Posts Tagged ‘Nazi’


The Twisted Ideology That Appeals to Jihadists and Neo-Nazis Alike
A loose network of Third Position adherents extends across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

Photo Credit: Everett Historical / Shutterstock

In the last few years of the 20th Century a new form of fascism emerged in a period of resurgent neofascism. Called the Third Position, it seeks to overthrow existing governments and replace them with monocultural nation states built around the idea of supremacist racial nationalism and/or supremacist religious nationalism. Third Position neofascists have organized in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, and they maintain some kind of loose network, at least for the purposes of discussing their shared ideas and agenda, but in some cases involving meetings and even funding.

For instance, Libyan president of Mu’ammar Qadhafi sponsored several international conferences in Libya promoting his special variation of racial nationalism and cultivating ideas congruent with Third Position ideology. Qadhafi also offered funds to racial nationalist groups active in the U.S. and Canada.1) During the Gulf War, according to the Searchlight magazine, “Neo-nazis is several European countries have been queuing up to shoulder arms for Saddam Hussein’s murderous Iraqi Regime.”2) One organizer for this attempted neonazi brigade, claimed he had over 500 volunteers from “several countries, including Germany, the USA, the Netherlands, Austria and France.”3) Revealing the Third Position motif, a racial nationalist journal, Nation und Europa, promoted the slogans “Arabia for the Arabs,” and “the whole of Germany for the Germans.”4) In Britain, some neofascists praised the regimes in Libya and Iran as allies in the fight against communism, capitalism, and Israel.5)

The Third Position has a more intellectual aristocratic ally called the European New Right (Nouvelle Droit ) which is different from the U.S. New Right.6) Intellectual leaders of the European New Right, such as Alain de Benoist, are hailed as profound thinkers in U.S. reactionary publications such as the Rockford Institute’s Chronicles. The more overtly neo-Nazi segment of the Third Position has intellectual links to the Strasserite wing of German national socialism, and is critical of Hitler’s brand of Nazism for having betrayed the working class. See magazines such as Scorpion or Third Way published in England. Third Position groups believe in a racially-homogeneous decentralized tribal form of nationalism, and claim to have evolved an ideology “beyond communism and capitalism.”

White supremacist leader Tom Metzger promotes Third Position politics in his newspaper WAR which stands for White Aryan Resistance. In Europe, the Third Position defines its racial-nationalist theories in publications such as Third Way and The Scorpion. Third Position adherents actively seek to recruit from the left. One such group is the American Front in Portland, Oregon, which ran a phone hotline that in late November, 1991 featured an attack on critics of left/right coalitions. Some Third Position themes have surfaced in the ecology movement and other movements championed by progressives.7)

The convergence among racial nationalists in North America and Western and Eastern Europe is discussed at length in Jeffrey Kaplan and Tore Bjørgo, eds., Nation and Race, and Jeffrey Kaplan and Leonard Weinberg, The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right.8)  There is a theoretical discussion of the European Third Position and racially separate nation-states by Robert Antonio in “After Postmodernism: Reactionary Tribalism.9) The anti-U.S. aspect of the Third Position is examined in “´Neither Left Nor Right´” in the Southern Poverty Law Center magazine, Intelligence Report.10)

I argue elsewhere that a good case can be made that the religious ideology of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban is a form of clerical fascism or some close hybrid. It certainly is a form of religious nationalism. This could help explain the potential for links between Islamic religious supremacists and U.S. White racial supremacists. The White racial supremacists we are discussing are part of the U.S. Extreme Right, not the Patriot or armed militia movements or the Christian Right. This is purely a speculative exercise, however, based on ideological affinities. A similar argument that places the Islamic supremacists in the context of apocalyptic revolutionary millenarianism makes the same point, since most U.S. neofascists can be placed in the same category. See: The ‘Religion’ of Usamah bin Ladin: Terror As the Hand of God, by Jean E. Rosenfeld, Ph.D., UCLA Center for the Study of Religion.

