“History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided” – Konrad Adenauer, First Chancellor of the Federal Republic of West Germany.
I can remember the feeling I had when he spoke. At last, I said, here’s somebody who can get us out of this mess. (Campbell, Susan Bartoletti. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow. New York: Scholastic, Inc. 2005, Pg. 19. ) He was so convincing on the speaker’s platform and appeared to be so sincere in what he said that the majority of his listeners were ready to believe almost anything good about him because they wanted to believe it. As time went on, it became clear that he thought of himself as the Messiah.
He was the greatest orator Germany had ever known. Most amazing of all: he did it without a teleprompter. The comparisons between Hitler and Obama, while offensive to many, were inevitable. They both had the benefit of oratory skills and could deliver a stirring speech with minimal substance. They pitched the same ideology, “Everything must change!” Hitler used the Great Depression as his chance to seize power. The chanting, sloganeering, and fainting crowds—we’ve seen this all before, and the outcome wasn’t very constructive. It would be temerarious to fail to study the history of other cult leaders who rose to power at breakneck speed.
The same Great Depression allowed FDR to get away with making radical changes in America. In attestation to the incompetence of our public school system, liberals never tire of claiming that Hitler was the ultimate right-winger. As usual, they are completely wrong. Hitler’s party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Liberals are always screeching about how conservatives are fascists. Jonah Goldberg does a masterful job of describing the fascist playbook:
• Create crises.
• Make appeals for “unity.”
• Celebrate martial values.
• Blur the lines between the public and private sectors.
• Use the mainstream media to glamorize the state and its programs.
• Make a lot of noise about “post partisanship.”
• Form a cult of personality around the national leader.
Goldberg has provided a pretty good description of the Barack Obama platform. Conservatives are not fascists. True conservatives place the highest value on individual liberty, which is as irreconcilable with the current liberal agenda as it was with Hitler’s Nazism. The tenderhearted Fϋhrer was also a champion of animal rights. Adolf may have originated the entire concept of political correctness: a nice day was to be referred to as “Hitler weather”; one way in which Hitler was able to change the values and frequencies of words. (Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism. New York: Random House, Inc, 2007, Pg. 211).
Adolf Hitler was certainly a proponent of what we now call identity politics, a destructive process by which liberals dissect the population into groups. Thus, we have a gay community, an African American community, a Hispanic community, and various and sundry other labels, limited only by the liberal imagination. Note that liberals never talk about an American community. Dividing the country into artificial groups allows the liberal Left to create imaginary victims and oppressors. This is what liberals call multiculturalism. Liberals should be jubilant to learn that Hitler also declared war on tobacco and alcohol; pushed new food certifications; and, foreshadowing our future bureaucracies, created industrial hygienists to develop workplace safety regulations.
Upon becoming chancellor, Hitler told the New York Times that his number one priority was ending unemployment; nothing else mattered but creating jobs. (Liberal Fascism). Germany after WWI was a mess, the government was corrupt, the citizens were dispirited, and the economy was collapsing. The Germans were also nervous about the new and militant Soviet Union after Lenin overthrew the czar. The German people didn’t have much faith in democracy. “They longed for a strong leader who promised them jobs and a better life even if he had extreme ideas.” (Hitler Youth, Pg. 20)
Once again, we find the perfect storm, that ideal confluence of factors that enables a cult figure to grab power and exploit it. Adolf Hitler was a man of minimal accomplishment and skill and a failed artist. Hitler studied public speaking and psychology but was born too early to have the benefit of Alinsky training. Hitler had plenty of help from the mainstream press, which he used as his own propaganda machine, which portrayed him as “extra human.” Once Hitler rose to power, the propaganda machine inflated everything he did right. Tight control of the press kept the public’s understanding of Hitler to a minimum.
His appearances were staged to create feelings of the supernatural and religious. Can we really be expected to avoid comparisons to Obama’s fake Greek columns for his speech at the Democratic Convention? The German people came to see Hitler as a messiah. Portraits appeared with halos, and comparisons were made to Jesus. Hitler also understood the importance of disarming the citizenry if he were to seize control of the nation. As Dave Kopel of National Review Online explains it, “Simply put, without gun control, Hitler would not have been able to murder 21 million people.” Women faint, when with face purpled and contorted with effort, he blows forth his magic oratory.” Hitler was able to tap a source of cheap labor when he formed his youth corps. He understood kids as a political force; membership in the Hitler youth gave them hope and a chance to be heard. Young people were required to serve for six months following high school graduation.
They were put to work farming, road building, and other projects. (Hitler Youth, Pgs. 62-63). You know, “infrastructure.” The Hitler youth were not always aware of what was going on, nor were the movement’s victims: “We, the young fanatics of the Hitler Youth, had also become the Fϋhrer’s victims… They [the Jews] often didn’t know they were going to die until the last few minutes.” (Heck, Alfons. A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika. Phoenix: Renaissance House Publishers, 1985, Pg. 202). However, at least some of the young people were told by senior officers or figured it out.
Some historians believe it is preposterous that anyone living in Germany at the time of Hitler could have been oblivious. Still, the young Hitler fanatic did not always accept the truth. When shown documentary films of the death camps, many times, the young true believers responded with anger, convinced the films were fakes. So durable was the hold this cult leader had on his young followers that they were able to block out the unpleasant realties of the Final Solution, even when presented with the truth. Former Hitler Youth member Alfons Heck writes, “It was some time before I could accept the truth of the Holocaust, nearly three decades more before I could write or speak about German guilt and responsibility.” (Child of Hitler).
Heck describes the bond he felt with Hitler: None of us who reached high rank in the Hitler Youth ever totally shake the legacy of the Fϋhrer. Despite our monstrous sacrifice and the appalling misuse of our idealism, there will always be the memory of unsurpassed power, the intoxications of fanfares and flags proclaiming our new age. (Pg. 207) What Heck describes illustrates the power of the trauma bond. Bonds developed out of trauma tend to be far more durable than healthy bonds. The theory of Stockholm syndrome rests on the tenacity of traumatic bonding. (Carnes, Patrick J PhD. The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc, 1997). In 2006, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wrote The Plan: Big Ideas for America.
Emanuel’s plan calls for universal citizen service, asserting that every citizen must do his or her part. Under the plan, young people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five would enlist for three months of civilian service, which would require “basic civil defense training.” (Emanuel, Rahm and Reed, Bruce. The Plan: Big Ideas for America. New York: Perseus Books Group, 2006, Pg. 62). In a 2006 interview with New York Daily News reporter Ben Smith, Emanuel repeated his intention to compel civilian service. Emanuel offered these assurances: if we are worried about having to do fifty jumping jacks, the answer is yes; and the program will include uniforms and barracks.
Obama proposed extending AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, as well as requiring middle and high school children to serve fifty hours per year; college students would be have to serve . But not to worry, your children may not actually be forced to serve; the government will simply refuse to issue your youngster’s high school diploma as punishment. At the time of this writing, the GIVE Act has passed Congress, though House committee staff are insisting that the act will not change the voluntary nature of service at this time. In the years after the war I have often asked myself what difference it might have made had I known six million Jews had been annihilated. Before the defeat of Germany and in my frame of unquestioning obedience, it would have made no difference to my loyalty.” (A Child of Hitler, Pg. 121)
Excerpted from: Obamanutz: A Cult Leader Takes the White House, Joy Tiz, MS, JD, Available August, 2009