Hitlerland: A Book Review...Tim Dunkin

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Books

Publisher’s note:  As unlikely a concept it might be, I could be mistaken, however I don’t believe Tim Dunkin ever sleeps.  I think instead that his mind forces his fingers to dance across his keyboard in the wee hours of the morning as he effortlessly pens some of the most thought provoking information I have ever had the privilege to read and share.  

In a nutshell, whether he is discussing his brilliant book review below or simply poking his finger in the eye of some imbecilic liberal ideology, Tim gets it.  In a little less than two pages Tim Dunkin describes in easy to follow terms the parallels and the almost identical similarities between the rise of the Nazis during the decades between WWI and WWII and the progressive agenda of the liberals today.  

I cannot thank him enough for the opportunity to share all of his thoughts with my readers. 

Tim Dunkin:  There have been two times in our history in which Americans have been firsthand witnesses to the destruction of a republican government and its replacement with a fascist system.  The first of these was in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s; the second we are seeing here and now.  As you read Hitlerland, by journalist Andrew Nagorski, the parallels between the two sets of events can appear to be quite uncanny.  Indeed, today’s American Left, the progressives and the social justice warriors and the rest, bear an eerie resemblance to the Nazis who came to power out of the decaying corpse of the Weimar Republic.

The first thing to keep in mind when talking about the rise of Hitler is that it did not happen in a vacuum.  Instead, Hitler went through a long process of party building to turn the National Socialists (who, ironically, he had joined as spy for the Weimar government – it turns out he actually listened to the speeches he was supposed to be reporting to the authorities and liked what he heard) into the vehicle for his rise to power.  Though Hitler certainly is the central focus of the narrative Nagorski builds, he does not neglect to discuss in detail other prominent early Nazis who built the Party into what it became.  For this reason, the Nazis did not remain just one of dozens of fringe and ephemeral parties built around a single personality and which flashed into and out of existence during the Weimar period; their broad infiltration of the pivotal sectors of society allowed them to succeed where less-prepared rivals failed.  The rise of Hitler necessarily relied heavily upon the rise of the National Socialists as a group.

This is, of course, not too different from what we see today.  The radical Left has infiltrated itself into most of the key centers of power and influence in our society, such as the media, the universities, the arts, and so forth.  Their nearly uniform control of the media is reminiscent of that sought for and then established by Hitler’s propagandists – a process started by Hitler’s confidant Putzi Hanfstaengel, and then after he fell from favor, continued by Josef Goebbels. The universities – always incubators for horrible ideas – saw students and professors alike drawn to Nazism, just as they are drawn the progressive ideology of political correctness today.  Leni Riefenstahl and her mesmerizing film productions promoting the ideology and power of Nazism anticipated today’s Hollywood obsession with promoting a radically leftist social and cultural agenda.  Even the authoritarian political correctness promoted by big businesses such as Apple, IBM, Google, and others was prefigured in the control of industry and business sought for and achieved by the Nazis.

One is tempted to see an analog between Hitler then and Barack Obama now – certainly, both were/are reputedly gifted and charismatic leaders who seduced their respective nations to accept the destruction of their freedom.  However, I’m not certain that the resemblance is more than superficial.  While Hitler was a magnetic orator who was able to combine cutting-edge stagecraft with genuine theatrical skills, Obama is a stuttering bandersnatch who is lost without his teleprompter.  But more to the point, Hitler was a real power within his party and actually had quite a bit to do with its direction and, after he started his purges in 1933, its composition. I strongly suspect that Barack Obama is merely a figurehead, and that the real power behind the throne is Valerie Jarrett and her cadre.  Nevertheless, there’s enough Hitler in today’s Democratic Party for the overall point to still stand.

The old saw that “Hitler was democratically elected” is true (with an asterisk for a technicality), and it is salient to remember that everything Hitler and the Nazis did to actually game the electoral process after they had regrouped in the late 1920s, and then consolidate their power after Hitler was appointed as Chancellor, were legal.  Yet, they were in complete and total subversion of the constitutional system put into place after the fall of the Kaiser’s government in 1918.  The Nazis learned from their abortive putsch of 1923, and became quite adept at conniving their way into favor with Weimar political leaders like Brüning, von Papen, and von Schliecher.  Each of these politicians thought they could “tame” and “control” the Nazis, much like today’s spineless and feckless Republican Party believes it can “tame” the radical Leftists by “reaching across the aisle” and compromising with them.  In both cases, the rise of evil was abetted by the short-sighted political calculations of unskilled hacks.  In each instance, the constitutional system under which they were operating was disregarded and eventually dispensed with completely.

