Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Part Three of "How Does One Answer the Following Question??

Well, how about a conversation with one who sits on the other side of the table from the likes of a Schweitzer; namely, one from the Dark Side?
There are so very many (sadly) examples of the human monster to choose from, that I thought it a bit more convenient to choose from a certain sector of human history.
As the twentieth century houses a plethora of, say, tyrants, I thought of the more likely candidates I might like to have shared a conversation with.
The first, obviously, was one Adolf Hitler, who through his brand of evil may be considered the most defining example of the Dark Side, as he formed the first half of the century to a level which decided the form of the latter half.
I decided against a "conversation" with the German dictator for one reason; and that is, his book "Mein Kampf", which he wrote while in prison in the 1920's.
This book predicts, with frightening prescience, what his plans would be for the world. Included is actually a reference to poison gas, let alone the laying out of plans which formed the Holocaust and the deaths of many millions during his twelve-year tenure.
But the book also informs me of the staunchly parochial view he had of the world outside of his personal plans. And that, of course, would mean that he would most assuredly, in conversation, project a limited, if not inaccurate view of issues of consciousness outside of his white-hot microcosm of hate and moral corruption.
Frightening, indeed, but probably quite tedious during the course of a conversation.
From the Nazi hierarchy, I would probably have chosen Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister of Armaments. who may have been close to the level of genius.
Speer was a trained artist, highly educated and sophisticated (probably the only sophisticate within Hitler's Circle). Speer became the Dictator's personal architect, and accomplished several really quite brilliant projects for Nazi Germany. Of all of those close to Hitler, Speer was one man whom Hitler actually demonstrated some open admiration for, which created some division among those who sought Hitler's favor.
At the Nuremberg trial, Speer was the only high Nazi who projected a palpable picture of remorse for what had occurred in Germany and occupied Europe. This clever deflection on his part resulted in a twenty - year sentence, rather than the sentence of hanging, which most of the Nazi hierarchy received. We know that he employed slave labor for both his projects and the armaments industry during the war. It is unknown as to how many of these laborers died.
This one man who served his master, and yet survived to write his memoir and die a natural death, is a Nazi I think I would have found interesting in conversation. By commanding, however small, a degree of respect from Adolf Hitler prompts me to choose this one monster out of an entourage of monsters whose brand of nihilism may never again (hopefully) be replicated.

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