It is impossible that every single person who became a Nazi during the 1930s and 40s was a racist or anti-Semite. It is impossible that every single person who became a Nazi actually murdered a Jew. Simple mathematics tells us that this is so. In 1933 there were more than 7.5 million Germans who voted for Hitler. By the start of WWII there were millions more.
Was it really such a vile ideology? Germans suffered humiliating defeat in WWI and Germans simply believed a strong leader could return their nation to greatness. And since they believed their culture, their way of life was better than others, they believed the rest of the world should be under one ruler and one way of life as well.
OK, so they blamed the Jews on their current problems. But aren't there other ideologies today who believe in subjugating the entire world under their rule? Aren't there believers in this ideology today who also believe the Jews are subhumans and are to blame for their current problems? And are we not asked to be tolerant of these believers?
Is it right that we say all Nazis are evil even though the majority of them never became extreme or harmed anyone? Is it right that we are intolerant of someone who calls himself a Nazi? Just because Nazi ideology is evil, that its goal is world conquest, that it is intolerant of anyone who is not a Nazi, that it demands the killing of non-believers, does not mean every Nazi will actually follow through on these ideas.
So what if they made Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" (English: "My Jihad") a best seller.
So what if millions of Germans adored a monster, is that any different than hundreds of millions today who adore a pedophile, rapist, and ruthless killer of Jews and non-believers?
As he [Hitler] grew from an insignificant local politician in Munich to an unrivalled figure of national power, the post-bag grew too. The letters came by the sackful, then by the cartload and finally, they filled vans and even a railway car. ..
Pathetic, poignant, drooling, funny and sometimes just plain bonkers, they are an intimate insight into a nation that sold its collective soul to a madman.
Modern Germans often try to soften their history, to argue that they were a people misled and terrorised by a government of gangsters.
These letters of adulation add to the weight of recent research showing just how complicit the German people as a whole were in the Nazi regime.
For us today, brought up in a culture that rightly demonises Hitler, the coquettish love he inspired is so incongruous as to be almost shocking.
"My dear, my eternal, my lovely Adolf," shrieked one female admirer, "I would like to make you my little puppy."
We should not stereotype all Nazis based on the behavior of a few thousand of its extremists. The majority of Nazis were in fact moderate Nazis. We should judge Nazism based on the behavior of the majority of its adherents.
After all, we do not want to be called bigots or Naziphobes.