I have read Stolfi’s Hitler book (Stolfi, R. H. S. Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny. Prometheus Books), and will briefly review it, although from a different view than a previous analysis.
By the standards of mainstream history, Stolfi’s work would be considered unacceptably and slavishly pro-Hitler (and pro-German and anti-French). By the standards of historical objectivity, Stolfi is actually only mildly pro-Hitler, and I believe his interpretation of Saint Adolf is closer to reality than the Judeophilic screeds of the mainstreamers.
The book has many flaws. The writing style is absolutely terrible, and it is comically repetitious – who edited this? The whole thing cries out to be “blue-penciled;” likely, at least one third of the book (one half?) can be eliminated without subtracting any real content. Stolfi apparently never heard of the jet stream and so labored under the misunderstanding that the climate of Europe is the same as areas of North America of the same geographic latitude. And what to make of the comment that Hitler living in Vienna in the first decade of the 20th century did not have “even a microwave?” Well, true enough, but…here it is 2016 and I don’t have a Jetsons-style flying rocket car. On the other hand, no one else does, so I’m not sure it counts as a hardship.
What also to make of this:
Hitler had founded the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP or German Workers’ Party) in 1919, founded the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP or National Socialist German Workers’ Party) in 1920…
No, the party was founded by Anton Drexler. I mean, this basic history here. But, perhaps, errors like this are not surprising in a book that reads like it was written by a barely literate middle-school student.
In addition to the Counter-Currents review linked above, the flavor of Stolfi’s book can be discerned by the following quote from that work:
His relentless consistency in the attack on Marxists and November Criminals is in accord with the unalterable messages of the great Christian messiah or Islamic Prophet. The attribution of evil in Hitler's consistency because of excessive hatred of an enemy must be handled with care also. If Hitler is interpreted as messiah, or at least a man characterized most fundamentally as having the qualities of a messiah, then it was his mission to save the Germans from some enemy— presumably a considerable one. Given the dimensions of the enemy suggested by the size of Germany and its misfortune, it is difficult to imagine Hitler either as messiah or otherwise and not hating the enemy Did Jesus the Christ or Mohammed the Prophet hate Satan or merely disapprove of him? We do not have to answer this question to get further into Hitler, but we do have to point out that Hitler could be considered to be a messianic figure notwithstanding the presence of either hate or outrage in his presentation of the Marxist enemy.
Essentially, Stolfi’s interpretation is Hitler as the German Messiah, promoting a vision of the German Destiny. Something analogous to Der Movement’s breathless Hitler fetish, but nevertheless superior to the banal “Hitler was evil; he picked on the poor, defenseless Jews” tripe spewed forth by so-called “mainstream historians.”
An amusing detail is this about Hitler’s opinion about so-called “modern art” –
Hitler would note with his characteristic knack for biting sarcasm that rather than a detraction, “it was only an attraction that these works of art were difficult to understand and on that account very costly: no one wished to admit lack of comprehension or insufficient means.”
This is analogous to the “snob effect” I wrote about previously.
And then we have this:
Hitler's words indicate that he was in deadly earnest about immortal cultural achievements as the basis of a people's right to existence.
Well, certainly, culture is the highest proximate interest, but I would take the Salterian view that a “people’s right to existence” is, at least from their perspective, innate and independent on how someone would rank their abilities and achievements (said rankling being the HBD view – although the HBDers are fundamentally dishonest so as to achieve their pro-Jewish and pro-Asian political objectives). If we accept the concept of “universal nationalism” then we should accept the innate right to existence for every ethny (at least in theory – if another ethny is truly threatening your own – an existential crisis of EGI – then your rights, from your subjective standpoint, must be put ahead of theirs).
A point by Stolfi:
He would reiterate that any end for Germany short of the finality of an unassailably defensible state was not worth the effort.
Indeed. Similarly, any end for Whites short of the finality of an unassailably defensive racial position is not worth the effort, which is one reason why stupidities like “citizenism” need to be absolutely eschewed.
Also of interest:
From 1929 onward, Nuremberg became the site of the vast Party Day rallies and could be considered one of the four “Nazi cities.” Various masses of people would assemble as spectators and participants in presentations, demonstrations, speeches, and the like, during both day and night. Hitler intended that the brilliantly staged assemblies would pull Germans together into a sense of belonging to a single body mystically bound by a sense of common destiny.
