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Nazis: A Modern Field Guide

In the Fall of 1943, as American troops were working their way northward through Italy, U.S. commanders were doing their best to address a basic problem of military intelligence: troops in the field couldn’t tell different kinds of German troops and weapons apart.

This could have life or death consequences: An American squad armed with a bazooka could stand fast against a thinly armoured halftrack, but had little chance of harming the heaviest German tanks. Likewise, GIs had to be far more careful when fighting elite German infantry units than with the conscripts and armed prisoners from the eastern front that the Wehrmacht threw into the field as the conflict wore on. And so the U.S. War Department produced a 400-page book called Handbook on German Military Forces, with the purpose of giving officers and enlisted men “a better understanding of their principal enemy.” A set of colour plates within the book show German soldiers in a variety of uniform styles and poses, from the Continental uniform style seen in most war movies, to tropical uniforms (which included shorts), to winter-wear for mountain troops. An updated edition of that handbook was published in early 1945. But then the war ended a few months later, and the books were discontinued: The war-fighting machine that Handbook on German Military Forces described no longer existed.

But now, more than 70 years after the fall of Berlin and the death of Adolf Hitler, it might be time for a new kind of Nazi field guide. On one hand, we are plagued by men such as Robert Bowers, who allegedly committed mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue after posting explicitly anti-Semitic messages on a web site known to be a haven for self-described neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. On the other hand, the Internet is now so full of spurious allusions to Nazi ideology that the term is in danger of losing all meaning. On social media, especially, “Nazi” has become a sort of four-letter synonym for “alt-right,” which itself now fills in lazily for “conservative” or “right-wing.” So even a politician or pundit who is mildly right-of-centre is in danger of being libelled as a “Nazi” by people who couldn’t find Germany on a map or name a single major Second World War battle.

And so, in the spirit of the Handbook on German Military Forces, I offer readers this brief field guide to the various kinds of “Nazis” who inhabit the world of 2018.

1.    Real Nazis

The full name of the Nazi party was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or National-Socialist German Workers’ Party, which took the official acronym NSDAP. The word “Nazi” was a term of abuse popularized by Hitler’s opponents, as it derived from a condescending term used to describe Bavarian yokels. Which is to say, real Nazis of the pre-WWII and WWII era almost never would have referred to themselves as “Nazis.”

Whole bookshelves could be filled with tomes about the fine points of Nazi ideology. But ultimately, what is important for our purposes is that Nazi Germany was a totalitarian police state run by Hitler—and so Nazi ideology was whatever Hitler said it was at any given moment. Like Joseph Stalin and totalitarian communists, Hitler would change his ideology to suit his circumstances. But at the core of his system of beliefs were the precepts of hate contained in Mein Kampf (a turgid and repetitive 1925 tome that I once was required to read as research for a book about conspiracy theories) and his speeches. Hitler came to view the German race as existing at the pinnacle of human development, atop an imagined racial hierarchy that he conjured out of pseudoscience. He ghoulishly would adapt emerging theories of medicine and hygiene to metaphorically cast Jews as a sort of pestilence whose extermination was required to safeguard the health of society. The Nazis managed to kill 6-million Jews, and started a war that would claim more than 70-million lives. For these reasons, among many others, Nazism is properly understood to be a byword for human evil.

A real Nazi—or, if you prefer, “literal Nazi”—was someone who (if he or she survived long enough) would support or execute the German-led effort, under Hitler, to dominate Eurasia through a warmongering, totalitarian system of government informed by genocidal racial supremacism. Very few of the real Nazis who survived the end of the Nazi regime are still alive today, and fewer still would express lingering adherence to Nazi ideology. Moreover, the whole architecture of Nazi ideology was based on the formation of a viable mainstream German political movement oriented toward the creation of a world-conquering white supremacist prison state. Thankfully, no such movement exists. Which means that real Nazis are effectively extinct.

2.    Would-Be Nazis

A would-be Nazi is a modern person who fully understands and appreciates the true, malignant nature of Nazi ideology as it historically manifested itself in the 1930s and 1940s, yet nonetheless puts this ideology forward as a template for political action. Which is to say, a would-be Nazi is someone who seeks to implement a totalitarian program of world domination, cites racist pseudoscience as a fundamental organizing principle of his worldview, and urges the systematic extermination of Jews and other peoples imagined to be inferior. I confess that I have never met such an individual. But no doubt, they do exist.

3.    Nazi Apologists

A Nazi apologist is someone who is not a real Nazi, and is not a would-be Nazi, but who seeks to contextualize the horrors inflicted on the world by Hitler through the conceit of utilitarian calculus. While the Nazi apologist usually will not defend the Holocaust or the other defining horrors inflicted by the Nazis, he may seek to cast the Nazis as a lesser evil when compared to the scourge of communism, “Jewish capitalism”, or the imagined horror of blutschande (blood mixing). The dark standing joke of the insidious anti-Semite who notes approvingly that Hitler “made the trains run on time” is an example of the Nazi apologist.

4.    Neo-Nazis / Faux-Nazis

This is a broad category, which covers individuals who seek to adapt, borrow or venerate selected elements of Nazi ideology as a means to advance their own racist or anti-Semitic agenda. Because I am Jewish, I periodically have been targeted (always, as it turned out, harmlessly) by self-described neo-Nazis on obscure web sites and social-media threads. I also interviewed neo-Nazis as part of my research on conspiracism. The average neo-Nazi I have met is quite ignorant about the actual history of the Nazi movement (and of history more generally). Many neo-Nazis will fixate strongly on the performative aspects of Nazism—such as the salutes, uniforms, military decorations, as well as the nomenclature and honorifics that were used to describe Hitler and other famous Nazi officials. (In some cases, this seems to be connected to repressed sexual fixations, though I am unaware whether this phenomenon has been studied systematically.) The unstable social and organizational dynamics of neo-Nazi groups suggest they are populated in large part by troubled—and often psychiatrically unstable—personalities.

I sometimes use the term “faux-Nazi” interchangeably with neo-Nazi because activists in this category, despite their hateful feelings and ostensible homage to the Nazi tradition, actually tend to explicitly deny a core element of Nazi ideology—specifically, the historical fact of the Holocaust. A prominent example would be Canadian-German holocaust denier Ernest Zündel, who distributed tracts with names such as The Hitler We Loved and Why, and believed that Hitler and other senior Nazis escaped to Antarctica, where they developed secret weapons and rebuilt their movement. Like many anti-Semites classified under the heading “neo-Nazi,” Zündel fantastically mischaracterized the Nazi movement he sought to rehabilitate.

