To the Editor:
I am aware most Americans are mostly unaware of history, which is why we keep repeating it. The last five years have been an excellent example. I have a sizable library on World War II, including the “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” It was packed with facts about Adolf Hitler and his rise to power. He was an extraordinarily charismatic man who had an uncanny ability to see wedges in populations and exploit them.
His first objective was to make the German people feel they had been betrayed by the elitists. The German army would have won the war or at least gotten a good peace treaty and not the vindictive, nation-destroying treaty they signed. Hitler wasn’t the original leader of the small group until he decided the other leaders weren’t needed. His first try was to storm the Reichstag (Capitol building). The band was arrested and jailed, where he wrote his treatise, “Mein Kampf.”
After he was released, Hitler took a more public role and built a large following of loyal people who felt the government and the elites were against them. As the Brown Shirts organization grew, he split off the Jewish population as an object of hate. When his Brown Shirts became a problem, he formed the Black Shirts, who became the vaunted SS. The SS killed off the Brown Shirt leadership. He won his first election, but didn’t have total control of German government until the suspicious fire in the Reichstag, allowing him to take full power and martial law.
By then, his propaganda expert, Joseph Goebbels, practicing the “Big Lie,” had convinced millions to join the Nazi Party. Many of Hitler’s ideas and recruiting methods are used today by some extremist groups here and abroad.