"Hitler's only kidding about the antisemitism" New York Times, 1922

"Several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes."

"You can't expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you really are leading them."

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

-Maya Angelou

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  1. I've always pictured Germans of that time saying about Hitler; "I'm not totally keen about his stance on the Jews but it sounds like he has a sound economic policy and a way to make Germany great again."

    You know, kinda like what a lot of Trump voters were thinking on their way to the polls on Tuesday.

  2. TobinL says:

    I have hit cancel on so many posts this week for exactly those same reasons.

  3. This is a long story, but stick with me.

    Way back when I was in my last year of high school — this would have been 1989/90 — I made some observation about Germans, Nazis and the Second World War during a civics-type class. I can't remember what I said, but it really upset one of the girls in the class.

    Apparently her grandfather was German and lived through the Nazi era. She said something like "my grandfather wasn't a Nazi! Most Germans were just supporting the German cause! That's all it was! Just the German cause!"

    Although I don't remember exactly what she said, I remember that phrase — the German cause. I suppose it was something she grew up hearing.

    I kept thinking about that when I would hear "make America great again." I'm sure people who voted for Trump could claim they were only supporting the American cause.

  4. I hear a very similar argument in defense of the South's role in the Civil War. The argument is always, "It wasn't about slavery, it was about states' rights."

    Such discussions always come to an abrupt end when I ask, "Right to do what?" I wonder what reaction you would have gotten if you'd asked, "What was the German cause?"

  5. Newsflash folks:

    It doesn't matter which group is first on the list for extermination/subjugation/exploitation; no matter who they come for first, anyone who considers themselves a decent human being that cares about more than just themselves must stand up and oppose it.

    For many years, I utterly loathed Glenn Beck for diluting the potency of the infamous Martin Niemöller quote on the Nazi's, now I take the liberty of amending it:

    When they come for the Socialists, I WILL speak out - regardless that I am not a Socialist.

    When they come for the Trade Unionists, I WILL speak out - regardless that I am not a Trade Unionist.

    When they come for the Jews, I WILL speak out - regardless that I am not a Jew.

    And when they come for me - hopefully there will still be enough of us standing in opposition left to speak out for me.

    No matter who's "first," defend them, in any viable way you can.

    (I made this into a meme.)

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