Monday, November 14, 2016

Dictator Minute

Not enough people know about dictators, but Dictator Minute aims to fix that. Take a minute every day to learn something new about dictators. You’ll be glad you did!







3. Dictators Don't Like Treaties

After WWI, the Germans had this treaty they had to live with, the Treaty of Versailles?

Lots of Germans hated it. It crushed them economically and made Germany dependent on hostile foreign powers for its survival. It was humiliating and unfair, said many. They called the establishment leaders who signed the treaty criminals and backstabbers.

Hitler also did not like the Treaty of Versailles. He called it “the greatest villainy of the century” in Mein Kampf.

"The millions of German unemployed are the final result of this development,” he said in a speech in 1933. Hitler wanted to get rid of the Treaty of Versailles and, a year after he became Chancellor, he did!

Party Tip

Want to be a hit at parties? Read more about The Treaty of Versailles.








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2. The Journalists Were Wrong

Journalist Dorothy Thompson initially thought that Hitler wasn’t a threat. She believed he wanted to be a dictator, but, c’mon. Him? In power? She called him “Little Man”; wrote that he was insignificant. She was convinced the public would see right through him.

“Imagine a would-be dictator setting out to persuade a sovereign people to vote away their rights,” she wrote in 1932.

When Hitler became Chancellor a year later, she changed her tune and tried to warn people. She documented the brutality and terror she saw as the Nazis consolidated their power. But it was too late.

Like most dictators, Hitler did not like to be criticized. In 1934 he revoked Thompson’s credentials and threw her out of Germany.

Party Tip

Want to be a hit at parties? Read more about Dorothy Thompson.









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1. Don’t Underestimate Dictators

Germany’s leaders didn’t take Hitler seriously until it was too late. Establishment politicians thought they could appease him. They believed that if they named him Chancellor of Germany, he’d have no choice but to fall in line with business as usual. They told themselves that others in the government would influence Hitler and mitigate his power.

Instead, wily Hitler gave himself absolute power through the Enabling Act of 1933! Germany’s institutions failed to protect it from a dictator, as many had hoped. Hitler simply passed laws dismantling those institutions.

Party Tip

Want to be a hit at parties? Read more about the Enabling Act of 1933.