Friday, February 12, 2021

The Big Lies of Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump

Painting depicting the signature of the armistice in the railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne, Eastern France, November 8. 1918. Behind the table, from right to left, General Weygand, Marshal Foch of France (standing) and British Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss and fourth from the left, British Naval Captain Jack Marriott. In the foreground, Matthias Erzberger (a member of the German government), Major General Detlof von Winterfeldt (with helmet), Alfred von Oberndorff and Ernst Vanselow. (Wikipedia)

Donald Trump was not an American Führer but if he had succeeded in staying in office despite losing the November 2020 election, his rule would increasingly replicate the early period of the Nazis in power in Germany from 1933. America had controversial presidential elections in 1824 and 1876 but no president had ever incited a racist mob to stop the final certification of the vote.

Testimony at his second impeachment trial show that the president delayed sending the national guard to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and apparently, he did not care that his Vice President and the Speaker of Congress could be assassinated by the raging mob. Videos show his mob shouting "Hang Mike Pence" while others were looking for Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker.

Maureen Dowd of The New York Times wrote [It was Manson family-chilling to watch the House impeachment managers’ video with a rioter hunting for the House speaker, calling out: “Where are you, Nancy? We’re looking for you, Na-a-ncy. Oh, Na-a-ncy.”]

Trump watched the insurrection on television.

Trump admires authoritarian leaders such as Vladamir Putin because they can rule by decree, steal elections, steal from the public treasuries, imprison or kill opponents, and they do not have to worry about their puppet parliaments.

"We won this election and we won it by a landslide," said Trump at his "Save America" rally on January 6, 2021, which incited the assault on the Capitol.

Even out of office Trump owns the Republican Party and most of the representatives in Congress are shameless spineless sycophants.

About two-thirds of Republicans say Joe Biden was not legitimately elected president, according to a poll conducted barely two weeks after he was inaugurated.

Questions sur les miracles (1765)

The Big Lie

The Big Lie (German: große Lüge) evolved from the "stab-in-the-back-myth" (German: Dolchstoßlegende) that the German armed forces were defeated in 1918 because of betrayal on the home front by Jews and leftists politicians.

According to The Washington Post's Fact Checker team, Donald Trump made false or misleading claims that total 30,573 over 4 years in office. Trump's first Big Lie helped to make him president. His second Big Lie marks him as the worst of 45 men who have been president of the United States (Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president).

Adolph (or Adolf: Hitler's name on his birth certificate is Adolfus) Hitler (1889-1945) in his book "Mein Kampf" (in English My Struggle or My Fight), noted that "the broad masses of a nation are always more easily...victims to the Big Lie than the small lie...It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths."

Hitler's Big Lie was on the Dolchstoßlegende which became a justification later for the Holocaust, while in the book he accused Jews of using the Big Lie.

Josef Goebbels (1897-1945), Hitler's propaganda chief, is often incorrectly seen as the originator of the term "Big Lie" but he did say in 1941, "The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."

Hitler's book was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926. It was dictated in prison to party colleagues such as Rudolf Hess (1894-1987 by suicide in prison), who edited it. Hitler and colleagues were in prison in 1924 for their part in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch, which was a failed coup d'état by the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party).

James Murphy (1980-1946), a native of Knockavilla, near Bandon in West Cork, Ireland, lived in Berlin from the late 1920s and he produced an English version of "Mein Kampf" in 1939.

The source of the Big Lie technique is this passage, taken from Chapter 10 of James Murphy's translation of the book:

But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.

All this was inspired by the principle — which is quite true within itself — that in the Big Lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the Big Lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X

In the final days in early November 1918, sailors of the German High Seas Fleet revolted in what's called the Kiel mutiny (German: Kieler Matrosenaufstand); a new civilian government was sworn in and the Kaiser Wilhelm II prepared to flee to the Netherlands which had been neutral during the war.

General Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) contacted Marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), the Supreme Allied Commander, to agree on an armistice.

Both Hindenburg and the other supreme commander First Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937) avoided the humiliation of surrendering in a railroad carriage in the Forest of Compiègne in Eastern France on November 8, 1918.

Marshal Foch demanded unconditional surrender and the politician Matthias Erzberger (1875–1921) signed for Germany (see a copy of painting above). In June 1940 Hitler got the French to surrender in the same carriage.

Erzberger was assassinated in 1921 and the politicians who agreed to the armistice were called the "November criminals."

In 1919 in testimony to a parliamentary commission on the war, both Hindenburg and Ludendorff endorsed the Dolchstoßlegende.

They were too cowardly to accept responsibility for failure and the Dolchstoßlegende was a convenient shield. Why not blame the Jews?

General Ludendorff — a rabid anti-Semite — was with Hitler in Munich in 1923 during the failed coup d'état and Time put him on its cover.

