Hitler is obviously maligned

At least according to a tweet by David Josef Volodzko, a Seattle Time editorial writer.

Text of tweet by Volodzko

The text of the tweet states:

In fact, while Hitler has become the great symbol of evil in history books, he too was less evil than Lenin because Hitler only targeted people he personally believed were harmful to society, whereas Lenin targeted even those he himself did not believe were harmful in any way.

Both Lenin and Hitler generally targeted categories of people rather than individuals, and they did not care whether they personally could be considered harmful to society or not, but rather whether they were undesirable or as a group could be considered harmful to society (by whatever warped measures they used to determine that). Trying to make any comparison between Hitler and someone else, where you decide Hitler is less bad, is making an excuse for Hitler. You can say that Lenin was bad, without saying that Hitler was less bad.

Unsurprisingly, and quite correctly, the tweet led to Seattle Time firing him.

Seattle Times note on firing Volodzko


The text says:

A Seattle Times editorial writer engaged in Twitter recently in a way that is inconsistent with our company values and those of our family ownership. Effective immediately, he is no longer employed by The Seattle Times. While we passionately believe in creating lively discoruse through a variety of viewpoints, we do so with respect and appreciation for all communities. We apologize for any pain we have caused  our readers, our employees and the community.

Volodzko also apologized in a twitter thread, though his first tweet mischaracterized what he had actually stated in his now deleted tweet


The tweet says:

I recently argued Lenin was more evil than Hitler for wanting to kill more people while Hitler was more evil for actually doing it. Let me say sorry to anyone hurt or offended by that because regardless of my intentions, the comparison is a dangerous one.

This is, of course, not what he argued, but at least he seems to have understood that it is comparison that gives covers to White Supremacists and (neo-)Nazis.




  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Some years ago, I got into a minor hassle with a (non-FtB) blogger by arguing against another commenter who compared then-Pres. GW Bush to Hitler by pointing out certain distinctions of the latter (e.g., “Hitler made it to the top without any help from family connections.”).

    The blogger conceded I had the facts right and agreed that even the evil should be studied as individuals and not as stereotypes. The other commenter, sfaict, never responded.

    For a while, I considered that AH may have made a valid point when he said, “History is not made by the lukewarms.” Since then, I’ve had to pay more attention to the underinformed, last-minute deciders in US elections, and have to admit he got that one wrong, too.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    X is “more evil” than Y is a pointless observation unless you’ve first really carefully defined “evil” and how you measure it, and who’s going to read that?

    Even just counting how many people they killed is a fool’s errand. Do you “credit” Hitler for all of the Holocaust? All Allied deaths in WW2? Do you “credit” Stalin with just deliberately targeted deaths (millions), or do you count deaths foreseeable from policy decisions but not actively targeted (millions more)? Mao Zedong (60-80 million, and it’s obscene that it can be that vague) beats them both combined if you’re talking just absolute numbers, but if you judge by percentage of own population then Pol Pot…

    What’s the point? Why would you sit down for a game of Top Trumps Genocidal Bastard Edition? And why on Bod’s earth would anyone who’s not a signed up Nazi tweet something that, however you spin it, amounts to “Hitler wasn’t as bad as he was made out”??? Absolutely baffling.