If you compare vladimir putin to Adolf Hitler, a lot of German intellectuals will get angry at you. Hitler was the only true Antichrist and calling anyone else a fascist is a sacrilege. This is also why Germany is reluctant to oppose russia.
Germany’s behaviour in the russian aggression war against Ukraine was so far mostly embarrassing. It started with the announcement not to give any military equipment at all (except the infamous 5000 helmets), then the country was shamed into a promise to send cannons and tanks (which so far largely remain just that, a promise), and now Germany finds itself afraid of Ukraine’s victory. The richest EU nation is scared of russia’s revenge, reluctant to send money to Ukraine, and sabotaging its own weak sanctions against russia.
Although, it could have been much, much worse. At least the Greens are pushing for Ukraine’s support, being the only anti-putin party in the coalition government and in the whole German Bundestag. These pacifists have proposed arming Ukraine even before the full-scale war began on 24 February 2022, and back then all of Germany got angry at them.
Death by Fossil Fuels – Thoughts on Russia’s War on Ukraine
Come climate disaster and nuclear World War 3, we will meet the end sitting in our SUV in a drive-through clutching a burger.
The official reason for not really helping Ukraine is firstly that russia might get angry and attack Germany directly, or at least the NATO partners in the east. Actually, russia would have attacked anyway had it won in Ukraine. The real reason for the weak russia sanctions and their many exceptions is the bizarre total dependency German economy has on russian gas, created by the past German chancellors: Gerhard Schröder (who by all definition is a russian agent), and by Angela Merkel (who was at best very naive all her 16 years in power). But gas is not all.
The other reason why Germany doesn’t give Ukraine those tanks is officially because Germany says it needs the arms to defend itself. Against whom? Obviously against russia, after it will have won in Ukraine? Well, Ukraine is fighting russia right now so German soldiers don’t have to die. Maybe the Bundeswehr really needs those tanks for beer runs, but I daresay this is not a good enough reason.
We won’t survive without Ukraine – Thoughts on Russia’s War
If we let Putin’s fascist empire destroy Ukraine, we will turn into fascists ourselves and get the World War 3 we wanted to avoid.
The real reason is that Germans just don’t want to help Ukraine. To be fair, they would be even reluctant to fight for the NATO Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, all claimed by russia as its own imperial territory.
From occasionally following the German open letters and experts debating the war in Ukraine and putting all Ukrainian (and pro-Ukrainian) historians, politologists and journalists into their place, I think I understand why that famous German “Nie Wieder” (Never Again) is a shallow, empty phrase which implies nothing except the constant quasi-religious cult of Hitler as the Antichrist. The only lesson from WW2 is that you must always talk about the supernatural evilness of Hitler and Nazi crimes, in circles, constantly praying in this dogmatic anti-Hitler church to make sure the Antichrist doesn’t return to Berlin. At the same time you must never draw any comparisons or worse, actions, regarding today’s murderous fascist tyrants abroad. Never call them fascists either. That would be a sacrilege.
In Germany, you are supposed to view Hitler as a kind of extraterrestrial being, the absolute evil which arrived to Earth out from nowhere and then disappeared into a void in May 1945, thankfully taking all his fascism with him. Hitler’s Nazi empire and the Holocaust were of course unique in its scale and totality of mass murder, but the Germans take this view further: nothing can be compared to Hitler and Nazis, and everyone who tries it is at best ignorant, or possibly a Nazi-sympathiser. In this one aspect, Germany is strangely similar to russia.
And this is also why Germans always loved russia (the only victim of Hitler’s war against USSR they recognise), but never showed much interest for Ukraine, or the Baltic states. One big reason is that those post-Soviet nations keep talking not just about Hitler, but also about Josef Stalin’s crimes, Stalin’s totalitarian regime, Stalin’s mass murders, famines and deportations, how Stalin actually started WW2 in alliance with Hitler in 1939, how Stalin planned a nuclear WW3 but luckily died before he could begin.
Basically, the Balts and Ukrainians keep comparing Stalin to Hitler, and this is something the politicians and experts in Germany really don’t appreciate, in Germany Stalin is a kind of OK-ish guy because he fought against Hitler. After russia first attacked Ukraine in 2014, and even after 24 February 2022, Germany was still reluctant to drop their convictions that Ukrainians are mostly Nazis and Nazi-sympathisers (key words: Azov! Bandera!). But russia is still not seen as a fascist state committing a genocide.
