Gay Area Girl writes:
What exactly happened between 1918-1933 in Germany? To what extent were ordinary Jews involved or sympathetic to the European Jewish elite?
By 1932, Jews were 1% of the population, and they controlled 32% of the economy. It would be very nice if human beings would just sit back and say, “Oh, that’s just fine,” but the truth is that there are not that many majority groups around that will sit back and allow a tiny minority to get that much power without doing something about it.
After WW1, many Germans attacked German patriotism and nationalism as sort of a toxic element that had led the nation into the ruins of war. Many of those doing were Jewish intellectuals, comedians, show biz types, etc. They were basically correct, but your average German was not in a mood for careful self-reflection.
It probably is not true that the German Jews “stabbed the nation in the back.” It is true that American Jews led a huge media propaganda campaign to get the US into the war, probably in return for getting the British to agree to give the Jews Palestine via the Balfour Amendment in 1917. So the US Jews really did drag the US into the war. However, many US Jews were German Jews and they actually supported Germany in WW1. In Germany, most German Jews were patriots during the war.
During the 1920’s, the German economy collapsed, but at the same time, Berlin became very decadent, a sort of a playground for the rich and famous all over Europe. There was a lot of decadent and depraved behavior going on with regard to sex, drugs, boozing, etc. There was also a lot of homosexuality and bisexuality in the scene.
There were all sorts of folks involved in what was basically just a decadent artsy scene, but a number of them were Jewish. This whole decadent scene got tagged as “Jewish.” Your average German was a cultural conservative and thought the Berlin scene was sick and depraved.
Around 1920, German Communists attempted to seize power via a violent revolution. A number of people were killed in this endeavor, which led to a short lived Bavarian Socialist Republic. The Communists basically failed in their revolution, and history is not kind to losers.
Many of the leaders of the German Communists were Jews, including Rosa Luxembourg. Your average middle class German was horrified by the specter of Communism and blamed the German Jews for it. But many German Jews were very rich and did not support Communism at all.
There was a lot of class war going on the 1920’s. A trade union would try to shut down a factory via a strike. The leadership of the trade union would be Jewish. The factory owner himself, a Jew, would fight the trade union in an often bloody street fight to keep the factory open.
Hitler looked at this and instead of seeing what was logically intra-Jewish class war instead saw a conspiracy in which the Jewish factory owner and the Jewish trade union leadership conspired in a fake battle in order to create chaos and tear the nation asunder.
The German workers never supported the Nazis. They always supported the Socialists (Social Democrats) and Communists. Nazism was basically a middle class movement of the petit bourgeois, as most fascism tends to be.
The German industrialists went along with Nazism simply as a way to crush the Left. They didn’t like the racism very much, but they thought Hitler was all talk, and it would never get out of hand. In short, they didn’t think he would do what he said.
In this way, they were similar to the US rich, who go along with far right populist extremism on social and other issues in order to get the Right Populists votes on pro-rich economics. But these same US rich don’t think that the rightwing social issue crazies are going to implement their project. Your average rich American doesn’t give a damn about abortion or gay marriage or any of that stuff.
In this way, the rich always play with fire when they attempt to manipulate rightwing populism to their advantage.
The German Left split and would not work together. The German Communists called the Social Democrats “Social Fascists” and condemned them. The two often had street fights and would not unite against the Right.
There was a lot of sheer fanaticism in Germany. Eric Hoffer, in his book The True Believer, wrote how many Germans would support the Communists one week and then the Nazis another. They would go back and forth between the two, even though they were supposedly at the opposite ends of the spectrum and hated each other. In this sense, the political spectrum may be seen as more circular than linear, and the Far Left and Far Right almost seem to meet at the bottom of a circle.