Trying to Learn from the Holocaust
Ever since I was an adolescent, I have been haunted by the Holocaust. Maybe because I
was so young when my consciousness was gripped by that history, I have imbibed its lessons perhaps more
than the average American who, like me, wasn't a victim of it or whose family wasn't
murdered by it. I wanted to know not only about the event itself but about what led up
to it - and it is that latter study and learning that so chills me about the rise
of Donald Trump.
What was it about Germany, a highly cultured country, that made Germans so inclined to
adulate Hitler? What made so many millions of good and civilized people so susceptible to
his demonic charms? For me, the great and evil mystery of the Holocaust starts with those
questions. And once one starts asking them, one begins, without exaggeration or excessive
drama, to see parallels between the Germany of the 1930s and the America of nearly
a century later:
When Hitler came along with his messianic pretensions, Germany was a former imperial
power that had fallen on hard times. As Trump's messianic pretensions step into
the breach of American leadership, America is a modern super-power that feels itself
losing its grip on the rest of the world.
This is how it starts. This is why "we, the people" must stop it...here and now...in America.
Hitler believed Germany had been weakened and humiliated by other countries after
World War I and told Germans he would restore Germany to its former glory. Trump believes
other countries have weakened and taken advantage of the U.S, after the Cold War and
promises to make America great again.
Hitler gathered into his chancellery henchmen who were infected by the same toxic
nationalism he was. Trump now gathers their ideological descendents into the White House.
Hitler consolidated power by lying to his countrymen with such stunning regularity
that his lies became their truth. Trump consolidates power
by lying to the American people on a daily basis and by repeating the lies often enough
that they begin to sound "close enough" to truth.
One of the rallying cries at Hitler's rallies was "LÜgenpresse!", the literal
English translation of which is "lying press." At Trump's rallies, the same German word was chanted,
and Donald Trump has widely and often used the synonym "dishonest media." The purpose in
both Germany and contemporary America is the same: to discredit traditional news
sources and to consolidate the national leader's
control over what the public hears.
Hitler promised to keep Germany safe from (among others) Jews and Catholics -
and initiated executive orders to ensure that goal. Trump promises to keep Americans
safe from Muslims (among others) and initiates executive orders to ensure that goal.
More Peg's Blog Spot Posts
· We Have Met the Enemy and the Enemy Is Us
· Wanted: A Working Government
· The National Divide: Immediate Gratification vs. Future Gain
· The Trouble with That Anonymous Trump-Circle Editorial
· What "Telling It Like It Is" Really Means
· Breaking News: We're All "Values Voters!"
· Monuments Flap Is Not about the Monuments
· Have We Always Been the Disunited States of America?
· A Humble Defense of the Constitution
· The Trump Presidency: Bigotry's Cause or Only Its Effect?
· Race, Class, and Access to Women's Health Services
· Trump's Angry White Folks
· Whatever Happened to "Look It Up?"
The logo banner for this
site was generated at Cool Archive (http://www.coolarchive.com/) and
the side border graphic was provided courtesy of Pambytes (www.pambytes.com).
Special thanks to the late Monica L. Stewart for the matching logo design. Buttons
at the bottom of the page were texted using graphics provided
courtesy of Button Generator (www.buttongenerator.com). All photographs and
text content on this site are © Peggy Whiteneck. No reproduction
of any part of this content is permitted without express permission of the
web site author.