Friday, September 18, 2020

New York Review of Books: "It Can Happen Here", the imposition of fascism

The New York Review of Books, in an article by Cass R, Sunstein (June 28, 2018), argues “It can happen here” with the byline “Many accounts of the Nazi period depict a barely imagineable set of events, a nation gone mad. That makes it easy to take comfort in the thought it can’t happen again.”

Sustein discsses three books on the lives of ordinary Gentile citizens in Nazi Germany.

One is Milton Mayer, “They Thought They Were Free”, 1955.

But in 1939 Sebastian Haffner (real name Raimund Pretzel) had written “Defying Hitler”.

And Konrad Jarausch had written “Broken Lives”. 

The main point seems to be that ordinary Lutheran or Catholic Germans probably had the best times of their lives economically.  The government entertained and indulged them and kept “speech” at bay, of course.  Many barely grasped what was going on or, or knew enough to care. 

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