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View Diary: Lewis Black: "Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette's" (282 comments)

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  •  Nazi references are insulting. (18+ / 0-)

    Most people under the age of 80 have no f*ing clue who the Nazis were, what they did, or how they came about.

    They were far worse than most people can imagine.

    If you ever get a chance, go through the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  There are things in there that stagger the imagination.  Like a huge pile of shoes.  Those who have been there will know what I mean.

    Whenever I see someone holding a "<so-and-so> is Hitler" sign it makes me want to bash them over the head with it.  If they were really Hitler, they would be executed on the spot as a traitor for questioning the government, and that's the best case scenario.  I won't mention the worst case, because most people wouldn't believe it.  Many still don't, even after seeing all the evidence.

    Hitler was not a world class evil person, he was far worse - a charismatic true believer who convinced an entire nation to go along with his insane plans.  We should be thankful that our politicians are as cynical as they are.

    •  But He Had a Boatload of Genuine Reality to Build (7+ / 0-)

      on. Either trivializing him or painting him as utterly unique can leave us vulnerable to going through it again.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu May 13, 2010 at 09:05:32 AM PDT

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      •  Yes--the Max controversy really bothered me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        John Cusack's movie "Max" was blacklisted, and it was only released in a tiny number of theatres and then quickly removed, for no other reason than that the ADL (though they hadn't seen the film when they began the campaign against it) heard from somewhere that it "humanized" Hitler.

        Well, it was a fine piece of work, that did NOT portray Hitler sympathetically at all.  On the contrary, it portrayed him as an ideologue who insisted upon his own point of view, and was socially inept, to the point of being rather disgusting sometimes.  Not sympathetic in the slightest, but also not a cartoonish monster, which is the only way we've seen him portrayed in the vast majority of films I've seen depicting him.  

        There are very few such ideologues in the world who want to torture or callously mass-murder millions of people, for cynical political gains, or out of bigotry.  However, Hitler was certainly not the only one.  Pretending "it can't be understood" or "Hitler was not human" is false.  It CAN be understood, and much more easily once we admit that Hitler was shaped by his experiences as a human being.  

        Admitting that he reacted to influences around him (such as the history of colonial mass-murder, as in the German Herero genocide, or the history of identifying those of other religions than the Protestant as "non-German" pests, or the German fetishization of war at the time, or the militarization of political life in Weimar Germany with paramilitary political factions) in a predictable way does not excuse him, any more than we excuse a murderer just because he or she was beaten as a child.  

        Hitler was rare, but he was not unique, and he sank to such a level of inhumanity largely because this inhumanity was nurtured by the environment around him.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Thu May 13, 2010 at 05:52:18 PM PDT

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    •  It's our job to educate who they were (7+ / 0-)

      for those less than 80.
      I'm 50 and have no illusions whatsoever about what the Nazi's were. My dad and I watched "World at War" when I was 12 or so, and the scene talking about Oradour-sur-Glane is burned into my memory. All 3 of my kids have seen that series, and I also had them watch Triumph des Willens to see what propaganda can do to a civilized culture.

      With all that said, I see definite Fascist tendencies in the Tea Party and the far right.

      F the right wing whiners. I don't care about them any more they can all F themselves for all I care.

      by UndercoverRxer on Thu May 13, 2010 at 09:06:19 AM PDT

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    •  Agreed that the reality of Hitler's reign was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      ALMOST unique in its level of horror.  I've studied it for years, and there are things I've read about, in the way of the Gestapo's torture for example, that I don't ever mention to people, they're so horrific.

      On his "convinc[ing] an entire nation to go along with his insane plans," it's worth remembering that the Final Solution only began once the war was well underway.  It was decided upon in 1941, by the end of which plenty of mass murder had occurred.  Even when the concentration camps were constructed, the ones with gas chambers (just over half a dozen camps had gas chambers, out of dozens of concentration camps) were located mostly in Poland, out of sight of those who might be shocked by them, and the guards were made to sign strict confidentiality oaths, not to breathe a word of what went on there.  This was the lesson Hitler learnt after the euthanasia program offended ordinary Germans: where possible, keep it secret.  People who wanted to see the truth, of course, could see Hitler's cruelty towards German Jews.  But before the mass murder of Jews truly was underway, the Nazis appeared to many as more of an anti-Communist and anti-Versailles Treaty reaction.  

      Also, although the reality behind it was the concentration camp and eventually mass murder, much of the public simply saw that the Nazis had put an end to the street fighting between the Nazi, Communist and Social Democratic paramilitaries, which had killed hundreds and left people afraid to go out.  The fact that there were a bunch of bullyboys in the streets maybe beating up some Jews, in "restoring order," would have seemed a lot different to the public than the ghastly fact of gassing millions of innocent Jewish families to death.

      The Communists in Germany had a lower scorecard for murder than the right wing, but they were first to begin the murder, at World War I's end, and had hundreds of murders to their credit by the time Hitler came to power.  Some German Communists, to confuse things further, also made anti-Semitic comments just as hair-raising as Hitler's (Communist Ruth Fischer said in a speech: "Kick down the Jewish capitalists, hang them from the lampposts, trample them!").  

      Also, the fact that they'd lost the Polish corridor and so much of their eastern territory rankled many who ended up supporting Hitler's war against Poland, even many of those who weren't anti-Semitic and loathed Hitler and his anti-Semitism.  

      Therefore, although many (including some of my own ancestors) saw the imminent threat to Germany's Jews, many simply thought that Hitler's main focus would be on combating Communist revolutionaries, who had done plenty of murder themselves and had plenty of paramilitary soldiers to rival Hitler's SA, or on rebuilding the military.  For these things, no convincing was necessary; much of the public WANTED Hitler to do so.  The millions of Communist voters who didn't want it, were purged, once Hitler controlled the police.

      (Sorry for the long post.)

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Thu May 13, 2010 at 06:19:23 PM PDT

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