While stationed in West Germany in 1978, I visited Dachau, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. My bride is of Jewish ancestry and chose not to accompany me. I am glad she stayed home. No history book or teacher can prepare you for such an experience. Suffice to say, the stench and ambience of death still lingered and are forever etched in my memory.
Today, many folks wonder why the Holocaust happened.
The Holocaust did not happen overnight.
On Feb. 27, 1933, an arsonist destroyed the German parliament building (Reichstag), four weeks after Adolf Hitler was installed as chancellor. A Dutch communist, Marinus Van der Lubbe, admitted to setting the fire and insisted he acted alone. Nevertheless, German authorities arrested four other communists and charged them with the Reichstag fire.
The following September, a German court ruled that Van Der Lubbe acted alone.
Walter Gempp, the Berlin Fire Department chief, claimed there was a delay reporting the fire and that he was denied full use of his assets to fight the fire. Suggesting the Nazis were responsible for the Reichstag fire, Gempp was arrested and imprisoned four years later. He was killed in prison in 1939.
Gempp was not alone; there are many historians who believe the Nazis started the fire.
The day after the fire, German President Paul von Hinderburg signed the Reichstag Fire Decree, giving him and Chancellor Hitler emergency powers to suspend most civil liberties and blame and jail thousands of political opponents. Furthermore, the government seized control of the media. Claiming the communists were trying to take over Germany, the media inflicted panic within the German populace.
The Nazi Party eventually became the majority political party. With this majority and support from other minor political parties, a required parliamentary vote of two-thirds resulted in the passage of the Enabling Act on March 23. When it went into effect four days later, it gave Hitler power to rule by decree.
Two months after he became chancellor and one month after the Reichstag fire, Hitler became dictator of Germany.
Fueled by his racist credo, Hitler would persecute Jews and others he and his followers labeled as “socially undesirable” or “subhuman.” He would rebuild the Germany economy out of a depression and lead his country into World War II.
American and Allied forces, with exponential casualties and exorbitant costs, were able to stop Hitler’s 12-year reign of terror in 1945, but not before the genocide of over 6 million Jews, millions of other “undesirables,” and over 19 million civilians and prisoners of war.
Currently, the Democrats are convening a second trial for the second impeachment of (President Donald) Trump. Are they using the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as their “Reichstag Fire” 88 years later?
No, they don’t have to. I believe the pandemic gave them political cover to install a Venezuelan-esque voting system. Big Tech oligarchs and media lapdogs then helped the Democrats “win” the 2020 presidential election.
The Democrat Party now controls the executive and legislative branches of government. If they “pack the Supreme Court,” as many politicians have suggested, they will have an eternal trifecta of political power.
Not enough political power apparently.
Not content to harass Republicans who challenged the results of the 2020 election, much like the Democrats did in 2016, or impeach a former president for something the current president did when he was vice president, the party in power now wants to oust recently elected representatives for something they said before elected to office.
John Dalberg-Acton certainly nailed it when he said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.” To those who entered the Capitol during President Trump’s speech and damaged property that wasn’t yours, took property that wasn’t yours and harassed and attacked heroic police officers, shame on you.
To those of you who blame all Trump supporters for the actions of rabid miscreants, painting all Trump supporters with the same broad brush, shame on you, too.
Some Democrats have suggested deprogramming Trump supporters. We are now not just “deplorable,” but “domestic terrorists” because of the actions of those rabid miscreants who laid siege to the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.
James Madison said, “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” His words ring true two centuries later.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Dan Jennings is a retired Army captain and a retired BCPD lieutenant. He can be reached at email@example.com.