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The Sea Lion that couldn’t swim

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H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

Operation Sea Lion was the Nazi Plan to invade England that they Nazi’s could not have been able to pull off.

The Sea Lion that couldn’t swim
After the fall of France, Hitler turned towards Britain. The defiant nation had to be brought to its knees so the invasion of the Soviet Union could commence without the threat of British attacks in Europe. Hitler would have preferred a British surrender to an actual fight, but had to be ready to follow up on his threats in the middle of the second half of 1940. The plans drawn up for the invasion became known as Unternehmen Seelöwe (Operation Sea Lion). A sea lion is a kind of seal, but the name probably also referred to the lions in the English coat of arms and to the very first version of the plan, called “Operation Lion,” which was described as a river crossing along a wide front.
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and other officers gazing across the English Channel
Lacking a unified command for the various branches of the military (like SHAEF HQ for the Allies during the planning of Overlord), the Wehrmacht, the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffehad unrealistic expectations of one another. The Wehrmacht wanted the Luftwaffe to act as aerial artillery in support of the landings and the Kriegsmarine to conduct a landing on a wide front, dropping two entire Army Groups along the coast of Southeast England from Ramsgate to the Isle of Wight. Meanwhile, the Kriegsmarine assumed that the first wave of troops would be able to wait 8-10 days for heavy weaponry, supplies and reinforcements.  The army wanted to cover the beaches in artificial fog to provide cover; the navy didn’t, as it would have made landing maneuvers difficult. As a “compromise,” the army was given the authority to decide whether fog should be deployed but it was the navy’s job to do so, if it was practicable.
Map of Operation Sea Lion
The Luftwaffe was to simultaneously keep the RAF away from the Channel, provide ground support to landing troops, bomb British warships threatening the invasion fleet, bomb railroads to stop British supplies and attack London to make the population flee and jam the roads. This multitasking job was based on the assumption that the RAF only had 200 planes available for combat against the Luftwaffe’s 750 bombers and 600 fighters. In actual fact, the RAF had 672 planes ready for combat in the area.
Testing a modified Panzer III. Such vehicles were waterproofed and were to be released into deep water so they could roll to shore on their own.
The Kriegsmarine was facing even worse odds. At the time, it had 1 capital ship, 1 cruiser, 10 destroyers and 20-30 submarines in the region, facing the Royal Navy’s local force of 5 capital ships, 10 cruisers and 53 destroyers and countless smaller craft that could wreak havoc on the transports. In order to protect the fleet, the Channel was to be closed by submarines in the west (maneuvering in shallow waters and somehow stopping all the fast-moving British warships that were going to approach) and minefields and 14 torpedo boats in the east (against at least 20 destroyers). The Luftwaffe’s help would have been dubious at best: even if they’d had enough planes, they lacked armor-piercing bombs, sufficient aerial torpedoes and had a terrible success rate against ships during the Dunkirk evacuation (which was an easier job, with stationary targets during the embarkation of troops).
Testing a raft intended for use in Sea Lion
An even greater problem was that the German navy didn’t have transports for the invaders. They scraped together 2,400 river barges from all across Europe for the purpose, two-thirds of which had no engines and had to be towed by tugs. These were bolstered by jerry-rigged rafts and pontoons, many of which had a tendency to sink in harbor. The barges were barely seaworthy, only usable in good weather; even then, they could be swamped and sunk by the wash of a destroyer passing by at high speed. Due to their speed of 2-3 knots, troops inside would have had to stay onboard for 30 hours before disembarking to fight.
River barges intended for use in the invasion
The huge but ridiculously fragile fleet was to approach Britain in columns, then wheel around to sail parallel to the coast. All barges were then to simultaneously turn towards the shore and make land in massive lines. This was to be done at night, coordinated by loud hailers. A single exercise was performed with 50 ships in daylight. One barged capsized while turning, another lost its tow and one overturned when the troops all rushed to one side because another vessel came too close. Half the ships failed to get their troops ashore within an hour of the first landing and several hit the shore sideways, unable to lower their ramps.
German troops rehearsing the invasion
Finally, there was the ground component. Infantry landing with nothing but their small arms and grenades were expected to capture defended port cities and establish beachheads. There were only enough life vests for a single wave of attackers at the time, so soldiers were expected to land, remove their combat packs (which were worn over the vests), take off the vests and don their packs again, all the while under enemy fire. And even if they’d done so, the landing barges were instructed to return home immediately, so they wouldn’t have waited for the equipment.
Soldiers boarding rubber dinghies in preparation of an invasion exercise
Similarly, there were no provisions for taking supplies from the beaches to the front further inland, leaving the task to whoever happened to be there. High-ranking members of the command staff were supposed to stay on the continent during the early stages of the invasion, leaving all the decision-making to junior commanders. On the bright side, the first wave was to bring along 4,000 horses – despite not having any heavy equipment to haul.
German soldiers preparing the unloading of an anti-aircraft halftrack
The sweeping consensus of historians is that Sea Lion never had a chance to succeed and the notion was reinforced by a 1974 British military wargame conducted at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In fact, the same sentiment was shared by a good number of its actual planners. Luftwaffe Commander-in-Chief Hermann Göring, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt and Grand Admirals Karl Dönitz and Erich Raeder all believed that the invasion had no chance to succeed. We’ll never for sure but it’s possible that Hitler only intended it as a bluff from the beginning to cow Churchill into peace talks. What is known is that in September 1940, three months after the Battle of Britain began to suppress the RAF and prepare the way for Operation Sea Lion, Hitler postponed the invasion indefinitely.
You can learn more about how good and bad plans can decide a war on our many all-inclusive historical tours to Western EuropeEastern Europe and the Pacific throughout 2018 and 2019.
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Glenn Beck Compares Donald Trump to Hitler

