[Cryptography] Godwin's law +- actual facts

John Denker jsd at av8n.com
Sat Dec 26 04:53:52 EST 2015

On 12/25/2015 02:56 PM, Bill Frantz wrote:
> However, when assessing a government, we should keep the example of
> Germany in mind. In the 1920s, the German government was a reasonable
> democracy. In 1933, they freely elected the Nazis

There were no free elections in Germany in 1933.

*) In 1932, Hitler ran for President and lost.

*) In the last pre-1933 elections, the Nazi share of Reichstag
  seats /declined/ to about 1/3rd.

  The centrist parties "should" have been able to form a coalition
  government devoid of Nazis, but they could not get their act
  together.  Part of the problem was Nazi intimidation and coercion.

*) On 30 January 1933 Hitler was appointed (not elected) Chancellor.

  The Nazis immediately moved to take over the media.

  On 28 February 1933, civil liberties were formally and explicitly
  suspended.  Thousands of opposition leaders were arrested.

*) Elections were held on 5 March 1933 but these were definitely
  not free and fair.  Some opposition parties had been outlawed.
  The Nazis made heavy use of radio, which they controlled.

  Even so, the Nazis got less than 45% of the vote.  Even if you 
  include their nationalistic and antisemitic allies in the DNVP,
  the two parties together got less than 53% of the vote.  That is
  a sufficiently slim margin that one cannot imagine that in theory
  they "would have" won a fair election.

  In practice it was enough to allow Hitler to virtually abolish 
  the Reichstag, and to rule by decree from then on.

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