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Look Back and Understand

Updated: May 18

To better understand why I think the United States is on the edge of abandoning democracy it is instructive to turn to history and see how Hitler rose to power in Germany in the 1930's.

Nazism took root in the world's most powerful scientific culture, boasting half of the world's Nobel Prizes and a sizable fraction of the world's patents. German science and medicine were the envy of the world, and it was to Germany - the "land of scholars and poets" - that many academic hopefuls flocked to study and work. But the Great Depression hit Germany hard and in 1932 unemployment was 29.9% and the mood in Germany was grim.


Had it not been for economic collapse Hitler probably would not have come to power. Hitler

was given power in a seedy backroom political deal after the Reichstag (German Parliament) adopted the Enabling Act of 1933. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor and rich industrialists gave Hitler money and support, foolishly thinking Hitler could be controlled. These conservative politicians were wrong in thinking they could share power with this megalomaniac and Hitler outmaneuvered them.


Hitler took the title Fuhrer and maintained power by using the strengths of the Nazi party to his advantage. The Nazi party sought to increase their membership through propaganda. They used it simply and effectively and it exploited the people's fear of uncertainty and instability. Hitler and the Nazi party had no use for truth and found if a lie were told loud enough and long enough, no matter how unbelievable it was, it would be embraced as truth by the people. Through a campaign of greed, hate, misogyny, xenophobia, racism, lying, misinformation, chaos and corruption Hitler ruled Germany until the Stunde Null (Zero Hour) when Germany lay in ruins at the end of World War II.


Upcoming - Reconciling the Past and Present

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