It has been along time coming since my last post. Sorry about that. I have been busy in my job lately. That doesn’t mean that I have been slacking on my studying. On the contrary, I have been watching a really great documentary and reading a really incredible book, both of which I will write about shortly.
I want to focus on NAZI Germany since the whole country is going nuts about the events in Charlottesville NC.
I was going to write a movie review of “DUNKIRK.” The review is shortened…. Here is is…
“Dunkirk” is freaking awesome, go and see it! It is an incredible piece of film. The three different points of view – escaping Allied soldiers – RAF pilots – private boat captains – make this a masterpiece. It is not a “shoot-em-up” war movie. It is a thoughtful film on the realities of what these people went through. A+, go see it!
Long story short, Dunkirk is a city in northern France. The Nazi war machine was kicking serious butt against the English and French. The Nazis pushed the Allied forces all the way up to northern France, which is separated from the UK by the fairly narrow English Channel (one side can see the other on a clear day). What makes Dunkirk so famous is the evacuation of Allied troops from France to England, allowing the Allied forces to fight another day.
This incredible evacuation, by the Royal Navy and by British private citizens, was simply incredible. It happened at the end of May / beginning of June in 1940, a full year and half before the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies. Dunkirk was amazing, but as Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in regards to “Operation Dynamo” (the codename for the evacuation) that a war is not won by evacuation.
I will say that “Dunkirk” would have ended better with the ACTUAL speech by Winston Churchill. It is my favorite political speech of all time. You can see it here on YouTube… The famous part of the speech is when Churchill speaks about the fact that the UK “will fight on the beaches….”
Now, on to discussion on NAZIs.
I am not going to go nuts on the Nazi subject. I will just try to introduce it to you. The events in Charlottesville have brought the subject to the forefront.
In my opinion it would be nice if people didn’t spout off about things that they have no clue about. If you don’t even know the relative dates of the Civil War you should probably not be speaking with assurance about the causes of the war or the motives of the sides involved. The same goes with the Nazi movement, most people don’t know about it outside of Hitler was bad, really racist, killed millions of Jews and others, and started a war in Europe that reached the nearly the entire continent and into Northern Africa. (The alliance with Japan and the alliance of the US and Australia and New Zealand made it a truly “World War.”)
Here is a quick education about Nazi Germany. –
After WWI, in which Germany was defeated, the Treaty of Versailles was imposed on them. This treaty basically said that Germany was the cause for the War (“War Guilt Clause”) and that Germany should pay reparations and not be allowed to arm themselves.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, king of Germany, was deposed. A new republic was declared, called the Weimar (VY-MAR) Republic. This unstable republic lasted only until Hitler came to power. Hitler’s reign is called the “3rd Reich.” – The 1st Reich was generally the German portion of the Holy Roman Empire, Otto I being the first emperor. The 2nd Reich is the time of the beginning of the country of Germany, from 1871 until the end of WWI and the formation of the Weimar Republic.
HITLER – Adolph Hitler was born in Austria. He was relatively uneducated, and he was unable to attend art school in Vienna nor architecture school. He eventually became a tramp. While in Vienna Hitler read voraciously, mostly extreme literature that would be wound up in the Nazi “ideology.”
When WWI came, Hitler left Austria in order to fight in the war for Germany. Yes, Germany and Austria-Hungary were allies with each other, but Hitler detested the Austro-Hungarian empire because it was a multi-national empire consisting not only of German Austrians, but of Hungarians, Czechs, and other Slavic peoples. Hitler dreamed of a state consisting of pure Germans.
Hitler apparently served bravely in the German military as a runner – a very dangerous job – earning an Iron Cross and a top rank of Corporal. Hitler heard about the end of the war in a hospital, recovering his eyes from being gassed on the front lines. Hitler was angry and devastated. He turned this anger into a search for power.
Hitler went from a Corporal in the German Army to the dictator of Germany in less than 15 years. This is an incredible rise to power, unseen in the history of the world. It is nothing less than amazing. Hitler may have been uneducated, but he was incredibly capable in the areas of political organizing and political public speaking. He used his abilities to spread his ideology and raise his party to prominence and finally dominant rule.
