Matt Novak’s post for his Paleofuture blog, entitled, Yes, Adolf Hitler Really Said He Would ‘Make Germany Great Again’ is perhaps one of the best bits of absurdities yet posted regarding King for a Day Trump propaganda.
Novak first references a 1934 syndicated newspaper article which, ‘showed up in places like Utah, Arizona, South Carolina, and Missouri’, and Green Bay, Wisconsin. The author of the article is never named. Novak sums it up like this:
The article tells the story of the rise of Hitler, first explaining that people thought he was merely a joke and “laughed at him.” But that he soon took advantage of Germany’s dissatisfaction with their lot in life.
The level of disingenuousness in Novak’s comment, ‘he soon took advantage of Germany’s dissatisfaction with their lot in life,’ is breathtaking. For someone who makes himself out to be a historian (of sorts) to simply state this as the case, without any reference to the actual social/economic disaster that was Germany after the ravages of the Treaty of Versailles, clearly shows his lack of interest in reporting facts.
Hitler didn’t ‘take advantage of Germany’s dissatisfaction with life’ – he made it his life’s purpose to free the German people of their humiliation, starvation, economic destitution, and complete social breakdown that they were in the grip of post WWI. The people of Germany weren’t taken advantage of – quite the reverse – the people were given hope and they responded to it as the National Socialists continued to make strides towards a renewed Germany. Hitler wasn’t making empty promises, he was delivering. But this information wasn’t part of Novak’s agenda. He had a ‘point’ to make.
After the 1934 reference, Novak goes on to mention a 24 February 1940 newspaper article from the Saint Louis Star and Times in Missouri. The opening paragraph of the article reads:
MUNICH. Feb 24-(U.P.) — Fuehrer Adolf Hitler intimated to a cheering audience of Nazi leaders and followers here tonight that Germany has not yet occupied all of the territory in middle Europe to which she is entitled.
The article summarizes Hitler’s speech delivered at the Hofbrauhaus to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the formation of the N.S.D.A.P (National Socialist Democratic Workers Partei). To read a full transcript of the speech in English click here. When one reads the transcript one might be surprised to find that the quote pictured and referred to by Novak is nowhere to be found anywhere in the actual speech. The Star and Times article also suggests that Hitler had twice referred to Jews as ‘vermin’ – never once did he do that.
Novak goes on to discuss a Snopes fact check post which addressed the same ‘make Germany great again’ issue. Snopes rationally concludes:
WHAT’S TRUE: A prominent theme during the Nazi Party’s ascendancy was restoring Germany to its former greatness, and Adolf Hitler used the phrase “make Germany great again” upon occasion.
WHAT’S FALSE: “Make Germany Great Again” was not a (campaign) slogan employed by Hitler, and Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler are far from the only politicians who promised to make their countries “great again.”
Novak’s reaction to this:
‘…while Hitler never plastered “Make Germany Great Again” on baseball caps, he did insist that he was going to fulfill his promises. So I’m honestly not sure why Snopes is rating this claim as “mostly false.” Even if we allow for some kind of rough translation error from German into English for that 1940 speech, the idea is still the same. [Update, 3:35pm: Snopes has updated their page to say “mixture” instead of “mostly false,” by linking out to this post as evidence that Hitler indeed said “make Germany great again.”]’
Novak points out that Snopes changed the rating due to his own patently false interpretation of the facts. Apparently neither of the two ever bothered to fact check the article itself. But that is how the mainstream media works – it gives its own interpretation of events, no one checks them because they assume these writers have credibility, or talent, then lies simply become truth in the popular mind.
And what are we to understand about Novak’s comment, ‘…he did insist that he was going to fulfill his promises…Even if we allow for some kind of rough translation error from German into English for that 1940 speech, the idea is still the same.’ What ‘idea’ is Novak referring to? The ‘idea’ that Hitler was going to ‘make Germany great again’.
It’s clear that Novak, in some sort of weird paranoiac way, is attempting to weaponize the phrase – that there is some kind of evil in the very thought that a leader of a downtrodden country might want to keep his promise to bring it back from destruction.
‘…I’m honestly not sure why Snopes is rating this claim as “mostly false.”’
Snopes was very clear why:
In March 2016, various online images attempted to draw a connection between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler by claiming that both politicians campaigned using similar slogans:
Hitler didn’t technically ever employ “Make Germany great again” (“machen Deutschland wieder groß” in German) as a campaign slogan himself, as the only office he achieved before seizing dictatorial control of the German government was an appointed one, and the Nazi Party didn’t need to do any “campaigning” after that, as one of Hitler’s first actions was to outlaw all other political parties.
Making Germany great again was also a dominant theme in Nazi propaganda, even if it wasn’t expressed in exactly those words. The mood in 1930s Germany was dark: the country had been hit especially hard by a global economic recession and was still stinging from the humiliating terms imposed upon them by the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. Hitler’s main message was one of redemption for the country…
On the other hand, although Donald Trump and Hitler may have both wanted to make their respective countries great again (however they expressed that notion), it’s hardly a concept unique to the[s]e individuals. In fact, several politicians have campaigned with slogans similar to “make (insert country here) great again”:
Ronald Reagan used the slogan “Let’s make America great again” during his successful presidential campaign in 1980. During a general election address in 1950, the UK’s Margaret Thatcher said that her goal was to “make Britain great again.” President of the Philippines Ferdinand E. Marcos once promised “with the help of the masses to make this country great again.’’
While an underlying theme of Nazi propaganda may have been “making Germany great again,” a message that directly contributed to Hitler’s rise to power, this does not mean that Donald Trump (or Ronald Reagan, or Margaret Thatcher, or Ferdinand Marcos, or anybody else) necessarily campaigned on Nazi principles.
It seems understandable why Novak is ‘honestly not sure why’ Snopes gave the rating it did – Snopes’ conclusions are based on a narrative Novak doesn’t, and can’t, understand or see. Reality.
Novak sums up his ridiculous piece of nonsense with this:
But the fact that the newspaper quotes Hitler as saying that he was going to “make Germany great again” verbatim certainly is terrifying.
Truly a remarkable piece of absurdity.
Hitler did ‘fulfill his promises’ and indeed made Germany great again – pissed a lot of people off about it too.
If Novak is frightened to think of a leader stepping it up in the U.S. who will keep the promise of making the country great again, he has nothing to fear – Trump is no Hitler, he has no scruples and his promises change by the day. Trump will not ‘make America great again’. Shortly after the demolition of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, Trump had this to say:
‘To be blunt, they were not great buildings,’ Trump said. ‘They only became great upon their demise last Tuesday.’
Puts a whole new meaning to Trump’s idea of greatness, doesn’t it…