5.    Theatrical Nazis

When I was in high school, there was a disturbed student who liked to carve swastikas into desks. When I found his swastikas, I would fill out the carving so as to turn the thing into a box divided into four sections, and it became a sort of game between us until he gave up and began restyling himself as an apolitical goth. When we both got older, I asked him about the Swastika fixation, and he confessed to me that, at the time, he really had known very little about the Nazis, but had determined (correctly) that posturing as a supporter of Nazism was a sure-fire way to attract attention. This is an example of someone who is not a Nazi in any substantive sense, except that he properly understood Nazi symbolism to be shocking. If he had been able to achieve the same effect by sketching the Soviet hammer and sickle, or pentagrams, I suspect he would have done that, too.

6.    Non-Nazis

As noted earlier, there is an unfortunate tendency to conflate all manner of conservative (or populist) thought under the label of “Nazi.” This ahistorical misusage is directed commonly, for instance, at pundits or politicians who seek to limit immigration or to enact policies aimed at the cultural assimilation of foreigners. (This would include U.S. President Donald Trump, who often speaks phobic, untrue and hateful things about Muslims and Mexican immigrants.) In some cases, it is claimed that these non-Nazis exhibit behaviours that suggest them to be Nazis in embryo—because “this is how the Nazis started.”

But as offensive, dangerous and intimidating as such figures may be, they typically have little true actual connection to the set of ideas that Nazism came to represent. That’s because the Nazis who burned Europe did not seek to assimilate or exclude so-called “inferior” peoples. They sought to enslave or annihilate them.

The essence of Nazism came to be that the moral worth of a human is encoded in his or her blood according to the hierarchy of race. Which meant that Germans had an imagined responsibility to go into foreign lands and perform acts of murder for their own sake. Jews, in particular, were compared to parasites and bacteria—creatures that are dealt with through extermination, not assimilation. This is why Hitler put Jews in concentration camps where they could be killed en masse, or hunted down in the villages of eastern Europe by einsatzgruppen.

* * *

History is full of genocidal slaughter. In ancient times, it was seen as perfectly normal for invading armies to annihilate whole towns and cities. But the Nazi regime was the first to use industrial methods and modern propaganda techniques to expand this ancient evil into something resembling a factory assembly line on a large scale. It is this combination of ancient barbarism and modern methods that has made Nazism the most despised ideology known to the modern political lexicon.

Nazism also distinguished itself historically because the genocidal acts it inspired unfolded during an era when photography was in widespread use, and the people of Europe were almost universally literate. Medieval armies left only ruins and corpses. But the Nazis and their victims left us a whole multimedia archive—from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will to Anne Frank’s diary. We know what Nazis looked and sounded like. We know how they marched, soldiered, massacred and died. Even genocides that took place much later in the 20th century, such as Pol Pot’s atrocities in Cambodia and the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 are not nearly so richly documented.

This aspect of Nazi history is useful for researchers. But there is a darker side to this as well: The unusually rich collection of photos, newsreels, books, ideas, personalities and quotations that emerged from the Nazis period is such that anyone seeking to attack his or her enemies by cherry picking history can usually find some stray image or set of words from the Nazi historical record that aligns, in some way, with the object of attack. George W. Bush was compared to Hitler by some liberals when he invaded Iraq. Barack Obama was compared to Hitler by some conservatives, who claimed that the Affordable Care Act mandated the use of “death panels.” Take enough pictures of a person going about their daily activities, and you will eventually get a shot of them giving something that looks vaguely like a Nazi salute.

Indeed, there is a perverse incentive for modern activists to imagine that we inhabit an age in which Nazis are powerful and ascendant—because this conceit gives moral grandeur to their own activism: It allows them to position themselves as moral heirs to the French Resistance, the martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the Allied armies that defeated the Nazi menace.

Sometimes, the supposed Nazis who are targets of these spurious verbal attacks, if they are eccentric malcontents or pathological attention-seekers, will even invite such comparisons by festooning their social media with Nazi symbols, pledges or dimly understood non sequiturs culled from Nazi sources. (A prominent example in Canada would be fringe YouTuber and former mayoral candidate Faith Goldy.)

These individuals are offensive, ignorant and often psychologically disturbed. Sometimes they are genuinely dangerous or even engage in acts of murder. But to imagine that they are “Nazis” is almost invariably wrong—even if they use that term themselves as a means to lend ghoulish historical grandeur to their vile acts. What I have written here will, I hope, discourage such crude distortions of language. But I also invite readers to do their own research, so that they may educate themselves about this uniquely dark chapter in the history of humankind.

 

Jonathan Kay is Canadian editor of Quillette. Follow him on Twitter at @jonkay.

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94 Comments

  1. Farris says

    More than anyone Jews should object to The ubiquitous use of the term “Nazi”. Phrases like “Food Nazis”, or “Immigration Nazis”, for example, divorce Nazism from its true horrors.
    In an age where people concern themselves with appropriations, Jews should be concerned with overuse of the Nazi label. The victims of the Nazi’s do not include persons who are triggered by political slogans or Halloween costumes.

    • Matthew B says

      Couldn’t agree more. Everything’s so ridiculously hyperbolic. Facebook and Twitter should have standing banners on their sites outlining Godwin’s Law.

    • “Nazi” and “fascist” have no reference to historical persons or ideas or states from the mid-20th century. They are simply words that mean, “people I don’t like” or “people that want to stop me from doing whatever it is I want to do”

    • Asenath Waite says

      I think if it’s a total joke like “Soup Nazi” or “Grammar Nazi” it’s fine. There’s too much censorship of humor these days as it is. The problem comes in when the term is used in a serious way to refer to people who are in no way Nazis.

    • Anthony Snyder says

      This is unfortunately the way of humanity. We seem to be a species of hyperbole and shock-value.

  2. People calling other people “Nazis” when those other people are not in fact Nazis, people calling other people “fascists” when those other people are not in fact fascists, people calling other people “racists” when those other people are not in fact racists, and people calling themselves “socialists” when they are not in fact socialists…

    Why can’t people seem to bother anymore with looking up the definition of the words that they use before they use them? (OK, I’ll admit it — it’s a rhetorical question.)