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This is from Time.com.

Glenn Beck’s conservatism died many moons ago with the two active brain cells he had.

Sadly, Glenn is trying to recover his fifteen minutes of fame.

One thing Glenn got right “We The People” are pissed off big time..

“Donald Trump is a dangerous man with the things that he has been saying”

Conservative pundit Glenn Beckcompared Donald Trump to Hitler on Sunday, blasting the Republican front runner for appealing to Americans’ anger for votes.

The right-wing media personality called Trump a “dangerous man” during his appearance Sunday on ABC’s This Weekwith host George Stephanopoulos. “We all look at Adolf Hitler in 1940. We should look at Adolf Hitler in 1929,” Beck said. “He was a kind of a funny kind of character that said the things people were thinking. Where Donald Trump takes it, I have absolutely no idea. But Donald Trump is a dangerous man with the things that he has been saying.”

Comedian Louis C.K. made the same comparison on Saturday, calling Trump an “insane bigot” while urging voters to stop supporting him. “It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler,” he said. “And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the ’30s. Do you think they saw the s–t coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.”

US Army: We Won’t Be Changing Military Bases Named for Confederate Soldiers

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This is from Freedom OutPost.

How long before Obama using his thugs try to force The Pentagon to change the base names?

Obama’s thuggery makes Hitler, Stalin and Mao look like pikers.

The latest Confederate flag controversy may be too difficult for flag supporters to resist, like a wave crashing on the beach, the tsunami of attacks against the old battle flag may be too much for many Southerners to bear.

This isn’t the first time that the flag has faced attack, but this time just feels different. This time feels like it really may be the last time. Sure, they may not be able to ban the flag, but they can turn it into a pariah, forcing anyone who flies the flag into second-class citizenship. I think that the battle for the Southern Cross may be a losing one, but a greater battle still rages, the battle for an untainted history.

Along with the attacks on the Confederate battle flag, the media and liberals have joined forces to attack any and all things bearing any connection to the Confederacy. War memorialshistorical sitescemeteries, highways, buildings, and on and on it goes. If something is named after a Confederate soldier or is in honor of a Confederate soldier, then it is in danger of attack.

