Hitler’s Rise to Power

After Chancellor Papen left office, he secretly told Hitler that he still held considerable sway with President Hindenburg and that he would make Hitler chancellor as long as he, Papen, could be the vice chancellor.

On 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of a coalition government of the NSDAP-DNVP Party. The SA and SS led torchlight parades throughout Berlin. In the coalition government, three members of the cabinet were Nazis: Hitler, Wilhelm Frick (Minister of the Interior) and Hermann Göring (Minister Without Portfolio).

With Germans who opposed Nazism failing to unite against it, Hitler soon moved to consolidate absolute power.

Having become Chancellor, Hitler foiled all attempts by his opponents to gain a majority in parliament. Because no single party could gain a majority, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag again.

Elections were scheduled for early March, but on 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire. Since a Dutch independent communist was found in the building, the fire was blamed on a communist plot.

The government reacted with the Reichstag Fire Decree of 28 February which suspended basic rights, including habeas corpus. Under the provisions of this decree, the German Communist Party (KPD) and other groups were suppressed, and Communist functionaries and deputies were arrested, forced to flee, or murdered.

Campaigning continued, with the Nazis making use of paramilitary violence, anti-communist hysteria, and the government’s resources for propaganda.

— Coca, Jimmy. Adolf Hitler Biography: The life and Death of The Führer of Germany (Kindle Locations 555-571).

As can be seen here, Hitler took power with a minority of the votes. He then used fear and hatred, had his thugs set fire to the Reichstag (the German equivalent of the U.S. Capitol) and blamed it on communists. This enabled him to move quickly and grab absolute power. In the background, his supporters campaigned, hassled minorities and created terror. The entire country was in fear.

Within a month of taking office, he held absolute power, all opposition was eliminated, arrested, killed or tyrannized. All was unconstitutional, but what did that matter to him at that point?


The Fourth Reich is Coming

Third Reich is Coming

Fourth Reich is Coming

Does the world trust the American voters anymore, the same voters that elected and then re-elected George W. Bush?

The Third Reich lasted 12 years and caused World War II. 60 million people died, about 3% of the world’s population in 1940 of about 2.3 billion. Then it went down in flaming ashes and destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions of people for the rest of their lives.

It did not end well.

Do we really want fascism again?

The Story of the Brown Shirts – Start of Fascism in the U.S.

Journalist at Trump RallyToday there were headlines again about Trump staffers (in suits) beating up a credentialed journalist. There are videos of that event all over Facebook. The picture on the left shows a clip of the journalist on the ground, as he is trying to fend off one of the attackers.

In the last few months, there have been many occasions where protesters were attacked by Trump security forces or even fans and supporters. The YouTube below shows “The Young Turks” excellent monologue and many short video clips of example after example of fans abusing protesters.

Trump even brags about it. “Maybe he should have been roughed up. What he was doing was disgusting!”

So the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, while he is still early in the primary campaign, already tramples on the First Amendment. He says that protesting against him at an event is disgusting, and this fans get violent. The message is, don’t exercise free speech at a Trump campaign event.

What do you think this man will do once he is president?

As disturbing as these pictures are, here is a lesson from history:

In Vienna, as we have seen, he was intrigued by what he called the “infamous spiritual and physical terror” which he thought was employed by the Social Democrats against their political opponents.* Now he turned it to good purpose in his own anti-Socialist party. At first ex-servicemen were assigned to the meetings to silence hecklers and, if necessary, toss them out. In the summer of 1920, soon after the party had added “National Socialist” to the name of the “German Workers’ Party” and became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or N.S.D.A.P., as it was now to be familiarly known, Hitler organized a bunch of roughneck war veterans into “strong-arm” squads, Ordnertruppe, under the command of Emil Maurice, an ex-convict and watchmaker. On October 5, 1921, after camouflaging themselves for a short time as the “Gymnastic and Sports Division” of the party to escape suppression by the Berlin government, they were officially named the Sturmabteilung, from which the name S.A. came. The storm troopers, outfitted in brown uniforms, were recruited largely from the freebooters of the free corps and placed under the command of Johann Ulrich Klintzich, an aide of the notorious Captain Ehrhardt, who had recently been released from imprisonment in connection with the murder of Erzberger.

