World War II against Nazi Germany ended when the Germans surrendered in May 1945.
That year, 1945, was concurrent with the early days of television. One year later, in 1946, the number of television sets in use was 6,000. By 1951 it increased to 12 million and by 1955 half of all U.S. homes had one.
Growing up, since television was so new, I and many others, especially those of my generation, were fascinated by that little box and watched television for many hours. It was like being at the movie theater. During the 1950s and early 1960s, there were so many war movies that we watched on television.
We saw the horrors committed by the Nazi regime. World War II was second nature to us. We knew relatives and friends whose families were affected by the war. Fighting the Nazi’s, over 400,000 Americans were killed and almost 700,000 were wounded.
Although those numbers are quite large, they were dwarfed by the 15 to 30 million people murdered by the Nazis.They killed all those opposed to their movement.
There were murders of hostages, reprisal raids, forced labor, euthanasia, starvation, exposure, medical experiments and terror bombings. In concentration and death camps, some 6 million Jews and 7 million Russian civilians perished. How did this happen?
Nazism was a totalitarian movement led by Adolph Hitler. It was a movement of intense nationalism, mass appeal and dictatorial rule, anti-intellectual, emphasizing the will of the charismatic dictator as the sole source of inspiration of people and a nation.
The one and only goal of Nazi policy was the annihilation of all enemies of the Aryan nation. It rejected rationalism, liberalism, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and all movements of international cooperation and peace.
It stressed the subordination of the individual to the state and the necessity of blind and unswerving obedience to leaders. It also emphasized the inequality of humans and races and the right of the strong to rule the weak and purge or suppress competing political, religious and social institutions.
Adolph Hitler had a deep understanding of mass psychology and mass propaganda and stressed the fact that all propaganda must hold its intellectual level at the capacity of the least intelligent of those at whom it is directed and that its truthfulness is much less important than its success.
In the most basic terms, if you tell a lie often enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it, especially if the people are not smart enough to realize that lies are repeated to them.
The law of propaganda states; “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”. This is known as the “Big Lie” and it originally appeared in”Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s manifesto.
George Santayana, the great Spanish American philosopher, poet and humanist, wrote; “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. And it was Winston Churchill, the great English statesman who said; “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. You might ask, what does Hitler and the Nazi movement have to do with Santayana, Churchill, television and war movies and how does that apply to today?
The answer in two words: Donald Trump! How old is he? He was born on June 14, 1946. That makes him 75 years old. He is from my generation. He was also raised with television and war movies and definitely knew who Adolph Hitler was and the atrocities he committed.
But what about the next generation, our children, ages 45 to 53.
For them, World War II ended approximately 25 years before they were born. That’s like my generation relating to World War I, and we really didn’t.
Back then the world was a whole lot different. That’s probably true for our children’s generation. And then there’s our grandchildren’s generation, ages 21-30. For them, World War II took place over 75 years ago.
Do you think the subject is covered thoroughly or at all in schools? That’s like my generation being familiar with what happened in the 1890s.
In other words, almost nothing. Therefore, if those two subsequent generations know so little about World War II, how can we expect them to really know who Adolph Hitler was and the atrocities he and his Nazis committed?
Hitler had power. Extreme power. Anyone who disagreed with him or his policies usually ended up imprisoned or dead. To protect Hitler and serve as his bodyguards was the “Schutzstaffel” commonly known as the SS, headed by Heinrich Himmler.
It became one of the most feared organizations in all of Nazi Germany with more than 250,000 members engaged in activities ranging from intelligence operations to running Nazi concentration camps. After the war, the Nuremberg trials deemed it as a criminal organization for its direct involvement in war crimes.
In addition to the SS, Hitler had his own personal army, the “Sturmabteilung” or SA whose members were known as storm troopers or brown shirts. During Hitler’s public appearances, they surrounded him when he urged his supporters to perpetrate violence against his political adversaries.
Let’s now take a look at Trump and see the familiarities. On January 6th, a mob of thousands of Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. where many innocent people were injured including 138 police officers plus 4 who died.
Even Trump supporters like Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell denounced President Trump and his supporters for instigating the insurrection.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like.”
As lawmakers were being evacuated from the Capitol on January 6th, Senator Lindsey Graham was furious that lawmakers were forced to evacuate the Capitol and yelled at the Senate sergeant-at-arms “What are you doing? Take back the Senate! You’ve got guns. Use them.”
Graham reportedly called and spoke to Ivanka Trump over the phone and said, “You’re going to have to tell these people to stand down.”
Trump’s subsequent video message to the rioters enraged Graham in which Trump said “We have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you’re very special.” To repeat. “We love you, you’re very special.” House Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy, said President Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol attack.
Hitler’s SS! Trump’s rioters! In both cases, Fear…for your lives.
Question! What do all the following United States presidents have in common: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy E. Carter, Ronald W. Reagan, George H. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama?
Voters and others who opposed them never feared for their lives. Fascists have their supporters who are willing to kill. What else do Trump and Hitler have in common?
Let’s start with Charlottesville, Va. Trump’s initial response regarding the violent protests was even-handed as he said “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides”. One side had protesters carrying Nazi flags, wearing T-shirts with Hitler’s image, swastika armbands and carrying torches.
That’s in a realm beyond civil political discourse and disagreement. Neo Nazi wounds still run deep in our country. It was like trampling on the graves of the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who died during World War II.
And the Jan 6 insurrection included Trump supporters also carrying Nazi flags. America is a land of freedoms, but for Nazis? If a person is convicted of murdering a group of people, they would usually be sentenced to life imprisonment or death. How is it that the Nazis, who murdered millions, are allowed to live and spread their murderous agenda here in the United States?
Many of the objectives of both Hitler and Trump are the same. To repeat, Trump rejects; “rationalism, liberalism, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and all movements of international cooperation and peace.
It stressed the subordination of the individual to the state and the necessity of blind and unswerving obedience to leaders. He also emphasized the inequality of humans and races and the right of the strong to rule the weak and purge or suppress competing political, religious and social institutions.
Hitler had a deep understanding of mass psychology and mass propaganda and stressed the fact that all propaganda must hold its intellectual level at the capacity of the least intelligent of those at whom it is directed and that its truthfulness is much less important than its success.”
Hitler took pride in being a master salesman and showman. We all know that Trump takes pride in having the same abilities. He is also a great storyteller, specializing in lies. Tell a lie often enough and keep repeating it and, people will come to believe it, especially if the people are not smart enough to realize that lies are repeated to them.
Hey Trumpers. if Trump thinks of you as not being smart or intelligent enough to recognize the lies he constantly tells you and, you allow him to get away with it, then he’s playing all of you as suckers and, you don’t even know it.
Yes! You don’t even know it and, if not, what’s that saying about you? Therefore, allow me to put all you supporters of Trump into a brand new category. Welcome “TrumpSuckers”. What an appropriate name. Please TrumpSuckers. Help God save America and Democracy.