Podcasts Discussing the Rise of the NSDAP

Who Set the Reichstag Fire?

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In this program we presented and discussed Fire in the Reichstag, by Peter Wainwright, which may be found at the Institute for Historical Review, and also

Myths, Wartime Propaganda and the Burning of the Reichstag by Fred Blahut, which was published in the January, 1996 issue of The Barnes Review, the text of which is found below.

Before presenting these articles, we discussed a 2008 article from Der Spiegel, Late Justice for Nazi Scapegoat: Verdict against 1933 Reichstag Arsonist Thrown Out, which helps to establish that there is absolutely no evidence that National Socialists set the Reichstag blaze, and any assertions that they did are admittedly based only upon assumptions, by their own admittance.

Myths, Wartime Propaganda and the Burning of the Reichstag

By Fred Blahut

If the burning of the German Reichstag brought the National Socialists to power in 1933, were the Nazis responsible for the ar­son? if not, who was?

By 1933, Germany was ripe for anoth­er revolution. The Moscow-backed com­munist revolutions of 1919 had been put down at awful cost. And then the Allies imposed “reparations” that stripped the country of its ability to employ its work­ers and feed its people, including a British-engineered blockade that result­ed in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Germans by starvation.

The worldwide depression of 1929 hit the country, still staggering under the yoke of the Treaty of Versailles, in the gut. Food was scarce. Jobs were disap­pearing. Those who had jobs earned money that was close to worthless.

It was clear that the centrist govern­ment of President Paul von Hindenburg and Chancellor Heinrich Bruning, under extreme pressure from both the left and the right, could not hold. Fearing civil war, Hindenburg dismissed Bruning and in January of 1933 appointed Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialists, as chancellor, even though Hitler had no absolute majority in the lower chamber of the German Parliament - the Reichstag.

And then, on the night of February 27, the Reichstag building burned.

The 1933 International Jewish Boycott of Germany

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This article  ran in The Barnes Review in May, 1996

The 1933 International Boycott of Germany – Execution

By Udo Walendy

Udo Walendy is a German publish­er and author best known for expos­ing propaganda photographs from the world wars as fakes, “doctored” to indict Germans and Germany. His revisionist work includes periodic publication of the magazine Historical Facts, D-4973 Vlotho/Weser, Postfach 1643, Germany.

By 1933 the German people had reached their limits of tolerance under the draconian terms of the Versailles Treaty. Nationalism was on the rise. It was immediately met with an internationally coordinated effort to crush Germany's economy and keep the people in perpetual poverty and subjugation.

Previously, in an article entitled “The Economic Boycott of Germany­ - Prelude” (TBR April, 1996), the organi­zation of an international boycott against Germany was discussed. When Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933, the handwriting was on the wall for the plutocratic European forces which had kept the German nation weak and its people in near-starvation conditions for 15 years. The re-emergence of Germany as a viable player on the international stage both in commerce and as a political power could not be allowed to happen.

Consequently, Jewish organizations outside of Germany set in motion an international boycott with the specific goal of bringing down the fledgling National Socialist government. Other groups, including religious and labor organizations, were recruited to help the effort.

Key personalities and organizations involved included Dr. Nahum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization; Stephen Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and key player at the Second Preparative World Jewish Conference of September 5,1933 in Geneva; the Jewish War Veterans; Samuel Untermyer (sometimes spelled Untermeyer), one of the most powerful and influential Jewish leaders in America, a successful attorney, government advisor and president of the non-sectar­ian Anti-Nazi League 1933-1939; W. W. Cohen, vice-presi­dent of the A. J. C., who orga­nized a parade with banners proclaiming economic war on Germany; and New York Catholic Bishop Francis T. McConnell.

Justifying the National Socialist Reaction to the Reichstag Fire, Part 1 - Threat of Communist Revolution in Germany, 1929-1933


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What follows are book excerpts and notes which were prepared for this presentation.

The Threat of Communist Revolution in Germany, 1929-1933

In order to understand why the National Socialists would immediately believe that the Reichstag Fire was a Communist plot, one must understand the extent to which Communist Revolution was a threat all throughout the post-war period of Weimar Germany. Here that shall be made evident, from a rather liberal academic who has a clear bias against the Nazis. For reason that this author, Dietrich Orlow, has a clear antipathy for National Socialism, we have chosen this source in order to make our presentation.

Justifying the National Socialist Reaction to the Reichstag Fire, Part 2 - The Inevitability of the Enabling Act


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What follows are book excerpts and notes which were prepared for this presentation.

Justifying the National Socialist Reaction to the Reichstag Fire, Part 2 - The Inevitability of the Enabling Act

In part one of this series, we showed that the threat of a Communist revolution in Germany was very real, and that the threat was recognized by the German Federal Government, right up through the early 1930's. We also saw that in its own propaganda, the German Communist Party itself had been threatening such a revolution through all of the years of the Weimar Republic. Therefore when the Reichstag burned, and the culprit was found to be a communist who admitted torching the building for the purpose of setting off such a revolution, whether the Communist Party itself was complicit or not is immaterial, the NSDAP and the German government as a whole had every right to believe that such a revolution was the purpose of the fire, and the Communist Party was therefore banned.

Here we shall present material from Mein Kampf which clearly shows that if the NSDAP ever came to power, the dissolution of other political parties and the parliamentary democracy in Germany as a whole was only inevitable, and therefore in 1933, the Enabling Act was indeed also inevitable.