The Nazis Loved Conspiracy Theories, and Conspiracy Theorists Love Them

Nov. 11 2020

From 2015 to 2018, a series aired on the history channel investigating various claims that Adolf Hitler faked his death and escaped to Latin America after World War II. Such outlandish theories calling the death of the German dictator into question have proliferated since the event itself, and, if anything, have grown more widespread. They are among the subjects treated by Richard Evans in his new book The Hitler Conspiracies, as Robert Philpot writes:

Evans, one of the world’s foremost experts on Nazi Germany, [does not of course] believe that Hitler took refuge at a Tibetan monastery, or fled to Argentina on a submarine with Eva Braun, or that the couple had two daughters, one of whom—Angela Merkel—went on to become the chancellor of Germany. The truth . . . is rather simpler. As a wide range of eyewitnesses testified to, after marrying Braun and poisoning his dog, Hitler and his new wife retired to his study on April 30, 1945. A short while afterwards, the pair committed suicide and their bodies were taken into the gardens of the bombed-out Reich Chancellery, doused with gasoline, and set alight.

But these are not the only category of conspiracy theory the book covers:

“Hitler is a figure who, in an increasingly secular age, attracts the attention of a lot of people because he’s a kind of icon of evil; he’s universally recognizable, . . . and he’s obviously hugely important in the modern history of Europe and the world,” Evans says in an interview.

As Evans shows, the Third Reich was itself “built on the foundation of a conspiracy theory”: the idea that the Communists had set the Reichstag alight in February 1933 as a prelude to seizing power. . . . But there was no Communist plot; a Dutch ultra-leftist, Marinus van der Lubbe, who was caught red-handed on the scene, acted alone. . . . Likewise, the conspiracy theory developed by the Communists—that the Nazis had themselves set fire to the German parliament and pinned the blame on the hapless van der Lubbe in order to do away with their opponents—was also a lie.

And of course, the central tenet of Nazi thinking, anti-Semitism, is rooted in the belief that a vast and nefarious Jewish conspiracy is responsible for the world’s misfortunes.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitism, Nazism

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank