The truth about the Third Reich

Above: smiling German soldiers round up Romani children in Asperg, 1940. One of the clearest examples of Nazi irrationality is the Romani Holocaust. The Roma are "Aryans" in the truest sense of the word (that is, Indo-Aryans). At first the Nazis, including Heinrich Himmler, were forced to concede this, but as the Roma, like the Jews, were one of the traditionally hated peoples of Europe, the Nazis could not resist hating them for long. Some nonsense was invented about the Roma somehow being "impure" Aryans (despite the Nazis themselves believing that the Germans were also impure - being 50% "Alpine" rather than Nordic) and 220,000 to 500,000 Roma were killed. I can't think of a better example of how Nazi ideology was just an excuse for hatred and murder - it makes no logical sense without realising this fact.

One might look back on Nazi Germany and wonder how a mighty regime which conquered most of Europe and started the greatest War and genocides in human history could be based on little more than pseudoscientific racialist quackery and conspiracy theories. It's completely irrational. But then one remembers that there was nothing rational about Nazism - it was a movement based on Hate, not Reason, which attracted supporters not through intelligent argument, but childish bedazzlement - roaring speeches, magnificent demonstrations, stylish symbolism, and unrelenting tugging on the heartstrings of national pride and national vengeance. That's why to this day neo-Nazism tends to appeal to the more blunt-minded among us - infantile skinheads attracted by shiny things.* The Third Reich should serve as a lesson, to always remember the supremacy of human Reason over mindless animal emotion.

*Although I would warn that appeals to emotion can take hold of even the smartest of us. The Nazi hierarchs were not unintelligent men.