I am starting to rewatch a series which I first saw a while ago. Called The Nazis: A Warning from History, it is an excellent, if horrifying survey of the roots of Nazism and its terrible consequences. It was first shown twenty years ago. I don't think it is any coincidence that it is back on BBC iPlayer but I am grateful it is, however it got there. Frankly, it should be required viewing for all adults on the planet. Do watch it if you can. (It used to be available on DVD too, if you cannot access iPlayer.)
There have been many mentions of Hitler and Nazism in relation to what is happening in America and Europe at the moment. And obviously, the exact conditions which led to the rise of the Nazi party were unique and could not be repeated action for action. But the polarisation of politics is being repeated. Just ask the French. Scapegoats are once again being found - immigrants, immigrants and more immigrants. Appeasement is hovering around. Holding hands with Trump, Theresa May. Really??? Bad for our country and appalling for feminism. And our judiciaries and democratic institutions are under attack - don't get me started on examples for this.
This blog is often about lessons to be learnt from our history. Fifty four million people died as a result of the Second World War. Scariest lesson ever, surely. What about the following, if you need more:
- The Nazis, in their early days, promised to strip the Jews of their German citizenships and possibly expel them from the country. Ringing any bells with 'it is not a ban'?
- Their slogan included 'Germany First' and 'Germany Awake!'
- Hitler Youth members talk, during the programme, of 'World Jewry' which wanted to 'rule the world'. The message pumped at ordinary Germans was that it was morally okay to remove the Jews from public life because they were not innocent of any wrong doing. They were part of a worldwide conspiracy. Anyone thinking about the terror claims of the Trump government?
I have felt bizarrely proud to see the continuing protests at what is going on. I can't help worrying though that things are going to have to escalate a whole lot more before any real changes can come about. The quote below refers to America but is just as true when it comes to Brexit or to the ambitions of someone like Marine Le Pen.
Keep up the pressure. Protest as much as possible in as many ways as possible.