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Reply #13: Perhaps for US a good analogy to Germany in March 1933 is the period [View All]

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-20-10 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Perhaps for US a good analogy to Germany in March 1933 is the period
immediately after 9/11, since all of this occurs immediately after the Reichstag fire: Bush immediately got his PATRIOT act, and if the third plane had damaged the Capitol I suspect he might have gotten much more; and if moreover Bush had arrested a number of Representatives (as the Nazis then arrested communist and Social Democratic deputies), the Congressional mood could have been even worse. A lot of us, of course, were gravely alarmed by the hysteria and promptly obtained copies of the PATRIOT act to read critically, but Congress itself was not nearly so careful -- and this is, unfortunately, not too uncommon for such groups of politicians

Most of us naturally like to think that we would have been in the opposition, had we been there, but Who would I really have been if I had been someone else in a different time and place? is an imponderable and nonsensical metaphysical query: the best we can do, some seventy-five years later, is carefully to scrutinize the era and hope to understand the mechanisms well enough to avoid some repetitions of the serious mistakes made by others

The former Catholic Center Party Chancellor, Franz von Papen, probably played a significant role in the Catholic Center's strategy. Papen, who had been appointed Vice-Chancellor when Hitler was appointed Chancellor, seems to have believed at the time that Hitler was thoroughly boxed in and would last only a few months. Papen was quite conservative, and an aristocrat, but several of his staff were considered threatening enough to Nazi goals to warrant murder on the Night of Long Knives in 1934, at which time Papen resigned as Vice-Chancellor. Other of his staff members ended in concentration camps. Papen himself continued to serve the Nazi state in a diplomatic capacity and was tried at Nuremberg but acquitted (though the court explicitly noted a moral failure). His age is probably instructive: Papen was born in 1879; while he himself would not remember Bismarck's kulturkampf against German Catholics, or the associated persecutions and deportations of Catholics in the 1870s, the generation that educated him and his contemporaries remembered it well and was shaped by it; many Catholic Germans of Papen's generations were taught from childhood that whatever disagreements they might have with the government, they should always be good German patriots

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