    • Robert Moore says

      Why? Because most people are only tangentially aware of what those words mean, and their usage insulates the users from direct criticism for saying “I just don’t like those people!”.

  3. Jack B Nimble says

    Looking forward to a companion piece on the misuse of the term ‘commie.’

    Kay’s taxonomy implies that several types, the show-Nazi and the faux-Nazi, are mostly disturbed or delusional individuals. But that is no reason to minimize or ignore the seriousness of the threat that they represent.

    “A rise in right-wing terror

    An analysis of the Global Terrorism Database by researchers at the University of Maryland published in 2017 shows a “sharp increase” in the share of attacks by right-wing extremists, from 6% in the 2000s to 35% in the 2010s. The share of attacks by religious extremists also increased, from 9% to 53% between the two decades.

    Meanwhile, the share of attacks by left-wing terrorists and environmentalist extremists dropped from 64% in the 2000s to 12% in the 2010s.

    Researchers point out that many recent attacks on US soil are carried out by individuals without any strong links to a terrorist organization—known popularly as “lone wolves.”

    The study defines “right-wing extremism” as “violence in support of the belief that personal and/or national way of life is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent,” including anti-globalism, white supremacy, nationalism, suspicion of the government, and beliefs in conspiracies.

    An analysis by Quartz of the same Global Terrorism Database confirmed that the trend persisted in 2017, when most attacks in the US were committed by right-wing extremists. Out of 65 incidents last year, 37 were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations……”
    Source:
    https://qz.com/1435885/data-shows-more-us-terror-attacks-by-right-wing-and-religious-extremists/

    • How many attacks by Islamic terrorists have there been since the attack in Pittsburgh? I count 4 – in just 4 days. Because it was only Muslims who were killed, the world pretty much ignores it.

      • Jack B Nimble says

        @mathstutorwirral

        The Quartz article, and my comment, referred to terrorist attacks on US soil, so citing attacks in the Middle East is irrelevant to the point being made. And ‘lone wolves’ by definition are not part of a larger terror group.

        When anti-Black or anti-Semitic attacks occur in the US, some right-wingers engage in an orgy of whataboutism by pointing to ongoing terrorist attacks in Latin America, the Middle East, etc. These attitudes mirror the Trump administration’s decision to end govt. programs to combat domestic terror from the right:

        Trump Shut Down Programs to Counter Violent Extremism

        Set aside the question of whether President Donald Trump’s rhetorical flirtations with white nationalism enabled Saturday’s mass shooting in Pittsburgh. What’s undeniable is that his administration has hobbled the infrastructure designed to prevent such murders.

        In the waning days of Barack Obama’s administration, the Homeland Security Department awarded a set of grants to organizations working to counter violent extremism, including among white supremacists. One of the grantees was Life After Hate, which The Hill has called “one of the only programs in the U.S. devoted to helping people leave neo-Nazi and other white supremacy groups.” Another grant went to researchers at the University of North Carolina who were helping young people develop media campaigns aimed at preventing their peers from embracing white supremacy and other violent ideologies. But soon after Trump took office, his administration canceled both of these grants. In its first budget, it requested no funding for any grants in this field.

        ….Although Trump has slashed funding for many domestic departments, he increased Department of Homeland Security spending by more than 7 percent in his first budget and another 4 percent in his second. The cuts stem instead from two biases. First, in keeping with their law-and-order mentality, Trump officials would rather empower the police to arrest suspected terrorists than work with local communities to prevent people from becoming terrorists in the first place, as the Office of Community Partnerships did. Second, they believe the primary terrorist threat to Americans is jihadism, not white supremacy.

        …..In 2017, the FBI concluded that white supremacists killed more Americans from 2000 to 2016 than “any other domestic extremist movement.” But Trump advisers have shrugged off these inconvenient facts. In an interview in 2017, White House Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka declared that there “has never been a serious attack or a serious plot [in the United States] that was unconnected from isis or al-Qaeda.” When critics cited the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Gorka responded, “It’s this constant ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ No, it isn’t.”

        https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/10/trump-shut-down-programs-counter-violent-extremism/152373/

        Gorka may have left the administration, but his attitude toward terrorism lingers on.

        • ga gamba says

          … referred to terrorist attacks on US soil, so citing attacks in the Middle East is irrelevant to the point being made.

          Sometimes a point can be so finely made that it’s absurd. Is Islamic terrorism a local phenomenon or a global one? If it’s global, and I’m certain it is, then limiting it to the local sphere is offered as a way to downplay it. You know where there’s no Islamic terrorism? Des Moines. And Korea. So, you Iowans and Koreans have nothing to worry about. You’ll have to wait until you experience it firsthand before you formulate policies and responses. The hell with an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, you know.

          The left loves to play these word games by controlling definitions to support their biases. You may recall about two years ago a white lad was kidnapped and tortured for two days by a group a blacks. During the ordeal his tormentors were recorded saying “Fuck Trump,” and “Fuck white people.” After their arrest the media asked whether or not they would be charged with a hate crime. “Fuck Trump” doesn’t qualify as a hate crime, but “Fuck white people” does as hate-crime law is written. Police and local authorities hemmed and hawed. Pundits opined; those of the left stated it wasn’t a hate crime because of prejudice + power. Ultimately they were charged with a hate crime against the disabled. The attackers didn’t target him because he was disabled. They didn’t say “Fuck the crippled.” That wasn’t their motivation. Yet, a hate crime against the disabled was declared and they were charged. Why was the most obvious evidence of a hate crime disregarded for the least? There was something else going on. Some people, influential ones, have it in their minds hate crimes are only perpetrated against certain communities.

          The public really ought to scrutinise how these studies are framed and their intent. Much like those that count terrorist acts in the US beginning on 12 Sep 2001, there’s a method to their deceit. What’s the pre-ordained outcome they want stooges like Jack to parrot later?

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @ga gamba

            When people resort to name calling, using words like ‘liars’ and ‘stooges,’ that’s usually a sign that they have lost the argument, or never had an argument in the first place.

            At Quillette, however, the usual rules don’t apply, so it is worth giving ga gamba’s gambit a little scrutiny.

