the tools to commit mass destruction. But again, it must be pointed out as done by Marcuse, Miller, and Fromm that aggression is not innate but develops to the degree that repression and pain influences the child. When an individual cannot experience pain in its real context, but continues to relive it again and again via that repetitive compulsion, the result is bound to be chaotic and dangerous. As Erich Fromm explains succinctly in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,
The malignant forms of aggression- sadism and necrophilia-
are not innate; hence, they can be substantially reduced
when the socioeconomic conditions are replaced by conditions
that are favorable to the full development of man's genuine
needs and capacities; to the development of human self-activity
and man's creative power as its own ends. Exploitation and
manipulation produce boredom and triviality; they cripple man,
and all factors that make man into a psychic cripple turn him also
into a sadist or a destroyer. (13)
next up in part four of five on the roots of fascism: we'll take a quick looksie at Joseph Stalin before delving into the mysterious mind of Wilhelm Reich.