Hitlerís Mountain: It Can Happen Here
The Sovereign Investor
by Bob Bauman: Obama
Repeals the 5th Amendment
though writing occupies much of each of my days, I also read a lot
averaging one or two books a week.
bought a paperback edition of a book entitled: On
Hitlers Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood
by Irmgard A. Hunt.
Ms. Hunt, a
self-identified political liberal and pacifist, is a former executive
of various U.S. and international environmental organizations, who
currently resides in Washington, D.C. Now a U.S. citizen, she was
born in 1934 in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, where Adolf Hitler set up
his headquarters and his mountain retreat, the Eagles Nest.
In fact, in
one of her most compelling stories, at the age of three, Hunt recalls
sitting in Hitlers lap during a 1941 village visit, suspiciously
studying his mustache, his slicked-back, oily hair
the same time acutely seeing the importance of the moment.
Her father was one of the first German soldiers drafted and one
of the first to die. Hunt was only 11 when the war ended, but her
eyewitness account does provide much personal insight
into life under the Nazis.
German Lady Remembers
I met an 83-year-old American lady and her husband, a veteran of
World War II, both from Nevada. Because she spoke English with a
German accent, we got to talking and I soon learned that at an early
age she had been sent to the Sudetenland to a Hitler Youth Camp
When the war
ended, in the mass confusion she had literally been turned loose
from the camp, and with other girls, she became a refugee walking
hundreds of miles in an effort to find her family. She recalled
sleeping in the woods, starvation and scavenging garbage from the
trash of American GIs, one of whom hit her in the back with a rifle
butt, an injury from which she still suffers today. She eventually
found her mother.
With all this
in her past, this elderly lady is a proud American who loves her
adopted country. When we discussed Hunts book about her childhood
in Nazi German, I asked whether she thought that something akin
to the Nazis and Hitler could happen in America. Without any hesitation
she replied: Of course it could; it is what I fear most about
Happen in America?
also addressed this very question in her book when she was asked:
Could a Hitler happen here in America? If you think so
what would be the circumstances? Are there aspects of life in the
United States that would prevent a Hitler from rising here?
Here is her
disturbing response, and something to consider in the context of
a great deal about that while I wrote my book.
an American version of a Hitler dictatorship is possible but
not the Holocaust. A dictatorship in America would arrive largely
unnoticed and insidiously, with the pretense of a free democracy
intact. The prerequisites would be that the executive, legislative,
and judicial functions would be in the hands of one party, headed
by a man on a mission who surrounds himself only with the like-minded.
would be largely controlled by that party or by sympathetic owners.
The military would be obedient and heed the leaders orders
against their better judgment, while the moneyed interests would
be well protected. A powerful, shrewd, and sophisticated propaganda
machine ready to lie to people and manipulate their minds
a propaganda machine like that of Dr. Goebbels would quickly
increase the danger of voices of reason, diverse opinions, and criticism.
that could tip the scale dangerously in such a direction might be
a monstrous economic disaster or more fear-inspiring terrorist attacks
providing the excuse to suspend or ignore the Constitution and to
declare emergency powers like Hitler did in 1933 after the fire
in the Reichstag. There might be a group or groups that would
be demonized and become an excuse for extreme measures. In Germany
it was the Jews. Here it might be terrorists or Muslims.
I believe we are seeing danger signs all around us, from the Homeland
Security Act that diminishes civil rights and increased surveillance
to scare tactics that increase fear, acceptance of torture of prisoners,
and acceptance of a war based on lies. Add to that litany the increasing
political power of an intolerant, ideology-driven, fundamentalist
right wing and we have a scenario that could spell the end of democracy
as we know it.
are of course enormous differences between the United States now
and Germany then. For one, the ultra-fascist, violent Storm Troopers
(S.A.) who staged the Kristallnacht and spread violence before
and after Hitlers power grab do not now have an American equivalent.
In addition, the extreme fear of an imminent Communist revolution
that haunted the Germans in the twenties does not exist.
importantly, the American people, unless they become completely
brainwashed by their government and their fundamentalist religious
leaders, are used to living in a democracy, to questioning, speaking
up, protesting, marching, blowing the whistle, and pointing the
want to keep America free we must continue to do just that.
ponder seriously, dear readers.
with permission from The
October 21, 2011
E. Bauman is a former Member of the United States House of Representatives
from Maryland, (19731981). He is also a former federal official
and state legislator; Member, Washington, DC Bar; Graduate of the
Georgetown University Law Center (1964) and the School of Foreign
Service (1959), Washington, DC. Robert currently serves as legal
counsel for the Sovereign
© 2011 Robert E. Bauman
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