On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to Professor Benjamin Hett about the collapse of democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic which lead to fascism, and what features of the collapse are applicable to the democratic experiment in America.
In February 2019 Germany opened a brand new intelligence complex in the city of Berlin. The new headquarters of the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst or Federal Intelligence Service) occupies a huge space—by the way, much as STASI or State Security Service once did in East Berlin the former German Democratic Republic—and supposedly employs a total of over six thousand persons. The move from its former secret location in the Munich suburb of Pullach reflects both the centralization in Berlin of federal institutions that after World War Two were widely dispersed throughout Germany and importantly, European Union-NATO leader Germany’s efforts to get away from the nation’s Nazi past. The new BND location in Germany’s capital city seems also a giant step away from the former obsessive secrecy of its location in Munich, hidden away in that obscure suburb and operating under a cover name and, above all, until the late 1950s an affiliate of the CIA. The move to Berlin can be interpreted as the BND’s declaration of sovereignty.
I find surprising the detailed manner in which history repeats itself. The result of the landslide described here seems to have been replicated in the USA of our times in ways that all of us witness each day. The Germany of say 1939 seems like the blueprint for the US role in the world of today.
Every government on earth, beginning with the United States, should shut down and be done with secret agencies, spy agencies, agencies used for murder, torture, bribery, election-manipulation, and coups.
“In Fascism, the proletariat is confronted by an extraordinarily dangerous enemy. Fascism is the concentrated expression of the general offensive undertaken by the world bourgeoisie against the proletariat. Its overthrow is therefore an absolute necessity, nay, it is even a question of the every-day existence and of the bread and butter of every ordinary worker. On these grounds the whole of the proletariat must concentrate on the fight against Fascism. It will be much easier for us to defeat Fascism if we clearly and distinctly study its nature.” — Clara Zetkin, Labour Monthly, August 1923
My generation has seen that history does repeat itself. We know world wars I and II and we have seen “regime change” in action from country to country, from Libya to Iraq. Those who think that history does not repeat itself might read some of these lines about what once happened and what is happening today.
US President Trump’s declaration last week before the UN to “totally destroy” North Korea and his general ranting about American military might is on par with the Nazi Third Reich’s invocation of “Total War”.
In the wake of violent protests involving white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US, the Pentagon’s top military brass issued unprecedented condemnations of “racists and extremists”. One veterans spokesman said: “Anyone waving a Nazi flag must be rooted out of our society”.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your book Conjuring Hitler received a laudatory criticism of our friend Peter Dale Scott. Moreover, I share the view of this great intellectual on the fact that this book is essential in the work of historical research. How did you arrive at conclusions against the flow of the historians of the establishment, namely that Hitler was made by the United States and Great Britain and that World War II was inevitable?
The annual VE Day – victory in Europe – celebrations held this month see, as usual, Western governments indulging in self-glory and moral superiority for their supposed defeat of German fascism. However, the official history books do not tell of the secret pact that Western governments and Washington in particular formed with the remnants of the Nazi war machine.
Three Films About the Power of the Past was the second major documentary series made by British film-maker Adam Curtis. This series investigated the way that history and memory (both national and individual) have been used by politicians and others. It was transmitted on BBC Two in the spring of 1995.
This episode examined how the various national memories of the Second World War were effectively rewritten and manipulated in the Cold War period. For Germany, this began at the Nuremberg Trials, where attempts were made to prevent the Nazis in the dock—principally Hermann Göring—from offering any rational argument for what they had done. Subsequently, however, bringing lower-ranking Nazis to justice was effectively forgotten about in the interests of maintaining West Germany as an ally in the Cold War.