Oliver Stone’s New Documentary: Revisionism at its Best…

hitler-mein_kampf_extOliver Stone is no stranger to conspiracy theories and to gross historical inaccuracies (see JFK for starters, Oswald was the lone shooter), and it looks like he is taking on yet more “misunderstood” events and people (thank God for Oilver Stone or we would all be , as he says “ignorant.”); only this time his focus is frankly mind-boggling. (Oh how I wish he’d stick to movies like Platoon, that was a great flick!)

According to the Progressive/Marxist director, “Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy — these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,” – as quoted at the Television Critics Association in Pasadena. Stone is a Cultural Relativist who is not interested in “secret” or “true” stories about history. (Interesting  how he groups McCarthy with those other three. Whatever.)

We could say that Stone just wants to reexamine these controversial figures and figure out what made them tick, and how they came to be!? Not so fast.

Consider the following:

“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII … I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view. We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”

Let me get this right!? He is going to tell a more “factual representation” of fascists dictators who did not kill millions, but tens of millions. His comment, “Hitler is an easy scapegoat…” is so full of ignorance and intellectual hogwash… only the mind of a Progressive nincompoop could utter such a stupid statement. Who has used and how has Hitler been used as a “scapegoat”? Neo-Nazis? Facists? I can’t wait to see.

How about this comment, “People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII.” This is pure lunacy. Maybe the Hollywood hacks he hangs out with don’t! Every student that leaves 90% of United States history classrooms in this country was exposed to the relationship between those two events. If anyone does not know how WWI lead to WWII they are ignorant – War reparations, war guilt, the loss of key industrial territory, and thus Germany was destined during the Great Depression to be a breeding ground for a radical, eloquent, and charismatic persona such as Hitler. This purely evil person has nothing that needs to be studied, other than the environment (as already mentioned and including: hyper-inflation in Germany. If you are starving and someone tells you they know who is to blame and how you can live better, you will listen as well.) Besides, what led to Hitler was Germany’s neighbors and what they did; it was created in part by the French and their desire to punish Germany. Will this be explained? I hope so. Will the German people be held accountable? Lot’s of questions.

So will the above be covered and highlighted? Keep reading.

6a00d83451d69069e2012876be446a970c-320wi“I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view,” says Stone. Good, glad to hear it. Only you would want to walk in their shoes.

Understanding the past is a part of the historiography, indeed. Yet the implication for Stone, it seems from the above quote, is to put America in a cause and effect relationship with Hitler, “Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM.” It could be interesting to see how American corporations were duped by Hitler, just like so many politicians and political leaders. However, will this simply be a way for Stone to imply we are at fault for Hitler’s rise and his designs on Jews and Europe? (I wonder if Stone will talk much about “Mein Kampf”, Appeasement, Ambassador Kennedy to England who saw nothing wrong with the Nazis and Hitler, ect.?)

Note: If you are a teacher who wants to show a good and historically accurate account of Hitler, show your class Hitler in Colour.

According to reports, the 10-part documentary series from Showtime will also focus on events that “at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history of the last 60 years.” Such events as: President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan and the origins of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Showtime is behind the curve here, big time. I wonder if they are aware of how much the Left and the New History movement has already written about these two events for what is going on 3-4 decades now?

However, perhaps the point is that this simply is an opportunity to show America as being just as evil for having dropped two nuclear bombs on innocent civilians when it did not have to (according to one point of view that is not widely accepted by historians)? Forget Hitler, might their point be: how many millions have we killed? I guarantee you there will be some kind of comparison that will imply how we are morally no better than them (the Nazis). Just wait.

I hope I am way off base here. I liked Stone’s movie W. It was an interesting look into Bush and I thought it was fair and revealing.

But knowing Stone’s political viewpoints and his actions abroad, I suspect this series will not be a fair or balanced presentation. It will not be History, and therefore it belongs on Showtime.

So I suggest you get a copy of The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders or maybe to a lesser extent, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, and read them if you want to understand how culture, acute malignant culture, can lead to Hitler. As I doubt Stone will tell that story.

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14 Responses to Oliver Stone’s New Documentary: Revisionism at its Best…

  1. And he was suppose to remake “Son of the Morning Star” about the Little Big Horn…

  2. Mike says:

    Really, Jared, really? What a Neocon blog…. God
    MS

  3. Chris says:

    Mike it is always a pleasure to post your comments!
    C

  4. Oliver Stone is a left-wingnut. Good grief. John Brown is also experiencing an “image makeover” in certain corners of academia. Revisionism indeed.

