A man is mad, to a lesser or greater degree, when he doesn’t know what his own motivations are.
I don’t know what Hitler said about his motivations – whether he talked about it secretly with a few people who were in the know.
But I think Hitler’s motivation is pretty clear. Yet strangely, it seems it is not widely understood.
Historians talk about how Hitler targeted the Jews because he believed they were parasites. He read about eugenics and he communicated with people who specialised in racial profiling.
He talked about the need to conquer one’s own conscience so that one would be able to carry out the unpalatable but necessary job of getting rid of the Jews.
In fact the truth about his motivation is that he didn’t see conscience as something to be overcome. He revelled doing away with his conscience.
Getting rid of his conscience was an easy trick for him and it allowed him free rein to do what he wanted to do, which was to bring down unspeakable horror on people.
That is it, pure and simple, the beginning and the end. To me it is clear as the old adage, ‘follow the money’.
He chose the Jews because they kept going on about conscience and humility. They were a good candidate, but if not the Jews then some others – gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals.
As to whether Hitler was a little shit from his childhood, a little shit in the playground – or whether he was sent mad by war, I do not know. But by the time he was a developed adult he was a monster.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for a guard in one of the camps during World War II, caught in that horror? Unlike the prisoners, whose consciences were clear, the guards had to weave fantastical stories to enable themselves to live with the burden of guilt.
Of course, there were some sadists among the guards – perhaps more than a few. But other guards – what a trick Hitler played on them.