Reddit Reddit reviews They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

We found 38 Reddit comments about They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

German History
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They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45
University of Chicago Press
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38 Reddit comments about They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45:

u/MasochisticMeese · 123 pointsr/worldnews

You have to remember that Hitler was appointed chancellor by a democratically elected president. Genocide doesn't just happen in a week, nor does change.

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Happen-Here-Signet-Classics/dp/0451465644

Relevant reads

u/EnlightenedMind_420 · 77 pointsr/politics

I've been posting the amazon link to that book at least once a day for the last month or two :).

Thank you for picking a superb section to post the actual text so people can see exactly why I'm so much in favor of ALL Americans reading this particular book right now. This isn't something that has never been seen before. Sure, it has never been seen like this in the United States, but we have seen it all before. Less than a century ago in fact, back in the 1930's, over in Germany, there was this guy you may have heard of, his name was Adolph Hitler....

ETA: https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

u/Dear_Occupant · 63 pointsr/history

The transformation of the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich was gradual.

> "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

> "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

> "You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time."

> "Those," I said, "are the words of my friend the baker. ‘One had no time to think. There was so much going on.’"

> "To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

> "How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.

> "Your ‘little men,’ your Nazi friends, were not against National Socialism in principle. Men like me, who were, are the greater offenders, not because we knew better (that would be too much to say) but because we sensed better. Pastor Niemöller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something—but then it was too late."

> "Yes," I said.

> "You see," my colleague went on, "one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

> "Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

> "And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

> "But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

> "But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

> "And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

> "You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

> "Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

Herman Mayer - They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45

u/introspeck · 59 pointsr/politics

Forget Stephen King, the most horrifying book I ever read was They Thought They Were Free by Milton Meyer. Not because of the outrageousness of what the Germans ultimately did, but because of how mundane and normal it appeared to them before it all spiraled out of control.

"What would I have done?" is a question which really begins to haunt you while you're reading the book - and it doesn't leave you. We would all love to think of ourselves as nobly rejecting the police state, even allowing ourselves to be martyred. But would we, really? In tough economic times, would we turn down that job just because it demands a loyalty oath (but no other objectionable acts)? Especially if your kids were hungry? Would we go against what most of our family and friends (apparently) support, and be happy about being cast out? Would we risk jail and possibly, torture? Certainly some of us would, but how many of us? Enough?

Mayer catalogues a lot of rationalizations and self-justifications, but he doesn't go out of his way to portray the Germans he talked to as particularly evil, because they weren't. They were all too much like you and I. It really brings home the point that It Can Happen Here.

u/recycleaccount38 · 20 pointsr/NewPatriotism

Something that certainly shows the rhymes between today and 20th century history worth checking out might be "They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45" by Milton Mayer

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

This is a long excerpt (and I'm sure some of you already know it) but I think it's really, really important to read this and think about it:

>"And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

>"But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

>"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

>"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

>"You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

>"Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

u/BBQCopter · 20 pointsr/politics

Classic Stockholm Syndrome. You should read this book.

Anyway, here is my rebuttal in bullet point form:

Wall St bailouts = fascism

World's largest prison population = fascism

Due process totally destroyed = fascism

Indefinite detention without trial (just claiming the power is bad enough) = fascism

Extrajudicial assassination of American Citizens (Anwar, etc) = fascism

Censoring of free speech (SOPA) = fascism

Constantly using terrorism as an excuse to expand the security state = fascism

u/FenrirReleased · 17 pointsr/politics

Relevant; They know what they're doing. And how we will react.

>"Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not?-Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty. Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, 'everyone' is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist.'
>
>And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have....
>
>But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked-if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in '43 had come immediately after the 'German Firm' stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in '33. But of course this isn't the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
>
>And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying 'Jewish swine,' collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in - your nation, your people - is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way."

u/iCylon · 17 pointsr/worldnews

> They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

on amazon.com

and on amazon.ca

love to note the 40% price difference..btw

u/eureddit · 13 pointsr/politics

German here. It seems to me like too many people are pinning their hopes on this one investigation.

Too many people are still sure that the system works at some level, even though Trump and his cronies have been busy dismantling it from the inside right since he got into office. They're sure that the institutions will still protect them. They're sure that the population is generally aware of what's going. They're sure that if Trump ever took that final step into authoritarianism, millions would be in the streets.

So I'm just here to say that this process has happened before, and it has happened in many countries, and all of the arguments you're making have been made before - and yet many of these countries fell to totalitarianism.

I'm just gonna leave this quote from a German university professor who was interviewed about what life in Germany was like in 1933-45:

>"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

>"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all."

(source: They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45)

u/equal_tea · 11 pointsr/politics

> These ten men were not men of distinction. They were not men of influence. They were not opinion-makers. Nobody ever gave them a free sample of anything on the ground that what they thought of it would increase the sales of the product. Their importance lay in the fact that God—as Lincoln said of the common people—had made so many of them. In a nation of seventy million, they were the sixty-nine million plus. They were the Nazis, the little men to whom, if ever they voiced their own views outside their own circles, bigger men politely pretended to listen without ever asking them to elaborate.

~ Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

u/beer-by-the-barrel · 10 pointsr/politics

Perhaps a place where the government spies on its citizens? taps their phones? Rejects Habeus Corpus? Declares and exercises the right to assassinate anyone, including American citizens?

Turn off CNN and read some history. I suggest you start with, "They Thought They Were Free".

http://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

u/icraig91 · 10 pointsr/PoliticalHumor

If you don't think it's happening.. go read this:

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

u/KyotoWolf · 7 pointsr/history

It's an extract from the book They Thought They Were Free: The Germans by Milton Mayer. The full book gives a more detailed view with examples.

u/PuddingInferno · 7 pointsr/politics

> I always wondered how did German people allow things to get how they did.

I highly encourage you to read They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45.

It's terrifying.

u/kgm2s-2 · 5 pointsr/GetMotivated
u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/politics

When the historical parallels are correct, why not use them? Read this, The Thought They were Free: the Germans 1933-1945 and tell me how much of it doesn't apply.

It might sound condescending, but it will always sound condescending to point out to the people involved trends in thinking and acting that, unchecked, will lead to awful things.

In this situation it is incredible to say that there aren't parallels in the basic opinions held by this group as they are represented by the people they watch and listen to.

u/mikecsiy · 4 pointsr/badhistory

Yeah... for that perspective I'd highly recommend They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer.

He interviews and forms relationships with around a dozen citizens of a small town in Hesse over the course of a decade or so about their experiences and thoughts during the rise of Nazism and the following years.

u/HermitageTheSapian · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

Yea, it seems like nobody takes protests seriously unless you're willing to become violent. Ghandi actually felt it the Jews in WW2 should have protested by walking into the ovens. Fascists are willing to kill, giving them an instant advantage over their nonviolent adversaries. The whole "their evil but they wouldn't actually black bag me and send me to a camp" mentality. Several excellent books have covered this trend in fascist uprisings.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0226511928/ref=pd_aw_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NMB493XQXAH9GFM2Z16F

https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Happen-Here-Signet-Classics/dp/0451465644



u/Indyhouse · 3 pointsr/TheLastAirbender

There's an awesome book out I learned about today called "They Thought They Were Free" (http://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928) about the perception everyday Germans had during World War II. Most were aware SOMEthing was wrong, but they were all mutually benefitting from whatever it was, so chose, some unconsciously to not say or do anything. Fascinating book. I'm about 3/4 through.

u/maggiesguy · 3 pointsr/TrueReddit

If you have time, I highly recommend reading that entire book. The whole thing is fascinating because it dives down to the personal level with interviews with Germans who lived through the whole process.

The book's a little awkward to read in public though, what with the big swastika on the cover. I got more than a few strange looks on the train.

u/happybadger · 3 pointsr/politics

They Thought They Were Free is another must-read. There's one quote from it which terrifies me because it's exactly what we're going through with trying to figure out the flashpoint that brings people into the streets.

I don't think there will ever be a perfect repetition of history or any historical figure, but we can at least look at the years that mirror ours and the traits he shares with other demagogues. 2018 is as much 1789 or 1848 as it is 1928 or 1932. He has the personality of a Mussolini with the ambitions of Lewis Levin with the ego of Hitler with the same audience that Huey Long had. All of these are a really bad combination if we face any sort of national crisis or economic downturn. Normalcy bias has killed so many people in the past that it can't dictate how we respond to today and tomorrow.

u/Psyladine · 3 pointsr/OutOfTheLoop

You need to get your head out of your ass mate. They don't want to "meet the left halfway", they aren't interested in dialogue, or compromise, or getting along.

They would glady curb stomp you and piss on your corpse except it's just slightly against their favor right now. But every cringing waffling "surely we can talk through our differences!" type empowers them.

Since you enjoy edification, pick up a book next time.

u/IQBoosterShot · 2 pointsr/worldnews

> they do it in small enough increments that nobody notices while it's happening..

In "They Thought They Were Free", Milton Mayer returned to Germany and interviewed Germans to try to determine how they had let Hitler come to power. One of them remarks:

> "What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know it doesn't make people close to their government to be told that this is a people's government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing to do with knowing one is governing.

> "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

> "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter."

u/marketd · 2 pointsr/Futurology

> I understand the worries, but starting to compare permanent marks on your body such as implants ..... is not that fair.

Except of course it is already happening. More companies are chipping their workers like pets

>Also comparing a company wanting to identify you through your fingerprint to Nazi concentration camp is maybe taking it a bit too far don't you think?

I did not compare the two. I explained why people may violently oppose this policy change. To you it's a trivial matter, but to others it is a cause for great concern, worthy of losing their job over and fighting for in a tribunal/court room .

Is this concern reasonable? Maybe not. But your original post asked the question "Why are people obsessing over this?". And I have answered why some may be horrified by it.

Some people see this as the thin edge of the wedge. A wedge that in the past ended in concentration camps. If you still don't get it perhaps you should read "They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 by Milton Sanford Mayer" First published in 1955

It explains how a representative democracy turned into a dictatorship. Not overnight, but piece by piece. Little by little and a warning from history to never let it happen again.

