Christmas With Adolf Hitler?

I sometimes keep the American Heroes Channel turned up on my TV.  For any unfamiliar, there are a variety of programs, mostly historical in nature, which I find educational.  Adolf Hitler appears to be a favorite subject matter for the channel, and I have a passing interest in him, alright.  I took an extra credit honors course in college dealing with The Holocaust, so… yeah, I have interest.

But the narrator on the program earlier today made a fascinating remark that just keeps playing with my imagination.  He said, “Hitler spent Christmas 1909 in a homeless shelter in Vienna”.

Really?  Hitler comes from homeless shelters?

Well, yes.  It makes sense of other known historical facts, so I am inclined to think it is entirely possible and probably correct.  The fact that all of Germany, following WWI, was hit hard by global depression likely explains, in part, why/how a formerly homeless man could speak to these masses in such an appealing way.  He KNEW how they felt!  He had his finger on that kind of pulse!

Makes me wonder what lessons we should take away from that…

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6 comments

  1. T. F. Thompson · December 27

    Inflation at the time in Germany was in excess of 300%. No, the German Marc wasn’t worth a cent. In fact an entire wheelbarrow was needed to fill it with cash just in order to buy a loaf of bread at the time. Yes, Hitler usually comes up as a bad-guy in history. He was nowhere the worse, but since he’s European, then he sticks out aside from those who control the media. Okay, here comes the hard part. “Love your enemies.”
    \
    Okay, I fail this test for I would have shot at the Germans as well.

    Now then for a History lesson of sorts as I taught History for over 20 years. Only 12% of Germans were Nazis. By today’s stupid standards if we were to fight these bad guys, then we would be accused of stereotyping. I would guilty for if I saw a guy in a Nazi uniform holding a guy—gee, I would probably think he was a bad guy.

    Okay, back to Jesus. I don’t take Jesus literally on this, “Love your enemies.” I’ll explain.

    I believe it should be our FIRST response, not to hate, not to fight. I base this on the fact that Jesus didn’t exactly love everyone around him either. In fact, for those within the temple he CONDEMNED them.

    In other words, we should be prepared to love a monster like Hitler as God sees all of us as monsters. Because of Grace, we can be saved but only by submission to our Lord and God. This was a GREAT dilemma as presented by you. However, I would protect my family. If Hitler were homeless, then I’d help him too. Yet, later he wasn’t homeless for he wanted the entire world and had a lot of it at one point. My efforts would have been to put him out, and then attempted to assist him. Sorry if this post bothers anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · December 27

      Your response may be controversial (this whole blog is… so…), but it is welcome too.

      When I look at all the homeless people I know on the streets and in shelters, national leadership does not quickly come to mind. To imagine Hitler in a similar circumstance pushes the imagination. He did rise to national leadership. Of course he cheated the usual rules for it, but he had to achieve mass appeal as part of that process, which videos from the time clearly demonstrate.

      I find it heavily ironic. And I expect that the circumstances of Post WWI Germany made for a rare situation that presented Hitler with the right time.

      I still wonder what lessons we might draw from it. I figure odds are long that a homeless person will rise to such prominence again, certainly in this nation, but clearly it is possible! And even the mere possibility suggests to me that we should care about the pain such marginalized people endure. If allowed to fester, and given the chance to take power, such pain can be devastating to the world. But that is speaking in really general terms…

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  2. T. F. Thompson · December 27

    I’m going to throw a monkey-wrench into your thoughts, perhaps. Not that long ago I was homeless for I guess around 5 months. Actually, I didn’t mind it at all, but then again, this is me. Everywhere people were so very good to me and haven’t been since. Yes, I was homeless by choice, but I guess it doesn’t matter. In fact, it all made me closer to God and His people. I am thinking about living in the woods again for several months to save money to move to a better place. And in some cases, I know I’ll be better off than where i am now. Sorry, I don’t mean to throw off your perception, but only that God is with us no matter where we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agent X · December 27

    Feeling controversial tonight in general? Or just for me?

    Thanx for the monkey wrench. Don’t be sorry about it.

    I was homeless a couple of times in my life, once when I was young I toggled between sofa surfing and sleeping in my car for several weeks in Denver. Later I got divorced and went to live with some folks from church in their guest room for several months.

    I have never been street homeless, though I have come to view homelessness as a wide phenom encompassing several different expressions of which street homelessness – “roofless” being the better term – is but one. To throw the monkey wrench back, let me ask: What is HOME?

    To be forthright with you, I wrote a book about that question. (Its not published so don’t look for it… yet.) But I will easily make a case that our whole culture is homeless, and we will find it meaningful, not just a novel idea or weird or trendy or whatever, but really meaningful. For an intro to this idea, check out the book Beyond Homelessness by Bouma-Prediger and Walsh. Find it here:

    http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/4692/beyond-homelessness.aspx

    I will let them set the stage for the case I will build on. And then theologically speaking, why do you think Jesus is known as “the carpenter’s son” in one Gospel and “the carpenter” in another. And don’t go thinking the first reference is really about Joseph either… it has more dimensions actually. But then that feeds back into the question of what is home?

    Okay, enough of this sparing…

    I know full well that lots of homeless people refuse the invitation to come in. They are not ALL just hoping to move indoors. There are a lot who actually “prefer” living outside. I am well aware. However, I will then make a case that something is wrong with that desire. (I am not talking about weekend camping and so forth.) Humanity was made for HOME and HOME is all about celebrating humanity! Life happens THERE! And yes, my caps terms are loaded with theological freight that I am not explicating just now.

    That said, I am totally cool with you getting closer to God amid homelessness. That actually makes good sense too, in an ironic way. I know that amid my excursions in urban plunging I did not FEEL closer to God, actually the opposite usually, but my whole ministry is based on the premise that God is expressing his very self to our world in the midst of the homeless! That is his image in the back lot behind the 7-11. He wants to be noticed and invited in to your house – Zacchaeus! Peter! Simon the Pharisee! Agent X! Church!

    Anyway, this is becoming a second post now…. I will stop with that. I think you get the idea. If not, I can clarify, I hope.

    Thanx for responding! Glad to have you here. Hope it inspires others to play….

    X

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  4. T. F. Thompson · December 27

    As an old guy, I will croak soon and will not be here. All I can really say is that I love God’s creature if they have a home or not. I love them all. Too, there is a part of my heart for those who feel dejected. By God, I hope it is not because of us. In the meanwhile, those of us who love the Lord will try our best. I honestly, believe you do as well as I. It is so good to know there are others like you of whom I can speak even though so very far away.

    Liked by 1 person

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