Monday, August 22, 2016

Pet peeve: Being "nice" has nothing to do with being good—as Hitler proved

Many people offer niceness as a reason to support someone as though niceness is what matters. I could respond by pointing to all the killers whose friends and neighbors said, when they were exposed, that they seemed so nice, but I'll hammer the point with the 20th century's best example of evil, Adolph Hitler.

His bodyguard, Rochus Misch, said Hitler was "friendly" and "nice" and a "wonderful boss" who liked to tell jokes.

The nurse in the bunker where he died, Erna Flegel, said, "He was always polite and charming. There was really nothing to object to." She noted, "Hitler was fond of (Goebbels) children, and drank hot chocolate with them and allowed them to use his bathtub."

Reinhard Spitzy, who become a member of the German resistance, said Hitler was a "perfectly nice person" and described him as "charming, humoristic, and a very good mimic. He used to do imitations of actresses and King Victor Emmanuel by moving his upper lip like a rabbit's."

Hitler was mostly vegetarian and extremely concerned with animal welfare.

If you think Christianity is part of niceness, note this quote:
"We are a people of different religions, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls... We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people." —Adolph Hitler, 1928
Hitler was nice and he was still one of the worst human beings humanity has produced. If you think that's contradictory, remember that humans are contradictory too.

Relevant: Adolf Hitler, man or monster? - Telegraph