The most terrifying speech I have ever heard came from a man of the highest personal integrity. He was incorruptible and selfless. His speech called for decent men to set aside personal wishes and emotions for the higher ideology. To fulfil his higher cause, racial purity, he planned the greatest crime in history. The speech was delivered in Poland on 4 October 1943 by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS and second in Germany only to Hitler.
Here it is (six minutes long). But you must listen to him, don’t just read his words:
In calm, schoolmasterish tones, Himmler asks German officers to set aside their natural qualms, and slaughter all Jews, even if some seemed ‘decent’. The officers were in the Einsatzgruppen (task forces), who moved behind the conquering Nazi armies to kill all Jews and other undesirables. One such officer kept a diary. After a hard day of murder, he wrote how Jewish mothers and fathers were lined up and machine-gunned, while the little Jewish children, whose turn was next, were screaming with terror. One infant girl walked up to him and held up her small hand for him to hold. He did his duty but it upset him. He is just the type Himmler is addressing. Himmler condemns a man who steals a cigarette but praises a man who murders children.
Himmler is perfectly aware he is doing evil. That shows he was not a psychopath. (Hitler probably was not either, though Stalin probably was.) From some ethical hell, he inverts morality and virtue. Surely virtue consists of doing what you don’t want to do for the sake of a higher good? What is the thing on Earth you would most dislike doing? Killing a little child. Very well, kill the child and show your highest virtue.
Victory ahead of ideology
Hitler could have won WW2 if he had put victory ahead of ideology. He couldn’t do so. He was willing to sacrifice his country and himself on the altar of his ideology. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some welcomed them as saviours from the oppression of communism and the terror of Stalin. If Hitler had treated them well and used them as allies, he might have conquered the Soviet Union. But this he could not do. He regarded the Slav people as non-Aryan untermenschen, who had to be murdered or enslaved, even if this drove them into Stalin’s arms to defeat him. Towards the end of the war, Hitler increased his chances of complete defeat by diverting vast amounts of manpower and resources away from the fighting and into the extermination of the Jews. He was incorruptible, true to his ideology until the end.
At the end, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, a faithful husband and father, had the choice of killing his own five children or handing them over to the allies. He chose to kill them, and then killed his wife and himself. Such was his ideological purity.
No such person as Hitler, Himmler or Goebbels has ever arisen in Africa, thank goodness. In our continent, corruption and self-gain always thwarted the extremes of its harmful ideologies, which are usually Marxism and black nationalism. Nazi ideologues would sacrifice their country and themselves on their ideology. African ideologues would sacrifice their country but not themselves. The difference saves us from annihilation but not from disaster. The African politician who says he believes in black affirmative action would sacrifice other people’s children to schools with mostly black affirmative action teachers but never his own children. He believes in state hospitals but would himself go to a private hospital. He would wreck his country’s economy on his ideology but never his own well-being or his family’s well-being. Corruption prevents him from extending his ruinous ideology to himself, and so the very worst is avoided.
Willing to ruin the country
The African National Congress (ANC) is the same. During the struggle, their leaders sacrificed the education of poor black children but sent their own children to private schools in Europe. Under democracy, they condemn poor children to schools dominated by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union and send their own to Model-C or private schools. They are willing to ruin the country for the sake of their ideology but not themselves. They would sacrifice national prosperity for their National Democratic Revolution. They know state control, affirmative action, BEE, transformation, employment equity, cadre deployment, restrictive labour laws, excessive bureaucracy and an enormous public service are a disaster, but they will persist with them until South Africa becomes a failed state, like Zimbabwe.
The corruption of the ANC prevents the extreme horrors of Nazism and Communism. But it won’t stop ANC ideologues from turning South Africa into a wasteland. As long as the ANC is in power, South Africa is doomed. They must be replaced. By whom? The Economic Freedom Fighters is just a worse variant of the ANC. The Democratic Alliance stands no chance of coming to power unless it is part of a fundamental realignment in our politics – a slim hope.
But that is our only hope.
The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR