1599 Zero To Hitler.

I actually intended to cut away from these two, but thought of this scene and decided to do it. As we all know any discussion on the internet goes from zero to Hitler at the speed of light as soon as contradicting viewpoints collide. We’ve really watered down the impact of Nazism from the constant hyperbolic use of them over time. When I was a kid it was still something you didn’t do flippantly, but as the years rolled on it became more and more common. I’m not sure when it finally went from a genuine insult to a joke, but once we started comparing people who like following the rules of grammar and spelling to a political party whose genocidal tendencies led to the murders of scores of people it was kind of over.
The Nazis impact on world culture is truly staggering if viewed in a wide arc. They are the villains in so many films, and in just as many they are the template for the villains. The newest star wars took the obvious parallels to a point that borders on lazy. They have become the ultimate bogeymen by being evil with style. So much so that we practically venerate them as much as we do the heroes of our tales.
Part of what makes them good antagonists is that like all the best ones they think they are the good guys. They believed they were right to varying degrees, but all enough to bring conflict to half of the world. We3’re all so inundated in the lore of it that the impact of that scale of conflict is essentially lost on us.
Then again maybe it isn’t really… Few are left who lived through those times, but people are still afraid of it deep down. Like the fear has been etched into the collective soul of humanity. We fear unified, well tailored, evil instinctively now. At the slightest remembrance of it we shout its name and point.

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First, well there is a rule that states the longer a conversation goes on on the internet, the more likely Hitler will referenced in some way shape or form

Godwin’s Law. Obey it.

Actually, Godwin’s Law says that the first person who brings up Hitler or Nazis in an argument loses.

During this past election, many people have been worrying about Godwin’s Law when discussing Donald Trump. Holocaust survivors – including Anne Frank’s sister – have likened Trump to Hitler, students studying German have found a lot of parallels between the two when translating Hitler’s speeches, and many people fear that Trump’s wanting to round up Mexicans or keep record of Muslims is similar to Hitler’s attitude toward other races and religions. Trump’s also quoted Mussolini and has been supported by David Duke. It’s… pretty unsettling.

Godwin’s Law was created because people painted Hitler’s cruelty in broad strokes and compared even the most mundane things to Hitler. There’s no doubt that he has done truly horrific things and that he provokes some very vivid imagery, but he’s been overused as the ultimate symbol of evil to the point that minor evils – or even evils that are merely perceived – have been compared to him.

“Look at him making speeches! You know who else made a lot of speeches? Hitler.”

“You don’t like my idea? You’re intolerant, just like Hitler!”

“What do you mean I’m not allowed to do that here? What is this, Nazi Germany?”

Eventually, people decided that he was so overused that pretty much anyone who discusses Trump in an argument must be exaggerating. And while that’s probably true 90% of the time, there is a danger in presuming it’s 100% true.

What if someone’s actually right?

It’s said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We’re supposed to look back at history, then apply that knowledge by comparing it to our current situation. If we cannot compare ANYTHING we encounter in life to one of the darkest moments in history – especially if it’s relatively recent history – then how can we be expected to learn from it?

And if we can’t learn from it, how can we avoid repeating it?

Not even Hitler went from zero to “Hitler” in one election.

Germany was down and out, trashed by the punishing war reparations from the Treaty of Versailles that ending WW1, when the German people didn’t have a solid sense they had even lost. (the writing was on the wall for the generals to see)

Then the Great Depression dropped on them then too (global economy is not new). Amid all that frustration came Hitler. Hitler lost the first time he stood for election before winning. Hitler was chancellor of Germany for years before he was made dictator for life.

The thing to remember is the frustration the Germans felt was real. The problems they had were real. If we’re afraid of falling for a big-talking dictator-in-populist-clothes, the first question to ask is why.

Are we really that bad off that we’d elect a Hitler? If so, why? Where’s our frustration coming from and what can we do about it? More of what we have been doing isn’t going to help, so don’t look to the Democrats for answers. Nor the Republicans, if I’m being honest.

Both parties are only interested in driving you around by your fears and emotions, which is how Hitler worked. He whipped up fear, and singled out jews as the reason things were so bad in Germany, eventually believing his own hype and putting 4.3 million of them to death in gas chambers.

Liberals and Democrats have yelled “Nazi” at conservatives and Republicans for decades. If it sounds new, that’s only because it’s been 8 years since GW Bush left office. They used to call him a nazi all the time.

I was not a fan of Dubya; I attended the pre-war protest in Washington D.C. – the largest pre-war protest in recorded history – before the war in Iraq began. I thought he was the dumbest and most loathsome president we ever had.

That being said, I always thought it was kinda farfetched when people compared Dubya to Hitler, even when he was still in office. Largely because I didn’t think he was competant enough to be a archvillain; he seemed more like a bumbling villain. Less Dr. Doom, more Dr. Doofinshmirtz (without the charm).

While I’m pretty sure that Dubya is racist and has little regard for the lives of others, I felt like his actions were pretty standard for a corrupt politician. I had often said, “Dubya isn’t Hitler. Obama isn’t Hitler. Romney isn’t Hitler. You know who was Hitler? HITLER.” To me, comparing anyone to Hitler was like comparing apples and oranges.

But now, we have someone whose campaign promises eerily echo the past. Trump has dropped all pretense of civility that Dubya at least tried to maintain. Now, I can’t help but wonder if all those times my fellow liberals called Dubya a Nazi have finally come back to bite us in the butt; that we cried wolf too often, and now no one wants to take our argument seriously.

Dubya may have been racist, corrupt, incompetant, entitled, and a warmonger, but in the end, he was just another bad president. Trump promises (and I mean that in a fairly literal sense) to be something far more ridiculous and terrifying.

W was never the competent villain. I’ve no doubt that he had more concern for the lives of others-republican and democrat than the current has for anyone outside of his family, Bill Aires (don’t know how that’s spelled), and Frank Marshall Davis. Poppy Bush on the other hand….He was much better at it.

Judging from some of the discussions I’ve read over the years, one would assume that the first person to compare X (or, particularly, their opponent) to Hitler or Nazism wins.

“There, I’ve dropped the H-Bomb. I win!”

Some interesting tidbits: Vaders’s classic helmet (not including face mask) was based on a type of steel helmet worn by the Waffen-SS, and almost every blaster in the original trilogy was actually repurposed props of German interwar and early WW2 firearms (most Stormtroopers use lighter, shorter variants of the FG-42 for example). Even the hand blasters used by the good guys are Lugers produced in the 1920s with a scope and a barrel extension similar to a silencer slapped on. It’s strange that Imperial Japan and Facist Italy didn’t leave the same lasting impressions as the Third Reich, especially as Mussolini was doing the Facist thing successfully long before Hitler.

Sadly it’s really hard to get hold of old WW2-era German firearms now, so cosplayers have to rely mainly on props instead of operational firearms.
I mean, most of them probably would anyway, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.

Japan’s and Italy’s WW2 transgressions don’t get remembered so much because Hitler’s offenses were on such a large and well-organized scale that they kind of eclipsed everything else. People didn’t believe stories they heard during the war about the concentration camps were true, because no one could POSSIBLY be that horrible. It wasn’t until after the war when we started liberating said camps that we realized yes, someone COULD be that horrible.

Historical racism played a role too. When all these things were coming to light, what one asian country did to another asian country was simply far less notable to westerners than what one european country did to another european country. And historical biases tend to echo forward for generations.

And the sheer scale of Hitler’s offenses helps make the Nazis good pop-culture villains today. Very few people will ever root for the bad guys because history has shown them to be villainous on a scale people have trouble comprehending. But they are also large and well-equipped enough to be a credible threat.

Basically, they are god villains because no one ever got mad because your movie, book, or video game showed you killing a Nazi. John Carmack noted after Wolfenstein 3D came out that iD got a lot of angry letters from people upset about the game’s then-realistic shootings of german shepards, but not a single complaint about shooting of the equally-realistic german HUMANS was ever mailed to them. And then Doom came out and people got mad about how the player violently murdered demons from Hell… but still had nothing to say about Wolf3D’s Nazi soldiers.

I think Italy and Japan are also helped by having other very notable things that people can focus on. On the one hand there’s Rome in all its ancient glory, and the Mafia is its own brand of go-to cartoonish villainy. On the other there’s samurai and ninja and the creation, post-WWII, of a not-insignificant portion of what we call pop culture.

Germany? Oktoberfest and it’s assorted trappings, but legitimate, important history like Charlemange and the Holy Roman Empire (which was, of course, none of the three) or Luther and the Protestant Reformation are a bit complicated and of less interest to the average person.

It also doesn’t hurt that both worked diligently to avoid, ignore or out right erase any of their own horrific transgressions. Most Japanese don’t even know what monsters their military were, but then again, racism is still rampant in that country, so there is that to consider.

I actually watched a play in Greece called The Bells of Edelweiss and, in the beginning, there was a Nazi (had to played comedically in an otherwise serious play) who actually ended up as the most sympathetic character because he was forced to watch his wife being raped in front of him by a group of Russians, mostly because he couldn’t get it up at all. His wife was sympathetic, but she became an absolute monster, so lost the audience because she slept with her son (the product of said rape) and carried on doing so, knowing what she did. Her son was an absolute ass all the way through and wanted his mother every which way.

It was all in Greek, so a lot didn’t make sense. But a sympathetic Nazi is just the weirdest experience ever.

Possibly- part of the choice in picking 3rd Reich-looking props, and Wehrmacht-looking props, in the 1970s + 1980s Star Wars films was- that for that time, the 3rd Reich + its horrid acts was still fresh in people’s minds as- sinister, very evil, and threatening stuff.
Also, in the West, anyway- you could probably find, in that era: a grandparent or an aunt or uncle, who wad some experiences living in WW2, or or who had been in a combat zone of WW2, thus bringing a large emotional impact…at that time, to 3rd Reich-looking art and props.

I usually don’t care when people misrecognize weapons (especially when they are heavily modified like Star Wars’ props), but in this instance it totally changes your interpretation so I jumped in the discussion with a big bag of “Well, actually…” :)

– The Stormtroopers’ blasters were build with military surplus of the British Sterling (meant to replace the STEN in 1945, but never deployed in great numbers so mostly unknown).
– Heavy imperial blasters were made from British Lewis and German MG34.
– Rebels blasters in Episode IV were also made from Sterlings, and in Episode V, from German Sturmgewehr and American AR-15.
– Han’s pistol was made from a Mauser C96 which, as its name indicate, was designed in 1896. While some where used in both WW, it was never an important part of the German armies’ inventory as the L├╝ger and Walther were far better.

The props were made from what was available at low cost (especially for IV), in good numbers, and easily modifiable beyond recognition by the general audience, rather than to hammer the point that the Empire were the bad guys.

On this subject I will always appreciate be corrected. It means I’ve found a kindred soul in the form of another movie fan. On a related note, I may have a book I need to begin marking up furiously.

I’m not so sure we’ve adequately learned the lesson of the Nazis. Many of the same people who hated them loved to Soviets. To this day, we easily fall into political camps and demonize our opposition for not complying with our group think. We also have a knee-jerk opposition to anyone we think of as a dictator, without fully understanding the context of a given country’s or region’s current situation. I think the one lesson really learned from the Nazis is not to be racist. Seems simple, but that seems to be the one universal trend, such that even people not racist, if they put their foot in their mouth somehow, can lose their entire career, because we are SO afraid of suddenly turning into Nazis. I remember sitting in a university class, and several class mates were casually discussing how some Neo-Nazi group had recently had a tiny little event in town, where they basically walked up to a make-shift stage, someone spoke, then they left, it was all peaceful and so small that it hardly got noticed anywhere else. And these students were bragging about how they went ballistic, attacking the literally ONE guy who showed up to support the group that wasn’t actually in it, attacking the police, several got arrested, yada yada. But they were so happy they opposed Nazis, it didn’t matter that they hospitalized one old guy who wasn’t hurting anyone. And that seems as Nazi-ish as anything.

I live in the UK and, for the first time, I’ve seen a poster on a bus stop extolling support and soliciting it for National Socialism. It went under the guise of No to Capitalism and Communism, Yes to National Socialism.

I sincerely hope that it’s a parody rather than genuine, because that is actually pretty frightening.

And now there is Trump …

And Hillary ……

That’s what you get for having a two party system. – that is gamed.

I’m not directing this at any comment-er in particular, however: I think, since WW2, that ANY president/president-type, or person who is running for president, will be compared to Hitler, just because some random person doesn’t like that president.
I guess it’s just a sign of the times.
This will probably go on, I guess, until H. is forgotten, or a more modern tyrant is chosen to be the world’s least favorite tyrant + ruler.

People used to compare unpopular rulers + unpopular presidents to- Kaiser Wilhelm II. Anyone read about him lately?

The Nazis were so obviously evil that they make a handy & lazy way of labeling & dismissing someone in an argument. Have an argument over an issue? Label your opponent a Nazi & nothing you opponent says is valid anymore.

No one seems to take the time to look at what the Nazi party stood for before calling differing political groups “Nazis”. One thing that rarely gets brought up:

Nazi – National Socialist Workers Party of Germany = National Socialists = Workers of Germany Unite!

Communist Party = International Socialist = Workers of the World Unite!

The Nazis hated capitalists & not only were Jews Jewish but they tended to be involved in capitalist activities such as banking. They were the ‘evil’ 1% of the day. The depictions of Jewish merchants & bankers were so over the top cartoony bad that some people are using them as ironic memes today.

That part is usually ignored in favor of the Nazi belief in a superior race & hatred of Jews above the usual European standard of the day. Anybody that says or does anything that can be viewed in some way as being negative to a non-caucasian is immediately called a Nazi. In Germany this fear is increased because of their history during WWII. I have heard of German girl who is part of a youth group of one of the leftist political parties in Germany who was afraid of reporting that she was raped by some guys that happened to be Middle-eastern refugees because she didn’t want to be called a racist for mentioning that they were from the Middle-east.

I wonder how long it will take for someone to call me a Nazi because I mentioned the above story with out mentioning something horrible that caucasians have done. Here is one, the Holocaust.

If you’re going to cry out for research, you should probably do some. The Nazi party having “Socialist” in their name didn’t make their policies Socialist any more than the name The People’s Democratic Republic of China makes them a democracy or a republic. They were pro-deregulated business, strongly nationalistic, and mostly driven by middle class unrest. Those are all hallmarks of fascism, which is the opposite end of the political-economic spectrum of socialism.

“…led to the murders of scores of people…”?

Scores? Now that is hilarious.

I’ve run into this before. People say “Scores” meaning “A lot”, but a Score is a specific number, Twenty. Remember “Four Score and Seven Years Ago”? That’s Eighty-seven years.
One can have “Scores” as an indefinite number, but it is never more than a hundred.

The Nazi murdered *millions*.

And there’s another popular misconception. People talk of Hitler murdering “Six million Jews” but rarely realize that along with Gays, Gypsies, Political opponents and others, it was closer to TWELVE million.

Even more poignant, the German army killed hundreds of millions of Russian soldiers in the worst way possible. The Russians had to sacrifice entire brigades of soldiers to slow their advance, because if they didn’t, the Germans would have tortured and killed any civilians trying to flee.

I always hear about how terrible Stalin was to the retreating and surrendering Nazi soldiers, but you have to take into account how the Nazis committed atrocities while marching across what is the Ukraine now. Setting soldiers on fire, using chemical weapons, cold blooded murder of surrendering Russian soldiers, bombing civilian buildings. The list goes on and on.

Nazi Germany is wrapped in allot of mystery and seen as the ultimate evil, but like was said earlier, they did what they believed was correct. Does that make them any worse than communist Stalin or Saddam Hussein, or any of these people that are demonized into being evil wretched monsters?

The problem is, Hitler was very human. He was benevolent to those he cared about. He loved Eva deeply, and it was never spoken of him that he did not love his country.

He was also very, very, very misled on what needed to be done to save the world.

And while his deeds will go to history as evil, I think he felt he served his purpose.

Adding on all the things that happened in world war 2 and since, I think Hitler’s actions set in motion a series of political struggles that we are still feeling the ramifications of today.

Isis origins can be traced back to 1947, when Jewish refugees from Germany were placed in the new country of Israel. The Islamic community suffered an injustice, and they did not do anything about it then, but they harbored a deep seated hatred for for the Jews and Christian led elements(UN) that took this strip of land from them. The holy land.

And now we face the consequences of Nazism. The long term consequences.

In the Introduction to his 1966 novel Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. wrote,

If I’d been born in Germany, I suppose I would have been a Nazi, bopping Jews and Gypsies and Poles around, leaving boots sticking out of snowbanks, warming myself with my secretly virtuous insides. So it goes.

Am I the only one who got the low key Steven universe reference

No you’re not, me and also two commenters above noticed it, but nobody mentioned about it directly.

Although at first I thought to myself “hmm, I wonder if that’s what Jackie had in mind”, but I can’t think of any other reference, obviously.

It’s the hypocrisy that annoys…and occasionally amuses…me. The culture of `tolerance’ is anything but tolerant of opposing views. Politically, Democrats and Republicans are more interested in painting their opposition in a negative light and opposing anything supported by the other side than in actually trying to make anything better.

Seriously, the only reason I’d vote for Trump is because no matter how crazy his ideas and rationales…at least it’s not more of the same recycled crap we’ve been sucking down for how long? “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”…and frankly, I’m a little tired of what we’ve always got. I’d prefer to vote for Bill & Opus, but that ship has sailed.

[We can’t use the R-word. The NSA is watching!]

[Besides, why do you think that gun control is such a big thing among progressives? Our 2nd amendment was put in there so that IT would always be an option, and they don’t want that!]

The second amendment was put into place to ensure that the public had a means of changing the government if the government hijacked the system. Read up on some of the writings of the founding fathers. They anticipated and expected a revolution or civil war every other generation or so to keep things honest. Not to protect citizens from other citizens, but to protect the public from an oppressive government.

Which is why the military oath is written the way it is. If the government does something that the military recognizes as deliberately oppressive, they are honor bound to prevent it from happening. A coup de main is entirely in the wing if things get too far out of control.

Hitler is touted as the ultimate example of evil because of what he did in the Holocaust. The actions which he ordered are so atrocious that people literally didn’t believe it was true because no one believed someone could be that evil, and were proven wrong.

Pearl Harbor garnered a lot of negative publicity, and was the key factor in America entering WW II, but even that was seen as a military, even if dishonorable, action. Pearl Harbor struck a vitally significant military base. Sure, they got carried away with strafing survivors of the downed ships still in the water, but it it was a military operation against a militarily significant target. In short, war is already atrocious, it is simply another example.

The Holocaust was so vilified because it was a civilian mess, and because of the means. The Jewish weren’t fighting, they weren’t a military force, or a military target. They were people, civilians, who were rounded up like cattle and executed en masse. This went beyond ‘war sucks’, because it served absolutely no military purpose. It wasn’t about the war, it was because the guy in charge was bat-shit insane.

I’m honestly not sure who I am scared of more: Hillary or Trump. Hillary has proven herself to be incompetent and incapable of being the chief of the Executive branch. Trump, on the other hand, really DOES sound like Hitler. No, seriously. His proposed plans about the Hispanic and Muslim are damn near direct quotes (with the population segments changed) of several of Hitler’s speeches.

Having said that, I’m almost afraid that Trump would be the lesser of two evils, because of how our government is set up. You see, Trump may WANT to round up those groups… but that’s not his call. That would be Congress’s call. Give Trump a Democratic Congress, and you’ll have gridlock with nothing being done. Which, sadly, is probably the best state of affairs we can hope to manage for the next four years.

Trump would be able to act as Commander In Chief of the armed forces, but he needs a Declaration of War from Congress to get the funding to do any of his bat-shit insane things that he’s wanting to do. An army marches on its stomach, and Congress has power of the purse.

The only force that would answer directly to Trump as President would be the military, who would refuse any order to act domestically under the Posse Comitatus Act, rendering him without a force capable of enacting any brutalities domestically.

In short, as long as the checks and balances are in play, Trump is mostly hot air. Repugnant and vitriolic hot air, but hot air nonetheless. He could no more enact any of these campaign promises than any other elected official in the past fifty years or so.

I do so wish I thought we could rely on the republicans in congress to keep Hillary from accomplishing her goals, but I have no reason to think they would stand. Any conservatives who might try would be treated worse by the republicans than the democrats.

The hobbyist-type cartoonist, Andrew Mutchler, had this to say about tossing in Hitler to win an argument- [paraphrased]:
“Some guy just said: [Do you know who also liked big highways? Hitler!]
Yeah, throw in Hitler to make anything look negative.
Here’s my response: Hitler wore clothes. Don’t be like Hitler!” ; )

As a side note: Andrew Mutchler is on deviantart [dot] com, as KTurtle, if you’d like to see his cartoons + art. Warning: he does, sometimes do some R-rated art, Adults-only art, + unusual ideas, if you don’t like seeing those types of things. But, I like his cartoons + art.

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