Some people take that warning seriously.




u/IdeaHamster · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There's a really excellent (and sort of scary) book about this called "They Thought They Were Free". The author went back to Germany, and interviewed "regular joe" type people that were alive during Hitler's rise to power. When asked how they let it happen, they all said that they thought Hitler had their best interests in mind and was protecting them from all kinds of threats.

A quote from Sinclair Lewis comes to mind: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

u/paulatreides0 · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Which is fine and dandy up until you find out that a lot of people who were actually killed were innocent of those crimes, and that it's also used to wipe out political opposition. Seriously, that's a stupid argument.

"The Soviets were cool, because they only killed people who were threatening social order." Which is fine and dandy, except it ignores the huge swaths of people who were killed for "threatening the social order" who were either completely innocent or just killed for political convenience.

There have been books written all about how people who live under totalitarian regimes who thought things were great when they actually weren't, and only noticed how shit things were right before the shit hit the fan so hard everyone in a square mile got covered in it. Hell, one book, as well as one of the most famous and best books on this very matter, is literally called They Thought They Were Free, which describes life in a wide variety of totalitarian nations from Nazi Germany, to Fascist Italy, to the Soviet Union, to North Korea.

>The Philippines is a sovereign country, this is the man they chose, he has popular support as do his policies, and that's where it end.

Sure, but that doesn't mean the man isn't doing things that are terrible and should be heavily criticized. The "they're a sovereign nation" argument only gives you that they have a right to elect a totalitarian nutbag as president, it does nothing to justify the choice thereof or excuse him from criticism.

Being popularly supported doesn't make your actions humane, them being humane makes them humane. And inhumane actions, regardless of how popularly supported, are still inhumane.

>There isn't some one-size-fits-all law, rule or political system which is applicable to or appropriate for all countries at all times. Thinking there is is a type of deranged fanaticism.

But what there are are broadly agreed upon standards of human rights and necessary laws. One of the most important among them, especially with regards to the justice system, being the right to due process and trial instead of the unilateral ability for someone to arbitrarily decide you are guilty and thus worthy of execution.

u/FirstCircleLimbo · 2 pointsr/Denmark

Det må være bogen "They Thought They Were Free" om tyskerne i årene 1933 til 1945. Spændende læsning. Men omslaget er et kæmpe kagekors, hvilket gør at jeg er nødt til at gemme bogen af vejen, da den ellers giver for mange kommentarer fra folk, der konkluderer før de undersøger. Bogen kan ses her: https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

Edit: Hagekors ikke kagekors...

u/plbogen · 1 pointr/Judaism

>"Oh, had we only known about the Holocaust!"

That is the worst kind of revisionism. Milton Mayer's "They Thought They Were Free" (http://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928) helped debunk this story. The German people knew well what was going on and they didn't think twice to help themselves to the spoils of the Holocaust. There were more than 20k camps throughout the Reich and conquered territories. Details were published in papers and magazines throughout Germany. Even the New York Times ran articles about the camps.

Here is a recent article talking about the myth that the German people did not know. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/feb/17/johnezard

u/BigBlackThu · 1 pointr/guns
u/Siganid · 1 pointr/Libertarian

This book was written expressly for deniers like you:

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

u/oneiric44 · 1 pointr/books

That quote is from this book, hardly a conspiracy. I know nothing about the site from the link, I just googled for the quote.

Thank you for recommending Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism, I will check it out.

> This idea that Hitler tricked the Germans is really dangerous because it refuses to recognize the fundamental structure of totalitarianism as a movement of society as a whole, not just a few moustached villains.

This is not the point I was trying to make at all. And I completely agree with you.

u/veddy_interesting · 1 pointr/Keep_Track

I urge you to be careful of giving in to despair, or accepting that nothing will or can be done. Remember where that can lead. Instead, please insist that our rickety institutions perform as designed, and protest if they do not.

Remember that the majority of us are not in favor of any of this nonsense.

"Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty."

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

u/clarkstud · 1 pointr/scifi
u/Murkaholic · 1 pointr/politics

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928

Read that then maybe keep tut tutting to yourself

Edit:

http://www.newsweek.com/florida-school-shooting-survivors-death-threats-819484

Yeah all those fear and anxiety based people on the left. I wonder why.

u/we_are_sex_bobomb · 0 pointsr/politics
u/Knowledge_420 · -22 pointsr/offlineTV

Ehh, I more feel like myself, and any other like minded individual has an absolute responsibility and duty as both American citizens, and as human beings who would like to see our fellow men & women we share this planet with live, happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. From that perspective, the current president of the United States is one of the single greatest existential threats to any of us getting to see a more prosperous of brighter tomorrow.

He is a would be tyrant, who maybe just maybe, is too stupid and incompetent to stage a hostile takeover of our democratic republic. But we can not allow ourselves to become complacent in the security of our lives ever again, and we must strive everyday to do everything we can to rid ourselves of this cancer sooner rather than later.

I'm done now, I've said my piece...I'll do my best to avoid politics on this board going forward. Just know that no matter how safe and insular your life feels, tyranny can always be around the next corner.

https://www.amazon.com/They-Thought-Were-Free-Germans/dp/0226511928