We try to wipe clean the links between Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the U.S.A. Trying hard not to remember that Hitler was inspired by American racism and anti-semitism.
It’s not just American “populist fascism”. It’s in Great Britain, France, Germany, all of Europe, all former Soviet countries, South East Asia, India and even Japan. And Steve Bannon and his boys at the Trump Whitehouse have links to all of them.
"The white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Va., this month over a plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, shows how this is likely to go. The marchers feigned civility. But a closer look shows that the protest drew on the toxic symbolism of the Third Reich in ways that few Americans would recognize.
By wielding torches in a protest staged by night, the demonstrators nodded to Nazi rallies held during the 1930s at Nuremberg, where the open flame was revered as a mystical means of purifying the Aryan spirit. They reinforced this toxic connection by chanting “blood and soil,” a Nazi-era slogan that connected German ethnic purity to cultivation of the land and, more broadly, to the notion that the “master race” was divinely entitled to confiscate the holdings of “lesser peoples,” even if it meant slaughtering them along the way...
Hitler drew a similar, more sinister comparison in “Mein Kampf.” He describes the United States as “the one state” that had made headway toward what he regarded as a healthy and utterly necessary racist regime. Historians have long sought to minimize the importance of that passage. But in recent years, archival research in Germany has shown that the Nazis were keenly focused on Jim Crow segregation laws, on statutes that criminalized interracial marriage and on other policies that created second-class citizenship in the United States.
The Yale legal scholar James Q. Whitman fleshes this out to eerie effect in his new book “Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law.” He illustrates how German propagandists sought to normalize the Nazi agenda domestically by putting forth the United States as a model. They assured the German people that Americans had “racist politics and policies,” just as Germany did, including “special laws directed against the Negroes, which limit their voting rights, freedom of movement, and career possibilities.” Embracing the necessity of lynching, one propagandist wrote: “What is lynch justice, if not the natural resistance of the Volk to an alien race that is attempting to gain the upper hand?”
“Hitler’s American Model” shows that homegrown American racism played a role in the notorious Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which deprived “non-Aryans” of citizenship and the right to marry “true” Germans. As Mr. Whitman writes, Nuremberg “signaled the full-scale creation of a racist state in a Germany on the road to the Holocaust.”
Nazism and the tradition of American white supremacy that is memorialized in monuments throughout the South are the fruit of the same poisonous tree. In this light, the Confederate flag can legitimately be seen as an alternate version of the Nazi emblem.
After the war, Germany tried to put Nazism back in its box by banning public display of swastikas and other emblems of the Third Reich. Later generations understood that to wear such an insignia was to smear oneself with history’s worst filth. Many Americans have failed to grasp this point. This explains why one still sees people parading around with both Nazi emblems and Confederate flags, openly embracing the meanings of both.
The new-age white supremacists who want so eagerly to expand their market shares recognize that covering themselves with swastikas is a route to marginalization. They are betting that they can achieve the effect they seek by embracing the Confederate cause, while serving up easy-listening Nazism on the side."
The New York Times