That Hitler was a rabid anti-Semite is undeniable. “Mein Kampf” is saturated in anti-Semitism. The Nuremberg Laws confirm it. But for the six years before Britain declared war, there was no Holocaust, and for two years after the war began, there was no Holocaust.
Not until midwinter 1942 was the Wannsee Conference held, where the Final Solution was on the table.
That conference was not convened until Hitler had been halted in Russia, was at war with America and sensed doom was inevitable. Then the trains began to roll.
The central thesis of Buchanan’s article, and his latest book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, is basically that World War II wasn’t necessary. Buchanan’s theory is that Hitler wasn’t really such a bad guy after all–oh sure, there was that whole anti-Semitic thing, and the Anschluss, and Krystallnacht, and the destruction of Bohemia and Moravia…but he would’ve stopped if Chamberlain and Churchill had just let him swallow Poland!
It’s one of the most unreal pieces of historical revisionism I’ve ever seen. Buchanan takes some facts–that Hitler really didn’t want a war with Great Britain–and ignores others–that Hitler was willing to take the risk of a war with Great Britain in order to conquer the Slavic lands to the east and gain his Greater German Reich the Lebensraum he thought it needed. He places more blame for starting both World Wars on Great Britain than on Germany. Never mind that Germany struck first in both cases (invading Belgium in 1914 which brought Britain into the war by treaty, and invading Poland in 1939 after Britain concluded a mutual-assistance pact). In Pat’s World, it’s all Churchill’s fault. I guess he thinks that Winston and Adolf should’ve become BFFs and both marched eastward to drop the hammer on Uncle Joe Stalin. Darn nice concept, imagining Joe Stalin doing a Benito Mussolini from a lamppost while the Wehrmacht and the Coldstream Guards dance to “Lili Marlene,” but it ignores the simple fact that Adolf Hitler was a megalomaniacial dictator who ended up breaking every treaty he ever signed (except the Axis itself).
What really pisses me off isn’t so much that Buchanan went there. Anybody who’s followed Pat for a while knows that he’s a borderline anti-Semite, and has a somewhat, uh, odd view of history. It’s the fact that the mainstream media continues to give this guy a platform as a “conservative spokesman.” He’s NOT. Pat Buchanan, right now, is about as far outside the conservative mainstream as Barack Obama. And you can’t convince me that at least some media outlets bring Pat on as a “conservative spokesman” knowing damned good and well that he’s a kook, and use that fact to discredit the right in general.
If you want to see Buchanan’s latest literary cat turd get sliced, diced, folded, spindled, mutilated, scattered, smothered, and covered, check out the gibbing that historian Victor Davis Hanson gives it. Or just sit back like I am and enjoy the well-deserved bitchslapping that the conservative blogosphere is giving Pat.
EDIT: Y’know, I just thought of something. Pat Buchanan’s reminding me of Chamberlain. No, not Neville Chamberlain. Another Chamberlain.