Useful German History: actual Nazi’s and Fascists…3 min read

Useful German History: actual Nazi’s and Fascists…3 min read

There’s a long-running, humorous tendency for people to label politicians or social forces they fear as being, “Nazi”, or “fascist” or to compare this-or-that person to Hitler. There is even a funny, “law” on the subject (Wikipedia: Godwin’s Law. )

By my observation it is somewhat like the ad hominem attack in debate. This is where one goes from issue to some characteristic of the opposing view holder. Simply stated, it is when one leaves the issue and insults a characteristic the opponent in a debate to degrade the messenger. Tossing the Nazi-Fascist-Hitler labels around is similar. We put forth an image that might not even be relevant to our point in an attempt to win that point.

I am recently noticing young people marching with, “anti-fascist” signage, and equating the presence of some fools with old Nazi paraphernalia, slogans, clubs, and in many cases expressing extreme prejudices as a legitimate threat to the, “free world”. I am not referring to whatever, “ATIFA” is supposed to be…it appears to me to be a paramilitary thug group opposed to para-militarism. I’m referring to odd signs I’ve seen in some of our recent marches.

It is evidence to me that we can all better appreciate even our dislikes if we study some history. The outcome of this-or-that election, court appointment, or, “white march” (with or without swastika)  is not going to send us down the totalitarian rat-hole.

These days I often just shrug and think, “These kids don’t know what they don’t know”.  I know all generations think this of the young for some reasons, but my concern is that we are hyper-educating youth but not teaching them much, or motivating the to become learners.

With this in-mind, I recently turned to read some fresh accounts of the how the Third Reich came to be. I had read Shirer’s famous book below at least twice, most recently 5 years ago. Looking into it recently, I was encouraged to see a fresh take on the topic by Evans here (Evans produced a trilogy on the subject, spanning the rise, the rule, and the war).


I had read the Shirer book below, maybe twice over-the-years. I read reviews on this one here by Evans as more scholarly, accurate, and comprehensive than the popular history by newspaperman Shirer. After just completing this one by Evans in March 2018, I agree. However, it’s a bit heavier than Shirer, so start there for a decent entry point even if it is not as comprehensive.


Shirer’s book has been the definitive popular history on this topic, but some have poked holes in it with the benefit of time, research, and broader treatment than perhaps Shirer who lived through it and perhaps had a powerful personal drive for a specific narrative, as any human would who witnessed many things first-hand.


It has been a few years since I read this one, but this reads like an adventure novel to some degree. I highly recommend this as both entertaining and informative. It will at least hint towards many of the themes and topics covered in the books above.




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