The latest case in point comes from the US Military who have been inundated with demands that they change the names of military bases which were named after Confederate Generals! Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas, for example, are all named after Confederate leaders who were both respected and beloved throughout the South and in the military.

Thankfully it seems that the Pentagon and the US Army are ready to defend those bases and the honor of the men they were named after. The Army does not look at the men that these bases were named after as simply “Confederate” Generals, but as American military icons.

Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost said “Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history. Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”

There has to be a line drawn, hasn’t there? I understand the reticence with flying the Confederate flag in public places, but these people are part of our shared history. They are part of the very fabric of our nation and they deserve a place in our story, because they did play an important, even vital, role in that narrative. Men like Nathan Bedford Forrest should be remembered – in spite of the fact that he founded the Ku Klux Klan. John Bell Hood, James Longstreet, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Braxton Bragg, and especially the great Robert E. Lee (who thought slavery an evil sin and a burden on our nation).

… In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. 

—   In a letter to Mary Anna Lee from December 1856

So, is it okay to honor Lee? Or is every Confederate soldier, even the anti-slavery ones, tainted with the sins of racism and slavery?

This is our history, and yes, some of it is very ugly – but there is no nation that does not own some ugliness in its past. Erasing it from memory serves no one; in fact it’s only by remembering well our past that we can hope to avoid repeating those very same mistakes. In this case, the mistake we should fear repeating isn’t necessarily racism or slavery (though we should avoid those), but the mistakes of considering some in our society lower than others. Many liberals look at those who might defend Southern culture as backwards and uneducated. They make a dangerous miscalculation.

The men and women who lived through the Civil War deserve more than to be erased from our history. They deserve to be remembered for their accomplishments and their contributions to the path we’ve all trod. Tear down the flag in public places if you must, but leave our history alone.
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/07/us-army-we-wont-be-changing-military-bases-named-for-confederate-soldiers/#Wh5z2rQmHfPhgXk8.99

Do Gun Bans Work? – A Canadian Story/Study

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This is from Louder With Crowder.

Gun Control worked for the following people, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Castro.

 

By now you’ve no doubt heard of the Canadian shooting tragedy to have taken place in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. My heart genuinely sinks for the victims, their families and anyone hurt by such an unnecessary travesty. Prayers their way.

Now, believe me, I hate the politicization of tragedy.  Sadly, the left has already begun to circle the travesty (both in the USA and Canada) before the bodies have even gone cold. Championing gun-bans will be the cause-du-jour, yet again. Expect Piers Morgan to show up. MomsDemandAction will feign outrage while raising funds hand over fist. Politicians will bend. Ineffective policies will be proposed. Liberties will be lost. Avoidance is no longer an option. This is today’s America (and yes, Canada).

Having been raised in Canada (Montreal, specifically), I’ve had the unique opportunity to experience stringent gun-laws and outright bans first-hand. For example, in my home province on Quebec, handguns are outright restricted and carrying them is borderline unthinkable. Intrusive gun registries?  Of course! Some of my friend’s parents had hunting rifles, though there were kept away under lock and key. Under no circumstances were they to be readily accessible for defense of self or home. Handguns? I’ve never known a single Quebecer in my life who’s owned one. Not one.

Has any of that kept the province safer from mass-shootings? The answer in short, is no.  In my lifetime alone, in my home city (not province, but city) alone, I’ve witnessed…

The Montreal Massacre:  In 1989, Marc Lepine separated male from female students at the “École Polytechnique”, claiming that he was “fighting feminism” and shot twenty eight people before killing himself.  He specifically targeted women to execute.  Sickening. Fifteen were killed.

The Concordia Massacre: In 1992, Dr. Valery I. Fabrikant took three guns to Concordia university, opening fire on the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall building. He shot five people, killing four.  Here’s the worst part… thanks to Canadian’s lenient laws toward criminals, Fabrikant will be up for parole in 2017. Wow.

