1. dub
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    Commentary: The Mistakes Of A Decisive Leader

    The war is an utter disaster, yet Adolph Hitler is decisive and is running strong in the polls.

    By Gerald Rellick

    I’ve have been toying with an idea for a script inspired by two Mel Brooks movies, The Producers and Blazing Saddles. The time is March 1945, and the setting is Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler is running for reelection. More than 14 million Germans--soldiers, women, and children--are dead, and 90% of Germany has been bombed into rubble. Russian troops are just outside Berlin, and everyone knows they will be in no mood to take prisoners. German morale has never been lower.

    Nevertheless, the Nazi party is running on a cheery message: “Springtime for Hitler.” The Nazis point out that Hitler’s economic plan is sound, that unemployment has never been lower in Germany, that Germans should be proud of what they have accomplished against withering Allied attacks, and Germany is now respected as a nation that will stand resolute and firm against its enemies.

    The head of Hitler’s reelection team, Karl von Rovenick, is stressing the message of not changing commanders in the middle of a war. Even if Germany loses, says von Rovenick, Germany will get a better deal at the bargaining table with Herr Hitler in charge. Only Hitler will be able to negotiate a good deal, one that will allow Germany to mobilize after the surrender to go on and fight another day. Let’s forget all that stuff about who and what got us into this mess, argues von Rovenick; just focus on where we are now, and pull together as proud and loyal Germans. So what if Hitler made a few mistakes? He meant well. Nobody’s perfect. And just think how much Hitler has learned from his time in office. Do we really want a newcomer in charge now?

    The opposition candidate is Kurt Boltzmann, a former tank commander who served with bravery and distinction in Rommel’s North Africa Corps. He was wounded 172 times, and what was left of him was shipped back to Berlin in 1942. He now believes the war was a mistake and that Hitler is a maniac. He is played be Sean Connery. His running mate is a handsome infantry officer from the Russian front played by Harrison Ford. Their platform couldn’t be simpler: Germany Can Do Better Than Adolf Hitler.

    Von Rovenick immediately seizes on Boltzmann’s war record and points out that if he were a real war hero he would be dead--like everyone else. The fact that he is alive disqualifies him for command. Only a coward or a fake could survive. Von Rovenick operates on the assumption that the German people--the few that remain--are not only demoralized, but stupid too. Von Rovenick’s political analysis supports this conclusion. Every man who was physically and mentally able to serve was drafted and is now dead or captured. Since women can’t vote, only male mental defectives are left to vote. This is Hitler’s one chance for victory--the mental defective vote. Von Rovenick is played by Pee Wee Herman, who bulks up on pastry for the role.

    And as always, the German media--a precursor to the American media of the early 21st century--are looking for an interesting angle. This is their bread and butter. They’re tired of the same old Hitler-bashing that has been going on for five years. Hitler’s psychopathic behavior and his one-man, one party destruction of Germany is old news. They get their opportunity when Boltzmann tells the German people that he wants to negotiate with Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt to broker a peace. The media seizes on Boltzmann’s “apparent indecision,” quoting sources close to Hitler that “talk is cheap,” that there is no indecision with the Fuhrer. He is a man of conviction and strength, and he is plain spoken. Most psychopaths are. He knows exactly what he wants to do and what the German people should do: Every man, woman, and child should die in defense of the homeland. For those who are a bit squeamish about stories of angry Russian troops, Hitler has ordered the Homeland Security chief, Field Marshall Ridgeling, to provide enough cyanide pellets for everyone. If this isn’t leadership in a time of crisis, what is?

    The three Leading conservative columnists in Germany at this time--David Brookstone, George Willfried, and William Kristolite--are frog-like effeminate men, known collectively as “the three big sissies of Berlin.” They argue that the waffling Boltzmann is so busy working on a cowardly surrender, just to save a few hundred thousand lives, that he’s failed to see the glory of fighting and dying to the last man. Willfried loves to show his erudition by always quoting Nietzsche. They all love Hitler’s moral clarity, and despite some early rough going, they argue, Germany is just now getting its footing. This is no time to be faint-hearted. Brookstone, Willfried, and Kristolite received deferments from the German military because they are easily frightened by noise.

    Hitler’s second in command is Richard Chainlink, a particularly vile and loathsome creature even by Nazi standards. He has the unique ability of speaking out of the side of his mouth both literally and figuratively. Even Hitler is rumored to fear Chainlink. Chainlink has been in hiding in an underground bunker throughout the war with his shrewish wife. Casting Chainlink is a real challenge. Readers’ suggestions are welcome.

    I’m a little fuzzy on where the story goes from here. But at some point it has to connect with the reality that on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler (although leading comfortably in the polls) says his final farewells, removes his Walther PPK automatic from his holster, places the barrel in his mouth, and pulls the trigger, thereby sparing Germany the election and one cyanide pellet.


    It should be clear to the reader that what makes this story so compelling is its enduring quality. One of the most powerful features of life is its adaptability. It’s the key to survival. Without it man would never have evolved into the complex (and murderous) being he is. History teaches that people living in the most inhumane and degrading circumstances somehow manage to adapt. The flipside of adaptability is that people can grow comfortable with their misery, rejecting change even when it is in their obvious best interest. We witness this in Hitler supporters who are quick to ask that if someone else were in power, how could we know that the German dead wouldn’t be 20 million? Things could be worse. Let’s be cautious. Change is risky.

    But, as the story ends, we can all rest comfortably in realizing that it’s just a spoof. Fascism, drawn from the depths of human weakness and frailty, will die with Hitler. Never again will the intellect be rendered so impotent; never again shall free will be in such short supply as it was in Nazi Germany. History teaches us our mistakes. Never again.


    I considered posting this in the 'humour' section - but then I don't think it's all that humourous.


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