            First, by up-playing the case from Chicago [https://nypost.com/2017/01/05/black-teens-face-charges-for-attack-on-special-needs-white-man/] and down-playing numerical evidence that white-supremacist violence in the US is increasing, ga gamba is signaling to his tribe that they should trust their gut feelings instead of hard data. Using a particularly shocking case of black-on-white violence as the center-piece of his argument helps to obscure the fact that ga gamba has no real argument to make, just a hyping of the feeling of some whites that they are now the real victims in western societies.

            Second ga gamba hints at vague conspiracies involving unnamed but influential people [‘….Some people, influential ones, have it in their minds hate crimes are only perpetrated against certain communities…..The public really ought to scrutinise how these studies are framed and their intent…’]. Yet the FBI was the agency that concluded that white supremacists are the most violent domestic terrorists for the last decade or so, and the FBI is hardly biased in favor of ‘The Left.’ Conspiracy-mongering is just another rhetorical smoke screen.

            Third, ga gamba ignores my main point, which is that the Trump administration made a political decision to de-fund DHS programs that addressed violent domestic white supremacist groups, against the evidence collected by his own administration, and re-directed the attention and funding to Islamist groups–which were already getting plenty of attention from the FBI, DHS, etc.

            The attitude of the Trump admin. is similar to the initial reaction to the recent pipe-bomber. Some on the right said that the attacks couldn’t be the work of a Trump supporter because ‘Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing.’ At this point in the discussion, logic and facts evaporate, leaving these denialists of right-wing violence [like Sebastian Gorka] to wallow in the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy.

        • Squigglybigly says

          For pity sakes man, try to see past your nose into what other explanations there are to the behavior of people you don’t like. Investigate all the possible reasons for their actions and see if you can possibly concede that your assumptions on the ‘why’ might be incorrect. Just because you can twists someone’s actions into fitting with what you believe goes on in their skull does not mean you are right.

        • America is not the only country in the world. Even if Americans think that what matters to everybody is what is happening in America.

          Muslims are suffering and Americans ignore their suffering.

          • Stephanie Greene says

            There is nothing Americans can do about Muslims suffering. Knocking down their dictators just makes for new dictators, and policing their streets is unsustainable and undesirable.

            Ultimately they’re suffering because suffering is the natural result of bad choices, fed by bad ideology. A belief system that treats women as commodities, religion as above criticism, and the individual as subordinate to a paternal authority is of course going to produce horrible societies.

            You can’t save people from themselves.

    • Lydia says

      I rarely agree with the terms “left/right”. I tend to think in terms of “totalitarians”. They may have different reasons but they all have the same goal. To control the rest of us. Therefore, which terror political identity group, for the purpose of moral equivalency arguments, carries out the most terror –is moot

    • Nicholas says

      @jack There are so many problems here. How can we infer a *rise* in right-wing attacks if all we see are percentages? It could easily be the case that both right and left attacks have fallen, but the ratio shifted. And the underlying data is a global set, so cherry-picking attacks on us soil seems arbitrary.

      Also, many of the groups comprising ‘right-wing’ are highly questionable. Anarchist (anti-government), and anti-globalist groups are more prominent on the left than right, while ‘conspiracy’ beliefs have no particular relationship to political ideology, though even limiting to *political* conspiracy theories exclusively, they are again far more prominent in left ideologies, particularly at the intersection of government and capitalism. It sounds like ‘right-wing’ here is a catch-all designed to produce the desired headline.

      • Jack B Nimble says

        @Nicholas

        That many people deny or minimize the occurrence of right-wing terror in the US is disturbing but perhaps not surprising. After all, many otherwise well-meaning people in the 1920s denied the importance, or even the existence, of the KKK.

        What is very worrisome is that this denialism is apparently shared by the President’s advisors and even the President himself.

        If you have an issue with possible biases in the data on right-wing terror attacks, take it up with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (“START”). They have been funded by the US State Dept. and the Dept. of Defense Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office to collect and analyze the data in question. Link: https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/

        You wanted to see raw counts, not percentages:

        “….The Global Terrorism Database, published yearly by the University of Maryland, counts cases where violence is used by non-state actors to achieve political, economic, religious, or social goals through fear and coercion. It includes ideologically motivated attacks like the Charleston church shooting, but not ones such as the Aurora movie theater massacre.

        The database classifies cases according to attackers’ affiliations (like “Ku Klux Klan”) or, when it can’t find a group, by its author’s identity (“white extremist” or “jihadi-inspired,” for example). Quartz analyzed each attack and classified them into right-leaning, left-leaning, or linked to Islamic extremists…..”

        Ideology…………..No. of Attacks in 2017
        Right-leaning………………….37
        Left-leaning……………………11
        Islamic extremists*…………….7
        Unknown………………………..10
        *Inspired by Jihad or in reaction to anti-Muslim sentiment

        Link: https://qz.com/1355874/terrorism-is-surging-in-the-us-fueled-by-right-wing-extremists/

        • curri says

          “After all, many otherwise well-meaning people in the 1920s denied the importance, or even the existence, of the KKK.”

          KKK was a huge, nationwide org in the 1920s (for the only time in history)- no one missed that and nobody denied its importance. It was not a centralized operation like the CPUSA, but the historical record shows it was mainly concerned about Catholic immigration and maintenance of what were deemed to be Protestant moral standards. See “alcohol prohibition.” Maybe hard to believe, but differences between Christian denominations were often taken seriously in those days.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @curri

            The KKK in the period 1915-1945 was organized at the national level and the state level, and may have been an early example of a multi-level-marketing scheme [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan#Organization] . Both the terrorism and the denialism were more characteristic of the KKK during Reconstruction and during the modern Civil Rights era. See, for example, EF Parsons [2011] Klan Skepticism and Denial in Reconstruction-Era Public Discourse. The Journal of Southern History Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 53-90.

            Still, the KKK in the 1920s and 1930s used cross burnings and mass marches as tactics of public intimidation, and they appealed to some of the same concerns [like immigration, Jewish influence, ‘immorality’ and imagined threats to Christianity and to national identity] that motivate modern reactionaries in the US.

        • Don Dunn says

          Interesting fact. In the 1920’s the KKK was very active in my home state of Nebraska. The target of the group was not racial at all; primary target were Catholics. While people change, the one unfortunate human instinct in many does not – need to be superior over some other group.

