Andrew Jackson vs. Hitler
Because the last thread was closed, but Matt said he was looking forward to having a discussion on the trail of tears, and this’ll at least be a far different discussion from the last one. Also, Jackson is a President for whom I’ve read several biographies, and I find him fascinating.
So are they’re similarities.
Yes there are.
First, during the time period in which Andrew Jackson was alive he was known as “King Andrew” amongst both his opponents and supporters.
The first ‘popularly elected President’ that many saw as the first steps towards, at best, a gregarious monarchy ruled by the tyranny of the majority, and at worst, a fascist overlord who only ever read the Bible, and saw the world through a religious prism where he was the hero and the Indians and others were the enemy.
Hitler and Jackson share some other similarities as well. To some Hitler and Jackson were charming, tough and noble men, and to others they were bloodthirsty a**holes.
The old story is Jackson walked with a cane, not because he needed it for walking but because he needed it for beating people.
Hitler is caught in that similar back and forth. Military genius or raving lunatic? Depends on who you ask.
But perhaps the eeriest similarity of all is Hitler studied Jackson. He studied the trail of tears, how the American military lied to Indians, rounded them up, moved them from temporary shelter to temporary shelter until all the old and infirm died off, then sent them poison supplies, blankets laced with smallpox.
They forced them onto reservations were they would labor, mostly for the soldiers, who would take anything they would grow, horde their rations, starve them, rape them and beat them.
Hitler studied all of this, apparently, and eventually Himmler, Goebbels and even Dr. Mengele put into practice things that had they read about into the annihilation of the Jews and other individuals.
Some might say Jackson was simply a mindless bureaucrat, who had some personal feelings of guilt and sympathy to those he hurt. Afterall, he adopted a Native. And perhaps from his desk in the [modern] White House he couldn’t put into perspective what he was doing.
But, perhaps the same could be said of Hitler, who made sure a Jewish doctor friend was safely out of the country by the time the holocaust was in full swing. Also, I’m sure, if asked both would claim those people were “one of the good ones”, perhaps an exception in their minds, not the rule.
Perhaps the biggest difference is how they died. Jackson died comfortably, of old age, in a beautiful home, surrounded by his living family (whichever ones he didn’t drive away with his constant drama). On his deathbed Jackson supposedly uttered “I wish to see all of you, yes all of you, white and black in Heaven”.
A very odd phrase to end the life of a supposedly racist and indignant man. Hitler died a coward. Committing suicide in a bunker, with no supposed deathbed conversion.
In fact most statements from Hitler seem unapologetic, although Jackson too was once this way as well. However, at the end of the day, there is no gentle, loving confession of guilt surrounding the story of Hitler, none.
Engaged in mass extinction/emigration from their own homes and cities (Natives were not ‘primitive’ by the way, none of the 5 great tribes were).
Reached the highest office in the land by what many considered illegitimate means (at the time).
Both were rumored to be very “angry” people growing up. Both were rumored to be racist, and yet both had conflicted feelings towards certain individuals in those groups they were racist towards.
Hitler ripped off Jackson’s strategy