Nazis were not evil, they were 'social climbers', claims leading German historian
There is some truth in the ideas below but the psychologizing is pure speculation. What is true is that Hitler was personally very popular. He was seen as a fatherly lover of his people -- which is how he presented himself. And his antisemitism was completely normal worldwide in the prewar era.
The politics of envy always has a large following and the extraordinarily prominent position of Jews in prewar public life in Germany made them a natural target for envy.
There is of course much more to it but those two facts alone are just about enough to explain the holocaust without trashy assertions about inferiority complexes etc.
It does grieve me however that Jews have learnt so little since then. Once again many tend to seek out prominent positions in public life. It's like painting a target on their own backs
A peculiar German inferiority complex allied to a lust to 'get on' led to the country’s collective moral collapse which allowed the Holocaust of six million Jews to happen, a new book in Germany claims.
Götz Aly, an esteemed historian and social commentator, says their berserk social climbing led the ordinary people, far removed from the extermination camp system, to partake in the plunder of the Jews without troubling their consciences.
His book Why The Germans? Why The Jews? comes at a time when Germany is once more in the crosshairs of critics across the continent as the euro crisis lurches from bad to worse.
It is portrayed as bullying, domineering and inflexible as it tries to impose rigid, German-style rules on nations which do not share its social, political and economic ethics.
Most important Aly gets away from the 'evil Nazi' comfort zone that so many postwar Germans have wallowed in. The central thesis of his book is that the Holocaust happened “because people like you and me allowed it to.” And he says it can happen again.
It was the middle class fear of coming down in the world following defeat in WWI, the hyper-inflation and joblessness of the Weimar years, that allowed people to blind themselves to the excesses of the Nazis as they pledged to restore Germany to greatness.
Those who would pay the most for that greatness were the Jews; the culprits, said Hitler, behind the war.
Social climbing became an almost impossible thing during the jobless, moneyless days of the Weimar Republic: the Nazis brought it back into vogue with uniforms, work and, ultimately, plunder.
Massive auctions were staged every week throughout the lifespan of the Third Reich in Hamburg and several other cities of stolen Jewish goods. Massive ships docked regularly at the city’s port bringing furniture, silver, furs, tapestries, rugs and glassware that had been taken from Jews in the occupied countries.
'The Social Democrats and the trades unions wanted property too,' said Aly. 'The ‘bad one’ was the Jew in all this.'
Therefore, the common man reasoned, it was no bad thing for his or herself to advance themselves at the cost of this societal bogeyman.
The Nazis ignored the fact that Jews - making up less than one per cent of the population of Germany - had since around 1900 excelled in schools and universities, graduating at a rate eight times that of Christians.
They merely played up the fact that they took all the jobs, thus provoking yet more envy as they secured positions in high paying professions such as medicine and law.
He offers up the example of his own grandfather, Friedrich Schneider, one of the five million unemployed in 1926 who joined Hitler’s fledgling Nazi party because he believed, like so many others, that he would once more be able to “get on” if it was in power. 'He was one small part,' he said, 'of that whole of Germany that went on the way to violence and destructive rule.'
Aly also says coupled with the German envy complex was a deep-seated fear of true freedom; it had not existed under the Kaiser and democracy under the Weimar Republic had brought the country to its knees.
The Nazis, he said, were a catchment basin for socially envious people and people with inferiority complexes. He went on: 'I see in the Germans a substantial self conditioning for the murder of the Jews that developed from these feelings of national inferiority.
'The Holocaust can repeat itself. One should not believe that the anti-Semites of yesterday are completely different human beings to the ones of today.'
Obama throws open the immigration doors to all but serious criminals
This is near-complete amnesty and a coup against Congress
In a surprise announcement, the Obama administration said it will review the deportation cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants and might allow many of them to stay in the U.S., a decision that angered immigration hard-liners and pleased Hispanic advocacy groups.
Under the plan, federal authorities will review individually all cases of immigrants currently in deportation proceedings. Those who haven't committed crimes and who aren't considered a threat to public safety will have a chance to stay in the U.S. and to later apply for a work permit.
The shift could help counter growing discontent among Hispanic voters and immigration advocacy groups about record deportations; audits of businesses that have pushed undocumented workers underground; and the lack of progress toward overhauling the immigration system under President Barack Obama.
The announcement comes as several states seek to pass laws to crack down on illegal immigrants, including millions who flocked to the U.S. before the recession to take blue-collar jobs in construction, agriculture and hospitality.
A senior administration official described the move as an effort to better use limited immigration-enforcement resources and to alleviate pressure on overburdened immigration courts. The idea, this person said, is to "identify low-priority cases…and administratively close the case so they no longer clog the system." The official added that such cases could be reopened by the government at any time.
While the announcement doesn't address illegal immigrants who aren't involved in deportation proceedings, it could benefit them indirectly. "They will be less likely to enter the caseload to begin with, so we can focus on folks in the caseload who are high priority," said the administration official.
Critics described the decision as a step by the administration toward offering amnesty for illegal immigrants. "The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), head of the House Judiciary Committee.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which lobbies against legalization, said: "In essence, the administration has declared that U.S. immigration is now virtually unlimited to anyone willing to try to enter—subject only to those who commit violent felonies after arrival."
Others welcomed the move. Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan advocacy organization, described it as a "step forward" and a "sound policy decision that uses valuable law-enforcement resources to remove those who once caused harm but keeps contributing members of the immigrant community here."
The majority of agricultural workers are in the U.S. illegally. "We hope this is a move toward an immigration solution that works for agriculture," said Jason Resnick, general counsel of Western Growers, a California-based association that represents produce growers. "Even in this time of great unemployment, we are not seeing domestic workers apply for jobs."