        • Area Man says

          The last time I looked up numbers concerning attacks attributed to white supremacists, hardly any of the violence was tied to white supremacy. For example, one incident was a drug deal gone wrong and another was a guy who shot his wife’s father. Hardly any were actually motivated by the variable by which they were described.

          It’s also worth noting that prison gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood, which appear to be white supremacist, are criminal rather than ideological groups that have more in common with the mafia than they do the KKK.

        • This study is bunk and a thinly disguised propaganda piece. I have seen it mentioned several places and gullible leftists are sighting it with abandon. It is not worth going into details over, but it is worth calling it out for the academic trash it represents – propaganda for the uninformed and ignorant.

    • Stephanie Greene says

      I’ve got a hunch they chose the definition of right wing extremism to inflate the numbers as much as possible. Racism, anti-Semitism, anti-globalism, conspiracies, ect are common in the left. If the categorisation is as crude as you put it, those numbers are virtually meaningless.

  4. You left out a group:

    Nazi Germany, especially after 1941, was a multicultural place where different peoples of different nationalities, whether Jewish, Pole, Slav, Italian, labored together in a diverse work force. What was the Third Reich in 1941 if not a world without national borders built on immigrant labor? Not to mention that the Third Reich had the highest rate of female labor force participation of all the nations in WWII. [German men were too busy engaging in a cultural exchange with the Russians outside of Leningrad to contribute to the economy.] Through effective sensitivity policing of badthought, these workers got along with each other swimmingly, with zero tolerance for microaggressions. If only corporate HR could learn some lessons from the Gestapo!

    While Nazi Germany in 1941 did not represent a truly global economic zone, the military successes of the Reich integrated the whole of continental Europe into one happy economic production zone, and had Adolph won the war, a global integration of the world economy would have no doubt followed.

    The Nazi’s were also hip to the problem of Caucasian privilege, and recognized the need to end the privilege of certain nationalities (achieved by what we call “structural racism” but they called the “Judeo-Bolshevik” power). Since Germans had historically been screwed over the most, and Jews had benefited the most, at least according to the them,the Nazi’s in true intersectional fashion set up a new racial hierarchy to counteract centuries of oppressive racial privilege. [As a historical aside, is it not interesting that the people seeking racial justice just always happen to be the one who benefit the most from said justice?] While Nazi intersectionality/social justice is no doubt crude in comparison to modern social justice, a careful study of many of the tropes that informed Nazi ideology can be found (if retooled and focused in a different direction) in modern critical race theories. [. . .as has been demonstrated by the publication of the feminist version of Mein Kampf.]

    In this respect, the true inheritors of the Nazi’s would be . . .

    • Lee Floyd says

      Excellent. And not enough people substitute groupings (I.e. ‘women’ for ‘men’) and then ask.themsrlves “I what I just wrote/ said really acceptable?”

  5. “The essence of Nazism came to be that the moral worth of a human is encoded in his or her blood according to the hierarchy of race.”

    This can’t be emphasized enough because it wasn’t unique to the Nazis before or since.

    They in fact were deeply impressed by the American eugenists and Confederacy, who were themselves influenced by longstanding European social Darwinists.

    • kamakirinoko says

      Apparently, Hitler was an early big fan of American cowboy mythology—the whole “cavalry coming over the hill” and “Red Indians” kind of stuff. I wasn’t aware of his admiration of the Confederacy, but if its implicit pro-slavery agenda was a factor, then no doubt Adolf (umm, not “Adolph,” please) would have been there in a trice.

      He had an awful long time to stew there, in his soup-kitchen days.

      Considering Hitler almost singlehandedly wrote the bible of Naziism (with much of the Norse God-stuff plugged in by Himmler), knowing what was in his mind in those early years would be an immense aid to understanding what made German National Socialist Workerism tick.

      I highly recommend the biography by John Toland.

      • The first “national socialist” movement emerged in early 20th Century France, and consisted of Frenchmen dressing up like American cowboys and beating up Jews.

        Hitler’s Lebenstraum idea was for Germany to do to Eastern Europe what America did to the Indians in North America. The ultimate goal was for Germany to ape America and control Eurasia the way the US controlled the Western Hemisphere.

        That the late Third Reich was based on immigrant labor performed under guest worker programs or conscripts from concentration camps did not resemble FDR’s America, but it does seem a precursor to the globalist view. Of course, the Third Reich used “methods of persuasion” that liberal democratic regimes would not employ, so I don’t want to overstate the similarities.

        But in many ways, modern America would probably be what the Third Reich, had it accomplished its vision, would look like, except everyone would speak German and there would not be any Jews. Not traditionalist, “xenophobic” or probably very nationalistic at all once it got busy trying to manage an international empire.

        • In many ways, Hitler may have recognized that the global superstate was coming, the real battle was to make sure the Germans ended up on top of it–a task for which he lacked adequate resources or man power. Now that history has ended, and Germany defeated, how do we go forward? China is the only place left that promises some sport, and then only if their banks don’t blow up.

  6. Also important to note that the Nazis embraced a theory of peasantry racially bound to the land and other “Teutonic mysticism” crackpot theories, and were actually socialists in the broader economic sense of the term.

    “Nazi” is a fairly specific term that people use when they mean “fascist” or “racist” instead. Not all fascists are Nazis, nor are all racists Nazis. But Nazis are, by definition, both fascist and racist.

  7. Forgot to add: everyone reads Shirer for the history of the Third Reich, but if you really want to know how the Nazis came to and held power, Richard J. Evans’ “Third Reich Trilogy” cannot be beat.

  8. Errol from Durban says

    A friend of mine owned a set of a series called ‘Hitlers Third Reich’, magazines and videos. I had a good look at them and eventually got the impression I was not looking at just a historical document but also one of an “Instruction Manual’. It essentially explains how Hitler did and how others can also do it.

    I sometimes wonder just what influence it has as our world grows closer and global unification becomes a reality, not just an idea to dream about.

  9. So Trump wants immigrants to be assimilated into America – to become American, to live the American dream, to be proud of America, to value American history and American ideals.

    No wonder the Left hate him.

