According to a fascinating eye-witness report from Kitty Werthmann, 98% of Austrian's voted for Mr Hitler to rescue Austria from 33% unemployment, 25% inflation and 25% interest rates.
I highly recommend that you read it -- it is very eye-opening, not only from a historical perspective, but also because of the parallels to today.
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Comment by freitasm, on 18-Jan-2010 19:53
What parallels? Hitler did not invade Austria, but used it as part of the politics game back then.
The blog post you mention quotes:
"Hitler also said that the real way to catch the criminals (and we still had a few) was by the serial numbers of the guns, so we had to register our guns. Most of the people were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station and registered their guns. Not long afterward, they said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. They already knew who had the guns, so you had to turn them in, or they would come and get them.
We knew then that we had a full dictatorship. No more freedom of speech. If you said anything against the government, you were taken away. We knew many people who were taken away, not only Jews, but priests and ministers. It didn't come overnight, it took five years from 1938 until 1943 to graduate into dictatorship. If we (would have) had a dictatorship overnight, we would have fought to our last breath, but we had creeping gradualism.
Now we had nothing except broom-handles. The whole thing was almost unbelievable; that you can feed all this to the masses, little by little and no one would object. It's true, those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty, came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America is the greatest country in the world. Don't let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go."
The way I read that post it is coming from a left-wing person that sees a government conspiracy everywhere and is trying to relate the actions of an extreme right-wing dictator to modern governments - which is not the case.
Just a good example of Godwin's Law. He loses.
Comment by freitasm, on 18-Jan-2010 23:04
A quick search shows that comments by Kitty Werthmann are used by the conservative supporters in the U.S. as background on their propaganda campaign against Obama - a few even trace "parallels" between Obama's policies and the Nazi state policies.
Enough said - that "newzeal" blog is just a New Zealand parrot to the conservative voices from America.
Comment by ScottStevensNZ, on 19-Jan-2010 11:06
Austria was already a Fascist regime before Anschluss under the fatherland party (Austro-Fascism)- it was by no means a liberal democracy.
Comment by wellygary, on 19-Jan-2010 11:29
Err. The vote came after the NAZI troops arrived,
There is some major rose tinted spin in the quoted article
Comment by rossmnz, on 19-Jan-2010 15:52
hitler was a gaylord who got what he deserved!!
Who cares! Whether he came to power by force, or by bribing the citizens of austria with a cargo vessels worth of lederhosen it doesnt make him any less of a monster!
Comment by Mark Ascroft, on 19-Jan-2010 21:25
Must have been the only country he didn't invade - guess there had to be one. Not quite sure the point the author is making - lost on me.....
Comment by freitasm, on 20-Jan-2010 11:11
Mark, the point of the author is that paralles exist between state control in modern days and state control in fascist states from early 20th century.
A bad parallel, badly explained, and badly supported...
Comment by ronindanbo, on 20-Jan-2010 13:53
Sorry to correct but there were many countries he didnt have to invade such as Finland and Romania such was the anti bolshevik fears of the time as well as the desperation of a world in depression. The dangerous thing of this is that a desperate population will cling to any mad man with a good charisma, it happens even now.
The saving grace of Hitler is that he was a meglomaniacle incompetant without whos help the good guys would never have one the war.
Comment by barf, on 26-Jan-2010 13:46
since we're on the subject; the electoral system that Hilter used to gain power was an FPP-style election system, MMP was introduced after the war by the allies to help prevent the reoccurance of a massive dictatorship.
fast forward half a dozen generations, in New Zealand, National have proposed to uproot the MMP system and are obviously coy about their favor for an FPP or STV -style system.
dmw, i must disagree with what you report about hitler invading Austria, but hitler also nationalised healthcare and built the authobhans, so I see some duality to his time in power, but your reference is an unreliable source. for example; kitty says "if we lose freedom in america, we lose freedom everywhere" that should send the NUT-JOB alarm bells ringing.
Comment by Bob Simmons, on 13-Feb-2010 08:40
Her point is that we all must be on guard against "gradualism". Little by little subtle changes are being made by our liberal politicians. Our debt has quadripled in the last year, the government is trying to take over the banks, traditional American values are being erroded, the government now owns our major auto makers and have you registered you gun yet? Let's face it the Democrats are pushing us into socialism just as it is in western europe. Just look at Obamacare. There is no place on this planet where socialism has worked but the Democrats haven't figured it out yet. Their coolaid drinking followers just enable it all. How foolish you liberals are.
Comment by robscovell, on 16-Feb-2010 20:55
Hungary and Slovakia were co-operative and supportive too. I thought it was well-known that Austria was welcoming of Hitler, partly because of fears of 'Bolshevism' and the weakness of centrist parties.
Comment by eileen sharp, on 18-Feb-2013 14:26
This account by Kitty is extremely important. People will flock to any charsimatic leader who promises them the moon in times of trial--UNLESS they are smart enough to realize that a government who promises to give you everything will use your willing vote to take the power to do that and then use it to control you. It has happened over and over. And please stop using left and right labels. The only label that matters is the one regarding individual liberty. You either have it or you have oppression. Call it fascism or communism, it is oppression.
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