Dawson College Shooting: This one hit very close to home for me. Why? Dawson was my second choice for college. I instead opted to attend Champlain college, a mere couple miles across the Saint Lawrence river.  I remember talking to some of best friends who were there, holed up in classrooms, hiding behind desks as the evil goth-kid went on his rampage. Kimveer Gill only managed to kill one person, though he injured 19 amidst his shooting spree.

All three occurred in “gun free” zones.

So when people say that Canada’s restrictive gun laws are a success, I have to scoff. Why?  I’ve lived it.  I was alive when these atrocities were committed. Many Canadians will tell you the same. It’s for those same reasons that despite politicians pushing legislation, ninety percent of Canadians do not want more restrictive gun laws.

So to all decent people, please mourn the victims of this tragedy. Avoid politicization if you can. My fear is that avoidance won’t be an option. Do not let leftists use this opportunity to seize more control over your lives and remove your right to personal safety. In promising you safety, they will be removing it.

Today has proven that some human beings are bad. Some human beings will always be bad. Sometimes, the best way to stop bad human beings is with a gun.
Read more at http://louderwithcrowder.com/gun-bans-work-canadian-storystudy/

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheist Group to Monitor Content of Sermons

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This is from LifeNews.

This is a move Hitler and Stalin would be proud of.

This is another push to stifle free speech.

How many so-called Christian pastors will sell out to political correctness?

Someone Please tell me that Obama is a Christian.

Look at the why he persecutes Christians, Obama is the man laying the path for the Anti-Christ.

The next time your pastor delivers a pro-life sermon or urges the congregation to stand up for pro-life values in the political or public arena, he could be taken to task by the IRS.

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.

Pastor Holding Bible ca. 2000ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press releasethe group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”

The IRS claims it is temporarily withholding investigations of all tax-exempt entities because of congressional scrutiny of its recent scandals, but no one knows when it will decide to restart investigations based on any new or modified rules that it develops.

Click here to sign up for daily pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation press release, “The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations.”

The release mentions the ADF annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” event as one that promotes activity by churches that violates the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that activist groups often cite in an attempt to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status. The Johnson Amendment authorizes the IRS to regulate sermons and requires churches to give up their constitutionally protected freedom of speech in order to retain their tax-exempt status.

“The IRS cannot force churches to give up their precious constitutionally protected freedoms to receive a tax exemption,” explained ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, who heads the Pulpit Freedom Sunday event. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to do the same to be able to keep his constitutionally protected freedom of speech.”

This year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday will be held on Oct. 5.

ISLAMIC THUGS: Palestinians Are Just a Mob of Them

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This is from Clash Daily.

How long before Pete Parker gets harassed by CAIR?

How long before the death threats by the cult of death aka Islam start?

 

mage: http://supernatural.blogs.com/weblog/2005/03/

 

Allow me to be beyond blunt: Palestinians are just a mob of Islamic thugs.

That’s right–a mob of Islamic thugs that teach their children (according to Koranic doctrine) that the only good Jew is a dead Jew.

In fact–Palestinians take great pride in training their children how to kill Jews utilizing various terrorist methodologies. From torture to suicide bombings–Palestinian children know how to “exterminate” the “pigs.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor addressed this issue last January during a meeting of the General Assembly: “As we speak, a generation of Palestinian children is being taught that murder is moral, racism is righteous and terror is tolerable. The Palestinian Authority’s media quotes Hitler, describes Jews as less than human, and displays maps that erase Israel’s existence.”

Truth be told–the Palestinians are part of a wider Islamic machination to expunge all Jews (and Christians) from the Middle East. Whether it’s Hamas, Boko Haram, ISIS, Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah–these Koran-carrying, terrorist organizations are following Mohammed’s command that the “people of the book” must be driven far from Arabia.

And the Palestinians have clearly demonstrated that they’re willing to sacrifice anything (including their own children) to obey the prophet’s insidious decree.

Amnesty International recently reported that “Palestinian armed groups have repeatedly shown total disregard for the most fundamental human rights, notably the right to life, by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and by using Palestinian children in armed attacks.”

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers documented that there were at least 9 Palestinian children used in weaponized attacks against Israelis between 2000 and 2004.

