It’s time for Americans to read William L. Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”
Modern criticisms aside, the book offers a plenitude of facts surrounding the Hitler/Nazi takeover and complete political and economic ruination of Germany and much of Europe.
Ironically, the Third Reich, what Hitler termed “Thousand Year Reich,” survived the death of its founder by just seven days.
Shirer describes a coup d’etat that overthrew the German Republic in October 1920. During that time many political murders were enforced, including that of Matthias Erzberger, a moderate Catholic politician, who had had the courage to sign the armistice when the generals backed out.
Shirer explains how the announcement about Hitler’s death was filled with “shabby lies” for the purpose of assisting the remaining Nazi criminals into hiding. The epilogue tells of Himmler’s cowardly death by self-inflicted potassium cyanide and of court trials for many other Nazi leaders. Some of these “rediscovered God” and partially confessed, but most used the not-guilty angle and failed.
Now, just under a century later, I couldn’t help but think of Sen. Mitt Romney’s recent action to vote for impeachment based on his devout faith and how his choice to follow his conscience has led to vilification from not only national, but also state GOP members, and POTUS.
Contemplating and comparing events from Shirer’s book to our American political dilemma today shows that history does repeat itself. The book deserves perusal, study and conversation by Americans of all cultural and political views.
I wonder: How would the Nazis have treated the whistleblower? Would they assassinate Romney like Erzberger? How would Trumpists plead if sent to trial as were Hitler’s henchmen at Nuremberg? How many would suddenly rediscover God and their conscience to save themselves?
Deanna Foxley, Millcreek