In Right-Wing Populism in America, Matthew N. Lyons and I discussed the Third Position:

To varying degrees, some neofascists also shifted away from traditional fascism’s highly centralized approach to political power and toward plans to fragment and subdivide political authority. Many neonazis called for creation of an independent White homeland in the Pacific Northwest, based on the ethnic partitioning of the United States. Posse Comitatus, mostly active in rural areas, repudiated all government authority above the county level. And in the 1990s neonazi leader Louis Beam promoted the influential doctrine of “leaderless resistance.” While such decentralist policies may seem incompatible with full-blown fascism, we see them partly as defensive adaptations and partly as expressions of a new social totalitarianism. Industrial-era totalitarianism relied on the nation-state; in the era of out­sourcing, deregulation, and global mobility, social totalitarianism looked to local authorities, private bodies (such as churches), and direct mass activism to enforce repressive control.

In the 1970s and 1980s these efforts to reinterpret fascism were not confined to the United States, but took place among neofascists in many industrialized capitalist countries. European, Canadian, and South African neofascists, too, at times advanced the doctrine known as the Third Position, strengthened internationalist ties, used coded racial appeals, advocated ethnic separatism and the breakup of nation-states, and practiced solidarity with right-wing nationalists of color.11)

The Third Position—which rejects both capitalism and communism—traces its roots to the most “radical” anticapitalist wing of Hitler’s Nazi Party. In the 1970s and 1980s, neonazis in several European countries advocated the Third Position.12) Its leading proponent in the United States was White Aryan Resistance, headed by former California Klan leader Tom Metzger. Metzger, who was a Democratic candidate for Congress in 1980, expounded his philosophy at the 1987 Aryan Nations Congress:

WAR is dedicated to the White working people, the farmers, the White poor. . . . This is a working class movement. . . . Our problem is with monopoly capitalism. The Jews first went with Capitalism and then created their Marxist game. You go for the throat of the Capitalist. You must go for the throat of the corporates. You take the game away from the left. It’s our game! We’re not going to fight your whore wars no more! We’ve got one war, that is right here, the same war the SA fought in Germany, right here; in the streets of America.13)

Tom Metzger’s organization vividly illustrates fascism’s tendency to appropriate elements of leftist politics in some sort of distorted form. Again, from Right-Wing Populism in America:

WAR supported “white working-class” militancy such as the lengthy “P-9” labor union strike against Hormel in Minnesota, stressed environmentalism, and opposed U.S. military intervention in Central America and the Persian Gulf. The Aryan Women’s League, affiliated with WAR, claimed that Jews invented male supremacy and called for “Women’s Power as well as White Power.”14) Metzger’s television program, “Race and Reason,” was broadcast on cable TV in dozens of cities and aided cooperation among White supremacist groups. Through its Aryan Youth Movement wing, WAR was particularly successful in the 1980s in recruiting racist skinheads, who include thousands of young people clustered in scores of violent pro-Nazi formations. (Not all skinheads are racist and there are antiracist and antifascist skinhead groups.) Metzger and WAR’s position in the neonazi movement was weakened in October 1990 when they were fined $12.5 million in a civil suit for inciting three Portland skinheads who murdered Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw.15)

Out of the stew of the Third Position, and the European New Right theories of intellectuals such as Alain de Benoist, came a new version of White Nationalism that championed racially separate nation-states.16) In the United States this filtered down to White supremacists, who began to call themselves White Separatists.17) Dobratz and Shanks-Meile believe that “most, if not all, whites in this movement feel they are superior to blacks.”18) Instead of segregation, however, White Separatism called for “geographic separation of the world’s races” and in the United States this prompted calls for an Aryan Homeland in the Pacific Northwest.19)

[Excerpts are from: Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, Chapter 13, pp. 265-286.]

Connections between Canadian Extreme Right racial nationalists and Libya have been reported by author Warren Kinsella.

“The Libyan government of Mu’ammar Qadhafi had been funding [Canadian nationalist Party Leader Don] Andrew’s group since at least April 1987, when a number of his members traveled to Tripoli for a “peace conference” to commemorate a U.S. bombing raid. Qadhafi liked the white supremacists because, like him, they believed in separate racial states and they despised Jews.”20)

“Andrews worked closely with Wolfgang Droege, a leader of the Canadian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan who visited the U.S. to meet with members of the extreme right including David Duke.21)  Droege was arrested in Louisiana in 1981 with nine other extreme right activists in a plot to overthrow the government of the island of Dominica and establish a White homeland.22)

“In September 1989, at Andrew’s suggestion, Droege traveled to Libya with a group of 17 [Canadian] Nationalist Party members.”23)

Many U.S. White supremacists also practice a racial nationalist religion called Christian Identity. There is clearly a fluidity between political and religious ideologies based on ethnonationalist desires. Since the idea is to smash all current nations and redivide the world into separate nation states based on race or religion, there is a shared goal.