And according to the Israel Defense Force–29 suicide attacks were carried out by Palestinian minors during a three year period from 2000 to 2003.

(Not to mention the egregious use of Palestinian children as human shields over the past 20 plus days of the current conflict.)

I could go on–but you get the point.

Despite endless declarations by left-wing politicos (and their mindless minions) that Palestinians are “freedom fighters” and “victims”–well informed Americans know better.

From their unbridled Jew-hatred to using their children as human bombs in order to appease a dead prophet/ psychopath–Palestinians are just a mob of Islamic thugs.

Read more at http://clashdaily.com/2014/07/islamic-thugs-palestinians-just-mob/#M6gFTPRbKE0Owq42.99

 

 

85yr. old Austrian, Lived Under Hitler, Says We’re Screwed!

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This is from Girls Just Wanna Have Guns.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Obama is using the same tactics  Hitler used.

Obama is pitting groups of Americans other groups of Americans.

Obama is demonizing guns and gun owners.

Listen closely you can hear the hob nailed boots scraping louder

on the pavement and you can hear the cries of Seig Heil getting louder.

 

AUSI

 

What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We electedhim by a landslide – 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family.

Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it.

Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was…

READ MORE AT CLASHDAILY.COM

 

Hitler Joins Gun Control Debate, But History Is In Dispute

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This is from Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

I am offering this without comment.

 

(Read this article, and YOU decide, are the anti-freedom bigots right or wrong?
When they want to “balance” the anti-freedomists, they should seek out JPFO opinion.)

When the president of Ohio’s state school board posted her opposition to gun control, she used a powerful symbol to make her point: a picture of Adolf Hitler. When a well-known conservative commentator decried efforts to restrict guns, he argued that if only Jews in Poland had been better armed, many more would have survived the Holocaust.

In the months since the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, some gun rights supporters have repeatedly compared U.S. gun control efforts to Nazi restrictions on firearms, arguing that limiting weapons ownership could leave Americans defenseless against homegrown tyrants.

But some experts say that argument distorts a complex and contrary history. In reality, scholars say, Hitler loosened the tight gun laws that governed Germany after World War I, even as he barred Jews from owning weapons and moved to confiscate them.

Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control, and lived under a dictatorship commanding overwhelming public support and military might, historians say. While it doesn’t fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, the truth is that for all Hitler’s unquestionably evil acts, his firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews’ very tenuous odds of survival.

“Objectively, it might have made things worse” if the Jews who fought the Nazis in the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising in Poland had more and better guns, said historian Steve Paulsson, an expert on the period whose Jewish family survived the city’s destruction.

But comparisons between a push by gun control advocates in the U.S. and Hitler have become so common — in online comments and letters to newspaper editors, at gun rights protests and in public forums — they’re often asserted as fact, rather than argument.

“Absolute certainties are a rare thing in this life, but one I think can be collectively agreed upon is the undeniable fact that the Holocaust would have never taken place had the Jewish citizenry of Hitler’s Germany had the right to bear arms and defended themselves with those arms,” former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker wrote in an online column in January.

After some gun advocates rallied at New York’s capitol in February carrying signs depicting Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Hitler, National Rifle Association President David Keene said the analogy was appropriate.

“Folks that are cognizant of the history, not just in Germany but elsewhere, look back to that history and say we can’t let that sort of thing happen here,” Keene, who was the lead speaker at the rally, told a radio interviewer March 1st.

Those comparisons between gun control now and under Hitler joined numerous other statements, including the one by the Ohio school board president, Debe Terhar, on her personal Facebook page in January and by conservative commentator Andrew Napolitano, writing in The Washington Times.

The comparisons recently prompted the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, to call on critics of gun control to keep Hitler and the Nazis out of the debate.

The rhetoric “is such an absurdity and so offensive and just undermines any real understanding of what the Holocaust was about,” said Ken Jacobson, the ADL’s deputy national director. “If they do believe it, they’re making no serious examination of what the Nazi regime was about.”

But some gun rights advocates firmly disagree.

