Quote of the day—Jane Thynne

It would be surprising, as Amis says, that such a warped psychology as Hitler’s could ever be “a considerate and energetic lover”. Yet, once I began to write about the Nazi wives, I realised that the ability of mass murderers to compartmentalise their lives is one of their most disturbing aspects.

A new documentary about Himmler’s home life, called The Decent One, by the acclaimed filmmaker Vanessa Lapa, focuses on the tender personal letters between Himmler and his wife Marga, largely about their daughter Puppi, even as he perpetrated daily atrocities. It raises the same questions as Thomas Harding’s book Hanns and Rudolf, about the private life of Rudolf Höss, the Auschwitz commandant, whose children played just yards away from the camp, oblivious of the horrors occurring there.

Jane Thynne
October 15, 2014
What Hitler’s sex life was really like
[What I don’t think most people really understand is how easy it was, and is, for people to murder people on a mass scale. Hitler and the Nazi’s are viewed as terrible monsters the likes of which have only been seen once in history. Wrong.

People, across differing societies, accept orders to do terrible things to other people up to and including murder them. Read Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Or The Gulag Archipelago. Or The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II. Those are just some of the better known instances.

You can’t imagine our government rounding up people and putting them in camps? “That just can’t happen in this country”? Wrong. It did happen. Read Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps.

The people that inflict these terrible things did not have warning beacons flashing on their foreheads. Many, if not most, were kind to their family and pets and widely admired in society at the time. In both Hitler’s Willing Executioners and The Rape of Nanking, it is documented that the perpetrators sent photos and postcards of their atrocities to their families and the public at large. They were happily doing their jobs for the good of their country and the betterment of mankind.

I think one of the key flags to identify people who do these things are that they believe that the good of society outweighs the rights of the individual. There may be exceedingly narrow circumstances where this is true, Ebola comes to mind but when I hear someone advocate people “make sacrifices for the greater good” I go on full alert. Those are fighting words to me and such a person is, at a minimum, an enabler of, if not an advocate for, the next genocidal tyrant. And as such they deserve all the contempt given Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler.—Joe]

10 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Jane Thynne

  1. If you start worrying (and I think you should) when someone tells you “it takes a village,” you’re gonna LOVE the 2016 election cycle.

  2. When “Letters from Iwo Jima” came out, there was a review in the Los Angeles Times that said that the Japanese soldiers who perpetrated so many atrocities in WW2 loved their families and missed their wives and sons and daughters and parents. I wrote a letter to the Times saying the real issue that needed to be examined was how people who loved their families and missed their wives and sons and daughters and parents could do such atrocious things.
    I can’t think of any movie that examines that question. Not even “Music Box”, the movie by Joe Eszterhas starring Jessica Lang.

  3. “…one of the key flags to identify people who do these things are that they believe that the good of society outweighs the rights of the individual.”

    Yes, and also a fascination with authority figures or “celebrities” and fame– The person who gets excited by such things, and either has, or would love to have, an personalized, autographed photo of some politician or other famous person on a wall in a prominent position in the home. For me, both of those thing together (believing the “greater good” trumps rights, and an unusual fascination with celebrity) do NOT make a red flag. They are conclusive proof of a psychopath.

      • There are a LOT more psychopaths and sociopaths in society as “productive” members of society than most would believe.

        The problem is, most of the time we only see someone identified as a psychopath or sociopath when they transgress against society in a violent way — those that have learned less physical outlets often are quite successful. But they are stilll psychopaths and sociopaths, nonetheless.

  4. It’s not so hard to understand. Hitler’s average trigger man thought he was a good cowboy shooting bad injuns so his country could prosper. Hitler himself probably thought that on some level.

    All the mental gymnastics involved in pretending that the average human isn’t capable of such a thing are just a more intricate form of denial. History shows again and again what “Good” people are capable of given the right incentive. Neither the residents of Jerusalem during the seige of 70AD nor the Donner party were “Bad” people a few weeks before they got hungry enough to start eating other people, some of whom they (at least in Jerusalem) first killed.

  5. This is why I’ve been using the term “programming” to describe human culture (root word being cult). By programming I do NOT mean that someone is captured, detained, restrained, abused and put in a dark room, given drugs and plugged into a machine of some kind. It’s far, far simpler– It’s culture. NO ONE escapes it fully.

    If you’d been born in Saudi or Iraq, you’d likely be Muslim and possibly a jihadist. If born in Borneo, maybe you’d be a cannibal, or in India, depending on the neighborhood and class you were born into, a Hindu, and so on. Barak Obama was raised by communist parents, had communist mentors, taught Alinsky in college and attended Rev. Wright’s “church” for decades. Programming.

    What’s your programming? Most of what you think, your dreams, aspirations, beliefs, ideals, even your personality or disposition, comes from programming. To be truly objective, you would be aware of, certainly, but not influenced by, all of human culture and societal pressures, expectations and tendencies. Since no one fits that description, you’re programmed.

    Granted; there is programming that’s more good than bad, and some that’s more bad than good, and if I’m unable to escape all programming, I would hope that the programming I do have is more good. The ideal though is DE-programming, or a process of seeking objectivity. We’ll call it “the path”. That path is narrow and few will ever find it.

    • “I do NOT mean that someone is captured, detained, restrained, abused and put in a dark room, given drugs and plugged into a machine of some kind.”

      OK, I’ll have to walk that back. Family, school, the legal system, experimenting with recreational drugs and alcohol, and watching television/internet could be said to be EXACTLY that– You WERE captive, detained, restrained, abused and put in a “dark room”, given drugs and plugged into a machine of some kind. So it depends on how you look at it.

  6. These halfwits who go around saying, “The good of society…” etc, don’t get one thing: society is nothing more than a group of individuals. It is not an entity in and of itself. Harm the individuals for “societal good”, and you harm society.

    • When expressed as “the good of society…” it’s easier to see the fallacy. But frequently it will be expressed as “the good of the many…”. This is harder to combat. But you can still point out that cannibals don’t generally eat members of their own tribe and looters eventually run out of other peoples stuff to take.

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