Adolf Hitler- By Robert Kennedy
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The Strathallan Story has covered various aspects of the U562 Torpedo, the Liner, Sister Ships,U562, Convoy Marshalling Base, Operation Torch and many Convoy and Eye Witness reports. But we have not touched on why it all happened in the first place.
This Web Site therefore, would not be complete if we did not explore the extra-ordinary phenomena of Der Fuhrer ( The Leader) Adolf Hitler and the part he played in bringing mayhem to the world during 1939-1945.
It could be construed as hindsight in the extreme if we were to state the obvious and trace all World War Two responsibility to this extraordinary human being.. “Had one man not been born there would have been no Strathallan/U562 Incident… 56,000,000 million people in the world would have not died in war…. and the nations of this world would have not got together to bring an end to the most vicious, evil, vile and unspeakable regime civilisation has known since the dawn of time”.
That man was Adolf Hitler. Because of the obedience that exists in every society within Armed Forces…….the culture of “Obeying Orders” from the top Generals to the lowly Privates……..Hitler was able to bend the will of millions of people where he held absolute sway over the German Nation for nearly 20 years finally bringing the citizens to their knees as the Allied Forces ( British USA French Russian and many more) surrounded his “Bunker in Berlin”. After leading his nation to catastrophe he was unable to face the reality of his downfall and committed suicide taking along his mistress Eva Braun in his passage to hell. If there is such a place it can be guaranteed Adolf Hitler will be residing there with the Devil his best friend. The classic Megalomaniac Bully.
Like moths circling a light in the darkness Hitler managed to gather around him a close circle of confidantes who effectively carried out his depraved wishes. Their names needs no introduction. Their deeds have reverberated down through history in the Hall of Infamy as being complicit in mass murder, the destruction of an otherwise ordinary society and savage crimes against the human race.
Josef Goebbels Henreich Himmler Martin Borman Herman Goering Adolf Eichman Rudolf Hess Albert Speer.
In the first six months of Hitler’s power every city, town and village institutions like Voluntary Groups, Boys Clubs…Chess Groups…Woman’s Guilds…. Football… Swimming Clubs indeed every social organisation were blended into the Nazi Party more effectively than communism. This collective system was known as Gleichschaltung. No one could launch anything without permission from the Nazi Party. They even corrupted youth by the formation of Hitler Youth. Not to be a member meant an innocent youth would be ostracised by his/her peers.
Independence of various groups within a civilised and law abiding society is desirable allowing an interesting and diverse culture but Hitler realised the drawing together of all strands of community life within Germany would give him absolute political control over every ones lives.
That group of highly intelligent but flawed band of misfits around Hitler effectively carried out the wholesale rape and pillage of the independent spirit of the German people causing them to bend entirely to the will of Der Fuhrer. Mesmerised ,they blindly followed the Fuhrer into a bottomless pit of national destruction where the world was forced to rise up against them or be destroyed themselves.
His book Mein Kampf written while in Landsberg Prison jailed for sedition, was a classic of Discrimination and Anti Semitism and yet went on to become the “Bible” of National Socialism and The Nazi Party. “We are The Master Race” he preached with unswerving conviction. The people believed him. He was in essence a confidence trickster with a giant con. The ruin of The German Nation stands as a testament to his ability of conmanship. They were not the Master Race but just ordinary mortal souls like any other nation. Nowadays he would be prosecuted for incitement to cause civil unrest and discriminatory behaviour in the extreme.
It was completely extra ordinary how that small band achieved their goals in Pre War Germany, nothing short of genius, but the negative and dangerous kind.
How could it have happened. Time Magazine the famous USA journal named Hitler “Man of the Year” in 1938 but obviously changed its opinion as events unfolded in the following years. Adolf Hitler was born at Braunau-am-Inn between Austria and Bavaria at 1830hrs on 20th April 1889. He was called after his grandmother’s name of Schiklgruber. His father Alois Hitler an Austrian Customs Officer was born out of wed lock to Maria Schiklgruber. There was nothing outstanding in the family background to indicate they had brought on this earth someone who would become the most ruthless tyrant the world had ever known. His grandfather was a miller and Alios was apprenticed as a cobbler.
