Punching Nazis

Treating the Charlottesville marchers is if they are real Nazis is an affront to America's history
White nationalists clash with counter-protesters in the street after the "Unite the Right" rally was delcared a unlawful gathering by Virginia State Police August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
White nationalists clash with counter-protesters in the street after the "Unite the Right" rally was delcared a unlawful gathering by Virginia State Police August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

My mother, a Czech Jew, who survived a concentration camp and who never knew her parents because the Nazis murdered them when she was a baby, had the right to punch Nazis. My father, a Dutch Jew, who helped print resistance newspapers in occupied Holland and whose entire family was exterminated by the Germans, had the right to punch Nazis. They never did but they had the right. You do not.

You have the right to express any opinion you damn well please. That is your right and that right makes you the envy of the world. The world does not need the United States of America to advance the notion of punching those with abject opinions. For that right the world is blessed with countries like Saudi Arabia or Turkey or any other hellhole of your choice. There you can punch people you disagree with to your hearts content. You can throw them off buildings to the cheers of the crowds or burn them alive with the loving approval of the regime. But not in the free world, not as long as it’s free. Here you have to debate.

Are American Communists, Socialists and leftists responsible for the 100 million people that were murdered by various communist regimes throughout the 20th century? Are Muslims responsible for the acts of the Islamic State? You know the answer, you’ve been blasting into our ears ever since 9/11. Then why hold American Nazis responsible for the deeds of the country, the ideology and the regime their forefathers defeated?

That’s right. The main connection between American Nazis and their German idols is the fact that their fathers and grandfathers defeated Nazi Germany. They dishonor that history. They are an affront to American values. But they are not real Nazis. At best (worst) they are conflicted wanna-be Nazis with a family history of defeating Nazi regimes.

By the time Hitler and the National Socialists rose to power, Germany had been through twenty years of immense poverty, hunger and inflation. Germany had lost a war the nation thought it was winning, the Kaiser had abdicated, there had been numerous Communist and Fascist uprisings and armed militias roamed the streets. Instead of a just peace, as was promised by the Allies in 1918, the Versailles treaty humiliated Germany and condemned it to poverty.

Contrast this to the experiences of Americans the past 20 years, let’s say since 9/11. What have Americans experienced these past decades that is comparable to starvation, foreign occupation and rampant inflation? Nothing comes even close, not even the 2008 economic crash or the Iraq war. Instead, Americans elected the first black president and they got to enjoy Netflix and smartphones.

That’s not a trajectory that points to a rebirth of National Socialism. This matters because it’s absurd to assume the Nazis just fell out of the sky one day to take over Germany. Hitler wasn’t magical. People like to pretend he was, so they can put on their stern faces and wag their fingers that a new fuhrer will beguile us with words of mystery and hypnotic hand movements. But other than a neat rhetorical trick to demonize opponents, it has absolutely no value.

The United States of America has a different history than Europe. Americans defeated their racists in a civil war eighty years before anyone in Europe ever thought of rejecting racism. Without this civil war there would have been no arsenal of democracy, no allied victory in World War Two. The only reason for Americans, slayers of National Socialism, to assume they are somehow vulnerable to facilitate a second coming of Nazism is to assume their European heritage makes them uniquely susceptible to Nazi ideology. This is absurdly racist and makes no sense.

As a Jew, I owe my life in no small measure to the sacrifices of white Christian males. Those American, Russian and British soldiers who fought and defeated Hitler were for the most part Christian. Because they were people from an older age, they held views more closely associated with Donald Trump than with Barack Obama. Yet I am supposed to believe Trump is somehow a return of the evil they defeated? That’s like saying World War Two was a civil war between Nazis, and the American Nazis won. It makes no sense, none of this does and for Jews to participate in this hysteria is especially shameful. We should know better.

After all, Hezbollah soldiers have been photographed plenty of times giving the Nazi salute while musing about killing lots and lots of Jews. This does not harm their standing with radical leftist movements like Antifa, which sees them as a resistance movement against Zionists. Also known as “Jews you are allowed to hate.” So it’s not the Jew hating aspect that bothers the radical left. When you look at the way the radical left speaks about Zionists it really isn’t that different from the way Nazis speak about Jews. Their solution, extermination, is also eerily similar, be it of the Jewish state instead of the Jewish nation.

So unless you are a Holocaust survivor you have no right to punch Nazis. Instead, you should try to defeat them with better arguments and with truth. The dirty little secret of the left is that they possess neither and that if they try and debate Nazis they will find themselves in agreement 90% of the time. Hence the punching.

About the Author
Born in Switzerland in 1973. Raised in Holland. My parents were Holocaust survivors.
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