The Instigator
Dauletaliyeva
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Beverlee
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Adolf Hitler's government didn't have only negative sides

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Beverlee
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 16,480 times Debate No: 39596
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (42)
Votes (6)

 

Dauletaliyeva

Pro

Adolf Hitler left a huge step in the wold history. People get used to consider him only like a despot and murderer who started the most murderous war. It's hard to be tolerant to such actions as holokaust but let's take a look from the other side. While Hitler's ruling the level of education and economics rapidly increased. Germany became one of the strongest and powerful countries on the world arena. Hitler achieved such a success during a few years however it was almost impossible after the terrible crysis of 30's. Amount of offenses was dicreased to the minimum, there were created a lot of organizations for youth, the government took care of every layer of society. Germany had many international arrangements such as Olympic games, different forums, etc. Much money was allocated for country's and people's need. Hitler did his best trying to help his nation, he was loyal to Germany like nobody else. During one of the interview when he was asked why he wasn't married he answered: "I'm married, my wife is Germany". Such a patriotic spirit has to be respected. I can't strike out all horrors of war, all lives Hitler took away, but there are two sides of the coin and we should consider both.
Beverlee

Con

Hello, and thanks to Pro for instigating this debate.

"Hitler Debates" are often seen as comical, and are not often treated with a great deal of seriousness. However, I am often concerned that this trend is causing a collective atrophication of our ability to skillfully condemn the worldview that created the Monster of Hitler, and the conditions that gave rise to what he was able to convince the World to do. With this in mind, I have decided to treat this debate with whatever level of respect that my meagre skills as a debater can manage.

The title of this debate, the "Topic," is "Adolf Hitler's Government Didn't Have Only Negative Sides." However, the "Resolution," meaning the portion of the debate that will be contested, is outlined in the Round One Instigation. Restated, this resolution contends the following:

"Although Adolf Hitler started a destructive war, he was otherwise a good national leader, with many accomplishments. These include; education and economic improvement; minimal levels of "offences;" the proliferation of youth clubs; taking care of every layer of society; and international prestige. Hitler, therefore, should be respected as a good national leader, even in light of the horrors of WWII."

This can be expressed in a single sentence, as:

"Hitler should be respected as a great patriot and leader, despite the horrors of WWII."

Clearly, Pro is making a claim that goes against conventional wisdom, and has made an affirmative case. Most people do not respect Adolf Hitler's "accomplishments," and never will. Therefore, she carries the entire Burden of Proof, and I need to challenge the argument that she will present. Moreover, it is an incredible statement to suggest that Hitler's policies improved Germany, when common historical understanding holds that these policies brought Germany into absolute ruin.

Hitler was not a coin with two sides. He was a man. It is not ad homen to say that Adolf Hitler was a dangerous lunatic who never should have been allowed in office, and that this fact taints irreparably his positive actions as leader of the short lived nation that he founded. Further, even if Hitler's Reich had "positive sides" these were used to generate the political power necessary to develop the ability to war, and cannot be considered "positive." They were stepping stones for what came later.

This is a debate over whether or not Hitler deserves to be remembered as a good and wise ruler, in a manner that asks us to ignore the estimated eighty million times that he ended the world.



I await the first supporting argument.



http://www.debate.org...


(Above) A mother shelters her baby a few seconds before she and her child are murdered by German soldiers outside of Ivangorod in 1942. The temporary political successes of the Hitler regime made this atrocity and many others possible, and therefore, can not be considered "positive" accomplishments that deserve respect.
Debate Round No. 1
Dauletaliyeva

Pro

Dauletaliyeva forfeited this round.
Beverlee

Con

The Burden of Proof in a debate that tries to portray Hitler in a positive light is nearly insurmountable. I extend my challenge to the resolution, adding that proving the opposite (that Hitler was harmful to Germany) is a very simple task.
Debate Round No. 2
Dauletaliyeva

