Ben Stein's Diary

At War and at Peace

Reeling from another viewing of The World at War.

By From the April 2012 issue

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I think I told you that I recently bought The World at War, the superb documentary about World War II narrated by Laurence Olivier, the man with the best voice on this planet—now gone, of course. (He also was married to Vivien Leigh, probably as good an actor as there has ever been. What a marriage that must have been. Two mad people together, both exploding with talent and ambition.)

Tonight I watched an hour of the documentary about Genocide. It started out with the origins of racist thought and then the origins of the SS, Hitler's killing machine for Jews and many others. Olivier made it clear that the basis of "thought" for the notion of killing whole populations of those deemed to be below Aryan status was a "neo-Darwinist" concept—i.e., that nature will eventually eliminate a competing, weaker species, so why not give nature a hand? That was Darwin's precise idea and, as Himmler understood it, along with his boss, Hitler, the people who were parasites on the Herrenvolk were mostly the Jews. So, they had to be killed.

It's fascinating to me that The World at War says that the Genocide was a neo-Darwinist idea. Now that the neo-Darwinists have a stranglehold on all intellectual activity in the Western world, that kind of statement would be strictly verboten.

The scenes of the murders, the starvation, the tortures of the Jews were just unbearably awful. Be-yond imagining. But, of course, they happened. Some of it—a lot of it—was happening in my lifetime.

The narration by survivors of what went on in the ghettoes and at the crematoria and—God help us—in the gas chambers themselves are simply beyond endurance.

If you want to see what happens when man says that man is God and that science will tell man how to deal with his fellow man, you cannot do better than to watch this documentary. The World at War—available from Amazon.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.