by Robert M. Traxler
A comment from a critic of this column asked for proof the Nazis were supported by the academics and the self-proclaimed educational elite in Germany in the 1920/40s. His request was made after I made a comment concerning the anti-Israel comments and antisemitic movements on our institutions of higher learning, and Harvard is among them.
I have always been concerned that the National Socialist movement could re-emerge in our nation. In the 1930s the largest event ever held in Madison Square Garden in New York City was an American Nazi party gathering held by the German American Bund. A socialist state that allows nationalism appeals to the left and right; the left wants a socialist state, and the right wants a nationalist state, a marriage made in theoretical political heaven.
National Socialism gave rise to massive hate, hate like we are seeing at many colleges and universities, with the object of that hate being Jewish folks once again. To a lesser extent, we are also seeing the Jewish hate on the far right, although the stereotype of fundamentalist/evangelical Christians being antisemitic is way overstated by the media.
Let’s look at the link between the educational system that gave rise to the Nazis in Germany and the Nazi party.
The most powerful historical event in antisemitic history is the Holocaust, the systematic murder of millions of Jews. The “final solution,” the Endlosung, was planned during the Wannsee Conference held in a suburb of Berlin in 1942. Many of the attendees were PhDs, very rare people in the 1940s, Rudolf Lange, and Gerhard Klopfer, among others. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, had a PhD in Literature and Philosophy; he joined the party in 1924 and he was a founding member.
The films of book burning in pre-war Germany were primarily at 34 colleges and universities. Organized by the professors and conducted by the students, book burnings were those written mostly by Jews, capitalists, and communists.
We can ask if the cancel culture move in our nation to ban books is a precursor to a larger movement? Most student groups in Germany banned Jewish students, and Jewish professors were also banned. Frankfort University, the gold standard of German higher learning, the German Harvard, banned Jews and held pro-Nazi rallies. A large number of students and graduates were members of the Schutzstaffel, the SS, the military arm of the National Socialist Party and the leaders of the death camps such as Dachau, Treblinka and Auschwitz.
Most of the Nazi Party leaders were radicalized while attending institutions of higher learning in the 1920s to 1930s — Heinrich Himmler, commander of the SS and an architect of the Holocaust, among them.
The National Socialists had a 95% approval rating in Germany. The 5% who did not approve were Democratic Monarchists, even a few communists, but most were quiet to avoid being attacked by the media and nationalistic groups. The cancel culture was in full force on most campuses; dissent was not allowed, and only politically correct concepts were permitted.
Hate blinds, and politically correct racial hate makes folks blind, and deaf. As Lord Acton famously said, “All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
So to my favorite and most sarcastic critic, answer your question? Probably not, progressives are always correct and cannot be confused by facts.
Shifting gears, our government is calling for a pause in the Israel Hamas war; what is a pause, and how is it different from a ceasefire? Damned if I know. A pause or cease fire will help Hamas to redeploy, re-enforce and resupply with immunity, something our left wing wants to happen, but it goes against sound military logic.
The call for a pause is a politically correct move to placate the anti-Israel faction of the progressive movement, but an illogical tactical plan.
My opinion, while I am still allowed to have one.