Guess who Time magazine announced as their Man of the Year in 1938?
I’ll tell you.
Yep, Adolf bloomin’ Hitler. Everyone’s second favourite evil invader of countries was given the highest accolade back then. It was no mistake either, because back in 1938 he was a hero. He had managed to re-unify the German people, turn around a country crippled after World War I and earn the respect of political leaders the world over. It could be argued that much of Germany’s restoration would have happened without Hitler, but the fact remains that he was seen, almost literally, as the saviour of Germany.
History is a strange thing. It is always written in the future. In the now of 1938, Hitler was a good man. It’s only be looking back is history written, usually by the victors.
With the benefit of hindsight we see Hitler as almost a caricature, an archtypal insane evil dictator (even though he was legally elected, unlike the number one Evil invader of countries!). We can look at the event of World War II, see all the killing and point directly at Hitler as it’s architect. It is far from the whole truth, but it’s a convenient truth.
It leaves me wondering what history will make of Bush. Even now so many people see him as the evil murdering bastard he is. We see the corruption, the abuse of power, the cronyism and needless slaughter of innocents in the name of profit. Man of the Year he ain’t, not now, not ever.
What’s amazing is the sheer number of people who still don’t see it though. Let’s face it, America doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to Presidents. Between Nixon’s corruption, the bad days of McCarthysism, the Kennedy’s womanizing and Clinton’s sleeze, I don’t see much to praise, whether Republican or Democrat. At least Reagan was fun, but even he brought the world to the brink of destruction during the dark days of the Cold War.
And none of them hold a candle to Bush. Seriously.
But anyway. Back with Hitler. Next time you read about the evils of World War II, just remember. It was all thanks to the Man Of The Year, 1938.