Nationalsozialistische Deutche Arbeiterpartei, (say that 3 times fast) or NSDAP, translated into National Socialist German Worker’s Party or “Nazi Party” in English. It was not necessarily “socialist” although there was a serious socialist element within the party that Hitler did not really embrace. – Note – our political history and beliefs in the United States is so different from other places that it doesn’t really make sense to place Nazi ideology, or much ideology in Europe in general, on our political scale. For instance, Nazis are not “left” because of their socialist elements, they are not “right” because of their nationalism. Nazi is more totalitarian, like the Soviet communists, in my opinion.
Hitler had many setbacks, most notably his “Beer Hall Putsch” in which Hitler naively tried to take control of the government with force in November of 1923 (not to be confused with the forming of the NAZI party at the Hofbrauhaus, a different beer hall, in 1920.) Hitler was arrested after the Beer Hall Putsch and given a light sentence for what was really treason against the Weimar Republic. (Right-leaning trouble makers were given lesser sentences than left-leaning troublemakers at the time.)
Hitler dictated the first volume of his famous and rambling work “Mein Kampf” translated to “My Struggle” in English. In this book Hitler lays out exactly what he wanted to do if he came to power. Reminiscent of Osama bin Laden giving away his playbook in his fatwa against the US and nobody paying any attention, Hitler did basically the same thing. Aside from putting “Ayrans” at the top of the human race and writing about race extermination (Holocaust anyone….?), Hitler outlined how he would fight the war if he were in charge. He talks about “lebensraum” or “living space” that Germany would need. This living spacehe land would come in the east at the expense of Russia (Hitler famously invaded Russia in 1941 with “Operation Barbarossa.”)
SUMMARY OF “MEIN KAMPF” – Hey, I am Hitler. Germany got screwed by the Allies and stabbed in the back by traitors after World War I. I really, really, really hate Jews and other races that are inferior to Germans. Here is my plan to make Germany the dominant country in Europe……
After Hitler’s release from prison the Nazi Party rose and fell and rose again in the complicated political scene in Weimar Germany – many parties vied for power, the U.S. would change reparations policies regarding Germany, the Great Depression was going on, different factions in different parties would stop party progress, etc.
Hitler’s party was seen as immature and very violent. It seems that not enough people took the Nazi party seriously enough until Hitler was in control of his own destiny and eventually in control of the entire government.
Eventually Hitler would become Chancellor of Germany in January 1933 and be both Chancellor and President in 1934.
There are people in several different related movements that adhere to something related to Nazi-ism, namely “White Nationalists” and “White Supremacist” movements such as the KKK and some extremists on the Alt-Right. Ironically many of these people are from other races than that of pure Germans (if there is such a thing, which there is not.) Also, many of Hitler’s thugs were homosexuals, something that these self-styled white supremacists abhor.
This movement takes a rough summary of beliefs of the Nazi Party. White people are supreme, Jews and other races are inferior. Some of these specific groups are violent, some are just talk. All have a warped idea of Nazi-ism, which in itself had a warped idea of history and of race.
I hope that this really fast summary of a complicated topic will push you to do some research. Before you call someone a Nazi, know what “Nazi” really means. Before you fight “Fascism,” make sure you are not doing the same kind of violent actions that Hitler’s fascist thugs did. And if you are a white supremacist, watch an episode of “Cops” or look up “Insane Clown Posse” and the idea of all whites being supreme should fall on its face.
If you are a big reader, take a look at “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – A History of Nazi Germany” by William L. Shirer. It is a 1200 page book.
Also, take a look at “The Civil War” by Ken Burns. This documentary is currently on Netflix. It was created in 1990 but it is an incredible piece of work. This topic obviously relates to the incident at Charlottesville as much as the topic of Nazis, but I don’t have all day to write about the Nazis AND the Civil War. Ken Burns’ “Baseball” is also an incredible documentary.