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Reader's View: Beware parallels to Nazi Germany

In his book, “The Anatomy of Fascism,” Robert Paxton writes that fascists in America will not identify themselves as fascists. After Charlottesville, World War II vets on YouTube and in the news said it was very disturbing to see Nazis marching in the street and a president who seemed to support them. Evidently, there are some Americans willing to identify as fascists and march in the streets.

In the book, “Savage Continent,” about Europe after World War II, there is a story of a young boy accusing a Jewish shopkeeper of performing evil rituals on Christian children in his basement, killing them and drinking their blood. Soon a mob formed, police were called, and police investigated. The police told the mob there was no basement. This reminded me of the debunked Comet/Pizzagate conspiracy theory during the 2016 presidential election. The theory about human trafficking and restaurants and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton was pushed by anti-Clinton propagandists. Nine percent of Trump supporters believed the story; 19 percent were not sure. Polls of Trump supporters have found reluctance to state the truth when it comes to beliefs, so a good portion of the 19 percent may have believed the story.

To me this was a direct link to the racist fascists of World War II.

Read Richard Evans’ three books on Nazi Germany, and you’ll see: Starting with the early rise of the Nazis, there are many undeniable parallels with our current Republican politics. My father-in-law was a World War II vet and lifelong Republican, but at 95 he switched parties. I rely on the perspective of a World War II vet. President Donald Trump may be leading this parade, but he has 40 percent of American voters following him, about the same as supported Hitler in 1933.

Shane Vondra

Poynette, Wis.

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