  5. Chris says:

    Richard, interesting you bring up John Brown. Today I showed my students in my regular US history class a 50 minute documentary from the history channel on John Brown, and one that I felt was well balanced. After the Doc I asked them to write a journal reflection based on this prompt: “Was John Brown a terrorist, why or why not? 90% said no, and saw him as someone who was a freedom fighter engaging in war against slavery…
    Chris

  6. Chris:

    I’m not surprised. Here’s an analogy to ask your students about. If John Brown was “a freedom fighter engaging in war against slavery…” are those who bomb abortion clinics and murder abortion doctors “freedom fighters engaging in war against abortion?” I think both Brown and those who commit violence against abortion providers were/are criminals and murderers and deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, including the death penalty.

    What about those who are suicide bombers – are they “freedom fighters engaging in war against the decadent West?” “Justified” lawlessness is a slippery slope.

    I’d be interested in how that discussion plays out.

  7. Joel says:

    When I read Stone’s statement that he had walked in the shoes of Stalin and Hitler, I laughed out loud. Does he mean he’s been hated by nearly all the free world as a vicious tyrant, completely devoid of conscience and full of hatred and paranoia to the point of genocide?

    Saying something like that requires either an almost complete knowledge of the subject(s) in question, or a monumental hubris. I wonder which it is in Oliver Stone’s case…

    Good stuff, Chris.

    Regards,
    Joel

  8. Mike,
    I’m confused by the meaning of your statement.

  9. Chris says:

    Joel, t hanks for posting. I didn’t take that comment by Stone the same way, though that is interesting I’ll re-read what he said. I took as he has studied them and talked where they walked in terms of their lives.

    Chris

  10. Pingback: Henry A. Kissinger, Woodrow Wilson, Diplomacy, and the Progressive Movement | Blog 4 History: American & Civil War History

  11. So there are “two historians” helping Stone. I wonder if they have published anything to refute Turner’s book on big business and the Nazis.

    “Big business was behind Hitler” is a familiar Leftist meme. There is even an academic book on the subject, titled The Collapse of the Weimar Republic: Political Economy and Crisis, by David Abraham. This book turned out to be very shoddy, if not dishonest, scholarship, and was trashed by a number of scholars in the field, in particular by Henry Turner, whose own German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler, sets out the case that there was no more support from Big Business for Hitler than from any other social sector. (A favorable, but not uncritical, review of this book by Thomas Childers, author of an extensive study of who supported Hitler titled The Nazi Voter, can be found in Vol.62, No. 1 (Spring 1988) of The Business History Review.) After Hitler took power, of course, it was a different story.

    A critical review of Abraham’s book — the second edition, after he had cleaned up some of the worst bits of the first — can be found in Business History Review Volume 61 (Autumn 1987), written by Peter Hayes. The best defense — but a weak one, in my opinion — of Abrahams can be found in Jon Weiner’s Historians In Trouble.

    What I find supremely ironic is that many if not most of the people who seek to hang the “supporter of totalitarianism” label on big business, bankers, etc. are themselves enthusiasts or apologists for Stalin, or Mao, or Ho, or Fidel or Lenin.

  12. “What I find supremely ironic is that many if not most of the people who seek to hang the “supporter of totalitarianism” label on big business, bankers, etc. are themselves enthusiasts or apologists for Stalin, or Mao, or Ho, or Fidel or Lenin.”

    I agree. What is even more ironic is that Hitler/fascism is a product of leftist ideology, i.e. a centralized command control economy, limiting freedoms, etc.

  13. John Stoudt says:

    “What is even more ironic is that Hitler/fascism is a product of leftist ideology, i.e. a centralized command control economy, limiting freedoms, etc.” Would you mind explaining that statement? My understanding is that the Nazi party, as it grew stronger with popular support for its “law and order” stand and as it found allies in the business community, fought the Communists consistently. Yes, Communism and Nazism are both totalitarian, but I don’t see how one begat the other. Also — “What I find supremely ironic is that many if not most of the people who seek to hang the “supporter of totalitarianism” label on big business, bankers, etc. are themselves enthusiasts or apologists for Stalin, or Mao, or Ho, or Fidel or Lenin.” What is wrong with big business supporting an extreme right wing political organization, as long as profits continue and labor unions are curbed? (Just asking; I am not a fan of Hitler/Stalin/Mao.) Thanks in advance.

  14. Michael Schack says:

    History has a way of being both perceptual and manipulated by the interests of certain groups. One of the great moments of World war two was the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s final offensive Battle. Over a million soldiers were involved. The estimated numbers involved and casualties are facts. The flow of the battle can and has been changed in at least one country. The German army attacked through the Ardennes Mountains in an attempt to capture the fuels depot at Bastogne. It was here that the famous reply to a German surrender note ”Nuts” by General McAuliffe became synonymous with American Bravery and perseverance.
    I read how the Russians view that battle. Although in their history books it is mentioned how the American army after being surprised was able to stop the offensive. It is here that the Russian army is given credit. The Russian army was ordered to push up the date of their offensive to take Berlin as a strategy to assist the Americans by drawing off the German troops to protect their Eastern flank. History can be very perceptual.

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