Ordinarily, illegal immigrants can't get work permits, and most never apply for fear of opening themselves up to deportation. The new plan would enable some to get permits, said the administration official, who didn't elaborate other than to say decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nevada) outlining the plan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that an interagency working group would execute a "case-by-case review of all individuals currently in removal proceedings to ensure that they constitute our highest priorities."
Administration officials said low-priority cases likely to be shelved include individuals brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, undocumented spouses of U.S. military personnel and immigrants who have no criminal record.
"This process will allow additional federal enforcement resources to be focused on border security and the removal of public safety threats," Ms. Napolitano said in the letter.
Current immigration policy aims to deport illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes, but critics say it is snaring too many immigrants who have committed only minor offenses, like traffic violations, or who have called the police to report a crime. Controversy over a key element of the policy, the Secure Communities program, is threatening the president's relations with the Hispanic community.
This week, there have been protests in several cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, prompted by the surge in deportations and administration plans to expand the program.
More than 390,000 people were removed from the U.S. in each of the last two years, surpassing previous years. Immigration courts are so jammed it can often take more than a year for a judge to rule on a deportation case.
U.S. immigration policy has eclipsed the economy and jobs as the top issue for Hispanic voters, according to a national poll released in June. To Hispanic voters, Mr. Obama has touted his support for an immigration overhaul that would put illegal immigrants on the path to legalization, and has bemoaned a lack of support from Republicans.
The immigration issue is a critical one for Mr. Obama as he prepares for reelection. He won 67% of the Hispanic vote in 2008. Republicans are unlikely to significantly increase their share of the Hispanic vote, but Mr. Obama needs Latinos to turn out in large numbers.
The past is another more courteous country
Book review of "EVERYMAN'S ENGLAND" BY VICTOR CANNING
Review by Val Hennessy:
Talk about the past being another country. Even the recent past. My nonagenarian mother and her contemporaries will certainly recognise, with regretful shakes of their heads, the England depicted by Victor Canning in these elegiac essays commissioned in the 1930s by the Daily Mail. But, for the rest of us, he could be describing another planet.
His England is a place where weekend cinemas are packed to bursting with enthusiastic film fans all cheerfully whistling, shouting and applauding the action.
The main street of a town in the Fens throngs, on Saturday nights, with a good-natured ‘slow-moving, joking, flirting, healthy mob’, dressed in their best, farm-labourers and their girls congregating ‘to forget the toil of the week ... to seek colour, warmth and laughter’.
From the doorway of every inn comes the plunk and tinkle of pianos and the group chorusings of mawkish ballads. By 11.30pm everyone has hurried home to bed, and the streets are deserted.
Hey ho! No vomiting, fornicating, brawling and scantily-attired, knock-kneed, boozed-up girls baring their bottoms. Those were the days...
Canning finds beauty everywhere, but never sentimentalises, and is consistently honest enough to highlight poverty and social inequality.
In Maryport in Cumbria, where the silent pit heads signal the decline of the mining industry, he discovers unemployed men foraging for small fragments of coal on the snow-covered shingle. A morning’s foraging will fill half a sack, to be hauled back to keep fires going in homes where fires are luxuries. Yet there is laughter too, and ‘the happy clatter of clogs’ from children playing in the streets.
In sooty Halifax, a town ‘which has wrung dignity and beauty from chimney stacks, gasometers, canals and mills’, the doorsteps and windows are spotless, and proud working men tog up at weekends in bowler hats, white collars and navy-blue suits.
In the Cotswolds Canning describes the soft patina of lichen and moss on walls, and senses the pride taken in ‘houses built to last ... reflecting the spirit of the master craftsmen who made them’, and in Norfolk he gets talking to an ancient sea salt who had joined the Navy when ‘sails and bare feet and a penny a week for boys made Britain mistress of the seas’.
In Rutland Canning describes an incident which is unthinkable in modern Britain. Exhausted after a long ramble, he knocks on a cottage door to ask for water.
A jolly, motherly sort invites him inside to freshen up, then sits him on the porch amongst the hollyhocks and roses, offers him tea and, referring to her husband who is out hedging and ditching, explains: ‘The master does the kitchen garden and I look after the flowers’. ‘Master’ indeed! What distant times!
His best anecdote concerns the hilarious men-only bathing rules at Parson’s Pleasure on the river Cherwell. Mixed bathing was forbidden due to the tradition that men bathed naked there.
In this male Arcadia (and I think Canning misses a significant social situation here, in his innocence) Oxford dons and undergraduates would loll about ‘clad only in spectacles and a copy of Plato’s Socratic Discourses’.
Any approaching punt steered solely by women would be halted; the punt would be taken through the bathing enclosure by an attendant, and the women were made to avert their eyes as they walked along a special footpath to rejoin it. Forgetful females were known to disobey the rules, causing a mad scramble as naked dons flattened themselves behind tufts of grass or scuttled for cover amongst the willows.
It is astonishing to remember that Canning’s pilgrimage to ‘understand the intricate pattern and appreciate the colour of the fabric of English life’ was made within living memory.
His gentle adventures will probably seem boring, if not ludicrous, to post-war generations who travel more often to exotic, far-flung foreign hot spots than to the towns and villages of England.
Canning travelled through a law-abiding, slow-paced, courteous country where a stranger in town (Canning) would address a passing resident like this: ‘Good day to you, sir. Would it be a breach of good manners if I was to ask you to oblige me by telling me a little history of this town?...’
Good-manners, and respect, yes. It certainly was another country... No obscene gestures, filthy language, feral yoof on the rampage or lawless, mindless morons burning and looting for the hell of it. And if I’m beginning to sound like my mum, I make no apologies...
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)