Amnesty report compares Trump’s divisive politics with Hitler’s rise to power

The Washington Post reports: In its latest report, Amnesty International just compared the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment and populist rhetoric in 2016 to the 1930s, singling out President Trump in particular.

Trump was harshly criticized by the London-based group on Tuesday evening for his “hateful xenophobic pre-election rhetoric,” divisive politics and a rollback of civil rights.

The comments were part of an extensive annual report released by Amnesty International that also singled out other leaders and politicians for pursuing “a dehumanizing agenda for political expediency.”

Referring to general trends in many of the 159 countries included in the report, Amnesty International’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, drew parallels between developments in 2016 and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s. [Continue reading…]

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  1. Dieter Heymann says:

    Because the history of my family hence of myself was greatly shaped by Nazi Germany I have intensely studied the period from after WW1 until Hitler became chancellor in 1933. I see few if any striking similarities with our nation today. On the economic front Germany was hit with terrible inflation twice and then with the serious crash of 1928 when its economy had begun to recover somewhat and then the 1932 disaster. We have had our big depression of 2008/09. Our recovery is not complete but the lingering effects are nothing compared to Germany 1930-33.
    The governments of the Weimar republic were duplicitous, corrupt, and uninterested to stop the almost continuous civil war of street battles and murders between left and right. It was a precarious balancing act which Weimar lost. Do you really believe that politician Trump would have gotten away with his own “Beerhalle Putsch” the way Hitler did, say last year? Come on. Get real. Weimar/Bavaria gave him a few years in jail.
    Hitler’s ascendancy was also largely helped by his loyalist Party goons the SD which was led by the very capable recruiter and organizer Roehm. There is nothing comparable here today.
    Lastly, several foreign governments were sympathetic to Hitler until he began to swallow other nations. In the Netherlands it was forbidden to publicly insult this leader of a friendly nation. I do not see much sympathy for Trump around the world today. Certainly not in Western Europe.

  2. Paul Woodward says:

    Clearly, the parallels with the rise of Hitler can be overstated, but they can likewise be understated. The issue, it seems to me, is less a matter of whether we are on the brink of Nazi-like fascism (most likely not) but instead how great a threat is posed to Western liberal democracies. The latter threat is not, as far as I can tell, gaining wide enough recognition.

    Most people in the West seem to take for granted the liberties they enjoy and seem to have greater interest in trivia than in things like freedom of the press. We are less at risk of widespread civil unrest than from endemic lack of awareness. And in this state of collective torpor, authoritarianism can take root without the need to use brutal instruments of enforcement.

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