Rabbi Michael Barclay
Is the United States Beginning to Imitate 1935 Germany?
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Memorial Day is the holiday honoring American military members who have died in service to our nation. But this past Memorial Day and the week before may go down in history, God forbid, as the true sign of 21st-century America emulating the patterns of Nazi Germany in 1935.
Not because a president and vice president ignored mentioning the holiday in favor of tweeting about ice cream and a long three-day weekend. Not because of the hatred found in the words of gun-toting racists at a march in Tulsa screaming, “We will kill everything White in sight.” Not even because of the hate-filled speech of “leaders” like Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or the cowardice of the Biden administration in dealing with the repeated anti-Semitic violence that has been visited upon Jews more in recent weeks than in decades. No, the truly frightening sign that the United States is starting to parallel 1935 Germany can be found overseas in the most insidious of ways: the supplanting of the American flag.
On May 25, in honor of the death of George Floyd, the U.S. State Department issued a memo authorizing embassies and consulates to fly the BLM flag. While this may seem like a small thing, the depth and danger of this action can be found in the history of Germany and the symptoms of the Nazis taking over the nation.
On January 30, 1933, the Nazi Party came to power as Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. The national flag of the Weimar Republic was quicky scrapped, and on March 12, 1933, a ruling established two legal national flags: the older tricolor flag of the German Confederation (based on the 1778 tricolor flag of Prince Heinrich XI) and the swastika flag of the Nazi Party. With Hitler’s ascension to fuhrer in 1934, it took less than a year before the dual flag was eliminated and the Nazi swastika became the national flag of Germany. In only a few years, the Nazis had gotten legitimacy for their party (the Nazi Party was only created in 1920). They also promoted hatred and violence through “political activism,” especially anti-Semitism, elected their leaders to national positions, and created a new national flag that rejected the relationship with the ancient history of Germany. At that point, any ties to historical Germany were consciously broken by the Nazi, and a new regime of evil had taken over a nation that had existed in one form or another for close to two thousand years (the region of Germania was documented since before 100 A.D.).
Germania was an ancient nation; German territories had formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire by the tenth century. The German Confederation was formed in 1815, and the singular nation of Germany existed by 1871. But it took less than twenty years for the Nazis to destroy the history, culture, and values of Germany and transform them into the most evil empire to ever try to conquer the world.
And the moment of transition, the moment when it became clear that the Nazis were no longer a fringe group, came in 1933, when, on a national level, the evil of the Nazis had been so accepted that their flag could fly side-by-side with the more traditional German flag.
The parallels between then and now are frightening.
BLM is an organization as evil in its formation and base as the early Nazi Party of Germany. This is not to put down the value that ALL lives matter, and that racism of all sorts is evil, or to compare the atrocities of the Nazis with anything that BLM has done so far. There can be no comparison of any human being to Hitler, and no equation between what the Nazi Party became to what any group has ever done. But the similarities in their formation are truly scary. While it is true that black lives matter, so do all human lives, and the organization of BLM has been filled, from the moment of its chartering, with goals of worldwide domination, anti-Semitism, and a systematic plan for economic and political control. Their charter of 2014, which has never been recanted nor revised to change these goals, is clear. They unabashedly state that “America is an empire that uses war to expand territory and power.” They desire to control American policy both domestically and internationally and consider themselves a global movement.
BLM leaders are often corrupt, and many of them, such as Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Melina Abdullah, are self-proclaimed disciples of Louis Farrakhan, one of the most racist and hate-filled people on the world stage for the last fifty years (who has called Jews “termites” who should be exterminated). BLM has supported Hamas’ goal of the annihilation of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This is the same Hamas whose charter says that “the Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims kill the Jews.” The same Hamas whose leader Fathi Hamad brags that women and children make the best human shields, and enjoins his people to “cut off the heads of the Jews with knives.” Within the BLM “peaceful protests” we find anti-Semitic rhetoric and even violence against Jews, as well as threats to “kill the Jews” and “rape their daughters”.
Again, as during the establishment of the Nazi Party almost a century ago, we find anti-Semitism as a foundation stone in a party’s platform that is also dedicated to goals of worldwide economic and political control.
In the 1920s, the Nazi Party of Germany was a fringe movement. But by 1933, it had achieved enough acceptance that its flag hung with the German national flag. That was the moment that the entire world recognized that the Nazis really were in control. It was the beginning of the end of a culture and the start of the world’s greatest example of hatred.
And now, when we should be honoring the brave men and women who died protecting the United States, we find that the U.S. State Department has authorized the flying of another flag of hatred, the BLM flag, at our embassies.
Gratefully, there are still some in Washington, D.C., who see the dangers inherent in flying the BLM flag. Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, Elise Stefanik, Ken Buck, Darrell Issa, Brian Mast, Pete Sessions, and Michael Guest introduced the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021 on Friday, May 28, which would prohibit flying BLM flags at embassies and consulates. These courageous leaders are choosing to point out the dangers of promoting an anti-American organization within the U.S. government. They are aware of the disturbing potential, and can simply look at the dual-flag practice of 1933 Germany to see where this could, God forbid, lead.
Prior to March 23, 1933, Germany was a democratic nation. With aisles packed with Nazi stormtroopers, the Reichstag met in a Berlin opera house to vote on the Enabling Act, which ended democracy in Germany and established Hitler as the dictator of the Third Reich. We must all now support and fight for the passage of the Stars and Stripe Act of 2021, and keep the American flag in its unique place in our culture and values, and prevent the destruction of our democracy.
Santayana’s statement that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it is as true today as it was a century ago. The parallel of the Nazi hatred, practices, processes, and map for political control in the charter, riots, and practices of BLM are frighteningly clear. Equally clear is the similarity in the blatant anti-Semitism of both organizations. And as true as Santayana’s statement is, BLM has made it clear that Jackie Mason has a quote that is equally true: “There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and anti-Semitism.”
In order to fight the hatred, anti-Semitism, and anti-Americanism that is becoming more and more prevalent in the world today, we must remember that the key to fighting darkness is always to shine a light. We must shine a light on the evil hidden in plain sight within BLM, and demonstrate the anti-Semitism and hatred inherent in BLM leadership. We have an obligation to reach out to our political leaders and passionately encourage them to support the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021, and to remove all vestiges of BLM from U.S. government institutions. And most importantly, we need to describe the hatred inherent in BLM to all of our well-intentioned friends who currently support the organization, and educate them in the frightening historical parallels between the United States/BLM and Germany/The Nazi Party.
May we all have the courage to shine a light in the darkness of this hatred, to educate, and to bring peace in this world based upon the righteous foundations of this nation.
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