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Samizdata factoid of the day

During the 15 years before Hitler came to power, there were more than 200 prosecutions based on anti-Semitic speech.

Mark Steyn quoting from his book Lights Out.

28 comments to Samizdata factoid of the day

  • Mr Ed

    So the Lefty concludes that they didn’t work hard enough, and UKIP must be banned!

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – the Weimar state was big and interventionist. “Liberalism” in the modern (say Economist magazine) sense.

    No trial by jury and lots of laws meaning the state could do what it liked.

    That did not work out well in 1933 – or even under Weimar.

    A state that is big enough to give you everything you want (including “Hate Speech” laws) is big enough to take everything away from you.

    Including your life.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Hitler was elected.

  • Kevin B

    It’s very hard for a quiet guy who believes in the cock-up theory of history not to get all conspiracy theorist about current events.

    Still, I’m sure our political class have it all worked out.

  • RRS

    Hitler was elected.


    While I was only going on 10 at the time, I don’t think that is correct.

    Hindenburg (president) appointed him Chancellor.

    Members of The National Socialist Workers Party were elected.

  • RRS

    As I recall (and I haven’t looked it up), the Reichstag authorized the ReichsChancellor to place the office of President “In Camera,” whereby Hitler became the sole executive authority.

    could be wrong though.

  • A Swiss

    If I remember correctly, the NSDAP only ever had 33 % of the popular vote.

    However, the conservative prussian establishment (which essentiallly was still running the state – civil servants, military officers, estate owners) then backed him because they thought they could control him.

    We all know how that turned out.

    Hence why the Allies officially dessolved Prussia after the war in 1946 (?).

    They then installed new lefty elites – and strangely Germany is in a mess again…

  • Patrick Crozier

    Actually, it was the Weimar Republic that abolished Prussia (more or less). In 1932.

  • guy herbert

    Is it a fact or a factoid?

  • Runcie Balspune

    The main media misapprehension is not being addressed and I don’t think Steyn does a very good job of addressing it either. Antisemitism is bigotry against an ethnic group, whereas anti-Islam is criticism of an ideology. Accusations of racism are wholly inappropriate, and the threat to free speech is the gagging of criticism by use of that epithet. If an ideology has a misogynistic nature and then its adherents treat women inappropriately, it is right and proper to point this out when it happens. If a bunch of Greek neo-fascists came into Germany and then beat up a black person then you would not be crying racist and anti-migrant against criticism of it.

  • Alisa

    This is the source – I imagine one would need to check the actual book for references.

  • Alisa

    This looks like an actual study.

  • Alisa

    …from 1940. I’ll take me coat now…

  • Stonyground

    Stonyground’s eighteen year old daughter said

    “If we are going to talk about things in modern culture that anticipate a Hitler like leader coming to power, the fucked up economy is more of a worry”

  • Patrick Crozier

    Alisa, is there anything wrong with the fact that that study came from 1940?

  • Alisa

    No, not at all – to the contrary, I found it notable in that maybe it makes it more reliable. Although I should stress the maybe part, obviously.

  • Alisa

    The coat remark was because I left several short comments, rather than combining them into one – I find it annoying when others are doing it, and here I am doing it yet again… :-O

  • Mr Ed

    …from 1940. I’ll take me coat now…

    You sound a bit Yorkshire.

  • Mr Black

    It seems reasonably clear that the elites of Germany and probably many other western nations are guilty of treason on this issue. They are colluding to support an enemy population who are victimising their own people. I would relish some mob justice visited on these elites as they have utterly forfeited their right to govern and I think given the scale of their crimes, their right to live. Sadly they’ll all retire to comfortable places far out of reach of justice.

  • Paul Marks

    No trial by jury (Republican Roman had them – so did Ancient Athens)

    No right to keep and bear arms.

    Nothing that could be associated with what the Romans would have called a Res Publica.

    Mr Hitler did stand for election – for President in 1932, he lost.

    However, S.M.s point has truth in it.

    The least worst option open to President Hindenburg in 1933 would have been rule by the army – as with Pinochet after 1973.

    However, Hindenberg was a very old man – and he did not want to be a dictator.

    So he did indeed invite the leader of the largest party in the Parliament (the National Socialist German Workers Party) to become Chancellor.

    Inviting he SPD into power would not have worked – they could not get a majority in Parliament.

    “Conservative” Prussian establishment?

    No such Conservative establishment existed – not even in the 1700s (let alone in 1933).

    The Prussian upper classes were not independent (as the British ones were) the Prussian upper classes (even before Frederick the Great) DEPENDED on the state.

    Long before Frederick the Junkers had got an exception from taxation (bad enough if everyone else pays) – but it was more than that, they profited from state service. Not all of them – but very many.

    To a member of the British aristocracy or gentry government (or army) services was a burden – a net cost. Not a net benefit.

    Even the Prussian Church was a State Church.

    Americans seem unable to understand the difference between an Established Church (such as the Church of England) and a State Church – so I will just say that the difference is vast. A Church of England priest was not a Civil Servant, and their income did not come taxation.

    Not only did Prussia not have a Conservative establishment in 1933 – the economic basis for such an establishment did not really exist. And nether did the intellectual basis – the idea of the individual lord standing AGAINST the state had long gone from German thought (although some aristocratic families did behave with honour under the Nazis – and paid a terrible price for it).

    Still many British people made this mistake at the time – because Germany had landowners and what looked like an established Church, they insisted on seeing Germany in English terms (even though those terms did not really “fit”).

    Even in the 18th century it took an Irishman (an outsider – Edmund Burke, the unsigned anti Prussian stuff in the “Annual Register” is from Burke) to see that Prussia and England were not really similar at all. And this was before Prussians starting reading Hegel and Fichte (and ……) the “most educated nation in Europe” and what a terrible thing that proved to be (the Nazi Party was OF COURSE especially powerful among academics, school teachers and students – long before it was popular with ordinary Germans).

    In 1930s it took chance (getting separated from his minders and seeing things he was not supposed to see) to open the eyes of Austin Chamberlain to the fact that Nazi Germany was so evil (and in an expansionist way) that no deal could be made with it.

    However, Austin died before he could convince his half brother Neville Chamberlain.

    Perhaps if Harry Marks had take a (time travelling) Sean Gabb to Nazi Germany (which Harry Marks visited in the 1930s) he could have convinced him that Nazi Germany had to be destroyed.

    I would like to think so.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Er, didn’t the Church of England benefit from the tithe until the 1930s? Sounds like a tax to me.

  • Julie near Chicago

    What if you didn’t belong to the C of E? If you were Lutheran, or Catholic, or Jewish, or “not religious,” or (e) None of the above? Did you still have to tithe, and tithe to the C of E at that?

  • RRS

    To the PMO:

    Why omit the Hindeburg “annexation” of Pomerme?

  • Nicholas (Andy.royd) Gray

    Runcie, sorry, but you are wrong! According to Sharia, everyone is born a natural Muslim, but then nonmuslim parents brainwash their children out of this state. So anyone who is anti-Islam is anti the whole human race, the ultimate racist! Now do you see the error of your ways?

  • Chris

    I didn’t know Prussia would be so controversial.

    Patrick, the Weimar Republic did not abolish Prussia. Prussia continued to officially exist until the Allied Control Council dissolved it in 1947. What happened in 1932 was that the central government (then controlled by the Hindenburg Camarilla) deposed the Prussian State cabinet so Chancellor Papen could rule Prussia directly, but the state remained in existence and theoretically power could be devolved back to the Prussian cabinet. It was akin to declaring a state of emergency. Under Nazi rule, all independence of the German states from Berlin was window dressing and theoretical, and none of the other German states were anymore independent.

    During the Weimar Republic, the actual state of Prussia was actually a democratic bulwark. Between the SPD in the East, and the Centrum in the Catholic Rhineland (along with the liberal DDP), the democratic parties controlled the Prussian government.

    When people talk about Prussian Conservatism, they are thinking about the old Prussian elites (military officers, large landowners, big industrialists) that ruled the state under the Kaiser. They effectively controlled much of the state bureaucracy, police, and judiciary, but they were not in control of the parliament. “A Swiss” is completely right on that point. Ignoring what was traditionally meant as “Prussian” and saying that only the state called Prussia should be called Prussian is strange. A Swiss’s usage is traditional, obvious, and understandable. Paul’s definition is on dubious semantics.

    It is bizarre to see someone state that the old Prussian elite was not Conservative. In traditional European parlance, the conservatives were those people who defended social hierarchy in its traditional institutions – the nobility, state religion, and so forth. At the time, all American parties considered themselves liberal – the traditional term applied to democrats influenced by the Enlightenment. Both Hoover and FDR argued over the term in the 1932 election. FDR won that debate, so US believers in traditional liberalism began to use the term conservative because they were conserving traditional American liberalism. That began what we have now where the term conservatism means something very different than what it meant in 1932 and earlier. With the rise of labor/socialism on the left, the traditional liberals began allying themselves with the old conservatives (who no loner had a traditional hierarchy to preserve anymore, and simply defending traditional values) which lead to conservatism being associated traditional liberal policies both in the US and UK, and then in continental Europe post WWII.

    The change in meaning can lead to confusion when comparing modern politics with history, but it sounds bizarre to argue that the Traditional Right in German were not conservatives. Better, easier, and quicker to explain the difference between the Traditional Right and modern conservatives, rather than argue that they weren’t conservative. Saying they weren’t conservative in 1933 would have gotten you strange looks from everyone in that time period. Everything Paul says about the Prussian Conservatives was right, but he’s essentially arguing that his definition of conservatism (which is traditional liberalism) is correct and should applied retroactively to the German Right just confuses things even more. By this definition, the CDU/CSU of today isn’t conservative either, only the FDP is (who call themselves Liberals).

  • Paul Marks

    No Patrick – the tithe went in the 19th century. And the tithe was not collected by the state (in England) and priests were not Civil Servants.

    “Church rates” were very minor matter that lasted a bit longer.

    Indeed some land (even today) is attached with legal obligations to maintain the local Church.

    Carefully check property deeds before buying such land.

  • Laird

    Very interesting comment by Chris, which I missed when it was first posted. Thanks.