Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thomas Berger to his father, the wealthy professional: "Is that why you voted for him?" referring to Hitler

Swing Kids (1993)
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The wealthy class of Germany voted for the Nazis in 1932 so as to avoid a worse political alternative, the Socialists. Fearful that the Socialists would limit their comfortable lives, the upper class Germans chose Hitler. Their hope was that he would not act too rashly and that, if he tried to enact radical programs, the German army would hold the line against him.

Sadly, Hitler was canny as well as lucky in politics. In 1933 he managed to be named Chncellor of the nation. From that point he leveraged greater control and - through the brutal, murderous Gestapo - enacted his extreme ethnocentric plan.

Hitler quickly silenced people critical of his regime. Peter Muller's father was sent to prison because he defended Jewish professors who had been expelled from their teaching positions.

The racist spirit of the German people was unleashed and encouraged. The government began a systematic program of identifying and exterminating Jews. Also marked and sent to slave labor camps and death camps: Gypsies, Poles, Czechs, gays, etc.

At that point the Germans who realized that Hitler's program was wrong, deeply wrong, were unable to effectively protest. Many Germans went along with Hitler's programs even though they did not believe in them. The Hiler Jugend leader called Emil says "I just wised up." He simply wanted to survive the reign of terror.

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