Will We Learn FromHistory ?

I often asked  myself: how was  it possible that in 1933 so many Germans, among them many laborers, trusted  Hitler? The Nazis were mainly financed by wealthy people and it was unlikely that they would make a policy in favor of working class people. What was their trick to convince voters?
Of course Germany was suffering from the results of the Great Depression. But the US were too and the American answer to that was FDR and the German answer was Hitler.
Hitler was a gifted demagogue. The German self-confidence had suffered after the first WW and he told the people : I will make Germany great again. If you now have certain associations, I have the same.
Hitler told them, we all are one national community and at the the same time he offered people a scapegoat for the disaster, a minority group that was unpopular and many prejudices stuck on them, the Jews. Many people believed him and so the greatest catastrophic development of 20. century began.
If we look around world today, we find some politicians and parties, who are following Hitler’s pattern. The only thing that’s changed is the scapegoat, no longer Jews are accused but Muslims. The strategy is to distract from their awful concepts in other policies and draw attention to an allegedly danger coming from an unpopular minority group. I think Donald Trump in the US, the AFD in Germany, FN in France and some more are following this line.
Are we in danger history will repeat? I don’t hope and I really don’t think so. As for Germany I can say that the people of 2016 differ very much from those of 1933 in many aspects. Most important in 7 decades after WW II generations have grown up who lived in a democracy from birth on and an overwhelming majority will be ready to defend constitutional rights for all people against anyone who might attack them. For the Germans of 1933 democracy had been only a short episode of 14 years, for centuries before they had learnt to obey authorities and not to live in a free country.
And for other countries? For the US for example? I have a great respect for the American people. I am confident that the nation of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln will not hand over power to an unpredictable demagogue. I’d agree that Washington needs some change, but it should be done in the tradition of the declaration of independence, that was a milestone on the path to human rights.
Let’s keep the eyes open an give demagogues no chance.

2 Gedanken zu “Will We Learn FromHistory ?

  1. I live in Germany as well and I think your thoughts are right. The 3rd Reich will Not repeat because people in Europe will stand up when it’s about human rights. Even though many are critical towards immigration and Islam, They will Not let public Force persercute and kill Jews like in the 30s and 40s.
    Liebe Grüße,

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