Letter: Voting for fascism

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Charles Kennaugh (letter, 28 October) advances a dangerous line of argument. The fact that the Swiss People's Party and the Austrian Freedom Party are scarcely distinguishable from William Hague's Conservative Party is cause for concern, not complacency.

What is a neo-fascist (or a neo-Nazi) supposed to look like? In the 1930s, many ordinary Germans, some British MPs and some of those close to the British Royal Family supported Hitler.

It is unlikely that any public-private partnership would now be able to build something as big as Auschwitz without the media noticing. But Goebbels was ahead of his time: he understood that propaganda depends not on what you say but on what you suppress. Many UK journalists apparently have no moral problem with presenting only the news items that fit the appropriate TV pictures.

Few Germans voted for Hitler in the expectation that he would co-ordinate the murder of millions of people. Xenophobia, frustration, a vague desire for change - these combined to give Hitler and his fellow psychopaths the democratic support necessary to overthrow the state. Others obeyed orders. Many millions did what was necessary to stay alive.

We are half a century on but apparently no wiser. The worst mistake we can make is to believe that Nazism died with Hitler.


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