Chip Berlet is an investigative journalist and independent scholar with over 40 years’ experience in study right-wing ideologies and strategic frames. His website is http://www.researchforprogress.org.

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Conspiracism

It is very effective to mobilize mass support against a scapegoated enemy by claiming that the enemy is part of a vast insidious conspiracy against the common good. The conspiracist worldview sees secret plots by tiny cabals of evildoers as the major motor powering important historical events; makes irrational leaps of logic in analyzing factual evidence in order to “prove” connections, blames social conflicts on demonized scapegoats, and constructs a closed metaphysical worldview that is highly resistant to criticism.~1

When conspiracist scapegoating occurs, the results can devastate a society, disrupting rational political discourse and creating targets who are harassed and even murdered. Dismissing the conspiracism often found in right-wing populism as irrational extremism, lunatic hysteria, or marginalized radicalism does little to challenge these movements, fails to deal with concrete conflicts and underlying institutional issues, invites government repression, and sacrifices the early targets of the scapegoaters on the altar of denial. An effective response requires a more complex analysis.

The Dynamics of Conspiracism

The dynamic of conspiracist scapegoating is remarkably predictable. Persons who claim special knowledge of a plot warn their fellow citizens about a treacherous subversive conspiracy to attack the common good. What’s more, the conspiracists announce, the plans are nearing completion, so that swift and decisive action is needed to foil the sinister plot. In different historical periods, the names of the scapegoated villains change, but the essentials of this conspiracist worldview remain the same.~2

George Johnson explained that “conspiratorial fantasies are not simply an expression of inchoate fear. There is a shape, an architecture, to the paranoia.” Johnson came up with five rules common to the conspiracist worldview in the United States:~3

“The conspirators are internationalist in their sympathies.

“[N]othing is ever discarded. Right-wing mail order bookstores still sell the Protocols of the Elders of Zion…[and] Proofs of a Conspiracy [from the late 1700’s].

“Seeming enemies are actually secret friends. Through the lens of the conspiracy theorists, capitalists and Communists work hand in hand.

“The takeover by the international godless government will be ignited by the collapse of the economic system.

“It’s all spelled out in the Bible. For those with a fundamentalist bent, the New World Order or One World Government is none other than the international kingdom of the Antichrist, described in the Book of Revelation.

Conspiracism can occur as a characteristic of mass movements, between sectors in an intra-elite power struggle, or as a justification for state agencies to engage in repressive actions. Conspiracist scapegoating is woven deeply into US culture and the process appears not just on the political right but in center and left constituencies as well.~4 There is an entrenched network of conspiracy-mongering information outlets spreading dubious stories about public and private figures and institutions. They use media such as printed matter, the internet, fax trees, radio programs, videotapes and audiotapes.~5


 

If you want to jump out of this article, try these related pages:

The Conspiracism Collection:

The Sucker Punch Collection


The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-Gall

The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-Gall

A popular belief is that Nazism was the polar opposite of Christianity: in Germany, the Nazis planned to eliminate Christian churches while devout Christians opposed the Nazi agenda. Is this perception accurate? No. Some Nazis were anti-Christian and some Christians were anti-Nazi, but the majority were equally at home in both camps.

Book Review

Traditional evaluation of Christian complicity in the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes focuses on the degree to which Christians allowed themselves to be used for Nazi purposes, but this presupposes a distinction between Nazis and Christians which did not entirely exist. Many Christians actively supported the Nazi agenda. Many Nazis were not only devout Christians, but also believed that Nazi philosophy was animated by Christian doctrine.

The Christianity promoted by the Nazis was labeled “positive Christianity,” a perspective that focused on the relationship between Christian promises of salvation and the German Volk as a special race of people. Point 24 of the NSDAP Party Program, created in 1920 and never rescinded, reads:

“We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without owing itself to a particular confession. It fights the spirit of Jewish materialism within us and without us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our Volk can only take place from within, on the basis of the principle: public need comes before private greed.”How is all of this possible? How can the reality of the relationship between Nazism and Christianity be so far removed from popular perception? The truth about all this is detailed in Richard Steigmann-Gall’s book The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945.

Christians avert their faces from the true relationship between their religion and Nazism in part because the truth is difficult to bear, but also in part because they simply don’t understand what Christianity was like in Germany at the time.

