On Oct. 10, we ran an editorial titled “Is Trump a modern-day Hitler?” We concluded at the end of the piece that the answer was “not really” but that Trump and his cronies are “blurring that line more and more every day.”
On Jan. 20, 1942, a conference was held in a small Berlin suburb. This conference, historically recognized as the Wannsee Conference, was held in order to make sure all of the government officials and the agencies they represented were on the same page in terms of implementing the “final solution to the Jewish question,” now known as the Holocaust.
Here, they drew up plans to exterminate European Jewry under the guise of “resettlement.” They outlined how they would force Jews to register, remove them from their homes and deport them to concentration and extermination camps, ultimately murdering them and disposing of their bodies. They also went over propaganda approaches, the most successful one being that the Jews were a physical and existential threat to Germany.
It should be noted that at no point was Adolf Hitler present during this conference. In fact, Hitler really had marginal oversight of the Holocaust in general. He more or less asked the aforementioned Jewish question, and his underlings took care of the details and subsequent dirty work. Once again, Hitler was not at the conference that ultimately decided the tragic fate of 6 million Jews and 5 million others, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and black Europeans.
On Tuesday, multiple sources, including Reuters, Vox and The Hill, reported that Trump’s policy advisers held a conference of their own. Here, they discussed plans to create a database to register immigrants from Muslim countries. According to The Independent, upon registration, Muslims might also be given a form of identification that notes their religion, similar to how Nazi Germany forced its Jewish citizens to identify themselves with a yellow Star of David sewn onto their clothes. The policy advisers claim their motivation for doing so is in no way done to oppress immigrants but to ensure national security.
This narrative is all too familiar. Under the guise of national security, those surrounding a “charismatic” leader are attempting to interpret his vague demands. It also doesn’t help that self-proclaimed neo-Nazis are incredibly enthusiastic about Trump. Who would’ve thought that Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan would ever be united under a single figure?
We here at the Alligator can’t help but notice that the entire tone of this man’s presidency has started off on a terrifying foot. We also can’t ignore the inherent hypocrisy: When Americans propose a registry of guns, it’s unconstitutional and dangerous, but when Americans propose we make a registry of human f------beings, that’s totally fine.
It is impossible not to connect these dots. At no point were the Jews a physical or existential threat to Germany, and there is no way Muslims are threats to Americans. Moreover, Hitler called for the jailing of his political opponents, whose only crime was standing against him. He also called for the destruction of a free press, thinking they would lead to his downfall. Like Hitler, Trump calls for the jailing of his political opponents, despite there being no evidence to warrant any arrests, and he has already threatened to revoke White House press credentials from some of America’s most respected news sources. We are apprehensive to say that this will end in Nazism, but we are more than confident in saying that this is how Nazism begins.
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger.” -Reichsmarschall Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials