Editor’s note: In the first part of this two-part column, Glenn Dowell talked about the early days of Adolf Hitler and his rise to power, thanking the veterans of World War II for putting a stop to Hitler’s Third Reich. Below is the second half of the column.
Though very little research has been done on his early days in the Catholic church, it is believed by some that the rituals and pomp and circumstance impressed Adolf Hitler. He realized their impact on converts. His rule, too, was characterized by pomp and circumstance never seen before or imagined as being used to inflame the passions of a nation to believe in a mad man.
The hallmark of this pageantry was the swastika. The swastika became an extremely powerful symbol. The Nazis used it to murder millions of people, but for centuries it also had positive meanings.
We know that, historically, the broken cross was a signal of good luck and well-being. It is said to have been discovered in caves in carvings dating more than 3,000 years ago.
Why was it adopted by Hitler? Many believe today that the symbol is the embodiment of evil. There are those who go so far as to even believe that the symbol really hides the numbers 666 of the devil.
Some who passionately hate or are even enamored of Hitler actually believe that by closing the open corners of the symbol, the numbers 666 are clearly revealed. Are these individuals seeing what they want to believe? Ask the average person what the numbers 666 mean and they would be quick to say it means the mark of the beast.
The New King James Bible, Revelation chapter 13, verse 18, refers to the number 666 as “the number of the beast.” Individuals and institutions have been linked to the number 666, but the most common assumption is that the numbers represents the devil.
Some religious scholars, however, believe that the beast is not the devil himself, but a tool of the devil, sent to earth by the devil to destroy humanity. Therefore, the assumption by some is that the number 666 eventually became associated with the devil as well as the beast.
Regardless, the swastika seen by non-coverts was a symbol to be feared, but for converts, a symbol of a nation’s pride and ethnocentrism. Yes, the Germans believed in Hitler’s ranting, that they were the master race and he was their god and savior.
Hitler believed that religion for the most part was the invention of sick minds. He could not be persuaded in the preaching of a heaven or hell. For him, man was born to experience his heaven or hell on earth. He believed in the survival of the fittest and his Aryan nation was the fittest of the fittest.
It was said that Germans envisioned Hitler as a truly magical figure of majestic wisdom and power. They saw him as an irresistible force, and they surrendered their whole hearts to him. He hypnotized Germans into worshipping him, successfully presenting himself as a savior and even as God himself.
One of his commandos in his inner circle was alleged to have pledged his allegiance to him by saying, “If the Führer commands that I shoot down my own mother I shall obey and be proud that the Führer has such confidence in my obedience.”
Within this maniacal regime and culture of evil and dictatorial rule, the German Reich battled and defeated country after country, annexing some under the Reich without firing a shot. The German Reich was developing a reputation associated with its various conquests as a nation without a soul or regard for human life.
Prisoners, and especially Jews, were considered disposable and less than animals. During his reign of terror, the German Reich was responsible for the deaths of more than 6 million Jews and millions of others. Experiments were done on prisoners that would, even today, shock the sensitivities of the most hardened of individuals.
Were the entire German people a nation of homicidal maniacs?
Of course not. There were some who did oppose Hitler. Too many paid for their opposition with their lives. The fact of the matter is that there were numerous documented cases of where attempts were made unsuccessfully to kill the dictator. Each failed attempt validated and emboldened the dictator to assert that “providence” was on his side and that he could not be killed.
Our veterans in alliance with others, and protected by the true God, end the madness
The world now at war because of a person, who in his mind was a god, angered the real God in heaven who intervened and saved earth from this fanatical mad man. To stop Hitler, an alliance of nations was formed to bring a sense of balance back to the world. These leaders from various countries had historical and political differences but they were united in their resolve that Hitler must be stopped to save the human race.
The leaders knew that Hitler was ruthless and beating him using conventional technology and weapons would be disastrous. Even with the alliance of mighty powers that included the United States to defeat him, it was the Almighty who is in charge of nature that beat this tyrant.
It began with Hitler planning Operation Barbarossa, a six-week campaign to defeat the mighty Russian empire. He prepared the largest military force ever seen to take over the country.
Operation Barbarossa began at daybreak on June 22, 1941. Hitler was determined to reach Moscow before winter. By November, the Germans were only 19 miles outside the city. But the mud and winter weather (God) — the worst in 20 years — stopped them.
The German planes could not handle the subzero temperatures. Fires had to be set under the engines to help start them. The few heaters they had were used on the engines to heat them. It was so cold that even the mechanics’ hands froze to their tools.
The Germans would never reach Moscow. Three million Russians and 800,000 Germans were dead in the attempt.
Even at a considerable loss of lives, the Russians were in better shape. Their planes were equipped for colder temperatures. As the summer of 1942 came, Hitler rerouted his ground troops toward the oil fields in the south. In November, an estimated 300,000 German soldiers found themselves trapped in Stalingrad, surrounded by the Russian Army.
Gradually, the Germans were pushed back to Berlin. They had attacked a country unprepared for war and weakened by terror. Yet Russia’s tenacious spirit and a winter under God’s control allowed it to fight back and claim victory.
It has been said that Hitler, knowing that the allied forces, in a final act, were defeating him, committed suicide in some bizarre pact he had with his longtime female companion shortly after their marriage. Never before in the history of mankind had the world faced and feared such a dangerous and demonic leader, who left undefeated would have wanted to be worshipped by the entire world as a god.
It was God in the end, however, who took notice at his own pace, to say enough is enough and created the environmental and other factors to remove this person and destroy what was planned as the 1000 year Reich.
The horrible facts
There were 16,596,639 servicemen who fought for the US in World War II, 416,837 of these patriots lost their lives: 318,274 from the Army and Air Force, 62,614 from the Navy, 24,511 from the Marine Corps, 1,917 from the Coast Guard and 9,521 from the Merchant Marines. There were 643,846 wounded and also 1,700 civilian deaths.
Do you really understand now why we should honor our veterans?
Glenn Dowell is an author and LaGrange native who currently lives in Jonesboro. He may be reached at [email protected]