In relation to those rallies, my essay on “totalitarian democracy” is relevant.
Stolfi’s views on Hitler’s anti-Semitism – at one point Stolfi refers to Hitler as a “thoughtful anti-Semite” - are such that I presume some would accuse Stolfi himself of that “crime:”
We are left to wonder how history's arch enemy of “the Jews” interacted so easily with individual Jews under such circumstances. The conventional wisdom has assigned to Hitler a visceral— deep, organic, emotional— hatred of them. But his interactions with individuals suggests an entirely different kind of anti-Semitism based less on emotion and more on hard, emotionless logic. He would remark in a more general context that he would be known as the hardest man in history, not the most hate-filled.
Thus, Stolfi suggests that Hitler’s “hatred” of the Jews was based on a logical analysis and not “irrational bias.” I agree with Stolfi here and it is remarkable – and to his credit – that he was able to write on this subject so objectively. Did Stolfi ever read MacDonald’s trilogy on the Jews, I wonder? I would not be surprised if he did.
On Operation Barbarossa:
This generalization demands the following reevaluation of Hitler: His decision to advance against Soviet Russia was correct and necessary Hitler could have made Germany impregnable only through seizure of the strategic resources and space of European Russia. His decision was so bold and fraught with consequence for history that it pressed him into the category of world-historical personality. His decision did not doom him to lose, rather it gave him clear and present opportunity to win. Within the ongoing campaign, Army Group Center had the striking power and physical location on August 14 to seize Moscow. There has always been a time and a place in history for everything. The time for Hitler and the Germans to have won World War II was in August, and the place was closely west of the enduring city of the vanished Dukes of Muscovy As concerns Hitler, he made the decision unwittingly to lose the war in surrounding diversions and eccentricities— Halder's aptly described zigzags. As concerns Hitler as world-historical personality, he alone created Barbarossa, and he alone, in the face of resistance and legion objection, destroyed it. His utter loneliness in decision making from Munich 1938 onward, and the world-altering consequences of that loneliness in the inception of Barbarossa, place him in a category distant from the tyrant of the great biographers. Barbarossa had possibilities and consequences so great that it demands a fundamental reevaluation of the course of World War II. The German army attacked Russia to win. The army had the capabilities to win. The army placed itself in geographic position to win. These are historical facts. But the German army failed to win reality of December. Historians have seen World War II as an exercise in early German victories followed by Hitler's alleged mistake of the attack on Soviet Russia and a gradual downhill slide into defeat. No historian has made the interpretive point that Hitler's mistake was not in attacking Russia but in failing to defeat it immediately— in six to ten weeks.
Stolfi thus disagrees with Irving’s interpretation (an oversimplification on my point but nevertheless broadly true) of Hitler a s a great, strategically sound warlord. Stolfi – contra mainstream historians and even Irving – sees Hitler in a sense as following as much a defensive as an offensive war strategy:
…he would cement the interpretation of himself as siege Fuehrer wedded to the proposition that German wars were fought to secure strategic resources.
And we see this:
Hitler's historical stature lies significantly in his putting Germany in position in August to win World War II. Hitler's interpretation as world-historical personality lies in his decision to lose World War II. The decision was single, lonely, and influenced by no other man. The Allies did not win the war; Hitler lost it.
The best books on Hitler I have read were Irving’s Hitler’s War and Flood’s Hitler: Path to Power. Irving is mildly pro-Hitler (and also sufficiently dismissive of the Italians to meet “movement” tastes), while Flood is mildly anti-Hitler. Flood also concentrates solely on Hitler’s early days, up to his release from prison, while Irving’s work mostly concentrates on the war and the events leading up to it, so the two books are effectively complementary. I have read Fest in the past, and note all the things Stolfi complained about; I likely read Toland as well, but do not remember that one so well. But even Irving makes clear that Hitler did in fact (hence the title of his book) bear much primary responsibility for the war; Stolfi can pontificate all he wants about “the man of German destiny” but there were other options open to Hitler than this war that helped complete the destruction of the White World. Salter’s comments in On Genetic Interests about Hitler’s failed quixotic crusade, and the negative effects it had – including on German EGI – are pertinent here as well. Having said that, and with all my criticisms, Stolfi should be credited for attempting to examine the subject from a more objective standpoint than most mainstream historians; Stolfi’s mild positive approach to Hitler is more reasonable than the negative hysteria observed in mainstream biographies of Saint Adolf.