As seen on Facebook – a nice little piece explaining how the Holocaust didn’t begin with the Kristallnacht.

This is, of course, patently obvious. The Holocaust, defined as the systemic extermination of Jews and others, began with the Wannsee Conference in January of 1942. Before that was state incarceration, segregation, and unpersoning of Jews and others. Facts are tricky like that.

But, to the author’s point, I agree in principle that the Holocaust didn’t begin with one event. It was a longer-term affair, and phased in slowly.

However, the rest of the point is lost in the weeds of ignorance.

We do, or at least we did in the 1990s, teach that Hitler was imprisoned in the 20s, after the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch. That was the period when he wrote ‘Mein Kampf’, which formalized the idea behind his National Socialist German Workers Party.

Where this really gets lost, however, is in the failure to recognize the difference between a parliamentary system, and a presidential system. In a parliamentary system, 33% of the vote is a substantial amount, and while not enough to form a government on its own, makes the party at that percentage very powerful.

In the American, presidential, system, 33% is nothing. Take, as an example, Illinois. The Republican party has, combined in both houses of the legislature, about 35%…and literally no one would argue that they are any kind of force or even worth a mention politically.

This is the difference – Hitler was able to force people’s hands with 33% of the legislature. That simply cannot happen in the US. The system prevents it, and will so long as we don’t amend the Constitution to enact a fundamental change in the way our government works.

Lastly, the author engages in the usual lefty conceit that we are all (well, not them, but the rest of us) just itching to get another Holocaust up and running. They forget that it was the actions of evil people, and the willful turning away by other, less evil people, which enabled the pogrom to get ramped up in the first place. We are separate from the Holocaust. We are no more responsible than we are for the slave trade, or lynchings under Jim Crow. Those who, as individuals, committed these actions, or turned away, they and they alone are responsible.

The other thing that is ignored is that the entire success of NSDAP was predicated on the following:

  • WWI was fought almost entirely in France, not Germany
  • Germany, somehow, lost and had to surrender
  • The European allies laid a crushing reparations bill (about $74 billion in 2019 dollars) at Germany’s feet, destroying their economy
  • Our culture is changing, and we don’t like it
  • Someone had to be at fault…

This was the same tactic used by Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign:

  • The War on Terror is going badly
  • Somehow we are not winning, and it just keeps dragging on
  • Our culture is changing, and we don’t like it
  • Someone has to be at fault…

Of course, there is no actual comparison between Obama and Hitler. And that isn’t the point. Obama used the exact same campaign method that Hitler used, and it worked…just like it did for Hitler.

Scapegoating is dangerous, but it works. It speaks to the human need to create an ‘other’ who can be hated, dehumanized, or even exterminated.

If you want to see who is engaging in the current ‘othering’, look at who isn’t covering the increased attacks on Jews in New York…who is ignoring the murder of Jews in Europe…who is supporting the anti semitism of Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and their ilk. The holocaust started with people like these, and continued when no one was left who could speak against it.