The Nov. 8 letter, “Trump’s rise feels disturbingly familiar,” caught my attention. It quoted an October 2017 U.S. News and World Report article describing Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in the 1930s. It seems to parallel what’s happening here now.
Anyone my age (95) witnessed the events described: “(Hitler) was a coarse, uneducated leader (who rose) to prominence on a white privilege, nationalist wave,” the magazine reported. “The conservative establishment party foolishly thought it could appease him by sharing power. … (The Nazis) destroyed media credibility to silence critics. … The Nazis literally burned … congress to the ground. … (The Nazis) seized authoritarian power by using unchallenged propaganda to precipitate an existential threat allegedly emanating from those outside the white Aryan race.”
I was in high school. News reports were scary. I remember newsreels showing the mass burnings of banned books in Germany. The Nazis invaded Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, Norway, and Sweden. Jews hid or emigrated to escape capture. Some were arrested and used as human guinea pigs. Others were forced into slavery or exterminated in gas chambers. Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini wielded absolute power with “brown shirts.” Japan expanded its borders by invading a neighbor. Nazi planes regularly bombed England with plans to invade.
The U.S. stayed out of the action until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. U.S. became an unwilling participant. All able-bodied males were drafted into military service. Civilian commodities were rationed, including gas, shoes, sugar, coffee, and cars. All goods and efforts were dedicated to defeating the Axis. At night we covered our windows to block light so warplanes could not find and bomb us.
It’s puzzling to me that any American still defends President Donald Trump. It’s obvious the GOP and Trump have blocked attempts to investigate questionable actions.