“Positive Christians may have said little or nothing about the Augsburg Confession or other signifiers of theological orthodoxy, but they nonetheless regarded Christian social theories — “practical Christianity” as it was also known — as a linchpin of their worldview. Although generally unconcerned with dogma, many of these Nazis nonetheless adhered to basic precepts of Christian doctrine — most importantly the divinity of Christ as the son of God. Although they clearly departed from conventional theology in their rejection of the Old Testament and insistence on Christ’s Aryanhood, they were not simply distorting Christianity for their own ends or engaging in idiosyncratic religious meandering. Only by ignoring the intellectual precedents for these ideas can we argue that positive Christianity was an “infection” of an otherwise pristine faith. Rather. These ideas found expression among bona fide voices of Kulturprotestantismus before the Nazi Party ever existed.”

The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-GallThe Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-Gall

Although Christians today may find it implausible that religion as they practice it could have anything in common with Nazism, they need to recognize that Christianity — including their own — is always conditioned by the culture where one finds it. For Germans at the beginning of the 20th century, this meant that Christianity was often profoundly anti-Semitic and nationalistic. This was the same ground which the Nazis found so fertile for their own ideology — it would have been amazing had the two systems not found a great deal in common and been unable to find a way to work together.

Germany after World War I was regarded as a godless, secular, materialistic republic which had betrayed all of Germany’s traditional morals, values, and religious beliefs. An important aspect of the Nazis’ appeal to the great mass of religiously conservative Germans was the fact that they said all the right things about the evils of atheism, materialism, greed, corruption, law and order, communism, and religious values.

Alongside the Christian Nazis were a number of anti-Christian Nazis who sought to create a new, neo-pagan religion for the German people. These were, however, relatively few in number and their views were never officially endorsed by the Party or by Hitler. Slightly more common were anti-clerical Nazis who continued to accept basic theistic and Christian doctrines, but who repudiated churches and priests. This seems to have been a view gradually adopted by Hitler himself.

Isn’t it true, though, that Hitler sought to eliminate churches and Christianity from Germany? It’s been said that Hitler only spoke positively about Christianity in public because he had to in order to maintain support from the German people; in private, he admitted to his true hatred of all things Christian. This view is based upon allegedly private comments recorded in the book Hitler Speaks, but Steigmann-Gall argues that the balance of evidence indicates that these statements are probably forgeries and are regarded as such by many scholars.

“The conspiratorial tone of this account of the “private” Hitler has convinced many church historians that Hitler was “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” anti-Christian to the core and from the outset of his career. The caricature Rauschning presents of Hitler’s ranting should alone have raised questions as to its authenticity; but the more troubling fact remains that Rauschning’s book stands completely alone in handing down sayings of this nature from this period.”“It is not for nothing that these factors should raise questions: Hitler Speaks is now considered to be fraudulent. As a recent biographer has put it, “Especially the chapter ‘Hitler in private’ …‘is untrustworthy through and through — a product of war propaganda… [Rauschning’s] ‘conversations with Hitler’ are far-off fantasies.” Moreover…Rauschning was too peripheral to the movement to have been part of Hitler’s inner circle of confidants, as he consistently maintained.”

Sometimes people use passages from Hitler’s Table Talks to argue that Hitler was really anti-Christian, but even if the authenticity of this entire collection of reminiscences is acknowledged, there is far more ambiguity and pro-Christian commentary than is usually acknowledged. It would be surprising if Hitler had never said anything critical of churches, priests, and Christianity and so the existence of some negative quotes is expected. What matters most is the overall balance of his commentary — and that is indisputably pro-Christian and pro-religion.

The deliberate promotion of pagan beliefs was a minority within the Nazi Party. Alfred Rosenberg favored the creation of a new religion, but Hitler went so far as to threaten to take action against his book Mythus, and it was banned by some lower-ranking party organizations. Himmler was obsessed with ancient Germans, but Hitler dismissed this as ridiculous — and even Himmler insisted that Christian viewpoints be respected within the SS. At times he admitted that he was less anti-Christian than anti-clerical.

The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-GallThe Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-Gall

One important point about all this which may be missed is the fact that these and other pagan Nazis never pretended to be anything else — they never affected a pro-Christian stance in public in order to win over the approval of the German people. When Nazis were pagan, it appears that they were unabashedly and enthusiastically pagan, without apology.

