This statue of a praying Hitler is, to say the least, provocative. One interpretation, and the first one that came to my mind, is that perhaps the artist was attempting to show the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps. On second thought, a monster like Hit, now on bended knees, seeking God? Is it possible? Of course; with God all things are possible. Likely? Not hardly.
Much more likely is this public art was meant to shock, to provoke a reaction. After all, why else place an image of Hitler in a place most associated with his atrocities?
Beyond any shock value, is there the thought behind the statue that it’s merely an extreme example of the “I’m OK, you’re OK” mindset: there is no evil, just misunderstood folks who, deep down, are good.
Sorry; evil exists. Hitler and his many supporters fill that particular bill. And, along with other monsters of the Twentieth Century like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, are evil unbound by any civilized norms.
Is this placement of an offensive statue in the most offensive place imaginable a plea for our tolerance? Again, perhaps, but it takes a certain kind of mush-headed thinking to tolerate genocide.
We must never tolerate those who violate basic norms of civilized behavior. We ought to
kill or otherwise render harmless those who will not be civilized. Hitler, and the Third Reich, had to be defeated in war, with millions killed before they were stopped.
It remains an open question whether militant Islam, which appears to continue to celebrate Hitler, will be rendered harmless by the many millions of their co-coreligionists who, we may hope, simply wish to be left alone and live their lives in peace.
We may hope.