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In an article recently printed in a pro-Kremlin newspaper, Andranik Migranyan, head of a pro-Russian organization here in Manhattan, suggested that had Hitler stopped in 1939 he would be considered a “good Hitler.”

“One should distinguish the difference between Hitler before 1939 and Hitler after 1939” said Mr. Migranyan who argues that if Hitler had stopped after the “bloodless” reunification of German lands “he would have gone down in the history of his country as a politician of the highest order.”

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How Mr. Migranyan could make such a statement despite the fact that by this time Hitler had already organized Dachau (the first concentration camp), Kristallnacht, and carried out dozens of Nuremberg racial laws, is beyond me. My own grandfather, Max Schoenwalter, who lived with his family in Germany, received a letter from the Nazi regime informing him that his paint company was to be liquidated and Judenrein or “Jew free.” That letter was sent to him in January of 1938.

But an even deeper question arises: Why would a Russian, representing the current Russian government make such a statement? The Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people fighting the Germans during the Second World War. Communists despise Fascists. How could Migranyan say this?

The reality is that until Germany attacked Russia, the Soviets were largely unaffected by what the Nazis were doing to Jews and other groups they deemed non-Aryan. It wasn’t until the Nazis invaded Russia that the Soviet Union was impacted by Fascism. And so liquidating people’s business, implementing discriminatory laws, instigating pogroms and sending Jews to concentration camps dosen’t make Hitler a bad person. Only attacking Russia does.

The world becomes a very dangerous place when a leader’s morality is evaluated by how he or she treats one people but not by the way they treat another.  It may seem obvious but a person can only be deemed ethical if they behave civilly and fairly to all people. Hitler tried to demonstrate that only some people deserve to be treated with dignity but the Jewish Biblical teaching that all people are created in the Divine image demands that all humanity, irrespective of race, creed or religion be treated with respect and kindness. And so there was never a “good” Hitler, not even before 1939.

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Rabbi Mark Wildes holds a BA in Psychology from Yeshiva University, a JD from the Cardozo School of Law, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and was ordained from Yeshiva University. He currently teaches an Outreach Training Seminar at Yeshiva University’s Rabbinical School.

50 COMMENTS

  1. Rabbi, Mark Wildes, how unfortunate to learn that, in one’s unique perspective most politicians, as well as religious leaders, only see what others do or don’t do – except for themselves. And, though God the Creator is demanding that all humans love and respect him, and abide by his laws – especially Israel, like Hitler, Israel has been suffering under one Pharisee leadership, inherently preventing Israelis to learn the truth about the sin of those who have subjugated the chosen people of God even while in exile in, Babylonia. One way of thinking – preventing Israel from worshipping Jehovah as he prescribed on his covenant (the sacrifices of animals, especially for the sins of Israel perpetually and forever), and then even kill all of God’s prophets so that these (Scribes) rabbis would not have to listen to God, is this not the same as an evil man who hated Jews like Pharisees hate God?
    One does not require much education to understand the Torah; failure to follow one law is enough to condemn you; one only need to love God above all else, and ask him to reveal his will through the Holy Spirit in order to understand Moses’ law.
    Why are the Pharisees not letting Israel study the Torah, instead of the Talmud? Is this not the same as a Hitler who only favored those who believed in him, that he would not kill? Is Judaism truly a free sect anyone may choose to follow, or is it a religion that Israel must obey, or else they will not be treated with respect and honor.
    The Pharisees cult can never be a good thing – since Babylonia until now, specially when all of God’s prophets were killed, and the Talmud is the only book full of traditions preventing Israel from worshipping Jehovah, their only God and Savior.

  2. Go to hell Allan Ceasar Vale The Fuhrer was no filthy jew and you sad sacks only perceive righteousness dimly and through sociopathic perception so you can only call his power evil ,when in fact he was a holy man sent to bring the white race back on track. I hope every one of you sleeps well tonight knowing we who love him and love our race see you pigs and mongrels for what you are: genetic expressions of filth and unholiness

  3. Oh yes, Heather, Hitler is dead, deader than a door nail. He was a Jew hater. Read your history books. He had the Jews rounded up like cattle and put on trains to the gas chambers. We’re you sleeping during your history class. He was mean to the Jews. Go back to the history books kidd, you might learn something

  4. Good? No way. But if he had stopped his territorial expansion after Czechoslovakia in 1939 he very well could have been successful. Then I can guarantee you a lot more Germans (who would have a much larger and more populated country than they do currently) would conveniently forget about his antisemitism, shrug it off as a mere blemish and argue about him as a “complex figure.” Sad but true.

  5. what do you expect from someone, whose father or grandfathrr sent their own unloved people to the Gulag?? Nobody really warned anyone of Hitler. And those who did haven’t been listened to or totally ignored. And after the war? How did many nations close their doors in the face of Jewish de ported people?? and yes, Hitler was never a good person. It is a serious indicator for either lack of historical knowledge or t otal ignorance to say that. But I can indeed imagine that the german people would have overseen all his sins had he stopped in 1939.

  6. I think the good Rabbi has missed the point. He is supporting and justifying Putin’s attempts to “re-unify” the Russian people, by annexing parts of Georgia in 2009 and parts of the Ukraine this year.

  7. Heather – first of all, your hair is way too long – your head should be shaved bald, or it should be blonde. Second of all, as die hure, die zicke and die schlampe of The Devil Hitler, there are other words which fit you – ungeziefer, untermentsch, ratte, blydel, pappnase, hundin, tier, saverel, hirnrissig, verryckt and ybergeschnappt. If you need these translated…

  8. He started out like every young man. But he lost his parents and then he lost his way. He became involved in things that we evil and in the end it cost him and the world over 80,000,000 people during WWII. The greater lesson that we all can learn is that no child is a throw away, if we help lead them with love and proper attention tyrants will not develop and evil will die.

  9. …the first camps were erected within the same year Hitler took office housing decedents of that regime, by design this camps shortened human life, the entire nation participated in this endeavor… 😉

  10. Could it be said that Hitler brought out the good in some people and the very worst in others? I know that the nazis left me with being afraid of anyone in uniform.

  11. He is making the statement in the perspective of the Western world. Judaism is an Eastern perspective. In the Western world, if a leader unifies a nation and brings it out of poverty to power, then he is a “good” leader. No matter the course he took to get there. The west is considering the genocide to be a post-onset of WWII phenomenon. It would have occurred inside the unified Reich’s borders anyway, for all Jews who did not emigrate.

    But the writer is delusional. Anyone who has read Mein Kampf (I did in the 6th grade) knows that it was a blueprint that Hitler followed almost exactly, up until the might of the U.S. military (and our manufacturing prowess) crushed his plans. England would have certainly fallen. Hitler was a strategic fool, too. He had a treaty with Stalin that Stalin respected. The Eastern front made it possible to take Germany.

    It can happen again. The Arab nations all talk like Hitler did. There are no lessons ever learned by men from their own histories. So they must forever suffer for it.

  12. Agreed. Through the years I have had various “friends” venture to tell me that “Hitler did some good things too.” I didn’t wait to ask what those things were. And have not ever seen those “friends” again.

    The world holds many people like Migranyan. One tries not to get too upset at their statements, but they’re always a shock, and being deeply upset comes with that. Will it ever change? No.

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