Pro

Hitler's policy was directed to unity. It united all Germans, trying to keep all national values including language, culture and traditions. He considered family values as a basemant of the society, supported maternity and evolved a feeling of patriotism among the youth. Also Hitler actively developed Germany's economics. During his rule there were founded the largest German autobanns which still exist, German production had very high quality. He provided people with work, they could easily increase their qualification and expand their abilities. However, nazism is totalitarian regime, rules at that time weren't so strict and cruel comparing with USSR or China. Well-known that Hitler's arrangements were financed by American maecenas, he had pretty warm relations with members of English parliament, for example, sir Sidney Ridsdayl and his daughter Unity and granddaughter of Rihard Vagner also was in his close encirclement. He kept in touch with representatives of many countries and from different layers of society and tried to set German relations with other states. Now, according to " The Times" every 4th German can find a positive side of Hitler's government.
Beverlee

Con

Hitler's Impact on Germany and the World

The Ruins of Dresden<br><br>Source URL: <a href=http://all-that-is-interesting.com...; />
http://www.debate.org...

Simply put, nothing that benefitted the Greater German Reich, or Adolf Hitler politically, was a positive development for humanity. Over half a century after he drove his criminal state into ruin, he is still hailed by some as a political genius, a visionary economist, an iron willed "man of the people" who almost conquered Europe. This is done by clipping away the larger, and more vile elements of his record. Nevertheless, even here the Hitler myth fails to live up to the propaganda.

Most often, his modern admirers will point to the myth of his economic genius in order to praise his leadership. As I will explain, his supposed "economic recovery" was a simple card trick. But even if it had consisted of more than smoke and mirrors, this "success" was used to load the Nazi gun, which was aimed at the people of Europe. German unity, employment, recovery, and national pride could have been considered "positives" had they occurred under a leader other than Hitler. Unfortunately for Germans and Europe, these illusionary achievements were used to empower him to commit atrocities on a mass scale. Atrocities that did not only harm their intended victims, but also forced the entire civilized world to respond with murderous fury directed at the German public. Hitler brought despair and ruin to Germany - and the lies he told to the masses made this ruin possible.

If Hitler was successful in cementing his political power early on, he used this power to create murder factories and to make all Germany the target of hatred and vengeance. These "successes" therefore, could not be called "positive." They were not positive for the millions of victims of his crimes, and they only decieved the German people into thinking that their lives would be better as a result.

Hitler was no German patriot. Hitler personally ordered the destruction of German infrastructure, in the "Nero Decree" dated March 19, 1945. In this executive order, Hitler commanded Albert Speer to destroy any thing of use to civilians or military in all German-held territories. [4] The command reads, in part:

RE: Destruction Measures within Reich Territory

Our nation’s struggle for existence forces us to utilize all means, even within Reich territory, to weaken the fighting power of our enemy and to prevent further advances. Any opportunity to inflict lasting damage on the striking power of the enemy must be taken advantage of. It is a mistake to believe that undestroyed or only temporarily paralyzed traffic, communications, industrial, and supply installations will be useful to us again after the recapture of lost territories. During his retreat, the enemy will leave behind only scorched earth and will abandon all concern for the population.

I therefore command –

1. All military traffic, communications, industrial and supply installations as well as objects within Reich territory that might be used by the enemy in the continuation of his fight, either now or later, are to be destroyed.

2. It is the responsibility of the military command posts to execute this order to destroy all military objects, including traffic and communications installations.

The Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense are responsible for destroying the industrial and supply installations, as well as of other objects of valuable; the troops must give the Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense the assistance they need to carry out this task.

3. This command is to be transmitted to all troop commanders as promptly as possible; orders to the contrary are null and void.

Adolf Hitler


The Myth of Nazi Economic Success

Adolf Hitler had no understanding of economic matters, and relegated such matters to subordinates. Historian Ian Kershaw points out that Hitler was "wholly ignorant" of economic affairs. [1]

Hitler came to power following the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg in 1934. (He had been Hindenburg's Chancellor.) At this time, unemployment in Germany was dropping rapidly as a result of a number of public works projects that Hitler continued. Unemployment plummeted from 6 million unemployed at the end of Hindenburgs' term in 1933 by nearly half, to 3.3 million in 1934. Hitler's first full fiscal year in office saw a massive slowdown in the rate of employment recovery. From 2.9 million unemployed in 1935 to 2.5 million unemployed in 1936. In other words, Hitler was reversing the job gains that were already happening in the last years of the Weimar Republic.