This makes it difficult to argue that other leading Nazis, like Goebbels, Goering, and Hitler himself, only pretended to be pro-Christian for the sake of public relations. If they had wanted to endorse a new paganism in Germany, they had ample opportunity. Instead, what we have are a few Nazis publicly endorsing paganism, but most Nazis publicly endorsing Christianity and all official party organs endorsing Christianity, right up to the official party platform.

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The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis

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For several years, since my last spate of blogging in 2009 – 2010, I have been preparing a collection of essays on Christianity’s role in the rise of Fascism and National Socialism in order to exonerate atheism and secularism, whose names are repeatedly sullied by the faithful in order to deflect attention away from their own gross failings of morality and resistance to radical evil.

American physicist Victor Stenger’s excellent addition to the New Atheism cannon, God, The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist, briefly mentions Christianity’s complicity with Nazism in its chapter discussing human morality.  Stenger cites palaeontologist, researcher and author Gregory Scott Paul’s three articles that were published in Free Inquiry magazine about 10 years ago: “The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis.”  I have learnt a great deal from Paul’s articles and they have been instrumental in my research for my own essays on the topic.

The articles are available to view on Free Inquiry magazine’s website, although the format is not terribly reader-friendly.

Part I

Part II

Part III

I have transferred the text, including the photographs and captions, into Word Documents, which I have uploaded to this blog in PDF:

Part I – PDF

Part II – PDF

Part III – PDF

Enjoy and learn.


Tea Party Nation: Jewish Democratic Group Proves Liberals are Nazis
By Brian Tashman

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips sent an email to members today calling the National Jewish Democratic Council a Nazi group that, like other liberals, is “in love with totalitarian regimes” such as Hitler’s Germany. Phillips said their statementcalling on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to denounce Phillips’ recent comparison of liberals to Nazis is akin to Nazi book burning and proves that liberals “want to allow no dissent or freedom to disagree.”

Of course, asking a public official to denounce a group’s outrageous claims doesn’t take away anyone’s First Amendment rights, but the Tea Party Nation never really understood the Constitution anyway.

Are liberals really like the Nazis of 1930’s and 1940’s era German? Are they really the kind of people who engage in that kind of behavior? Or this just some conservative hyperbole?

Do liberals really want to silence their critics? To liberals really believe in a one party state? Do liberals really want to deny those who disagree with them the ability and the opportunity to offer different opinions?

The answer is yes.

Like the book burning Nazis of the 1930’s, the left wants to suppress all dissenting opinion.

This is not true of all liberals, only the overwhelming majority. I appear occasionally on Thom Hartman’s show on RT. Thom is very far to the left but to his credit, he brings on people like me who do not agree with him and he lets us make our points.

The vast majority of liberals are represented by people like Aaron Keyak who is the interim director of the National Jewish Democratic Committee.

After I made my blog post yesterday comparing liberals to Nazis, he took to Twitter to demand that Republicans denounce me.

He actually proved my point. Liberals do not want to discuss or debate issues. They want to silence those who disagree with them.

So did the Nazis.

The left is in love with totalitarian regimes. Obama himself has wistfully admired the power dictators have to simply impose their will.

But the truism of all totalitarian regimes is that they cannot stand criticism. If you look at the history of tyranny, the first thing every tyrant does is to try and control the press and public opinion.

When tyrants take over, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are always the first things to go.

Why must conservatives stand militantly against liberalism? Liberalism is not simply a policy disagreement. It is not simply a choice between higher taxes and lower taxes. The liberal movement wants more than just to win the policy debate. They want for there not to be a debate. They want to allow no dissent or freedom to disagree.

This is why liberalism is so dangerous to America.

This is why we conservatives must fight for America because if the left has its way, we will even be allowed to speak.


The Hitler gun control lie

Gun rights nuts who cite the dictator as a reason against gun control have their history dangerously wrong

By Alex Seitz-Wald

The Hitler gun control lie
This week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.

The NRA, Fox News, Fox News (again), Alex Jones, email chains, Joe “the Plumber” WurzelbacherGun Owners of America, etc., all agree that gun control was critical to Hitler’s rise to power. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (“America’s most aggressive defender of firearms ownership”) is built almost exclusively around this notion, popularizing posters of Hitler giving the Nazi salute next to the text: “All in favor of ‘gun control’ raise your right hand.”

