Did Hitler impose his rule by terror ?

(Traduction du texte Hitler s’est-il imposé par la terreur ?)

You claim that National Socialism “established itself through terror”, that is, a small number of fanatics took over Germany and kept themselves in power through fear until their defeat in 1945. It’s the well-known argument according to which: “Nazism’s first victim was the German people”. Let’s say so, just to start. But then, how do you account for the re-education of the whole German people that’s been going on since 1945? How do you explain the “cleansing” of the libraries, the suppression of the independent press and the preparation of new schoolbooks by the “liberators”? One would not re-educate a people at long last freed from the worst dictatorship the world had ever seen; they would have no need of it: with shouts of glee, all on their own, they’d consign to the flames everything that might recall the dark times.

It’s always the same: you and your friends will say anything and everything depending on the circumstances. If Jean-Marie Le Pen makes it to the second round of the French presidential elections, you’ll cry out in alarm: “Beware, Hitler came into power democratically!”. But, at the same time, you’ve been taught that National Socialism imposed itself thanks to a small minority who brought on and maintained a reign of terror. In order to mask this contradiction, you say: “Hitler came into power democratically by concealing his real objectives, or because he hadn’t been taken seriously”. But still at the same time, you claim everything had been stated in Mein Kampf and that the book had become the Nazis’ bible.

(Source : Vincent Reynouard, in Sans Concession N°42 à 45, “Réponses à un “antinazi” » ; pp. 72-73, September-December 2008.)

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