Hitler became a house painter and during army service was promoted to Corporal in the 1st Company of the 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment during the First World War He was twice decorated for bravery under fire winning the Iron Cross First Class. The regiment was his home .He was a loner with no close friends
He would not even take leave preferring to stay with his unit rather than go home.
At the end of the war he was incensed, in his opinion, that the Generals had sold out the German Army by surrendering to the Allied Forces. The Treaty of Versailles put the German Nation’s back to the wall with all sorts of restrictions which created public rancour. In 1920 he founded the National Socialist German Workers Party ( NSDAP) or in German (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter –Partel) which became the infamous Nazi Party. With Germany in post war disarray this became the vehicle to propel Adolf Hitler into the upper echelons of power in the German Nation, becoming Chancellor , where he abolished all opposition. He had no compunction about murdering his opponents and rivals.
As we write March 2003 the free world is again dealing with another tyrant in Saddam Hussein of Iraq who is holding on to power by fear and intimidation but compared to Hitler…. Saddam Hussein is but a babe in arms metaphorically speaking but share the same common denominator of being dictatorial despots.
Hitler became obsessed with the idea all Germany’s problems were caused by Jews and became a frightening Anti Semitic. He was responsible for the most single horrific act in the history of mankind by his policy of The Final Solution. The herding of Jewish men women and children in cattle trucks to concentration camps through out Europe where they were systematically gassed and incinerated in ovens especially built for the purpose. Unbelievably in the region of 6,000,000 souls were murdered. A further 50,000,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, civilians men women and children, died in acts of war and barbarism
Known as The Holocaust the Jewish Question remains the biggest blot on the history of perversion, brutality and evil the world has ever seen. Mass murder on a scale never experienced before in the history on mankind. And amazingly from a house painter and corporal in the army.
Not content to bring Germany into a brutal dictatorship with secret police organisations as The Gestapo Hitler launched into a campaign to subjugate Europe by Conquest of Arms nearly succeeding until the world was mobilised against him.
Onboard Strathallan… as she slipped anchor on 12th December 1942 heading for her date with destiny meeting U562 in the Mediterranean Sea 9 days later where she was sent to the bottom of the ocean… were over 5000 souls. They were ordinary people from every type of background. Their German and Italians adversaries were exactly the same. None had any choice of being there. They were obeying orders and if they did not, consequences followed, even death if they deserted in the face of the enemy.
The culprit was Adolf Hitler no more no less. Everyone was trapped in a Hypothetical Nightmare from where there was no escape. With millions of people, death and destruction , all matters and events can be traced back to this one man who held the world in the palm of his hand for a short period of time. His name was on all lips. Der Fuhrer
The English poet Robert Browning eloquently summed it up in his classic philosophical verse which is relevant to any conflict where soldiers are pitted against each other and so called statesmen like Adolf Hitler are safely barricaded away from harms way. . Another great example must have been The Earl Haig during World War One and The Kaiser. Millions died in trench warfare but the leaders were no where to be seen at the front. Saddam Hussein…….George Bush……Tony Blair are proving to this day nothing has changed. The innocent take the brunt.
The Man I Killed – By Robert Browning
If he and I had met by some old ancient Inn
We would have sat us down to wet right many a nipperkin
But ranged as infantry and staring face to face
I shot at him and him at me and killed him in his place
I shot him dead because…because he was my foe
Just so that’s true enough although
Funny and strange how war is
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat where any bar is
And lend to half a crown.
Written during the Napoleonic Wars by Robert Browning who shot a French Soldier
Adolf Hitler Contribution by Robert Kennedy Web Site Editor March 2003