In his 1994 book, NRA head Wayne LaPierre dwelled on the Hitler meme at length, writing: “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”

And it makes a certain amount of intuitive sense: If you’re going to impose a brutal authoritarian regime on your populace, better to disarm them first so they can’t fight back.

Unfortunately for LaPierre et al., the notion that Hitler confiscated everyone’s guns is mostly bogus. And the ancillary claim that Jews could have stopped the Holocaust with more guns doesn’t make any sense at all if you think about it for more than a minute.

University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explored this myth in depth in a 2004 article published in the Fordham Law Review. As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.

The 1938 law signed by Hitler that LaPierre mentions in his book basically does the opposite of what he says it did. “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote. Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including Nazi party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.

The law did prohibit Jews and other persecuted classes from owning guns, but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general. Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning? Should we eliminate all police officers because the Nazis used police officers to oppress and kill the Jews? What about public works — Hitler loved public works projects? Of course not. These are merely implements that can be used for good or ill, much as gun advocates like to argue about guns themselves. If guns don’t kill people, then neither does gun control cause genocide (genocidal regimes cause genocide).

Besides, Omer Bartov, a historian at Brown University who studies the Third Reich, notes that the Jews probably wouldn’t have had much success fighting back. “Just imagine the Jews of Germany exercising the right to bear arms and fighting the SA, SS and the Wehrmacht. The [Russian] Red Army lost 7 million men fighting the Wehrmacht, despite its tanks and planes and artillery. The Jews with pistols and shotguns would have done better?” he told Salon.

Proponents of the theory sometimes point to the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as evidence that, as Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano put it, “those able to hold onto their arms and their basic right to self-defense were much more successful in resisting the Nazi genocide.” But as the Tablet’s Michael Moynihan points out, Napolitano’s history (curiously based on a citation of work by French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson) is a bit off. In reality, only about 20 Germans were killed, while some 13,000 Jews were massacred. The remaining 50,000 who survived were promptly sent off to concentration camps.

Robert Spitzer, a political scientist who studies gun politics and chairs the political science department at SUNY Cortland, told Mother Jones’ Gavin Aronsen that the prohibition on Jewish gun ownership was merely a symptom, not the problem itself. “[It] wasn’t the defining moment that marked the beginning of the end for Jewish people in Germany. It was because they were persecuted, were deprived of all of their rights, and they were a minority group,” he explained.

Meanwhile, much of the Hitler myth is based on an infamous quote falsely attributed to the Fuhrer, which extols the virtue of gun control:

This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

The quote has been widely reproduced in blog posts and opinion columns about gun control, but it’s “probably a fraud and was likely never uttered,” according to Harcourt. “This quotation, often seen without any date or citation at all, suffers from several credibility problems, the most significant of which is that the date often given [1935] has no correlation with any legislative effort by the Nazis for gun registration, nor would there have been any need for the Nazis to pass such a law, since gun registration laws passed by the Weimar government were already in effect,” researchers at the useful website GunCite note.

“As for Stalin,” Bartov continued, “the very idea of either gun control or the freedom to bear arms would have been absurd to him. His regime used violence on a vast scale, provided arms to thugs of all descriptions, and stripped not guns but any human image from those it declared to be its enemies. And then, when it needed them, as in WWII, it took millions of men out of the Gulags, trained and armed them and sent them to fight Hitler, only to send back the few survivors into the camps if they uttered any criticism of the regime.”

Bartov added that this misreading of history is not only intellectually dishonest, but also dangerous.  “I happen to have been a combat soldier and officer in the Israeli Defense Forces and I know what these assault rifles can do,” he said in an email.

He continued: “Their assertion that they need these guns to protect themselves from the government — as supposedly the Jews would have done against the Hitler regime — means not only that they are innocent of any knowledge and understanding of the past, but also that they are consciously or not imbued with the type of fascist or Bolshevik thinking that they can turn against a democratically elected government, indeed turn their guns on it, just because they don’t like its policies, its ideology, or the color, race and origin of its leaders.”

             

            Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon’s political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.


Christo-Fascism without Tears: Response to Evangelical Writers who Distance the Church from the Nazi Party

By Alex Constantine

“The prophet seldom has any honor in his own country.” – Adolf Hitler

“Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” – Adolf Hitler

priestssalute 300x212 Christo Fascism without Tears: Response to Evangelical Writers who Distance the Church from the Nazi Party

Point 24 of the Nazi Progamme circulating in Germany of the 1920s stated that the only religion that the party officially denounced was “Jewish”:

We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.

