Originally published October 18 2015
If the citizens of 1930s Germany could not see the evil government growing around them... what makes you think modern Americans can see it now?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Just recently, a friend of mine related a personal story to me that I am sure Americans will find difficult to understand, but it makes perfect sense when placed in historical context.
In the course of performing his business as a home inspector, my friend often comes in contact with the general public. Some years ago, he was inspecting the foundation of a house belonging to an older German couple who had immigrated to the United States following World War II. Eventually, the subject of the war came up, and something the woman said momentarily floored him: to this day, she still blames "the Jews" for the all the death and destruction suffered by her country rather than its fanatical leader, Adolf Hitler, and she said that it was because of "the Jews" that Germany lost the war.
My friend pondered that for a few days, but what she told him eventually made sense when he put it in historical context.
A bit of a history buff, my friend was aware of what had brought Hitler to power: his ability to tap into a seething nativist, patriotic and nationalistic fervor that permeated German society in the years following the country's loss in World War I, a seething fomented in large part by the Allies' humiliating imposition of post-war conditions, including war reparations and dramatic equipment and manpower limits on the German military.
Charisma is intoxicatingHitler's message – and his fiery rhetoric – was intoxicating to millions of Germans. Like many politicians today, Hitler inspired his nation's citizens by appealing to their emotions.
The old German lady in my friend's tale illustrated that, long after Hitler was dead and gone, his message continued to resonate with her generation of German citizens. This also helps to explain Hitler's rise to power.
Not everyone was swayed, however. As noted by the Washington Free Beacon in a review of the recently translated book My Battle Against Hitler, a memoir by one of Nazism's most implacable foes, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, some fought against Hitler's National Socialism at every turn.
Just say no to evil"Von Hildebrand was a Catholic philosopher at the University of Munich whose prime working years coincided with the rise of National Socialism in central Europe," the book review notes. "As a resident of Munich, the cradle of Nazism, he was in a unique position to bear witness against the ideology from its inception."
The memoir begins in 1921, just three years after the end of World War I. Even then, von Hildebrand could see that evil lurked behind the invigorating yet deceptive veil of National Socialism. Through the years, his writings and observations would land him in hot water with the rising Nazi party apparatus, and eventually he fled to Austria. In 1938, as German troops pushed into the country, he managed to escape the clutches of the Gestapo just five hours before agents raided his apartment.
The logic behind his opposition was quite simple: don't support evil, especially the evil that the Nazis under Hitler's direction displayed to the Jews and anyone else who was "non-Aryan."
Von Hildebrand noted that wasn't so easy for everyone, including Catholic institutions in Germany as well as the papacy in Vatican City. It especially wasn't easy for ordinary Germans, many of whom consciously dismissed Hitler's purges and menacing proclivities simply because they wanted to believe in the man who believed so fervently in Germany.
Could this kind of leader emerge in America? Has he already emerged? As I stated above, some people believe that politicians today are perpetuating the same dangerous cult of personality; some have described President Obama in such terms, citing his defense of Planned Parenthood's hideous, grotesque "baby body parts for profit" operations that have recently been exposed. This description has also been applied to Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Today, charismatic leaders can still rise to the pinnacles of power unnoticed and generally unchallenged, and it could happen in the U.S. if we don't heed von Hildebrand's advice and just say no to evil.
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