Friday, June 20, 2003

Then and Now

Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers, has an excellent piece on Sebastian Haffner's book "Defying Hitler". Haffner recalls his own experiences living in Germany during the Nazi rise to power and by doing so reveals some frightening similarities to the attitudes and agendas of his countrymen back then and the current right wing agenda being advanced today in the US.

"All along the way, Hitler would propose or actually promulgate regulations that sliced away at German citizens' freedoms -- usually aimed at small, vulnerable sectors of society (labor unionists, communists, Jews, mental defectives, et al.) -- and few said or did anything to indicate serious displeasure. In the early days, on those rare occasions when there was concerted negative reaction, Hitler would back off a bit. And so the Nazis grew bolder and more voracious as they continued slicing away at civil society. Many Germans (including some of Hitler's original corporate backers) were convinced Nazism would collapse as it became more and more extreme; others chose denial. It was easier to look the other way."

Entire article via American Politics Journal. See link below.

Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism