Courtesy Reuters

Two Invasions

NOT only Hitler himself, but his whole gang, particularly Goebbels, were fond of comparing the Fuehrer with Napoleon. They were not troubled by the utter ludicrousness of drawing a comparison between, on the one hand, a statesman and military genius of the first magnitude and, on the other, a contemptible nonentity and moral freak whose career remains an indelible stain on the history of the German people. What did they find in common between the hero who led his brave regiments through the fields of Europe and Africa, and the cowardly creature who kept out of the way of all danger in his comfortable Berchtesgaden retreat and from there issued orders to "resist to the last drop of blood?"

There were mainly two points, in the opinion of Hitlerite publicists, which Napoleon and his German caricature had in common. First, Napoleon wanted to unite the entire Continent against England; and der Fuehrer also proclaimed that when he had subjected all the nations of the Continent to his "New Order" he would lead them against the hated "traders" of London. Secondly, Napoleon held that in order to consolidate his dominion in western Europe he must first square accounts with Russia, and only then would he consider an invasion of England and of her possessions in India; Hitler also held that the political destruction of Russia was a necessary prerequisite for a successful attack upon England. Where the French Caesar had failed, the "superior Nordic race" was bound to succeed: der Fuehrer would enter the Kremlin and there proclaim the final victory of the "New Order."

This was what German journalists dreamed of out loud and wrote and published in the crucial months at the end of 1941, just before the first major defeat inflicted on the German robber hordes -- the defeat at the approaches to Moscow. That was the first act in the German débâcle. Stalingrad was the second. The demolition of Berlin by Marshal Zhukov's artillery was the third

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