Source URL: <a href=http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...; />http://www.debate.org...


Hitler's policies made a robust economic recovery suddenly become anemic.

But this does not mean that Hitler did not put Germans to work. As part of his rearmament program, Hitler drafted all men between the ages of 18 and 25 who were not employed into the military, where they were paid a pittance to dig canals, plant forests, and build roads. Later, these same men would be used to enforce the criminal will of Hitler. These draftees removed 1 million German workers from the ranks of the "unemployed." [2]

In addition, nearly half of the German population, German women, were removed from the statistics that were used to calculate the number of unemployed. They were still unemployed, but simply were no longer counted. [Ibid]



Many millions more were legally barred from work, either due to political disfavor or because they were Jews.




http://www.debate.org...

(Above) Jews were not only barred from holding jobs, they were also barred from owning a business. This image shows the morning after "Kristallnacht" when Jewish shop owners were the victims of mass crime.



http://www.debate.org...



(Above) Anyone who was unemployed by 1939 was deemed "work shy" and sentenced to a concentration camp. [3]

This left only non-Jewish white men older than 25 and who were active members of the Nazi Party available to be calculated in the employment statistics.

Hitler also eliminated workers rights, labor unions and wage controls. These measures effectively made most German workers slaves to the Hitler regime.[Ibid]

The only positive thing that Hitler did while in office, for Germans and for the world, was putting a bullet through his brain.



Under Hitler, Germany Became Powerful....
(Below) Soviet troops celebrate German "power" at the Reichstag in Berlin.

Photo showing German Strength on the World Stage, and Soviet Troops visiting the Reichstag
http://www.debate.org...


Hitler Created Youth Groups, Such as the Hitler Youth...

German Soldier with Wet Pants


Image of Hitler Youth Group Member

http://www.debate.org...



Hitler supported women, maternity, and family values...
Image of Hitler's treatment of women


Conclusion: The "positive" things that Hitler did were not positive for himself or his political career. They were also not things that were able to be used to force the world into war, or to commit industrialized murder. Any possible positive actions by the Hitler government did not cause the destruction of Germany.





Debate Round No. 3
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
Wow what a great RFD! Thank you - I think this will help me form more precise arguments.

What I am hearing is essentially that we enable evil when we pretend that it is not capable of great courage, conviction and intellect. I hadn't considered this angle, because I was more worried about committing a genetic fallacy. I was already close to saying that we can judge whether a thing is good or bad based only on whether or not it came from Hitler. My argument that whatever gave him more power was horrible was meant to answer the genetic fallacy.

I'm pretty much asking, "is it good that the serial killer is charming?" I came down on the side that says that it isn't; and that it would have been better if Germany had collapsed its economy in 1935, and never rearmed, and so forth. But I can also see your point (thanks to the "house analogy" - not a good connection, but it worked), in that Germans could not have known that the allure of these programs was leading them into a nightmare of horror.

Germany unity... Lol. Wasn't there an East and West Getmany and a Berlin Wall created as a DIRECT RESULT of blowback from Hitler's policies?
Posted by rross 3 years ago
rross
Conduct for Pro's comment: "Hitler's policy was directed to unity. IT UNITED ALL GERMANS, trying to keep all national values including language, culture and traditions." [my emphasis]

This really is an obscene thing to say, and I'm upset to have to explain why. Jewish Germans, homosexual Germans, disabled Germans, Germans with dissenting political or religious beliefs, and various other kinds of Germans were not "united". They were separated into ghettos and camps, tortured in various ways and killed.

S&G: Pro's contributions were full of spelling and grammatical errors. For example, just glancing at Round 1 there is "wold", "crysis" "dicreased" and I noticed dozens of others. Consider using the spell checker next time.
Posted by rross 3 years ago
rross
...so if Hitler did develop Germany's economy and build autobahns (which Pro claimed, and Con did not refute - even if Hitler was hopeless at economics personally, he oversaw its improvement), then those achievements should be judged without considering what that economy and those autobahns were used for. Maybe. This is arguable of course, but given that it wasn't argued (until the final round), I think this would be the standard position to take.

