Thursday, July 28, 2005

Germany During Hitler's Rise To Power

When I say that I am concerned about what Europe will do if we allow the Islamofascist threat to get too far out of control, it must seem strange. After all the Europeans are the pacifistic countries, the nations who do not field large armies, the places where people march in the street for peace, and abhor America's violence and "imperialism."

Here William Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, writes of the mood of Germany circa 1925-29 (the years leading up to Hitler's rise to power):

My own acquaintence with Germany began in those days. I was stationed in Paris and occasionally in London at that time., and fascinating though those capitals were to a young American happy to have escaped from the incredible smugness and emptiness of the Calvin Coolidge era, they pales a little when one came to Berlin and Munich.

A wonderful ferment was working in Germany. Life seemed more free, more modern, more exciting than in any place I had ever seen. Nowhere else did the arts or the intellectual life seem so lively. In contemporary writing, painting, architecture, in music and drama, there were new currents and find talents. And everywhere there was an accent on youth.

One sat up with the young people all night in the sidewalk cafes, the plush bars, the summer camps, on a Rhineland steamer or in a smoke-filled artists studio and talked endlessly about life. They were a healthy, carefree, sun-worshipping lot, and they were filled with an enormous zeal for living to the full and in complete freedom.

The old oppressive Prussian spirit seemed to be dead and buried. Most Germans one met - politicians, writers, editors, artists, professors, students, businessmen, labor leaders - struck you as being democratic, liberal, even pacifist.

Among the most foolish things we can do is to believe that we have unshackled ourselves from the chains of history. Man has not morally improved himself. We have merely set up structures which help us to function more rationally on an everyday basis. However, when these structures are threatened, then all hell can break loose.

I do not believe that another Hitler will rise to round up people and put them in gas chambers. Instead, I believe that all the nationalism, racism, and violence could visit itself upon us in different form.

In the previous post, Youseff Ibrahim wrote of the terrifying force of the West when it is angered. I think William Shirer's description of the pacifistic nature of Germans just a few years before the rise of the Third Reich should act as a kind of tsunami warning to the Islamofascists. Do not look at the ocean, see no waves and conclude that you are safe. If you hit the West with a big enough jolt, expect a tsunami to swell up out of nowhere and destroy all in it's path.