Zombie Nation – Thoughts on Russia’s War on Ukraine
Our experts failed to predict the horrors which happen and what may still happen in Ukraine. Maybe they should stop following Russian Zombie TV.
From the German perspective of the Adolf the Antichrist cult, the words ‘genocide’ and ‘fascism’ can only be attributed to Hitler and the Nazis, and nobody and nothing else. Even Mussolini wasn’t really a fascist because he didn’t actively engage in the Holocaust. And certainly you are not allowed to accuse dictators like putin of fascism and genocide, because putin, we are told, doesn’t commit mass murder on the scale Hitler did.
Well, that is also because times and societies have changed since. Mass murders are still possible, but not in the open, not in front of the ubiquitous mobile phone cameras – the massacres must be half-way deniable. Simply because nobody wants to be compared to Hitler and the Nazis. However, where the rascist army had the opportunity, they did commit destructions and mass murders on the scale comparable to WW2. Bucha or Mariupol for example. While storming the latter, rascists killed around 25 thousand people out of 120-150 thousands there, and that ratio would have applied to every single Ukrainian city. Multi-story houses in Mariupol and Borodyanka were destroyed in air raids with WW2-style free-fall bombs so they collapsed and buried everyone underneath, tens of thousands are right now being tortured and killed in numerous “filtration camps” on occupied territories, but in Germany you are not allowed to call this a genocide or compare the rascists to Nazis.
Empire of Slaves – Thoughts on Russia’s War on Ukraine
Russia is a warmongering, marauding, slave-holding racist tyranny which fell through the cracks of history straight from the times of ancient empires.
The simple reason why German experts can so confidently insist that putin is not as evil as Hitler is due to the fact that the rascist air force is afraid to enter Ukraine-controlled territory now, after some air defence was finally provided by the hesitant NATO countries (not by Germany, obviously). The russians would love to annihilate major Ukrainian cities and burn millions there with phosphorus bombs, but alas, the second-biggest army in the world is afraid for their precious planes. The bunker-dwelling dictator putin and his stooges keep discussing using chemical and nuclear weapons against Ukraine, but the idea of a US retaliation so far cools down the ambitious plans of Germany’s most beloved nation in the east.
putin is not a second Hitler or a second Stalin. He is not someone’s reincarnation, but a fascist mass murderer of today who engages in crimes against humanity: a war of aggression and a genocide on the Ukrainian people. What Germans refuse to do is to draw the right lessons from the Nazi history. Just like Hitler, putin is obsessed with owning Ukraine, and also for putin the Ukrainians must be exterminated and enslaved. Germans must also finally understand that Stalin did not save the world from Hitler, but was another despotic killer who helped Hitler start WW2, whose own genocidal policies actually enabled the Holocaust and other Nazi mass murders on the scale they happened.
Stalin was also obsessed with enslaving Ukraine, for that purpose he shot and starved many millions there, something putin is also willing to do (putin however aims further, for a global famine). Hitler didn’t have nukes, Stalin was prepared to start a nuclear World War 3 to conquer all of Europe, using a giant army of slaves from the occupied nations of Eastern Europe. putin is probably prepared to do the same, but so far was prevented. Because luckily others didn’t listen to the German sunshine attitude of “Besonnenheit“, and gave Ukraine some weapons to defend itself.
Sorry, German intellectuals, but you can’t have your Hitler all for yourself anymore.
Слава Україні! Героям слава!
Please find charities to donate here at taz. Prof Timothy Snyder lists ways to help Ukrainian army and civilian help charities here. Or donate to a humanitarian charity project of your choice. Ukrainians are fighting for all of us.
Very good article. Of course it is not just the Germans who were blind to Stalin. Liberals before during and after WW2 in the West did not want to think bad of “Uncle Joe”. The terrible things he did in 1939 – 1941 in Eastern Poland and the Baltic States have almost been airbrushed out of history. This view of life sold Eastern Europe into slavery in 1945 and we are still suffering the consequences – the enemy of enemy is not necessarily your friend.
Germany should acknowledge its history, but not see it as unique – Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao – all mass murderers in their own way as bad as Hitler. As a nation they cannot move on unless they stop seeing themselves as unique – be it the master race or having the world’s worst tyrant, they both end up leading the nation into immoral positions
Very well put, fully agree.
We in the USA are not informed often enough of Europe’s politics. Thanks Leonid et al.
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And you won’t be any better after reading this piece of ridiculous propaganda.
Propaganda for whom? You forgot to explain that part.
There is Solov’ev on the Russian TV and there is Schneider in the internet … No difference
These Jews, eh?