Hitler and other future Nazis in 1912


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Jim Kalafus

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>"If-say- about the year 1937-one Adolph Hitler could have been spirited away and taken upon a tour across U.S. 40, what might have been the effect on the history of the world ?

The author, writing in 1953, was recalling the horrendous year of 1937 thru the rose colored glasses of postwar prosperity.

What Hitler would have seen in 1937 was a U.S. plagued by horrendously violent strikes, with a VERY divided and angry populace, in which the industrial complex was running at severely reduced capacity and had seen no updating since 1929. He would have seen a country with a surprisingly large number of angry Communists and an equally large number of people who felt that turning to Fascism was the way out of the mess. Only three years before, a citizen's uprising so severe that the president was on the brink of calling out the Army had destroyed a large portion of a Rhode Island city, and by 1937 the mood of the populace was only slightly less volatile. He would have seen a country in which parents, driven by lack of optiions, were dumping their children into orphanages and disappearing, and a country in which virtually EVERY Daily tabloid brought yet another photo of a crowd surrounding a man on the sidewalk, holding a gun, with blood running out of his ears and nose.

In short, a visit to USA 1937 would have sent him back to Germany convinced that he was on the right track. The potential to become a juggernaut was obviously there, but it was hiding behind a truly miserable facade.

But, by 1953, it was fashionable to remember the Great Depression as a tough time that we all got thru by sticking together... hence that rather addled quote.

>Yeah, that is a sticking point, but again, one has to wonder what their options were.

That rationalization, popular since 1945, is an insult to everyone who exercised their option to leave, with nothing but their intact morals, while they still could. Von Braun et al stayed because they WANTED to stay. They knowingly utilized slave labor, etc, and became conscienscious "reluctant Nazis" in May 1945. As late as 1939, for chrissakes, the actress Gloria Swanson managed to get scientists out of Germany on the pretense of hiring them for her cosmetics company (luminescent paint!) and keeping them here until travel back became impossible, but...of course... that particular group WAS anti-Nazi and WANTED to leave. Defecting was not easy, and got harder as 1939 drew closer, but nevertheless people managed.
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Jim,

Well, he would have loved parts of LI and NJ with their little Bundt camps. It seems not well known, but we tried so hard to get Nazi Germany into the New York World's Fair in 1939. I think Whalen even went over a few times in the early Fair Corp. days with no luck.

Best wishes,
Eric
 

Jim Kalafus

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****shhhhh!, Eric****

It is not PC to talk about the Bund movement and Camp Siegfried; the Communist movement and Camp Nit Gi Di Get; the high crime rate; the collapse of public morals; the riots and the incredible anger that typified the decade.

The current trend, among *ahem* Welfare Reformers, at least those who watch Fox News, is to talk about The Old Days When Neighbors Helped One Another. Glossing over the detail, of course, that the current welfare system is tied directly to the fact that the Great Depression proved, conclusively, that neighbors by and large DONT help neighbors in times of need.

It is really a manifestation of the same line of thought pursued in the 1953 quote. Only now it is the rose colored glasses of extreme old age and conservatism, and not WE WON THE WAR pride that is driving it.

There are very few people left at this point who lived in Hoovervilles; waited on breadlines; turned to .25 a trick prostitution; sold their daughters to pimps or Kelly Gamed them to pedophiles; ate out of the garbage, and saw Hitler or Stalin-style fascism as The Way Out. And, those few who are left are NEVER the ones you see interviewed... you tend to hear lots of stories about "sleeping 4 in a bed" and "mom going without dinner" and "I collected pop bottles for exchange, and then got to watch 4 hours worth of movies on my own dime!" You know... inspirational stuff that implies, or sometimes says flat out "It wasn't that bad, and we got thru it"

It WAS that bad.

First *ahem* reformer who trots out an 85 year old who says "My father abandoned us after three years of No Work, my mother sold me to a pimp, I was arrested for tricking and sent to reform school until I was 18" or "Both of my parents became Nazis" to counterbalance the Heartwarming Tales of Privation is the one who will earn my respect.
 
May 5, 2005
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Hi all,
Werner Von Braun really just wanted to make rockets.
I don't believe he would have condoned what was really happening with the nazis and the Jews, but I really wondered what he knew and didn't know, and what he could have done about it. He just wanted to make rockets for space travel, and he was brilliant.
I just wonder how torn he was about his V-2's crashing into London. Not sure about that guy.......
I have much respect for Rommel. I don't think he deserves to be lumped together with the rest of those dirt-bags.
 

Adam Went

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For those of you who are interested, there is actually a book called "My Father's Keeper" by Stephen Libert, which talks to the children (most of whom are still alive, I believe) of some of these most infamous Nazis, including Bormann, Himmler, Goering, Hess, etc.....not a bad read.

I'm with Steven on Von Braun and having some respect for Rommel....he was certainly a brilliant tactician but he was often undermined by the man at the top, Hitler, such as when he refused to transfer forces from Pas De Calais after the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. By the time he did OK it, it was too late. Which is fortunate for us, but not so much for Rommel. Seems to have been quite popular with his soldiers as well.
 
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