  10. I’ve noticed quite a lot of people whom the author might call neo-Nazis or faux Nazis, who in general may be relatively well-balanced, inoffensive people, but who are strongly repulsed by what is vulgarly known as Progressivism, cultural Marxism, secular liberal globalism, the New World Order, etc. They become reactionary to the extent of wanting to be as different from the PC crowd as possible, and find themselves reading authors like Evola and Guenon, favoring nationalism and traditionalism, perceiving prominent roles played by Jews in the aforementioned cultural Marxism, swapping “edgy” fascistic or antisemitic memes on social media, and so forth. In a way it seems to be an organic result similar to what occurred in Weimar Germany, with a relatively incompetent and ineffective moderate government losing control, the society declining into what is perceived by many as decadence and depravity, and the people polarizing into hard leftists and more or less fascistic reactionaries, with possibly a similar struggle for control of the society in the works.

    • Area Man says

      That’s what many seem to miss when asking, “How did so many people come to support Hitler?” When the moderates in power have demonstrated their incompetence and you’re forced to choose between Soviet-funded communists on one side and a strong nationalist on the other, most people had a lot more to lose if Germany were folded into the Soviet Union.

  11. Has anyone noticed that the fringes of both left and right are sounding similar? To wit: Louis Farrakhan and Robert Bowers both refer to Jews as children of Satan and infestations? This last eerily recalls the term “cockroaches” used to refer to the Tutsis in Rwanda.

    For a careful analysis of the Nazis’ rise to power see the recent “The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic” by Benjamin Carter Hett.

    • Lydia says

      “Has anyone noticed that the fringes of both left and right are sounding similar? ”

      Yes. They are more alike than different. They are both totalitarian.

    • Trouble is that although the definition of the extreme left as Communism is not particularly controversial, there appears to be nothing resembling universal agreement on what the extreme right would be. Some would say anarchy and the absolute sovereignty of the individual; others would say something along the lines of medieval feudalism; others would say other things.

  12. Thank you, Jonathan Kay, for this very important essay and also for your excellent piece published on October 28th.

    In this Nazi taxonomy, where would you place those who accuse Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians and therefore of acting like Nazis?

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @True Wolff

      In this Nazi taxonomy, where would you place those who accuse Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians and therefore of acting like Nazis?

      A thought-provoking quagmire question, to be sure. Sadly, the prevarication of contemporary discourse rarely allows for comparative, rhetorical mechanisms of this sort (read, provocative by their very nature). Distasteful questions will often give reprieve, or respite, to an overly-reductive narrative. Full marks, Sir.

  13. Garnet says

    According to a report just released: Muslims were responsible for 84 percent of terrorist deaths in 2017, a decrease from previous years. The other deaths were caused by various political groups, not religious groups.

    Here’s the report: https://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/HJS-Terrorism-in-the-West-Report-Preview.pdf

    So, the bad news: Islam continues to be, by far, the biggest and most murderous threat to the world.

    The good news: It seems to be killing less than before.

  14. Rob Gomez says

    Fascinating article but it would have been nice if you provided some specifics when libeling Faith Goldy. The reason I use the term “libel” is due to the accusation without proof or justification. A small quibble on an otherwise excellent article.

    • Farmer Brown says

      Yes, I thought that was uncalled for. I’ve watched some of her stuff, and you seem to insinuate that she’s trotting around with Nazi paraphenalia and “pledges or dimly understood non sequiturs culled from Nazi sources”, which I must have missed…

  15. “While the Nazi apologist usually will not defend the Holocaust or the other defining horrors inflicted by the Nazis, he may seek to cast the Nazis as a lesser evil when compared to the scourge of communism”

    So, when you say “NAZI apologist”, you mean normal person?

    • “History is full of genocidal slaughter. In ancient times, it was seen as perfectly normal for invading armies to annihilate whole towns and cities. But the Nazi regime was the first to use industrial methods and modern propaganda techniques to expand this ancient evil into something resembling a factory assembly line on a large scale. It is this combination of ancient barbarism and modern methods that has made Nazism the most despised ideology known to the modern political lexicon.”

      Ah, I see. We are going to do this thing where we just say that the NAZI genocide was worse than Communists genocides because it was mechanical, or something.

      Anyone is free to believe that NAZI regime was worse than the various Communists regimes if they choose to. Ive certainly heard the argument than an industrial-esque genocide is worse than watching yourself and your family starve to death because you had the audacity to own a farm. However, looking at the USSRs earlier genocide and their larger death toll and concluding that they were worse than the NAZI regime does not make one a NAZI apologist.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @roundedpeaks

      So, when you say ‘NAZI apologist’, you mean normal person?

      I couldn’t help but chuckle at your comment, seeing as how I had thought the same thing. That said, in the interest of charity, I’m willing to give Kay a mulligan for what (I hope) was a minor misstep on his part. No one bats a 1000%.

  16. always skeptical says

    I’m reminded of that comic of two Roman soldiers standing in formation, one saying “This decimation stuff isn’t that bad!”.

    A lot of people being decried as Nazis these days barely seem notable or to be behaving worse than merely oafish. As a result, it wouldn’t be difficult for the naive to start wondering if the Nazis, too, weren’t really that bad.

  17. It’s better to not constantly use the word “pseudoscience”. We now know that, in the broadest sense, the racial hierarchies of the Nazi’s roughly match what we’ve found with modern science (they were basically the same racial hierarchies as everyone believed back then, and certainly wouldn’t have been news to say Winston Churchill). Just go look at IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Maybe this or that choice can be moved around, but the jist of it all is basically intact. Racial attitudes were not the big thing separating the Nazis from either their enemies or even basic facts.

    The two big misses were Jews and Asians. With Asians it doesn’t really seem like Hitler had anything resembling strong opinions and had no problem allying with the Japs (not much of an alliance really). It’s understandable someone wouldn’t have a strong opinion on something halfway around the world.

    On Jews its hard to say. Some Nazi’s said they were dumb, some said they were smart but used their smarts for evil. So we now know Jews have the highest IQ, but it’s unclear if this is necessarily a contradiction with Nazi racial attitudes or not (which seem to have been all over the place on Jews).

    The Nazis did seem to think Jews were a disloyal middle man minority that couldn’t form a state. Of course modern Israel disproves this. Still, modern Israel is a right wing explicit ethno-state that does lots of things that people call Nazi-istic. So maybe they were wrong about Jews not being able to form a state but right about them putting their interests above a broader society they are embedded in (which would make them like every group ever, just with the IQ and power to push their weight around). That doesn’t make Auschwitz a proportional or even useful response to the issue of ethnic nepotism. Jew hatred wasn’t good for the German people.

