Tom Doig’s Hitlerhoff-related rants and poems

a rant from the depths of my thesis: hitler, evil, auschwitz, hell, the third world, terrorism, capitalism…          (December 2008)

… so Hitler is a “generalised icon of evil”,
he’s our post-religious Lucifer,
because there can be only one,
which means that Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – they all have to miss out!
No room! we have our devil!
Even Osama Bin Laden, they tried him:
no room at the inn!

Hitler’s our man. our black shiny scapegoat.

And, If there can only be one devil (Hitler),
There can only be one Hell:
Auschwitz. (= the Holocaust)
The gulags of Vladivostok, the labour-camps of China,
There isn’t room for them in the popular imagination.

WHY? Because Auschwitz is a MIDDLE-CLASS HELL,
A hell for WHITE PEOPLE (Jews are white people; Hollywood has helped create an American, anglo-saxon Jew. Jews are not ASIAN or BLACK.)

Auschwitz is a bourgeois nightmare: your everyday, “normal” life of culture and comfort is interrupted by an inexplicable, diabolical force (terrorism).
Everything you own – and that’s plenty – is ripped from you;
You are plunged from luxury into squalor.
It is so unjust! So unfair! The contrast is so extreme!
the Ukrainian famine is a peasant nightmare;
the Armenian genocide is an exotic curiosity (what IS an Armenian, anyway? Why would the Turks bother?);
the Maoist starvations, exotic peasant happenings.
Bad luck, but then,
Their luck wasn’t too hot to start with.

Those events have no resonance with a first-world imagination;
It could never happen to us, because we would never be born poor, in an uncivilised land.
(GERMANY, on the other hand …)

This is why stories of third-world suffering,
life in the slums of Africa, India, life in Myanmar,
where people are born into shit and poison,
born onto immense unending rubbish heaps,
into prisons with no walls – a life sentence –

there is no drama of dispossession for us to engage with,
no narrative of injustice, and – no agent of evil –
no Hitler …

Darfur? That could NEVER happen to me. Because it hasn’t.
What has it got to do with me anyway?

The vast global indifference towards these conditions
Makes the banality of Eichmann’s evil …
Intelligible.

This is what WE lack an imagination for.
These are the dots we decline to join.
These are the conclusions we don’t (want to) reach.

Because any “crude thinking” on the matter would pretty quickly reveal –
That we first-worlders are the jailers,
The concentration camp guards,
And the difference between slave labour camps
And global capitalism’s third-world labour markets …

& when bombs go off in Bali
When guns are fired in Bombay
& rich tourists say “THEY HATE US BECAUSE WE’RE WHITE”
“THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM”
Without stopping to think what their whiteness might represent

burying the grim economic reality of the situation under the rubble of
“race”
“religion”
“culture”
“freedom”

Without stopping to think what our freedom might be built on


DER GEWONLICHE FASCHISMUS

(I wrote this in March 2007, after seeing a Russian anti-fascist propaganda film. It was back in Berlin, there were no subtitles, it was cold.)

Life is good in sunny Moscow.
People have hairstyles,
there are birds in the park and we feed them.
Adolf Hitler was a bad man.
Crazy-looking,
he helped a whole nation go crazy.
People loved saluting him
he made people love saluting him
and from the moment they learnt to write

it was: “H” for Heil, “H” for Hitler!

Things are bad in London,
riots,
Neo-Nazi swastikas on Jewish gravestones

& in America they want to free Rudolph Hess
“ALL HE WANTED WAS PEACE ON EARTH”

The chorus girls kick
the soldiers goose-step into battle
corpses in the snow
soldiers pose next to piles of bodies
Hitler is staring at me he keeps standing there
Salute, everyone’s Saluting all the time
It’s like they’ve been –

they chop off heads with an axe take pictures
Juxtapose happy Moscow baby: dead baby in snow
(East German audience)

Learn to hate women who smoke
wear obscene short skirts & sail above 42nd Street on ziplines

held by their teeth
Doing the splits &
the snow keeps falling

More parades & always the
Girls crying hysterical: Beatles concert:
Adolf Stardust in skintight sexpants
Dramatic Hand Movements For EMPHASIS
Its 1965 THE COLD WAR things are fine
In peaceful Russia but the American Marines

are getting trained to growl like dogs like bears
Thrust & twist bayonet:
OFF to West Germany!
In sunny Moscow the boys have hair
piled up and girls piling into their cars &
off to the dancehall,
are we allowed to enjoy that?

America fires its missiles
One million dead women and children
total war: TOTAL WAR
Flaming torches they march around to form a Swastika:

Racial Science: Carpet-Bombing
Women forced to strip naked, shot,
they must be Jewish

they must be –
can you imagine
people dancing through the piles of corpses?

Those emaciated creatures,
could they run in slow-motion down the beach?

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