In an article published in 1938, Sir John Wheeler-Bennett (1902-1975), a British historian, wrote on Ludendorff:

He allied himself with the ultra-Nationalist elements of the Right, refusing to be reconciled in any way with the Weimar Republic, and he never missed an opportunity of adding a new weapon to his armoury of hate. One evening in the autumn of 1919, Ludendorff was dining with the head of the British Military Mission, Major-General Sir Neill Malcolm, and his officers, and was expatiating, with his usual vitriolic eloquence, on the way in which the Supreme Command had been betrayed by the revolution on the “home-front.” His style of speech was turgid and verbose, and in an effort to crystallize the meaning into a single sentence, General Malcolm asked him: “Do you mean, General, that you were stabbed in the back?” Ludendorff’s eyes lit up and he leapt upon the phrase like a dog on a bone. “Stabbed in the back?” he repeated. “Yes, that’s it, exactly, we were stabbed in the back.” And thus was born a legend which has never entirely perished.

Germans were familiar with the "stab in the back" theme as it was used in Wagner's 1876 opera "Götterdämmerung," where Hagen murders his enemy Siegfried — the hero of the story — with a spear in his back.

*As reported by US War Department  via Encyclopedia Britannica

The Versailles Myth

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) the British Depression-era economist, became a public figure after his book 'Economic Consequences of the Peace' was published from 1919 in many countries. Keynes had been a member of the British delegation in France and the book was a scathing indictment of the Treaty of Versailles' claimed vengeful settlement with vanquished Germany.

Jan Smuts of South Africa — a member of the British Imperial Cabinet — had written to Lloyd George, the British prime minister, in March 1919 and he called the reparations demand a "Carthaginian Peace." Keynes used the same term in his book.

Britain and France also had high war debts and most of the war had been fought outside German territory.

According to the Economist:

"The reparations imposed in 1921, in what Germans called the 'London ultimatum,' were large, but not impossibly so. Germany was asked to pay 132bn German marks, but this included 82bn marks in bonds that were never likely to become payable. The remaining 50bn marks — worth about $12.5bn then, or $185bn today — was less than what Germany itself had earlier offered to pay. It was about 160% of the country’s GDP, similar to British national debt at the time and only slightly larger than the $10bn that the recipients of the reparations owed the United States...Neither did reparations cripple Germany’s economy. Despite the hyperinflation in 1921-23 and allowing for changes in the map of Europe, Germany produced 30% more iron and 38% more steel in 1927 than it had in 1913, the previous record. By 1930 the tonnage of German merchant navy was about 4m tonnes, only a little less than the 5m of 1913."

Elizabeth Wiskemann, a correspondent for the Economist, in her memoirs, describes how she met Keynes in London in 1936: ["I do wish you had not written that book,” I found myself saying (meaning “The Economic Consequences,” which Nazis never ceased to quote) and then longed for the ground to swallow me up. But he said simply and gently, “So do I."]

The Nazi Party's path to power was enabled by the Great Depression.

The party only received 2.6% of the vote in 1928 but it had risen to 37.3% in 1932.

Two of the biggest German banks failed in 1931.

In an economics paper by Sebastian Doerr of the Bank for International Settlements, Stefan Gissler of the Federal Reserve, José-Luis Peydró of Imperial College London and Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, they show the steep dip in goods production from 1930 while one of the big banks was run by a Jew, Jakob Goldschmidt, who became the main target of a Nazi propaganda campaign blaming Jews for Germany’s economic crisis.

The authors say that "Nazi propaganda consistently blamed the Jewish population for Germany’s economic ills – one infamous cartoon in Der Stürmer, a Nazi weekly, showed a gigantic, obese Jewish banker hanging a starving German businessman (Figure 5). Goebbels, later Minister for Propaganda, instructed party propagandists to emphasise that the banking crisis validated the party’s anti-Semitic line."

Trump

Donald Trump has a history of racism and as president, he emboldened white supremacists and made racism respectable again in the USA.

Donald J Trump: Racist president of White America

Cognitive dissonance and the flawed American democracy

From 2011 Donald Trump began promoting the Big Lie that President Barack Obama had been born outside the United States and thus was an illegitimate president. On Fox News, he said: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don’t know.” Seventy-two per cent of registered Republican voters in 2016 still doubted President Obama’s citizenship, according to a national poll.

Trump's Big Lie that the November presidential election was stolen resulted in the first major attack on the Capitol since the British burned the building in 1814.

Trump claimed massive fraud in areas with large black populations but on January 2, 2021, he was recorded fraudulently asking the Georgia secretary of state to find votes for him.

"All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state," Trump said.

Conclusion

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), a German-born Jew, wrote in 1951 in her book 'Origins of Totalitarianism':

In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.

The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.