    What made the Nazi’s our enemies is that they had different interests then we did and wanted to take everyone over. I don’t want to get taken over. You don’t want to get taken over. So we fought. That’s good enough. Any review of the Nazi’s would have shown that life under them would have sucked, so I’m glad they lost.

    • ASDF – “What made the Nazi’s our enemies is that they had different interests then we did and wanted to take everyone over. I don’t want to get taken over. You don’t want to get taken over. So we fought. That’s good enough. Any review of the Nazi’s would have shown that life under them would have sucked, so I’m glad they lost.”

      Nice. I like your writing style and thought process.

    • Its more accurate to use the term “sciency woo” to describe the modern alchemy of IQ to establish a hierarchy of peoples.
      Racial IQ is just the poor man’s aristocracy- “I’m special because I have pink skin”.

  18. Howard Owen says

    It seems that some of those who are quick to hurl the “Nazi” accusation on social media are prone to exhibiting behavior that could be construed as fascistic. Pointing this out only ratchets up the vitriol and bends the needles of analog irony meters.

  19. Coolius Caesar says

    Perhaps we should start having fun with the Left whenever they call someone “nazi”. When communism gets criticized or the massive (massive) death tolls get brought it’s not uncommon for people to say “well, that wasn’t real communism” or “real communism hasn’t been tried” (seriously, i’m part of a history alumni group and actual historians have said as such to me). Perhaps, when people get called “nazi” by the Left we should retort with our own “well that wasn’t real Nazism” and “real nazism hasn’t been tried”

    • Elwood Wulf says

      To defeat an enemy, one must know them. And that includes identifying the positive, however small. This has diplomatic utility should you ever be required to negotiate your way out of a corner. The greatest benefit to doing so is you have the opportunity to flip your enemy rather than destroy them. A flipped nazi is more valuable than 100 “anti fascist” soldiers. Because the former insider knows the inner workings. And if Stun Tzu is correct, each soldier costs 7 farmer families worth of resources. So the potential gain for victory achieved through restraint is huge. Some of the best allied spies wore nazi uniforms and were trusted by the enemy. This is how the deception and victory at D-Day was achieved.

      Geopolitically, Churchill pit two villains against each other. Criticism against Stalin was muted for strategic reasons—Stalin was an ally. Wehrmacht general staff like Gehlen (who were not ideological nazis) understood the threat Stalin represented to Europe. Gehlen prepared to join the allied effort to protect Europe from communist aggression long before the end of the war. He knew of the plot against Hitler and did not report it. (He says most of the general staff knew.) In an intelligence report summarizing intercepted letters between Russian soldiers and their mothers Gehlen challenged Hitler’s beliefs with this analysis, “whoever wrote this, it’s clear they are *not* sub-human.”

      It does not diminish the tragedy of the holocaust to recognize other events. I have heard a holocaust survivor speak kindly about a concentration camp guard who secretly gave him food which kept him alive. I was deeply honoured to hug this man who has since passed away. I will always remember his story. A neighbour who risked her life to serve in the underground press during the war told us of when she realized she felt empathy for the dejected german soldier boy of low rank left behind for christmas in her town while the others returned to their families. That realization made her weep at the time. It was a relief to her that she was not overcome with hate. To ascribe anti-semitic motives to anyone making these kinds of points is not judicious. Someone pointing out lesser known facts may be a nazi apologist—but not everyone who does so is.

    • JWatts says

      “well, that wasn’t real communism” or “real communism hasn’t been tried” ”

      That’s stupid.

      “Perhaps, when people get called “nazi” by the Left we should retort with our own “well that wasn’t real Nazism” and “real nazism hasn’t been tried””

      That’s just doubling down on stupid.

    • Leon Mintz says

      “Real communism hasn’t been tried.”
      That reminds me an old joke. One wise man decided to train a horse to live without food. He successfully trained her for many days. Then, regretfully, the horse died and he couldn’t finish his training.
      The same is with communism. Every country where the first stage of communism – socialism had been tried collapsed before “real communism” could be achieved.

  20. Ernesto Excellio says

    After spending 6 hours in a Tea Party commune in 2010 and 4 hours in an Occupy Wall Street encampment in Boston in 2011, I can tell you one absolute truth.

    The Tea Party and OWS crews were both fundamentally Independent Nationalist Populists. The OWS crowd had a Socialist wrapper around it while the Tea Party stuck with Capitalism as their core ideology.

    When Sanders and Trump both rose to prominence during the 2016 primaries (both hijacking their party’s nomination process), it became apparent that the only winner out of 2016 was going to be Populism and Nationalism.

    And…this has not subsided. The Populist movements on both the left and right continue to fan the flames and the media is very focused on driving ratings by tossing additional gas on the fire whenever possible.

    What those folks I spent time with in 2010 and 2011 failed to realize is that they represented close to 20% of the far right of the spectrum and 20% of the far left of the spectrum.

    Neither was bright enough to recognize that the politician spectrum is not linear. It circles back on itself meaning a guy like Senator Paul Wellstone could be ideological best buddies with Jesse Helms and seriously…how much difference was their ideologically between Lenin and Stalin?

    If they could close ranks and get behind that which united them instead of focusing on those things that divided them, they could own 40% of the vote..with the 2 traditional parties sitting at 30% each.

    The next President after Trump is going to have to figure out how to be Populist and Nationalist without showing themselves to be a Capitalist or a Socialist…or being such a great con man that he can convince both sides he’s doing their bidding.

    We’ll see.

    • It’s neither linear nor a circle, and anyone who thinks so is not at all bright. The two axis chart is a good start, but there are still other factors at play.

      You are correct that there’s a huge middle ground that only disagrees because the media tells them they do, without critically thinking about the message.

    • Lydia says

      Believing in ” legal” immigration is not nationalistic or populist. It’s wise and our law.

  21. Ernesto Excellio says

    I should add…right now the only person who can fit that bill is Howard Schultz, IMHO. A capitalist with a Servant Leadership style of management.

