Ferguson: Hitler comes in handy (3-24-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 24, 1943)


Ferguson: Hitler comes in handy

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

The other day, I heard somebody say that Hitler was probably behind our labor strife and our bureau squabbles in Washington.

It would be comforting if he were. We could then be sure of getting rid of the frictions. J. Edgar Hoover could start work, and soon peace would reign over the domestic front.

Hitler does offer a wonderful alibi for our cussedness. It’s easy to accuse him of setting labor against management, Republicans against Democrats, whites against blacks. Making him the goat relieves us of the necessity of looking squarely at our own prejudices, superstitions and meanness. How much easier it is to blame our strife at home upon the Germans and the Japs.

Easy, but a bad method for mending matters. That can be done only when more people are willing to study the other fellow’s side of the argument as closely as they study their own. And until we are at least ready to admit that the other fellow has a side.

The person who doesn’t agree with my domestic policies isn’t necessary influenced by the Nazis, although it’s a comfortable doctrine for me to believe he is. By coddling the thought long enough, I can persuade myself that the idiot has no right to opinions, and by that time, as you can see, I shall have developed into a fine little Nazi myself.

Hitler keeps us from mediating upon our own sins. It’s more convenient to blame all worries on him than it is to correct errors in our own thinking and settle domestic quarrels by intelligent compromise.


Again, her message is timeless and a window to our current situations.


I see a lot of meme potentials using that sentence.

On a more serious note, aren’t all humans like that? It is easy to point a someone or something as the source of failure rather than look inwards or point to ourselves as the source of the problem. Because we are always good and the others…? Well… not so much.