Norm Smith Medallist
- May 6, 2016
- AFL Club
Recently we've seen a few isolated incidents of Nazi's being assaulted while trying to disrupt left wing protests.
Others would say we've seen left wing protesters take preventative measures to ensure their self defence, much as America and Australia have done in fighting wars in the middle east without being attacked.
Is this kind of action justified? If someone is in the motion of trying to assemble a political movement that would see you killed or assaulted, is it ok to take preventative action against them and seize the initiative?
The Nazis were clear that they were using democracy in order to destroy all democracy.
As early as 1925, Hitler stated, “Our movement is anti-parliamentarian, and even its participation in a parliamentary institution can only imply activity for its destruction.”
Yet the leaders of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), the equivalent of the Labour Party in Britain today, urged their supporters to only oppose the fascists by “legal”, constitutional means – not attempting to break up Nazi meetings.
As Hitler was sworn in as chancellor, the SPD’s newspaper, Vorwaerts, printed a special edition.
It said, “In the face of a government that threatens a coup d’état, social democracy stands firm on the grounds of the constitution and legality.”
Today, with the knowledge of the Holocaust and mass destruction that fascism led to, few could argue against the idea that Hitler should have been stopped by any means necessary.
A show of determined resistance by the working class movement and anti-fascists would have stopped the German ruling class from handing power to Hitler.
Hitler said later, after he took power, “Only one thing could have stopped us – if our adversaries had, from the first day, smashed with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our movement.”