    • Lydia says

      In my view, the small business guy is the real capitalist with the real risk that goes with it. There is a wide chasm between capitalism and crony capitalism. It’s a mistake to lump them together. Zucketberg and Dorsey are now totalitarian.

  22. I don’t see how it’s at all pro-Nazi to recognize the fact that the Stalinists and Maoists were even worse, and on a per capita basis, so was Pot.

    If I say being decapitated is worse than having your throat cut, it doesn’t mean I’m pro throat-cutting.

  23. Jezza says

    I agree with the proposition that muslims are the outstanding terrorist threat globally. Count the bodies: thirty thousand murders by muslim thugs in the past twenty years, a hundred thousand injured in fifty-two countries around the world, all recorded on the internet. Many muslims eschew jihad, but how can an outsider tell the benign from the belligerati?

  24. OldFan says

    Ridiculous:
    1) All deployed Wehrmacht armor was vulnerable to the 2.9″ Bazooka
    2) There are exactly 3 incidents of actual fights between Tiger tanks and US armor in France [not surprising, as there were less than 100 in the field at any time in the western theater at any given time]
    3) Very little was made of the distinction between the Waffen SS and the regular Werhmacht during the war, as shown in Patton’s memoirs

    • JWatts says

      “1) All deployed Wehrmacht armor was vulnerable to the 2.9″ Bazooka”

      The 2.63″ M6A3 wasn’t out till late 1943. And it could penetrate a Panzer IV from the front, but it wasn’t anything like a guaranteed kill. The previous models weren’t very reliable.

      “A US general visiting the Tunisian front in 1943 after the close of combat operations could not find any soldiers who could report that the weapon had actually stopped an enemy tank.[19] Further issue of the bazooka was suspended in May 1943.”

  25. “(This would include U.S. President Donald Trump, who often speaks phobic, untrue and hateful things about Muslims and Mexican immigrants.)”

    Often? I really enjoyed the article but I get really sick of these gratuitous slams against the president that appear just a little… too… often.

  26. Leon Mintz says

    Great article, Jonathan Kay, cannot disagree with anything.
    But, as True Wolff noticed, one thing is missing. What you make of the genocidal anti-Semites who call themselves anti-Zionists?

    These people demonize Jews as much as Hitler and Nazis did. Their goal is destruction of Israel and genocide of 6 million Jews there. The same people who scream on Israel “Jews go back to Poland” are attacking Jews everywhere.

    There are more of these genocidal anti-Semites that neo-Nazis. They publish editorials in our press. They are teaching in our schools. They are attacking Jews on college campuses.
    https://www.camera.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Monograph-Spring-2017.pdf
    https://www.faithwire.com/2018/06/29/parents-outraged-as-massachusetts-school-pushes-anti-semitic-policy/
    (I was one of seventy people mentioned in this article).

  27. johno says

    What is also important to remember is that the Nazis kept their worst excesses hidden from the German public. At the Wannsee conference, architect Heydrich outlined the need to keep the mass murder hidden from the German public, and the Wehrmacht in general, lest an internal revolution be touched off.

    This is also why the death camps were staffed by the very politically indoctrinated SS, and not the Wehrmacht…. SS soldiers would keep their mouth shut, and accept that this action was politically necessary.

    The average German soldier, like the average German citizen, would not accept this as civilized behavior. Many of them suspected something was going on with the deportations, but with the Gestapo snatching anyone who voiced dissent, such suspicion was never followed up, in the name of self preservation.

    And, at that time, most people simply couldn’t believe that any government could do something like that. Eisenhower, in his infinite wisdom, ordered that as many US soldiers as possible should tour the death camps, to insure that this couldn’t be dismissed as a fabrication later.

    Why is it important to understand this? Because it can happen again. The mass murder in Germany was not the result of collective evil of the German people, it was the result of a few Nazis in high positions, with the means to implement it and keep it relatively hidden from the public. Extremists in control of a government are quite capable of perpetrating great evil, and hiding it from the general public.

    Don’t think this can’t happen again, because we’re ‘not evil’. You don’t have to be evil, just the people in power in your government. All they need is the means and the will, and it can happen again.

    In fact, it has happened again. Since WW2, several organized mass murders/genocides have happened: Uganda, Rwanda, Cambodia, the Balkans come to mind.

    Real Nazis are not extinct. They just have a different national identity, location, and political outlook. The essential ingredient: blind adherence to a political view without judgment or reservation by a cadre of followers, is present in all of those mass murders.

  28. Chris P says

    The phrase Nazi was an phonic concoction by non-Germans where the German phrasing National Socialist sounds a bit like Nazi.

    Yes, the Germans were bad. Nazism was a ideology whereby Hitler was everything.

    Germans were and are more communal and the Party structure focused on neighborhoods and up with specific party ranks. The children were indoctrinated into Hitler Youth and a female oriented organization (BDM?). In fact the word Zeitgeist is completely misunderstood in America. Zeitgeist is a communal intelligence or being shared by a community (like a entity with it’s own thoughts). The fact is Germans were knitted into a mass hysteria after a disastrous Treaty of Versailles where Germany took complete responsibility for the War and charged with very heavy reparations pushed for by the French. Unfortunately this treaty caused further severe deprevation and hardship. Do not even mention the feeling of being let down by America ad President Wilson, and the idea Germany never lost the War. Germany beat Russia and fought to a stalemate in the West.

    Out of this mess, arose a mastermind, Adolf Hitler. He’s been called an Austrian, a corporal, and just ignorant and not intelligent. Austria is full of Germans just as Germany is. A corporal is a NCO.

    France was not perfect during the Napoleonic Wars, and the Soviets were as bad as Germany to their entire population (ask the Cossacks and the Armenians). Throughout history genocide has been as common as war.

    Now I understand the holocaust was terrible but the German’s also executed intellectuals, gypsies, slavs, problem-people, and people deemed fit to be human whether physical or mental.

    OK, the holocaust happened…..but I’m tired of hearing about it whenever Judaism comes up. Soon most people directly affected will have passed away peacefully.

    We need to start to place the Holocaust in perspective of history. It happened, it was barbaric, and it was evil.

    I would ask Israel to tone down on the bombastic rhetoric and for all of us to begin to live together and forget the differences and embrace the sameness.

    The word Nazi is becoming nonsense because of it’s use, I agree. But for those of us who understand history, there are some mighty strong parallels.

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