One quite unfortunate parallel between the Nazis then and the progressives now is the reliance of both groups upon gangs of street thugs and other toughs to create general disturbances and intimidate opponents.  One can see the echo of the Sturmabteilung in today’s “protestors” in places like Ferguson and Baltimore.  In both cases, ideologically-motivated hooligans not only physically assaulted opponents of the Party (even Americans, who were Germany’s “favorite foreigners,” who wrote critically of the Nazis could find themselves beaten up), but also served to undermine the stability of the old regime and to cast it into disrepute.  We see this today with the way in which progressives make excuses for the rioters and use them as a way of undermining the forces working to preserve civil society such as the police and small business owners.  

Unsurprisingly, after the Nazis came to power, civil liberties went out the window.  But the sad part is, the Nazis never really made any effort to hide the fact that they didn’t believe in freedom and democracy.  Hitler and other Nazi leaders routinely railed against the Weimar democracy and blamed it for the troubles that afflicted Germany economically.  Likewise, Hitler certainly made no bones about his disdain for individual liberties and the need to subordinate them to the will and power of the state.  So today, progressives have never really been shy about their hatred for genuine freedom – they’ve told us all along what they want to do, if we would listen. Today we see freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right of self-defense, the right to private property, the right to raise our children as we want, and numerous other liberties under undisguised assault in America.  Their replacement with a totalitarian fascism that subordinates every area of life to the state and those who control it is the goal of the radical Left.

Perhaps the thing that the Nazis are most well-known for was their racist Aryan-centered ideology which put so-called “Aryans” at the top of the heap, while the disfavored groups were at the bottom, legally excluded and socially stigmatized. The Nazis even had a whole hierarchy of racial purity (“Aryans” at the top, then the “Nordics,” “Mediterraneans,” and “Alpines,” with the untermenschen at the bottom).  This hierarchy determined who you could marry, what jobs or education you were eligible for, and much more.  Sadly, this schema is functionally quite similar to the hierarchy of groups favored or disfavored in left-wing political correctness circles put into place by the cultural Marxists.  The social justice warriors use their hierarchy in much the same way as the Nazis did theirs – legal conflicts are resolved more along the lines of who ranks “higher” than who is actually in the right, lower ranked groups can be legally persecuted by higher ranking groups, and so forth.  

Since both are totalitarian systems, each necessarily relies upon group identification to replace individual initiative and freedom.  And whenever you are operating a fascistic system based on group identity, there will be winners and there will be losers.  And to maintain the primal urges of solidarity with the group, the winners will persecute the losers.  In Germany, it was Nazi persecution of Jews, Christians, bourgeois capitalists, and anyone else who was “different” from the worldview of the Nazis.  Today, the social justice warriors and others on the radical Left persecute…Jews (called “Zionists”), Christians, bourgeois capitalists, and anyone else who is different from their preferred political arrangements.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Unsurprisingly, both the Nazis and the radical Left in America hate traditional Christianity. Rosenberg (an outspoken pagan) sought to replace Christianity in Germany with a “National Reich Church” in which the Bible was replaced with Mein Kampf and the cross was replaced with the swastika.  Martin Bohrmann, on the other hand, was simply an atheist who wanted to expunge Germany of religion in toto.  The Nazi leadership declared that Nazism and Christianity were “irreconcilable,” and many in the “National Reich Church” wanted to “exterminate irrevocably...the strange and foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800” (referring to the year the Saxons were conquered by Charlemagne).  Even though Hitler felt he had to tolerate the presence of Christianity in Germany for the time being, he nevertheless wanted to destroy it, saying,

“I'll make these d***ed parsons feel the power of the state in a way they would have never believed possible. For the moment, I am just keeping my eye upon them: if I ever have the slightest suspicion that they are getting dangerous, I will shoot the lot of them. This filthy reptile raises its head whenever there is a sign of weakness in the State, and therefore it must be stamped on. We have no sort of use for a fairy story invented by the Jews.”

Hitler’s comment above reveals why both he and the radical Left of today hate Christianity – it represents a challenge to the all-powerful state.  When peoples’ hearts are given to Jesus, they are not given over to the state.  The more people rely on God, the less they rely on government.  That is something that no fascism, German or American, can tolerate for long.

Seeing the many parallels between the Nazi rise to power and that of the “progressive” radical Left in America, one wonders what else is in store for our nation.  What really allowed the Nazis to consolidate their power was the Reichstag fire, blamed on a Communist, but most likely set by the Nazis themselves.  Because of it, however, Hitler and the Nazis secured emergency decrees allowing them to suspend civil liberties and to round up and destroy their political opponents.  I consider it highly likely that we will eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, see our own American version of the Reichstag fire – some kind of major incident engineered by the radical Left itself, but which will be blamed on “Tea Partiers,” “constitutionalists,” “militia members,” or whoever else.  Fascism and totalitarianism follow predictable patterns, and if the Nazis did it in 1933, their close cousins in Washington will eventually try to do the same.

Stay safe, friends.  

Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, by Andrew Nagorski

Simon & Schuster: 402 pages: $12.99 (US)  To order a copy, CLICK HERE.