Hitler’s American Model –
The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law
By James Q. Whitman
Princeton University Press – £20.00
The Nazis did know, and did care, about American segregation; and it is clear that some of them were intrigued by the possibility of bringing Jim Crow to Germany. As we shall see, important programmatic Nazi texts made a point of invoking the example of Jim Crow segregation, and there were leading Nazi lawyers who made serious proposals that something similar ought to be introduced into Germany.
America remained the leader, and the Nazis repeatedly turned to the American example when developing their own immigration and citizenship law.
(‘Making Nazi Flags and Citizens’).
As tough and unsettling, resilient and brilliant as this book undoubtedly is, one does have to surmise that if Germany’s vile Nazi Party were still in existence today, they would not only have America’s example to furnish their appalling ideology, but dare I say it, England’s as well. And though this may be a little difficult to read (let alone come to terms with), it is nevertheless, true.
The degree to which the English populace are being so dogmatically duped by the horrendous likes of Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson and its very own Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (along with his entire cabinet), does indeed substantiate an impeccable example as to what took place in 1930s Germany.
Needless to say, I haven’t even touched on Britain’s all too cavalier media such as The Sun, The Daily Mail and even the BBC. So when James Q. Whitman writes: ‘’America, in the eyes of […] German literature, was a laboratory for experimentation in diminished citizenship rights,’’ he could just as easily be referring to the UK – England in particular.
A nation who’s current citizens rights are being eroded unto an unquestionable plateau of no return. This alone could partially account for Hitler’s American Model – The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law being as lucid, disturbing and powerful a read as it invariably is: ‘’[…] the story of Nazi interest in the American example does not end with the eugenics of the early 1930s; historians have carried it into the nightmare years of the Holocaust in the early 1940s as well […]. It is here that some of the most unsettling evidence has been assembled, as historians have shown that Nazi expansion eastward was accompanied by invocations of the American conquest of the West, with its accompanying wars on Native Americans […]. It is against this background that I ask the reader to ponder the evidence that this book has to present. In the early 1930s, as the Nazis were crafting the program of racial persecution enshrined in the Nuremberg Laws, they took a great interest not only in the way Henry Ford built cars for the masses, not only in the way Hollywood built its own market, not only in FDR’ style of government, not only in American eugenics, and not only in American westward expansion, but also in the lessons to be garnered from the techniques of American racist legislation and jurisprudence.’’
These 161 pages (excluding Acknowledgements, Notes, Suggestions for Further Reading and Index) depict countless troublesome parallels with both the US and the UK.
Thankfully, now that the deplorable Donald Trump has been resigned unto the cesspit of a colossal mistake, the parallel with the US is no longer as blatant or as evident.
The same cannot be said for the UK.