Going Nazi

Thanks to Instapundit for this very interesting article from Harpers in August of 1941. The premise of the article is, who might you know that would go Nazi? Very well written, and four months before the US would get involved in World War II.

It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times–in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.

Read the whole thing.

2 thoughts on “Going Nazi”

  1. These days the difficult task would be to figure who in the government wouldn’t be one.

  2. At the same time, it’s also an excellent piece of propaganda. How many people reading it willingly identified themselves with the proto-Nazi charcteristics? “Dear Reader: do you want to display the good, American traits, or the evil, Nazi traits?”. There’s no Mr. O, who just wants the trains to run on time and can’t be bothered with social issues or Miss P, who despises Germans and runs to whatever the anti-German is. As much as we wish our fellow travelers had clean hands, it’s not always so.

    The idea of mentally rooting out the proto-Nazis in our midst is a clever, if slightly worrisome, stroke.

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