Little by little, bit by bit, unaware, they become monsters.



The Nazis never saw themselves as villains.

You look at the horrifying atrocities they committed and you think they MUST have known they were the monsters.

They must have known.

But they didn’t.

In fact, it was just the opposite. The Nazis thought they themselves were the VICTIMS.

That’s how the Nazi party came to be in the first place, you know, how it rose to power. The Nazis convinced Germany that it had been victimized by the rest of the world. Had somehow lost its greatness, lost its place among nations. Disrespected. Treated unfairly. Nazis thought themselves victims. They thought the “true” German people were being persecuted by elitism. By liberalism. By intellectualism. By foreign influence. By multiculturalism. By a loss of manly vigor. By a dilution and/or contamination of racial purity. By unemployment and economic disadvantage. By a perception that they had lost their identity, their history, and moreover, their rights and privileges.

So, when they came to power, the Nazis didn’t think of themselves as villains, rather they were convinced that they were heroes. They saw themselves righting all the supposed wrongs done to them. They saw themselves as restoring the might of Germany and forging a new civilization that would last a thousand years.

They firmly believed they were right.

Now, they knew they were doing terrible things, but they didn’t think of it as terror. They thought they were righteous. They changed their country’s laws to make themselves righteous. They changed the morality of their nation to make themselves righteous. They believed history would vindicate their actions and all the horror would be justified when they triumphed, when there was no more resistance. Because THEN people would understand, the rest of the world would understand. See, they believed that when the world looked upon the mighty works of Nazi engineering, the miracles of Nazi science, the purity and beauty and genetic superiority of the Aryan race, looked upon the order and especially the security of Nazi society, well, THEN the rest of the world would understand.

Not just understand, but be filled with envy.

They thought the rest of the world would admire them for what they had done.

They were blind to the horror they had created. Purposely so.

What they wanted most of all was the world’s fear and respect — for in their minds fear and respect were the same thing.

No, the Nazis never saw themselves as villains.

Villains never do.

They told themselves they were making their country great again, making the world a better place for themselves, a better people, and the atrocities they created were a temporary necessity, a means to an end on the path to greatness, and would be justified in the end.

That’s how it happens.

Little by little, bit by bit, unaware, they become monsters.


Hitler 1928
Author: Jim Wright, Stonekettle
Jim Wright, the mind behind Stonekettle Station, is a retired U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer and freelance writer. He lived longer in Alaska than anywhere else and misses it terribly. He recently moved to the fetid Panhandle of Florida and lives now in an ancient Cold War bunker of a house surrounded by alligators and rednecks. Read his fiction in the new collection, Alternative Truths.

Trump’s rich supporters and his poor ones each think he’s going to make their America great. He can’t satisfy both groups, since what each really wants is to take from the other… (read on)

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