Won’t Get Fooled Again?

I want to tell you a story. Once upon a time, a symbolically important building was destroyed in an act of politically-motivated terrorism. Soon thereafter, members of a political party which had recently come into power proposed emergency legislation in the wake of the tragic event. The new legislation was touted as a means to increase public safety. Instead, it impinged upon several sections of the country’s Constitution, mainly those governing freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. It also allowed the police to detain suspects indefinitely and without court orders. The head of the party presented the document to the country’s leaders and, amidst massive fear-inspiring propaganda, it was signed into law.

Can you guess 1. the year this happened, 2. the country, 3. the building that was destroyed, and the 4. political party whose representatives invented this legislation? Answers are below! (Isn’t this fun?)

1. 1933
2. Germany
3. The Reichstag building
4. The Nazi Party, with Adolf Hitler presenting the new decree on Feb. 28, 1933.

Really, you cannot MAKE this stuff up! To prove I’m not, you can look it up yourself in The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans, pp. 332-333. It’s a book I’ve been reading because I believe in Knowing Thy Enemy.

So then what happened in our story? Believe it or not, in 1933 there was an election coming up. The voting took place in an atmosphere of fear, as police and paramilitary units were stationed everywhere because the regime claimed that more terrorist attacks were likely. Despite all this, the Nazi party DID NOT WIN a majority. But they felt they had enough votes to claim a “mandate”, and with the help of Paragraph 2 of the emergency legislation, which allowed the govt. to take over the federated states if “public order was endangered”, (please see this link for more info) they seized power completely and started locking up the opposition. Communists, socialists, Social Democrats, and liberals of all stripes were the first people to experience life in concentration camps.

I think we all know the rest of the story from there on out. My point:
History. Learn From It.

But, if you insist on keeping your head in the sand and blindly following a party line, or maybe you just don’t care if you have civil liberties or not, so be it. It’ll just be that crazy tarsier chick and her husband in the gulag after all, and nobody’ll miss them. And gas will be like, soooooo cheap!!

6 Responses to “Won’t Get Fooled Again?”

  1. LOUP Says:

    You aren’t the only one who sees it … http://semiskimmed.net/bushhitler.html

    Scary stuff.

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