The Death of Democracy by Professor Benjamin Hett
نهاية الديمقراطية صعود هيتلر وسقوط [ويمر] الجمهوري
للبروفيسور بنجامين هييت
مراجعه من قبل بريندا ربلند
تحدث البروفيسور بنيامين هييت هذا الأسبوع في مسرح Y الشارع 92 عن كتابه الذي صدر حديثا ، وفاه الديمقراطية.
واستعرض التاريخ الذي ادي إلى صعود هتلر في السلطة والدروس المحتملة التي يمكن استخلاصها من التاريخ. وفي حين انه يشاطر المؤرخين التشاؤم عموما بشان قدرتنا علي التعلم من التاريخ ، فقد أشار إلى بعض الفرص الصارخة التي قد تكون أو لم تتخذ.
كان هناك العديد من الملاحظات والاسئله من قبل الجمهور فيما يتعلق بالتشابه مع الوضع الحالي للولايات الامريكيه. وعندما سئل عما إذا كان ترامب يمكن ان يكون خطيرا مثل هتلر ، قال البروفيسور hett ان هتلر كان اذكي بلا حدود. وأشار أيضا إلى ان العالم يحتاج إلى مرجع وان أمريكا قد خدمت هذا الغرض بشكل جيد لأكثر من 70 سنه. ومع ذلك ، ترامب يعمل على تفكيك معظم البرامج التي تضمن هذا الدور.
بملاحظه العديد من أوجه التشابه مع السياسة الامريكيه الحالية ، قال أحد الحضور انه 'يجب ان نكون خائفين من ذلك!'
Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic
Review by Brenda Repland
Professor Benjamin Hett spoke this week at the 92nd Street Y on his newly released book, The Death of Democracy.
He reviewed the history that led to Hitler’s rise in power and the possible lessons that might be learned from history. While he shared that historians are generally pessimistic about our ability to learn from history, he did point out some glaring opportunities that may or may not have been taken.
Germany in the 1930’s was a sophisticated society that was devolving into a dictatorship. Three factors contributed to this.
Hitler and his associates protested globalization.
The conservative movement believed they could use Hitler to their own aims.
The Nazis relied strongly on dishonesty and appeal to irrational support.
The anti-globalization movement was a message that resonated with the populace humbled by the loss of WWI who wanted the view that “WE are the champions!” Hitler pointed out that outsourcing to China didn’t help Germany. However, as his allies dwindled, he needed to conquer other nations in order to support Germany which lacked the resources to succeed alone.
In Mein Kamp, Hitler advocated telling lies. “Tell Big lies! Even if debunked, the residue will remain. Little lies are too soon forgotten.” In this way, he maintained that Germany had not lost WWI militarily but had been stabbed in the back.” He understood visceral reactions and used nonsensical statements for that purpose.
The Nazis understood that anti-Semitism was not a sufficient issue to vault them to the levels of power to which they aspired. It became an issue that was “understood” as part of others. Initially, the postwar poverty and modernization were blamed on “Financial Spiders,” which was understood to mean Jews.
From 1928, the theme was the place of the nation (Make Germany Great Again!) in the world. Issues of women also became a focus.
Between the Versailles Treaty which saddled Germany with heavy war reparations; the Gold Standard issues and agricultural prices falling, Germany was in dire financial straits and people were angry. As early as the 1920’s, when grain prices fell, there were (sometimes violent) protests, especially in the north and east of the country. Into this petri dish of anger and frustration, support grew for the Nazi party.
Adding fuel to the fire were refugee issues exacerbated by the influx of refugees from the break-up of former empires (Russia, Ottoman, Astro-Hungarian). Germany’s borders could not be secured completely. The Nazis blamed the porous borders on “democratic administrations who can’t control the borders.” Propaganda Chief, Josef Goebbels asked “Do we want to build a wall around Germany?” and answered, “YES!!”
The Nazi diatribe was more disrespectful and full of vitriol than had ever been the case in politics but this appealed to those who felt disaffected. They relished the Nazi ability to voice the anger they felt.
Nazis rolled back social changes made by the Weimar Republic, aiming to restore more capitalism, build up the armed forces and defund welfare programs. The Nazis did promote an egalitarianism, but after elimination of Jews, gays, imbeciles, etc.
There were many observations and questions by audience members regarding the similarity to the current US situation. When asked if Trump could be as dangerous as Hitler, Prof. Hett said that Hitler was infinitely smarter. He also pointed out that the world needs an anchor and America has served that purpose well for over 70 years. However, Trump is dismantling most of the very programs that guaranteed that role.
Observing the many similarities to current US politics, one audience member commented that “we should be scared like the dickens!”