Then there is Con's first argument, that the horrors committed by Hitler's government totally overshadowed any minor positive achievements he may have made. This is an emotional argument, which Con backed up with great images. I'm a fan of using emotional arguments, so I don't mean it in a negative way at all. For an emotional argument to be effective, though, it needs to trigger responses in the audience that already exist. It didn't work for me, and I'm sorry that this RFD is so ridiculously long, but I just want to explain why quickly.

It's sort of the flipside of Con's other argument: that positive elements in an evil regime only strengthen it. Because that's what I've observed in real life, that governments, corporations and military groups that are guilty of atrocities ALWAYS mix that up, especially in the beginning, with substantial positives. They have to. And in fact, evil people (in my personal experience) are very likely to be devastatingly charming and generous. Their victims, not so much. So I think that the effort to characterize particular leaders or regimes as entirely negative is not only false, but also ultimately damaging. Because if people are expecting evil to come out of a graveyard looking like Voldemort, then they'll be fooled when they do come across it, as is so often the case. And was the case in Germany, of course.

This is my personal opinion, and I am stating it not because it was the basis of my vote per se, but to explain why I was unmoved by the emotional arguments.
Posted by rross 3 years ago
rross
This was a difficult debate - almost impossible - to argue as Con, and I really admire Con for doing as well as she did. Her main line of argument seemed to me to be that 1/ the horrors of Hitler's rule were so great that they tainted any minor achievements, 2/ his positive achievements (especially economic ones) were non-existent anyway, and 3/ that any positive achievements - such as unity and efficiency - were used for evil ends and so should be considered negative.

2/ was the weakest because it only looked at unemployment.

3/ was an interesting argument. This idea that any benefits were really negative. In a way, Con conceded that there were positives, but only under a limited perspective. For example, she says that any benefits for the German Reich were negatives for humanity overall. Or that any benefits in the mid-1930s led to negatives during WWII. Because these arguments were elaborated in the final round, and Pro could not respond, I did not consider them in my vote.

In a general way, Con introduced the argument in Round 1 when she said, "even if Hitler's Reich had "positive sides" these were used to generate the political power necessary to develop the ability to war, and cannot be considered "positive." They were stepping stones for what came later." Pro did not directly address this, but she emphasized Hitler's pre-war achievements in her response.

It makes me think: the idea of time and achievements. For example, if I build a house with my bare hands, and later that house burns down and my family dies, was the act of building a house positive or not? Or if later, my family's death inspires me to lobby for national fire safety standards which save thousands of lives. Positive or not? I know this is an extremely trivial example compared with WWII and I'm not trying to be offensive with this comparison. The point I'm trying to make is that you need to assess an achievement on its own terms...(cont.)
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
CONCLUSION:

The resolution is EXTREMELY EASY for PRO to meet burden, and IMHO PRO did indeed meet BoP. However, CON brought up a good amount of research and a thought-provoking perspective on various aspects of Hitler's administration that calls to question the conventional positives commonly associated with the Nazis. PRO's case was relatively weak in comparison.

I did not appreciate CON's attempt to recharacterize the resolution, and will thus leave conduct neutral in light of PRO's forfeiting a round.

Arguments PRO, sources and S&G to CON.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
RFD:

1) CON: "Restated, this resolution contends the following:"

""Hitler should be respected as a great patriot and leader, despite the horrors of WWII."

CON's attempt to reframe the resolution is in extremely bad taste. For this, I will negate conduct resultant from PRO's forfeiture of a round.

2) CON: "This is a debate over whether or not Hitler deserves to be remembered as a good and wise ruler,"

No, it is not. It is about whether or not Hitler did ANYTHING positive.

3) PRO: "During his rule there were founded the largest German autobanns which still exist..."

This trivial factoid is enough to affirm the resolution.