These uniformed rowdies, not content to keep order at Nazi meetings, soon took to breaking up those of the other parties. Once in 1921 Hitler personally led his storm troopers in an attack on a meeting which was to be addressed by a Bavarian federalist by the name of Ballerstedt, who received a beating. For this Hitler was sentenced to three months in jail, one of which he served. This was his first experience in jail and he emerged from it somewhat of a martyr and more popular than ever. “It’s all right,” Hitler boasted to the police. “We got what we wanted. Ballerstedt did not speak.” As Hitler had told an audience some months before, “The National Socialist Movement will in the future ruthlessly prevent—if necessary by force—all meetings or lectures that are likely to distract the minds of our fellow countrymen.”

— Shirer, William (2011-10-23). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (pp. 42-43). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

All the way back in 1921, twelve years before Hitler came to power, he recruited thugs, trained them into strong-arm squads, called them Sturmabteilung (storm division) – which later became known as the S.A., the precursor of the S.S. They were paramilitary groups who wore uniforms with brown shirts, and were basically Hitler’s private security force. They were all volunteers. At events, they intimidated protesters, and had no problem beating up the opposition. Sometimes they would arrive at the rallies of competing politicians and break them up violently.

95 years later, in 2016, this is what’s going on at Trump rallies. This is how fascism starts.

And it never ends well.



The Slippery Slide of How Fascism Starts

[Credit: Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images ]

So two yahoos from Southie in my hometown of Boston severely beat up a Hispanic homeless guy earlier this week. While being arrested, one of the brothers reportedly told police that “Donald Trump was right, all of these illegals need to be deported.”

Rolling Stone, Aug 21, 2015

Then, further in the article, here is what Trump is quoted as saying:

“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”

Statements like these, and movements like these, have often in history been the beginnings of very bad eventual outcomes.

For example, in the 1920s, Germany was not doing very well. The economy was a disaster, people were hungry, humiliated from World War I, and hopeless. Decades of abuse by bad leadership had created a vacuum.

Then came an unlikely little man with a powerful speaking voice. Whenever he spoke, he incited passion in his listeners. He spoke of new hope, of national pride, of honor, of making his country great again. He also started to spread the seeds that much of the economic demise of the country was due to the Jews.

With his upbeat and passionate message, he gathered more and more followers and eventually he managed to get himself elected through crafty and actually illegal maneuverings.

Within weeks of being elected, he outlawed other political parties and systematically took over police and security. Suddenly, those that earlier were just blamed for the demise of the country, no longer had the protection of the system. The police had turned against them. Jews started to flee while they still could.

But the country was “becoming great again.” There were massive public works projects and everyone was employed. Industry boomed. The people were proud. The country hosted the 1936 Olympics. The people were passionately behind their leader, their Führer.

Pretty soon, Jews could openly be abused, beaten, robbed, raped and killed without any recourse. The German Third Reich was supposed to last 1000 years, yet it rose for only about six or eight, and then went down in a spectacular firestorm of world-wide disastrous proportions. As we so say, the rest is history.

But let’s remember how it all started.

There was a man who fired up his listeners. They came to listen to him to beer halls and stadiums by the hundreds first, then by the thousands, and always left with fire in their bellies.

There was a man who said he knew how to make the country great again, and he started cranking the economic engine unlike anything seen before. He kept saying he knew what he was doing.

There was a man who, probably with all good intention, thought he had figured it all out: It was the fault of the Jews. Too many of them were usurping the power and money from the country and its people.

Trump does all those things today. He says that 7.5% of all births in the United States are by illegal parents and he wants to take away the birthrights of those United States citizens. Note that he is already setting himself up to perform illegal acts, all in the name of the country. After all, we’re being “stupid, right?” And his listeners with fire in their bellies applaud.

By targeting illegals, he is creating an atmosphere of making them at least one of the scapegoats of our demise. It’s the Mexicans’ fault. Whether those “Mexicans” are illegal or legal, you can’t tell from the outside. So an entire class of our society is becoming a target of hate without any solid ground. When idiots like the guys in Boston (article above) beat up immigrants, Trump, rather than being outraged like any decent citizen would be, he dismisses it as “passionate” and thus we have it:

A leader is officially condoning violence against an arbitrary subset of the population that he has identified as being “the problem” of the country that we all must make great again. He is encouraging this behavior.

It’s beginnings like these that have paved the road for some of history’s greatest thugs, it’s beginnings like these that have resulted in entire countries of decent, hard-working, pious people being hijacked and forced to commit unspeakable crimes and atrocities, all in the name of country and leader.

This is how it starts.

Just saying.

Full disclosure: I am an immigrant.