…here was an American superhero punching the leader of a sovereign nation in the kisser. Subsequent issues kept pitting Captain America against Hitler and his goons.
The angriest reaction came from the German-American Bund, Hitler’s stooges in the U.S. They harassed Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the creators of Captain America, with hate mail and telephoned death threats.
Simon called the cops, and as soon as the police showed up, the phone rang. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wanted to speak to the creators of Captain America. Simon got on the line. “You boys over there are doing a good job,” the voice squeaked. “The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’”
That is how it’s supposed to work in a democracy.
The KGB considered the Stasi, man for man, the most effective secret police/intelligence agency ever. The Soviets never spoke openly about the Stasi but privately they were quite proud of “their Germans” (Russian dominated East Germany). It was what many Russians wished the Soviet Union was. East Germany was the most efficient communist state ever and the Stasi was the kind of secret police the KGB wished it was.
The idea was, that the more Americans the Japanese killed, the slower the American advance on Tokyo would be. And the more Japanese territory Stalin would be able to grab.
The atomic bomb was the fly in the ointment.
Orwell realized that Hitler understood something about man’s psyche that most are unwilling to admit:
Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all Western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” though, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working hours, hygiene, birth control, and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty parades…
Something to think about with respect to the rise of ISIS as well.
H/t: The National Review.
Jay Nordlinger relates this very touching story from a reader:
…An elderly member of my synagogue — of German extraction and probably born at the turn of the century — was named Adolf. I had always known that he survived the Holocaust, but not much more than that…
I asked him whether he ever thought about changing his name to something other than Adolf. His reply: “My mother gave me that name and it’s all I have left from her. It was my name before that monster seized it. He took everything else from me and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him take my name too!”
The only thing I would add is that Bogart was great when he played someone who behaved quite ruthlessly…only to struggle with his conscience and ultimately end up doing the right thing.