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In Munich, there is a museum about the city’s relationship with the Nazi Party, particularly in its early years. I visited last year. Two themes stood out and struck me. 1/n...
The first thing is how German nationalism was profoundly anti-German. Early Nazi propaganda in Munich emphasised Bavarian separatism, and pushing a culture war between “true” “traditionalist” German values, and corrupt, metropolitan Berlin.
The second was a photograph by an American journalist of a Jewish lawyer being paraded through the streets of the city by the SA in around ‘32, 33. Very early in the Hitler regime.
The lawyer had gone to a police station to try represent a client who has been arrested. I think it was a journalist arrested for political reporting. In the police station, the lawyer was beaten, tortured, detained for 36 hours, before being paraded with a sign round his neck.
The sign read something along the lines of “I will never go to a German police station again”. I believe it was a pivotal moment for reporting of the Nazi regime in the US especially at a time when so many were still sanguine about Hitler.
What are we to conclude from this? Firstly, that all the talk of ‘establishments’ and ‘elites’, especially from people like Farage and Johnson and their far right cheerleaders in the press isn’t just absurd hypocrisy, it’s a tried and tested method of ushering in fascism.
Secondly, that there has to be a moment where the stolen clothing of civility work by fascists is torn away by their own violence to reveal them for who they really are. Like this week’s revelations about violence towards women by figures in the advancing international far right.
Take the warning. No more. Enough appeasement. Enough relying on rules they do not respect to protect us from people who care for nothing except power by any means. Resist. Defy. Do anything and everything to stop this going any further. Be warned.
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