Hitler Idolized Frederick The Great:
There is no such thing as a “pure evil” person. Evil is supernatural. Nobody is supernatural. It is fascinating to explore historical figures from their point of view and see what they could really have been thinking. In this case it is pure history — what Hitler was doing during the First World War. It is also very important for what came later. Also he wasn’t the only one thinking like that. Large segments of the German population also thought like that. You would think the Europeans would be interested because it is their own family history.
I have come to regard Hitler as a tragic figure. Some German should write a novel about Hitler and Faust where he makes the fatal choice and in the end he is dragged down by fate or the devil or whatever you want to call it. His biggest problem is that he was looking backwards in time and not forward. He spent his last days clutching a portrait of Frederick the Great who was ruler in the 18th century. He wanted to bring back the past just as lots of other Nazis did, too. That was why Gone with the Wind was popular in Germany. They were the children of the First World War. They were born in the 19th century. They wanted to go back to a time before the Great Cataclysm of the Great War.
Just think of the morality back in the mid 18th century. That was when the Spanish Inquisition was still going on. People were only a couple generations away from the horrible religious wars of the 17th century and near medieval thinking. People believed in witches, that sort of thing, and it was a pre-industrial time period. The Holocaust back then would have been conducted IN PUBLIC. Nobody would have hidden anything. Not that I think Hitler knew about the Holocaust, but Himmler was trying to hide it from Hitler as much as everybody else.
Churchill on the other hand was looking forward. Since he was half American he thought of reaching out towards America. That was to be the future, not Hitler’s backward thinking.