“People who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” said Charles Heller, executive director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, which has long compared U.S. gun control to Nazi tactics. “I guess if you’re pro-Nazi, they are right. But if you’re pro-freedom, we call those people liars.”

Comparing gun control activism to Hitler is not new. In a 1994 book, “Guns, Crime and Freedom,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre wrote that “In Germany, firearm registration helped lead to the Holocaust.”

But the history of civilian gun ownership under the Nazis, scholars say, is far more complicated than the rhetoric indicates.

After World War I, Germany signed a peace treaty requiring dismantling of much of its army and limiting weapons import and export. But many of the 1 million soldiers returning home joined armed militias, including a Nazi Party force that saw Communists as the leading threat.

“Technically, they (the militias) were illegal and the guns were illegal, but a lot of government officials didn’t care about right-wingers with guns taking on Communists,” said David Redles, co-author of “Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History,” a popular college text. By 1928, however, officials decided they had to get a handle on the militias and their weapons and passed a law requiring registration of all guns, said Redles, who teaches at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

Soon after Hitler was named chancellor in 1933, he used the arson of the Reichstag as an excuse to push through a decree allowing for the arrest of many Communists and the suspension of civil rights including protections from search and seizure. But as the Nazis increasingly targeted Jews and others they considered enemies, they moved in 1938 to loosen gun statutes for the loyal majority, said Bernard Harcourt, a University of Chicago professor of law and political science who has studied gun regulations under Hitler.

The 1938 law is best known for barring Jews from owning weapons, after which the Nazis confiscated guns from Jewish homes. But Harcourt points out that Hitler’s gun law otherwise completely deregulated acquisition of rifles, long guns and ammunition. It exempted many groups from requiring permits. The law lowered the age for legal gun ownership from 20 to 18. And it extended the validity of gun permits from one year to three years.

“To suggest that the targeting of Jews in any of the gun regulations or any of the other regulations is somehow tied to Nazis’ view of guns is entirely misleading,” Harcourt said, “because the Nazis believed in a greater deregulation of firearms. Firearms were viewed, for the good German, were something to which they had rights.”

With the 1938 law, Nazis seized guns from Jewish homes. But few Jews owned guns and they composed just 2 percent of the population in a country that strongly backed Hitler. By the time the law passed, Jews were so marginalized and spread among so many cities, there was no possibility of them putting up meaningful resistance, even with guns, said Robert Gellately, a professor of history at Florida State University and author of “Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany.”

U.S. gun rights advocates disagree, pointing to the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising by about 700 armed Jews who were able to fend off a much larger force of German troops for days until retreating to tunnels or fleeing. The Nazis won out by systematically burning the ghetto to the ground, house by house.

“Once the Germans began adopting that strategy there really wasn’t very much that people armed with pistols, or even rifles and machine guns, could do,” said Paulsson, the historian and author of “Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw.”

Paulsson said it is possible that if Polish Jews had limited their resistance, Nazi troops might not have destroyed the ghetto, allowing more to survive in hiding or escape. When armed Jews shot at mobs or troops at other times in 1930s and 1940s Poland, it incited more vicious counter-attacks, he said.

But to Heller, the gun rights activist, the Warsaw uprising is proof of power in firearms. Giving Jews more guns might not have averted the Holocaust, but it would have given them a fighting chance, enough that perhaps a third of them could have shot their way out of being marched to the concentration camps, he said.

“Could they have fought back? They did (in Warsaw). You know why they (the Nazis) destroyed the ghetto? Because they were afraid of getting shot,” he said. “Now, will it get to that in the U.S.? God, I hope not. Not if (U.S. Attorney General Eric) Holder doesn’t start sending people to kick doors down.”

But Paulsson, whose mother was freed from the Auschwitz concentration camp at the end of the war, dismisses that argument as twisting the facts.

“Ideologues always try to shoehorn history into their own categories and read into the past things that serve their own particular purposes,” he said.

 

Adam Geller can be reached at features(at)ap.org.
Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdGeller

 

 

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