In the West, German President-Chancellor Adolf Hitler is vilified by state media as a genocidal maniac. However, elsewhere in the world, the former fuhrer is considered a political inspiration.
Adolf Hitler is as much admired today as he ever was. Yet, Soviet dictator and unelected Winston Churchill are detested. Few people have heard of U.S. President Truman who at the end of World War II was also unelected.
U.S. President Roosevelt, who died a horrible death before the war’s end, is celebrated only by Bolsheviks for his saving Red Russia from collapse after Germany preemptively struck the Soviet Union in June 1941.
If shoot from the lip Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was a Western politician, his claim that Adolf Hitler is a personal inspiration would have meant the swift end to his career.
Implying that the West was drug-addicted and under the spell of Jewish influence the President of 100 million people says, ‘Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there are 3 million drug addicts in the Philippines. I’d be happy to slaughter them.’ He added cheerfully that his police would ‘finish the drug problem of my country and save the next generation from damnation.’
There is no indication his statement hurt him at all. Conversely, there’s good reason to believe that it will bolster the president’s huge popularity among Filipinos as a man who speaks his mind and gets things done.
Duterte’s positive perspective on Hitler has long been commonplace in the non-Western world and remains so today. If there’s an anomaly it’s the West’s false image of Hitler as a political villain.
In much of the developing world, there is a propaganda-free awareness regarding the Reich. Adolf Hitler is observed less as an ideologue than as a nationalist disciplinarian who addressed social ills in a briskly efficient manner; Hitler’s legacy is of law and order.
In the non-Western world, Adolf Hitler is regarded favourably as the ultimate anti-imperialist rebel due to the German leader’s nationalistic struggle against Anglo-French-American-Zionist domination.
Indonesia’s second president, Gen. Suharto, saw National Socialist Germany as a role model for his highly centralised New Order. The country’s first president, Sukarno, who led his nation’s independence movement against the Dutch colonists, openly revered Hitler’s Third Reich for its spirit of proud nationalism.
In 1955, President Sukarno hosted a pioneering conference of nonaligned Asian and African nations, many of them newly independent, in the city of Bandung, where delegates’ deployed National Socialist style oratory in their criticisms of lingering colonialism and Zionist imperialism.
These days the same city boasts a popular restaurant called Soldaten Kaffee. The inn-place is decorated with swastikas, National Socialist posters, and is adorned with photos of the Führer. If you ask the café owner about his decorative taste, he will point out that such symbolism is perfectly legal in Indonesia.
He’s right for National Socialist imagery is widespread and most Indonesians dismiss the holocaust as a fanciful propaganda slur used to milk sympathy and reparations.
A genuine embrace of authoritarian ideals seems to be at the core of much of modern Indonesia’s fascination with Hitler. As a respected businessman put it, ‘We need an Adolf Hitler in order to fully restore law and order.’
This man thought he’d found the answer to his prayers in Prabowo Subianto, a popular general whose narrowly unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2014 included a music video sung by pop star Ahmad Dhani dressed in Reich type garb.
Pro-Adolf Hitler views are conventional in today’s the Middle East. Turkey, the country with the longest tradition of democracy in the region, has its share of pro-Adolf Hitler sentiment. The Turkish Republic’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, inspired Hitler in the latter’s own social revolution.
Hitler was particularly impressed by the secularist Ataturk’s suppression of political Islam. Although Ataturk himself wasn’t in awe of the Führer, some of his close associates certainly did.
Upon visiting Berlin before Churchill’s war, Recep Peker, the secretary-general of the Republican People’s Party, and later prime minister, expressed open admiration for Hitler’s National Socialism. His admiration for the German leader’s governing style survived his party’s recent displacement by Islamic-infused authoritarianism under President Recep Erdogan.
In his current push to expand the powers of his office, Erdogan cited Hitler’s Germany as a positive case study in how such an über-presidency might work. Many Turks expressed astonishment at Erdogan’s choice of role models, but in light of the president’s ever-increasing autocracy, the Führer reference seems more apt than odd.
Egypt’s latest president, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has thus far resisted trying to legitimise his governing style by using comparisons to Hitler. Some of his followers, however, have not been so reticent. On the eve of Sisi coming to power, Soheir al-Babli, a popular TV actress, expressed confidence that her countrymen ‘know that Egyptians need a man as strong as (Adolf) Hitler to punish citizens for any violations they commit.’
His self-glorification, his classification of political opponents as enemies of the state, his suppression of foreign-controlled corporate media, and ultra-nationalism inspire comparisons to Hitler among his fellow Egyptians.
In Pakistan, a Führer cult flourishes. Although admiration for Hitler might be a minority phenomenon, this minority is sizable enough to pro-Hitler expressions unremarkable for anyone who speaks his or her mind.
Encounters with Hitler admiration understandably shock visitors from the West, especially ones from Germany. According to German journalist Hasnain Kazim in Der Spiegel, after getting a haircut in Islamabad, Kazim whined to the hairdresser that the cut made him look like Adolf Hitler.
The hairdresser took the remark as a compliment: ‘Yes, yes, very nice,’ the barber beamed. Nor was it uplifting for him to drive behind a white Mercedes bearing a bumper sticker that read, ‘I like the Reich.’
Venturing into neighbouring India, one encounters more signs of fascination with the last legitimate leader of Germany. The Jerusalem Post notes that bookstores display Hitler’s Mein Kampf prominently in windows. ‘It’s a classic for us. We have to sell it,’ a floor manager of New Delhi’s most iconic bookstore, Bahrisons, told the Post.
Many Hindus see Hitler and Mein Kampf as relating to India’s rising Hindu nationalist movement, with one person saying: ‘Mein Kampf can be used to support a purist Hindu India where Muslims are persecuted.’
Many Indians see anti-Semitism behind Hitler’s popularity or cite Indians’ desire to believe that a strong leader can transform society for the better. As in Pakistan, ‘Hitler’ connotes ‘strong disciplinarian.’
Across much of the globe, openly expressed admiration for the Hitler legacy can be seen as just one more indication of the tenuousness of these social and political values in our modern world.
Source: The Ethnic European