Friday, February 17, 2006

The Germans, 1933-45:They Thought They Were Free

The comparison to the US of today is eerie to say the least. Given that students are being offered $100 for providing notes on left wing lectures and the many erosions of civilian rights (the suspension of Habeas Corpus care of the Patriot Act and the domestic spying are just 2 of many examples) it does look like history is repeating itself. The main stream media however, as usual, are complicit in this slow march to fascism.

They Thought They Were Free

The Germans, 1933-45

Excerpt from pages 166-73 of "They Thought They Were Free" First published in 1955

By Milton Mayer

But Then It Was Too Late

"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.


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