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Germany's Best

70 years ago today, three members of the White Rose resistance group were executed. From June 1942 until February 1943 they produced and distributed six flyers. Sophie and Hans Scholl were arrested, when they were caught in the act at the University of Munich. They were only 21 and 24 years old.

Today, most of us live in peace and enjoy freedom. Every Blogger, Tweeter and Facebook user has their own "printing press" and considers it normal to share their views. I thought it's worthwhile to commemorating this anniversary. And if you are feeling very happy and want to be sad (for some reason), then watch The Final Days, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. The screenplay has used the transcripts from the interrogations, which became available after the GDR collapsed.

In 2003, the public television program "Unsere Besten" (Our Best) polled viewers to select the most important Germans of all time. The Scholl siblings finished fourth place.

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America's Political Hypochondriacs and Nazi Party People

Although FOX News often describes the United States the greatest, freest, bestest, and wonderfullest country in the world, some crazy FOX News moderator declares "What happens in Egypt could happen in America." This lets Jon Stewart's Daily Show to rant "Conservatives have turned into political hypochondriacs, and no one is more neurotic than the Woody Allen of Fox News." See video after 40 seconds:

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Obama as Chancellor of Weimar America

What do some conservative US and leftist German politicians have in common? They use the other side of the Atlantic for fear-mongering.

The latest example is Jim DeMint, Republican Senator from South Carolina. According to The Washington Independent he made the following statement, when promoting his book at The National Press Club:

Part of what we're trying to do in "Saving Freedom" is just show that where we are, we're about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy. You still had votes but the votes were just power grabs like you see in Iran, and other places in South America, like Chavez is running down in Venezuela. People become more dependent on the government so that they're easy to manipulate. And they keep voting for more government because that's where their security is.

Aha, I see, Iraq and Afghanistan and the current recession are for the United States what the WWI and the depression were for Germany. And the oldest modern democracy in Washington is still as immature as the Weimar Republic's, started after WWI. So Obama is running Weimar America.

OMG! People, get your guns, Hitler is just around the corner!

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Another Crazy Bush-Hitler Comparison

I always found the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's feuilleton to be weird compared to the rest of the paper, but this book review (in German) by Edo Reents is beyond weird, i.e. it is outrageous. The book tries to explain why the Dreyfus Affair matters today and is written by the US novelist Louis Begley. The reviewer claims: ". the Bush government, which, inasmuch as it illegally imprisoned and tortured people, essentially behaved no differently than the National Socialists."

So, now John Rosenthal was able to state in Pajama's Media: "German Daily: Bush Was Hitler" And it is this sort of blog posts and headlines that seems to give quite a few Americans the impression that Bush-Hitler comparisons are a common feature in the German media. I find that quite unfortunate, but I admit that these crazy comparisons (or even equations) do happen and are worse than their exaggerations on some US blogs, like on the American Thinker.

Related posts on Atlantic Review: Two More Americans Accuse Germany of Historical Revisionism and Top Democrat on Auschwitz, Guantanamo and Europe

Economic Crisis: Springtime for Hitler?

Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" will be performed in Berlin in May, writes Der Spiegel (in English). It's not that much of a controversy. Just the usual "Should one be allowed to laugh about Hitler?" newspaper articles.

A bit more shocking is the comment by the heads of the Federation of German Trade Unions Michael Sommer, who suggested that Nazis might rise outside the cinemas as well. DW World:

In an interview with Germany's ARD television, Sommer warned of social unrest comparable to that in the 1930s - when widespread poverty paved the way for the Nazi regime's rise to power. The projected economic contraction of up to six percent is comparable with data from the years 1930, 1931 and 1932, Sommer said.

The article also mentions the violent workers protests in France...

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"Germany's Intolerant and Militaristic Culture"

"Support for the far-right National Democratic Party quadrupled in local elections in the eastern state of Saxony on Sunday. In the village of Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna, one in four voters chose the NPD," writes Spiegel International.

Michael van der Galien of the PoliGazette blames Germany's culture for these election results. He also claims that most of his Dutch compatriots "basically believe that what happened in World War II was not an 'accident,' but a logical result of Germany's intolerant and militaristic culture."

Such accusations will not lead to more German troops for Afghanistan, more burden sharing within NATO or a higher defense spending, which have been long-standing demands by the United States and other NATO allies. Instead these accusations contribute to the dominant feeling among the majority of Germans that we should not participate in any wars on foreign soil anymore.

Well, the Dutch press -- in contrast to their US or Canadian counterparts -- has not called for more German troops for Afghanistan. I thought the reason was that they understand that there just is not enough support among the rather pacifist (a better term might be: "war-weary") German public. Though, perhaps van der Galien is right and "the Dutch" are really concerned about the next invasion by their xenophobic and militaristic neighbors and therefore they don't want the Germans to play a stronger military role in Afghanistan, but I doubt it. I think he exaggerates Dutch concerns regarding Germany.

Exaggerating Anti-Americanism

Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, might have something interesting to say in his American Thinker op-ed "Anti-Americanism: It's About American Power, Not Policy," but I am not reading it to the end after this accusation: "They [=The Germans] routinely equate the US invasion of Iraq with the Holocaust." Such nonsense disqualifies him and the "American Thinker" from being taken as serious as their logo and name pretends to be.

The American "Thinker" has published such stupidity before (see The Superiority of American Culture and Sports), which might actually increase the popularity of the stereotype that Americans are arrogant and clueless.

Related: Top Democrat on Auschwitz, Guantanamo and Europe.