Many historians of WW II have downplayed the role of religion in Hitler’s Germany, most notably Richard Overy, author of The Dictators, cited by Christian researchers everywhere to reprimand those who suggest that the Nazi leader used religion as a vehicle of mass persuasion. Despite prestige appointments and numerous awards for scholarship, Overy, as a historian of Hitler’s Germany, is a complete incompetent if not deliberately dishonest. His contention that Hitler was hostile to capitalism, for instance, is blatantly false. Pay no heed to slippery conservative Christians who cite Overy and his equally dubious contention that Christianity was “in decline,” and played no role in the rise of the Third Reich.

Overy’s sourcing alone is a red flag – he relies heavily on the writing of Hermann Rauschning (a friend of Hitler who “defected” and sat out the war in the United States); other questionable citations and deliberate misinterpretations of Nazi Party rhetoric are common.

One widely-repeated citation is made by Bruce Walker in an article posted on the Net, “The Nazis and Christianity,” published by American Thinker, a Christian site. According to Walker, the “decline of Christianity in Germany led directly to the rise of Nazism. Professor Henri Lichtenberger in his 1937 book, The Third Reich, describes the religious life of the Weimar Republic as a place in which the large cities were ‘spiritual cemeteries’ with almost no believers at all, except for those who were members of the clergy.”

Seems to be a legitimate history until one considers that Henri Lichtenberger, the French historian, was a fascist propagandist who idolized Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. He was a mercenary with a pen, drawn from ranks favoring a Franco-German intersect in the early ’20s. He was PRO-NAZI. Lichtenberger’s word on anything was determined by who paid him.

This is the caliber of “experts” that right-wing evangelical propagandists cite when making the claim that Nazi Germany was “secular.” The bottom line is that, in private, Hitler found National Socialism and Christianity fundamentally incompatible because he believed that the latter – “an invention of the Jews” – had given rise to Bolshevism. Ironic, then, that before Hitler, Lenin became Christ … in a true athiest state … as reported by Vision, a quarterly academic print and online journal of news and analysis:

… As chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, Lenin soon became a dictator …. The use of traditional religion played a part in securing popular support. Following an attempt to assassinate Lenin in 1918, his public persona was infused with religious verbal and visual imagery. Sociologist Victoria Bonnell notes that now the leader “was characterized as having the qualities of a saint, an apostle, a prophet, a martyr, a man with Christ-like qualities, and a ‘leader by the grace of God.’” Posters showed Lenin like a saint in Russian iconic art. …

“Aspects of the political, social and religious fabric of the Russian Motherland provided many of the necessary conditions for Lenin’s cult. .… While Hitler and Stalin were deranged and profoundly evil, they were aided and abetted by masses of people who moved toward them as the leaders they desired. As we have noted before in this series, the symbiosis of leader and led cannot be ignored as we try to explain the bloodlust that characterizes the rule of many, if not all, false messiahs. Nor is exploitation of religious fervor ever far from the surface as leaders seek and maintain followers. Mussolini appealed to elements of traditional Catholic religion to create his fascist cult, and Hitler was well aware of religion’s power to induce loyalty to a cause. It was no different in the atheistic Soviet Union for most of the last century.

http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=2966

Hitler’s religious beliefs and fanaticism (quotes from Mein Kampf)

Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”

As a boy, Hitler attended Catholic Church and was exposed to the anti-Semitism of the prevailing religious culture. In Mein Kampf and in his speeches, Hitler appeared to be a fanatical believer in God. In one speech, he declared:

The world will not help, the people must help itself. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it we may wage the battle of our life…. The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty – of Him Who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us…. We are all proud that through God’s powerful aid we have become once more true Germans.

On marriage: “A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape.” (Mein Kampf)

On race war: “But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty.” (Mein Kampf)

Hitler’s Biblical beliefs show clearly where he based his notion for offensive action:

On liberty: “God does not make cowardly nations free.” (Mein Kampf)

On Judaism: “Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord’s image.” (Mein Kampf)

A prophecy: “Their sword will become our plow, and from the tears of war the daily bread of future generations will grow.” (Mein Kampf)

In a speech delivered on April 23, 1922, Hitler stated:

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them. … In boundless love as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.

On himself: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” (Hitler speech, 1941)

“Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise.” (Mein Kampf)

“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” (Hitler speech, Berlin, October 31, 1933)


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