imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

As Trump consolidates his power, the history of 1930s Germany repeats itself

by Sascha Abramsky Friday, Mar. 30, 2018 at 1:07 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Compromises, concessions, and countermeasures are necessary in America after the budget attacks on the poor, seniors, the disabled, students and chidlren.

http://www.sacbee.com/article205750864.html

As Adolf Hitler rose to power, principled conservatives in Germany convinced themselves that he could be controlled. (AP Photo) AP

Homepage

As Trump consolidates his power, the history of 1930s Germany repeats itself

By Sasha Abramsky

Special to The Sacramento Bee

LinkedIn

Google+

Pinterest

Reddit

Print

Order Reprint of this Story

March 18, 2018

In a 2005 essay, “In Defense of History,” published in the Guardian newspaper, the historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that we should think of “history as an indivisible web in which all human activities are interconnected.” Comprehending historical forces, he wrote, gives us a “capacity to help us understand the world.”

My grandfather was a leading historian, and Hobsbawm was one of many colleagues who came through my grandparents’ book-filled house in London. As an academic discipline, but also, more generally, a mode of thought, history has always fascinated me. It is the weave of human existence over time and across space, the framework of understanding that allows us to craft stories and myths, cautionary tales and morality plays that resonate down the ages.

Ex-Chancellor Franz Von Papen believed that conservative elites could control Hitler. Instead, by 1934 Von Papen’s political career was over, as Hitler, in a whirlwind series of personnel changes, set his propaganda machine – that same machine that denounced the media as the lugenpresse, the “lying press” – to work against his erstwhile allies and, despite not having won a majority of the votes in the previous election, purged his government of the moderating voices of non-Nazis.

Recently, to sate a historical itch, I have been reading about Germany in the 1930s, about what happened when a great and cultured country was handed over to a gang of sadists, misogynists, and racists, when security services were given carte blanche to use the methods of the iron fist, and when torturers were rewarded by promotion rather than prosecuted for their crimes.

And I have been reading about what happened when the great mass of the citizenry either supported the transformation or sat back and did nothing, some mistaking their silence and disdain for effective opposition, others simply hoping against hope for “normalcy” to return.

ADVERTISING

inRead invented by Teads

Ex-Chancellor Franz Von Papen, I have discovered from my readings, believed that conservative elites could control Hitler.

“In two months’ time we will have squeezed Hitler into a corner until he squeaks,” he reputedly told a friend in early 1933, upon Hitler’s appointment by a reluctant President von Hindenburg to the Chancellorship, and his own, short-lived accession to the Vice Chancellorship.

Instead, by 1934 Von Papen’s political career was over, as Hitler, in a whirlwind series of personnel changes, set his propaganda machine – that same machine that denounced the media as the lugenpresse, the “lying press” – to work against his erstwhile allies and, despite not having won a majority of the votes in the previous election, purged his government of the moderating voices of non-Nazis.

So, too, was the independent power of the Reichstag neutralized, as political opponents were imprisoned or otherwise hounded out of public life, and as Nazi legislators, serving as wingmen for their shameless boss, repeatedly voted to let Hitler override the constitutional constraints of the dying Weimar republic.

“Thus was parliamentary democracy finally interred in Germany,” William Shirer, author of the classic book “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” wrote of the raft of laws by which the Reichstag abetted in its own demise in the spring of 1933. “Except for the arrests of the Communists and some of the Social Democratic deputies, it was all done quite legally.”

I have been reading about what follows when the institutions that are supposed to moderate extremist, impulsive, venal, demagogic leaders default in this role. And how easily, at that point, those institutions and the career civil servants and judges and politicians who populate them, are then swept aside, at best complicit in their own irrelevance, at worst full partners in the increasingly brazen agenda of the demagogue.

“One by one, Germany’s most powerful institutions now began to surrender to Hitler, and to pass quietly, unprotestingly out of existence,” Shirer continued.

What happens when supposedly high-principled conservatives, such as von Papen, decide to serve in the administration of a sociopath, opportunistically convincing themselves that the devil-you-know is better than the alternatives?

‘One by one, Germany’s most powerful institutions now began to surrender to Hitler, and to pass quietly, unprotestingly out of existence.’

And what happens when they then further convince themselves and their cronies in big business that maybe that devil actually isn’t so devilish, that, despite all his manifest crudeness and vulgarity, he does indeed have some special connection to destiny, a force of will that merits the personal loyalty oath of the Führerprinzip?

What happens when good citizens passively watch as hoodlums masquerading as politicians, and shouting “Deutschland Uber Alles” – Germany First – blow up international institutions, like the League of Nations, and treaties designed to secure the peace after the catastrophe of a world war?

What happens when upright civic leaders stay silent as investments in diplomacy are replaced by renewed arms races and a fetishization of all-things-military?

What happens when decent people do nothing as deportation forces are unleashed to rip apart families, and as religious and ethnic minorities are demonized and brutalized, their residency and employment rights challenged, their values publicly denigrated, by a leadership intent on providing lebensraum for a master race?

What happens when a paranoid leader such as Hitler accuses the rest of the world, in numerous speeches, of having “laughed at us” in its trade and military dealings with Germany, and then promises them they shall laugh no more?

General Erich Ludendorff, the man who, along with Hindenburg, ran Germany’s military effort during World War I, knew the answer. In despair at President Hindenburg having presided over Hitler’s ascent to the Chancellorship, he sent a telegram to the old man: “You have handed over our Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action.”

My favorite comment about history, however, was penned by Karl Marx, in his “Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon,” his excoriating takedown of the mid-nineteenth century preening, philistine, narcissist French leader and would-be dictator. It is, almost certainly, the most quoted statement about history in… history:

“History repeats itself,” he noted, “first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Sasha Abramsky is a Sacramento writer who teaches at UC Davis. His latest book is “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.” He can be reached at sabramsky@sbcglobal.net.
Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy