World War II and Evil
The purpose of this paper is to show examples of evil both individual and institutional. Adolf Hitler’s vision of war and genocide was chosen as an example of individual evil. What other person in the 20th century defines evil better than Adolf Hitler? The Japanese invasion and subsequent rape of the then Chinese capital city of Nanking (Nanjing) in December 1937, was chosen as an institutional example of evil. These pages will show how a man rose to power in Germany and set in motion events that engulfed the world’s then superpowers in the costliest war in world history. How an army lost control of it’s men that then looted, burned and then systematically raped, tortured, and murdered 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers in a matter of weeks.
Adolf Hitler was born at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of April 20, 1889, in the small Austrian village of Braunau Am Inn just across the border of German Bavaria. As a young boy, Hitler found school easy and got good grades. He had even idolized the monks where he attended school at a Catholic Benedictine monastery at age seven. Hitler’s family moved to the village of Leonding in 1898. There a history teacher named Dr. Leopold Potsch touched Hitler’s imagination with exciting tales of Bismark and Frederick the Great. For young Hitler German nationalism quickly became an obsession.
In World War I he served in the Bavarian army, was gassed and wounded, and received the Iron Cross (first class) for bravery. The war had embittered him and he blamed Germany’s defeat on the Jews and the Marxists. He settled in Munich, joined with other nationalists in 1920, to form the Nazi party. In 1923, he tried to overthrow Bavaria’s Republican governmen...
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...ll, and eliminate the perceived cause of their misfortune by whatever means necessary, we can not for a second believe that these things will never occur again. As long as there is racism, religious intolerance, greed and hatred mankind will never be free from these atrocities. The amount of evil in this world is only measurable by the amount of evil in ones heart.
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