Volume 94, Issue 1

Friday, May 12, 2000


Hitler's skull is humanity's trophy

Hitler's skull is humanity's trophy

By Colin Butler
Opinions Editor

Hitler's skull fragment is now on display in Moscow. The Russian Archives display, "Agony of the Third Reich: Retribution," includes the skull as part of its exhibition. The only remaining piece of the skull, now charred and punctured by the bullet that passed through the head that once housed one of the most warped and disturbed minds that has ever existed, is probably the smallest thing Hitler ever left behind. His impact on humanity is something that will never go away.

Adolph Hitler is the present day personification of evil. What he stood for – war, racism, slavery, lies and tyranny – is everything that Western civilization doesn't. His disgusting crimes against the human species will hopefully never be repeated.

But in his madness, Hitler inadvertently caused the world to grow up. His war for lebensraum showed that old European ideals of conquest and empire building by means of violence, are not tolerated.

A veteran of the Great War, Adolph Hitler saw Germany subjected to a humiliating defeat imposed by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Like many Germans he felt disillusioned and wanted change. He dared to restore Germany's power by first being elected, then seizing absolute power through manipulating the German people's wounded pride. He then caused the Second World War and the Holocaust out of revenge and a desperate need to feel superior to others.

Unfortunately, his lunacy was allowed to be carried out. But not to the extent that it was complete and total. Hitler intentionally murdered millions of Jews in cold blood and subjected millions of others to tyrannous military rule. But he was eventually stopped by the Western democracies, who represented anything but a government built on despotism and fear, along with the Soviets, a government built on despotism and fear.

Through their efforts to stop Hitler, Europe and North America learned the terrible price that racism and ignorance can impose on humanity. They learned racism was wrong and that it can eventually lead to terrible things, such as death camps. The Western world has since then changed its ways. It took a long time, mind you. Longer than it should have. But racism isn't anywhere near as bad a problem as it used to be.

The Holocaust was a wake-up call in the form of mass murder. Through the destruction of the Nazi regime, Western democracies acknowledged that the values upon which Hitler's regime were based, were unfair, unjust and inhumane. With succeeding generations Europe and North America have become true democracies acknowledging people of all backgrounds. Hitler's skull is a symbol of this triumph.

So why doesn't the skull reside in the country of the men and women who slew Nazism on behalf of justice?

The fact that Hitler's skull is in Moscow is because the Soviets reached Berlin first. Not because they were diametrically opposed to Nazi views – Stalinism was just another form of fascism – but because Germany attacked them and nothing more. The Russians didn't tell the world what they found buried in the garden outside Hitler's bunker until 1993. Which was testament to the secretive and tyrannous nature that was Soviet Russia.

Much like the head of a deer that hangs on a hunter's wall, so too should this infamous piece of bone. It should be a trophy for all the people of Earth. And everyone should be able to see that a man who once had the world at his feet has ultimately been reduced to a single piece of charred bone.

Hitler's skull shouldn't just reside in Moscow. Not because the Russians didn't fight the good fight, but because it is a symbol of humankind's most base attributes and the triumph over them. It should tour the world, teaching every one about the struggle between good and evil, teaching that good not only does win, but must win. Hopefully, it will show everyone what happens to those who oppose fundamental human values – they are crushed by those who uphold those values.

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