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Hitler: If he survived WW II would he have been re-elected as chancellor in 1946... Probably yes.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A quote attributed to George Santayana, probably spoken in some variation for millenia. As the head of state, had he survived, he probably could not be executed at the Nuremberg Trials. He could also blame everything on Goebbels, Goering, and Himmler.

Hitler would have a number of positive accomplishments to run on:

  1. building the autobahn Highway system) throughout Germany. General then President Eisenhauer emulated it when initiating construction of the US Interstate highway system in the 1950's

  2. stopping reparation payment by the Rhineland to France, which had been inflicted on Germany following the Treaty of Versailles. In retrospect a foolish Treaty that was created by the allies to punish Germany, and like many foolish things resulted in terrible consequences.

  3. Tremendous economic recovery following the Great Depression.

  4. Restoring German pride (Deutschland Uber Alles- Germany over everyone). He could emblazon DUA on felt Nazi helmet hats for his followers.

  5. Germany won the most medals by far in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin (101) with the US a distant second (56)., showing prowess of German athletes.

  6. Regaining German territory lost in WW I.

  7. He was Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1938.

It may be fair to say that no politician ever could run on that level of accomplishments. Sure there were bad things, but these could be and are even now presently overlooked. The other critical thing he could run on, is his being persecuted could be portrayed as all the German people being persecuted, which is a potent election platform.

Probably throughout history atleast 20% of any population shows extreme nationalism, so 25% would be his solid base. Probably 20% follow the lead of the political group they are in, so that is 45%. Then if the party is sufficiently aggressive and bullying that is atleast another 20% scared into voting for Hitler. So guaranteed a 65% majority, and if the party is sufficiently punitive against the opposition, then atleast 90% would go along with the election.

Even the death of Hitler is somewhat romantic, in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way: 29/ April/ 1945 he married is long term romantic partner Eva Braun, and they commited suicide the next day 30/April/ 1945.

In the 1950s- 1960s the western world considered that the German people were unique in their willingness to follow a dictator and do terrible things. In the 1960s the American researcher Stanley Milgram showed that ordinary American citizens were prepared to follow obedience to potentially horrific results with his electroshock obedience study. I recommend you read about it. Mark Twain wrote: History does not repeat itself but it rhymes. It is folly to ignore what is happening in the US today, and not see the similarities to the past.

This is why when I consider school education. History as standardly taught in US, and similar in other countries is boring and worthless because it does not teach important lessons of the past: 1. who was the 16th president, 2. when was Nebraska made a state,3. what is the Stamp act, are worthless and useless information. What should be taught in history is important world history to learn from. Individual classes dedicated to: slavery, founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ataturk, Fidel Castro, Napoleon, Martin Luther King. Good stories and bad stories, but important lessons from the past that can be used as positive guides to aspire to, and others as negative guides to avoid. The other critical class I have mentioned in prior blogs is Health and Wellness, the third important class: Wisdom and Critical Thinking, and the fourth, Science, rounding it out.

I fear we have as a nation learned nothing important of the global past, because either or both we have not directly experienced it, or been taught it. One simple lesson to be taught in the class on Wisdom and Critical Thinking: there are two genders, but a number of rare congenital variants, and a number of cognitive variants. To put gender males in prison with gender females because they self-identify as women is just one simple example of stupidity, that this class would point out.

Can we stop being stupid..... education is the only hope.

Richard Semelka, MD


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