4) CON: "Over half a century after he drove his criminal state into ruin, he is still hailed by some as a political genius, a visionary economist, an iron willed "man of the people" who almost conquered Europe. This is done by clipping away the larger, and more vile elements of his record."

Correct, and these positive traits are the focus of this debate.

5) CON: "...in the "Nero Decree" dated March 19, 1945"

A war decree aimed at denying war material to the Soviets is a practical move, and actually shows decent tactical sense by Hitler.

6) CON: " Hitler's first full fiscal year in office saw a massive slowdown in the rate of employment recovery."

Yet your own numbers show that unemployment dropped an ADDITIONAL 90% during pre-war Nazi leadership. This is an astounding accomplishment, even taking into consideration the various negatives you brought forth.

7) CON: "Anyone who was unemployed by 1939 was deemed "work shy" and sentenced to a concentration camp."

Hmmm...I got curious enough to look this one up myself. Apparently concentration camp populations were quite low in 1939, around 20,000 "racial" Germans:
http://muse.jhu.edu...

(Conclusion next)
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"Good for Hitler = Bad for Humanity"

Again, do you deny that had Germany not invaded Russia, the vast majority of deaths from the Holocaust would not have occurred, and life for the average German would have been quite good?

---

"I blame Hitler because he illegally re-armed Germany. He should have nonviolently petitioned the Allies, but instead he murdered millions and started a world war."

That didn't work...Weimar already tried that in response to Ruhr and failed. Instead, the Germans experienced hyperinflation.

In the end, the best way to defend yourself against force is to arm yourself with force, hopefully with enough force to act as a deterrent. This has worked for the Swiss for generations, and it worked for the US/USSR during the cold war.
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
I blame Hitler because he illegally re-armed Germany. He should have nonviolently petitioned the Allies, but instead he murdered millions and started a world war.

Good for Hitler = Bad for Humanity

Political success by Hitler = bad for humanity

Political success by Hitler = not positive on a planet-wide scale
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"I don't care why they were demilitarized. 60 to 80 million people would not have died if it had stayed that way."

Why are you blaming Hitler for militarization? Why not blame the REST OF EUROPE for threatening Germany? For crushing it economically under onerous debt obligations? For invading it when it was unable to pay?
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
I don't care why they were demilitarized. 60 to 80 million people would not have died if it had stayed that way.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con presented a shaky start, and ffed his only round to defend it. Sources and arguments go overwhelmingly to pro. Pro also had fragments, and butchered some sentences. Cons were much more neat, and grammatically accurate. After the FF to defend his case, not much of an RF is needed
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If the title were the resolution then Pro would only have to say, "The Nazi uniforms were really spiffy." However, opening argument made it clear that the debate was about substantial good things brought about by the leadership of Hitler. In making the Pro case, Pro would have to distinguish what was due to Hitler as distinct from what have reasonably been expected in post-WWI Germany. Pro provided no references at all, let alone sources supporting that contention. Con had sources saying that Hitler slowed rather than advanced recovery. Thus Pro did not meet the burden of proof. Pro loses conduct for forfeiting a round. Pro loses S&G for having so many errors as to distract from the arguments. Certainly Hitler was extraordinarily talented as a propagandist and demagogue, but the debate was about the positive aspects of leadership, like economic stewardship.
Vote Placed by TheAntidoter 3 years ago
TheAntidoter
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: AUE, not BOP, paraded by con. Pro,overthrown, did there sow the seed of victory in the soil of his first round. International Argument was not refuted by Con. Great debate.
Vote Placed by briantheliberal 3 years ago
briantheliberal
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were clearly more convincing, more understandable, and better constructed than Pro. I gave conduct to Con also because Pro forfeited in Round 2. Con had great use of photographic evidence and a variety of sources that Pro did not provide whatsoever. Some of Pro's arguments were difficult to understand from a grammatical standpoint which is why I also gave that point to Con. Overall, Con had better arguments, spelling/grammar, conduct and sourcing.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
DauletaliyevaBeverleeTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Excellent presentation by CON, but this resolution is extremely easy for PRO to meet BoP.