WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2016 — This election season, you have no doubt often heard invoked the name of the 20th century’s most notorious criminal — the man whose villainies prosecutors told judicial tribunals at Nuremberg rose to the level of crimes against humanity. And the spirit of that man, German dictator Adolf Hitler – according to the mainstream media, leading Democrats and members of the Republican Party itself – resides in the person and presumed Republican nominee for president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
But German author Götz Aly provides important insights into the mindset of those who made Hitler possible – average Germans.
From the beginning of World War II, the German industrial city of Bremen was a constant object of Allied bombing raids. Whether the target was an oil refinery or a submarine-building facility, the homes of Bremen’s residents were under constant threat.
“I could no longer take pleasure in several beautiful pieces of antique furniture in my home,” writes Aly. “My wife and I had inherited them from my in-laws in Bremen, whose house had been bombed during the war. As I now know, Germans bombed out by Allied air raids on Bremen were resupplied with furniture taken from Dutch Jews who had been deported and murdered [by the Nazis].
Aly’s book “Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State” should be required reading as we move closer to electing America’s next fearless leader.
Media supporters of the jack-booted beast in Washington, D.C., tell us that modern Americans, like Depression-era Germans of the early 1930s, are in much need of a political debate concerning “income inequality” and which candidate possesses the best plan to take from one group and give to another.
Hitler was able to maintain a high level of support from the German people, even in the midst of a war that most were ambivalent about. His government’s popularity rested on its facility for plundering on behalf of its constituents, whom their leaders had convinced were the “master race.”
“Indeed, concern for the people’s welfare – as any cost – was the mark of the Nazi system from its inception,” writes Aly. “Between 1933 and 1935, the leadership owed its domestic support to its efficient campaign against unemployment. However, the regime succeeded in combating joblessness only by incurring a fiscally irresponsible level of state debt.”
Does that sound familiar?
The Nazi leadership established a framework of directly sharing the spoils of its military victories with the majority of Germans – the profits derived from crippling the economies of occupied and dependent countries, the exploitation of work performed by forced laborers, the confiscated property of murdered Jews, and the deliberate starvation of millions of people… Those benefits, in turn, made the recipients amendable to Nazi propaganda and gave them a vested interest in the Third Reich.
The left was apoplectic when America invaded Iraq in 2003, accusing Washington of waging war for oil. But the left has no qualms when it comes to waging a class war and dividing the looted spoils among its constituents, which they claim is a right.
And who are they to claim that right? A master race, perhaps?
As columnist and author Jonah Goldberg states in his lively book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning,” fascism has resided and flourished in America for nearly 100 years.
Modern liberalism, says Goldberg, is “the well-intentioned niece of European fascism. She is hardly identical to her uglier relations, but she nonetheless carries an embarrassing family resemblance that few will admit to recognizing.”
That is, unless you happen to be a descendant of Japanese-Americans that progressive hero President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered into detention camps upon America’s entry into World War II.
In 1941 progressive California, Japanese-American farmers produced “90 percent of snap beans, 50 to 90 percent of artichokes, celery, cucumbers, fall peas, spinach and tomatoes. And they produced 25 to 50 percent of asparagus, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, lettuce, onions, and watermelons,” says a paper by economics professor Steven Caudill at Auburn University.
Those whose fertile fields were not confiscated outright were forced to sell for pennies on the dollar. The beneficiaries, of course, were white farmers whose votes Roosevelt secured through government farm subsidies.
In 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Interment of Civilians released its report, saying:
“In May 1944 Secretary [of War Henry] Stimson put before President Roosevelt and the Cabinet his position that the exclusion [internment] no longer had a military justification. But the President was unwilling to act to end the exclusion until the first Cabinet meeting following the Presidential election of November 1944. The inescapable conclusion from this factual pattern is that the delay was motivated by political considerations.”
In other words, FDR feared a political backlash should he rescind his internment order, potentially forcing progressive Californians to return their ill-gotten goods.
In 1944, FDR’s home state of New York held 47 votes in the Electoral College, California came in second with 25.
Dividing the spoils of a minority, whether racial or political, was – and continues to be – good politics.
That is why Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in defending confiscatory democratic socialism, reminds voters that FDR’s liberal fascist programs, once denounced as socialism, are woven into “the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.”
And like the good Germans of old, we should never ask where all this plunder came from.