Our age views Adolf Hitler as the embodiment of human evil.
That is wrong, and dangerously misleading. Hitler was a very bad man; but there are worse men.
It is not just that Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot were guilty of Holocausts as awful. We damn Hitler in large part because it is safe to do so, because he lost the war and has no living followers. This does not make him a worse man; only an easier target.
But Hitler also lacks some possible vices, and had at least one virtue. There must be others who actually have all the vices, and none of the virtues.
Even among his coterie, compare Goering. Goering endorsed all that Hitler did. But Goering was more avaricious. Goering indulged the vice of gluttony: Hitler was a teetotaler and more or less a vegetarian. Nor was Hitler visibly lustful. Stalin’s henchman Beria was far worse on this score, or Hitler’s henchmen Ernst Rohm or Reinhard Heydrich.
And Hitler possessed, in more than usual measure, the virtue of courage or fortitude. Throughout his career, he dared to take risks and do dangerous things.
A worse person would be too timid to go around killing everyone. Their gluttony and sloth would produce addiction and inaction, not the energetic destruction of Hitler. They would actually be capable of less harm. And a worse man would do all his evil by stealth.
The worst person living or the worst person who ever lived could easily be among us now, in our neighbourhood, unsuspected, living an outwardly unexceptional life.