There’s been a kerfuffle about a comment the actor Will Smith made about Hitler. He said, some believe, that Hitler was a good person. This accusation is, he says, “an awful and disgusting lie.”
Reading his original words, I can’t see that he he’s guilty of something heinous. His ‘crime’, I think, is innocence. But the ideas he expressed do Let’s merit some thought:
Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, “Let me do the most evil thing I can today.” I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was good.
So which is it, do you think?
1. Hitler actually intended to do evil (not good)?
2. Hitler actually intended to do good (though his view of what is good is what most people think is evil).
Smith’s problem – if it is a problem – is that he’s too decent a person to accept that human malevolence can exist. In his happy experience people always at some level mean well.
No me, I fear. My vote goes to another option. Any guesses?
Photo: Rare Film of Hitler & Co. found in Staten Island, New York, originally uploaded by nyctreeman