the world is a funny place sometimes. particularly in the world of human beings, where measurement and standardizations seem to have developed into the acme of our great civilization. we measure distance in meters and miles. we measure weight in kilos and pounds. and apparently, nowadays, we measure threat in hitlers.
in the context of researching the ongoing ukrainian crisis, i came across a picture, showing vladimir vladimirovich putin with slicked back hair and a familiar mustache in his face. it struck me. having just recently written a scientific article, comparing the eu relation to the russian federation in comparison between the conflict in georgia 2008 and ukraine 2014, i had a déjà vu. i had seen a picture like that before! so i went through my collection of data again and came across a similar comparison between hitler and putin in 2008 already.
but then it is not just putin who has been placed under the new measurement of threat perception that we seem to measure in hitler nowadays. in the depth of the world wide web one comes across articles in 2003 that clearly identify saddam hussein as the hitler of the 21st century, and others, that more subtly hint towards the same direction as i found it in a picture with german chancellor angela merkel and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, where netanyahu points towards something in the distance and the shadow of his finger happens to leave a hint of a mustache on angela merkel’s face.
either way, whether subtle or provocative, an actual comparison between the examples mentioned and the historical figure of hitler is limping so strongly that the level of ridicule necessary to understand this hint as a factual comparison is so high that i am either left with the option to doubt the quality of media reporting and the seriousness of political activists, or understand “hitler” as a new form of measurement for threat perception. so, having identified this new measurement, i guess it is up to us to think about how many hitlers we are afraid of. is half-a-hitler enough for international engagement already? what do you think?