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March 11, 2011

The Left: reinventing fascism [Fritzworth]

What Hitler is currently being quoted as saying:

"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike"
- Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

Problem is, as far as anyone can tell, Hitler never said that. On the other hand, and in all fairness, he (or his officials) did co-op and then abolish the existing trade unions, and at that point in time, mostly because he saw them as a threat to Nazi power. They were eventually replaced by the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF):
Soon after the NSDAP came to power in 1933, all trade unions and worker organizations were declared illegal and the DAF was setup in their place as the sole labour organization of the German Reich. The concept of the DAF was to ensure the political stability and smooth operations of all German industry and commerce. It was through the use of mass organization, much like all other NSDAP-era organizations, that labour was to be formed into a single militarized group where "...a certain amount of well supervised misery, combined with daily work begun with drums beating and ended with drums beating..." would be used to solidify the labour front of the German Nation.

Membership in the DAF was voluntary, but any person who was a worker in any area of German industry or commerce more-or-less was a member by default. Membership dues were given in the range of 15 Pfenning to 3 RM, depending on the catagory a member fell into in the large scale of 20 membership groups. A substantial amount of money was raised through dues, in 1934, the total intake was 300,000,000 RM.

The DAF was composed of two main areas, the Nationalsozialistische Betriebsorganization, or National Socialist Factory Organization (NSBO) and the Nationalsozialistische Handels und Gewerbeorganization, or Natational Socialist Trade and Industry Organization (NSHABO).

Another major part of the DAF was the KdF, or Kraft durch Freude - Strength through Joy. This organization, as a subset of the DAF, was tasked with providing activities such as trips, cruises, concerts, and cultural activities for the German workers. These events were specifically directed towards the working class and it was through the KdF that the NSDAP hoped to bring to the "common man" the pleasures once reserved only for the rich. By opening the door for the working class to easily and affordably take part in activities once reserved only for the rich, it was hoped that the labor force could be lulled into being more flexible and productive. One of the most famous aspects of this were the numerous trips and cruises provided by the huge fleet of ocean-going liners controled by the DAF/KdF, such ships as the Wilhelm Gustloff, Robert Ley, and many others. The Volkswagon was also a partial product of the DAF/KdF organization as well.

Hitler, having co-opted the unions, turned his attention on business:

The business men, who had been so enthusiastic over the smashing of the troublesome labor unions, now found that left-wing Nazis, who really believed in the party's socialism, were trying to take over the employers' associations, destroy the big department stores [shades of Wal-Mart], and nationalize industry. Thousands of ragged Nazi Party officials descended on the business houses of those who had not supported Hitler, threatening to seize them in some cases, and in others demanding well-paying jobs in management. Dr. Gottfried Feder, the economic crank, now insisted that the [Nazi] party program be carried out -- nationalization of big business, profit sharing, and abolition of unearned income and "interest slavery". As if this were not enough to frighten the businessmen, Walther Darre, who had just been named Minister of Agriculture, threw the bankers into jitters by promising a big reduction in the capital debts of the farmers [shades of mortgage write-downs] and a cut in the interest rate on what remained to 2% [ditto].

-- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, William A. Shirer, Simon & Shuster (New York, 1960), Volume I, pp. 203-204.

Note that Hitler also hated state governments and stripped them and their separate legislatures of all power:
Thus, within a fortnight of receiving full powers from the Reichtag, Hitler had ... abolished the separate powers of the historic states and made them subject to the central authority of the Reich, which was in his hands. . . . "Popular assemblies" of the states were abolished, the sovereign powers of the states were transferred to the Reich, all state governments were placed under the Reich government, and the state governors were placed under the the administration of the Reich Minister of the Interior. As this Minister, Frick, explained it, "The state governments from now on are merely administrative bodies of the Reich."

-- Shirer, p. 200.

Contrary to the manufactured quote above, Hitler was focused on jobs and on improving the lot of workers:
"History will not judge us according to whether we have removed and imprisoned the largest number of economists, but according to whether we have succeeded in providing work." [Hitler to the the Nazi state governors, July 6, 1933]

-- Shirer, p. 206

And within a few years he had succeeded:
"...a newly arrived observer [Shirer himself moved to Germany in 1934] was somewhat surprised to see that the people of the country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed and held down by an unscrupulous and brutal dictatorship. On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Someone it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.

Hitler was liquidating the past, with all its frustrations and disappointments. Step by step, and rapidly...he was freeing Germany from the shackles of Versailles, confounding the victorious Allies and making Germany militarily strong again. This is what most Germans wanted and they were willing to make the sacrifices which the Leader demanded of them to get it: the loss of personal freedom, a Spartan diet ("Guns before Butter") and hard work. By the autumn of 1936 the problem of unemployment had largely been licked*, almost everyone had a job again and one heard workers who had been deprived of their trade union rights joking, over their full dinner pails, that at least under Hitler there was no more freedom to starve. "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz!" (The Common Interest before Self!) was a popular Nazi slogan in those days, and though many a party leader, Goering above all, was secretly enriching himself and the profits of business were mounting, there was no doubt that the masses were taken in by the new "national socialism" which ostensibly put the welfare of the community above one's personal gain.

* From February 1933 to the spring of 1937, the number of registered unemployed fell from six million to less than one million.

-- Shirer, pp. 231-232 [Footnote in original]

Oh, and contrary to the repeated assertions of Nazi Germany being a Christian nation:
Not many Germans lost much sleep over the arrests of a few thousand pastors and priests [by the Nazi government] or over the quarreling of the various Protestant sects. And ever fewer paused to reflect that under the leadership of Rosenberg, Bormann and Himmler, who were backed by Hitler, the Nazi regime intended eventually to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists. As Bormann, one of the men closest to Hitler, said publicly in 1941, "National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable."

-- Shirer, p. 240

So: nationalize unions [UPDATE: and, I should note, tie them to one specific political party], nationalize businesses, eliminate large department stories, mandate profit sharing of corporations, force banks to write down loan principles and lower interest rates, disband state legislatures, make state governments mere appendages to a strong central National government, put the common interest above self-interest, have Party leaders enrich themselves while promoting socialism among their followers, and control or eliminate all Christian churches. Who does that sound like? The Tea Party?

Note that in Mein Kampf, Hitler had good things to say about unions:

"In the present state of affairs I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trades unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby."

-- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume II, Chapter XII [emphasis added]

Time and again, the Left invents false quotes, mostly because history is not on their side. ..fritz..
[Cross-posted from And Still I Persist]

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posted by Open Blogger at 09:50 AM

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