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September 10, 2012

Republican Congressman “invokes” the Holocaust in a speech about student loans

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:15 am

As reported by Tablet Magazine, Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett from Maryland said this in reference to the constitutionality of federal student loans and the Patriot Act:

“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

Congressman Bartlett got into trouble because he invoked the Holocaust. He also pointed out that there are more people of German ancestry in American today than any other [ethnic group].  What was he implying?  That German-Americans might ignore our Constitution and start another Holocaust?

What Rep. Bartlett should have said is that America ignored it’s own Constitution during World War II to put Japanese-Americans and German-Americans into “internment camps.” If we ignore our Constitution regarding student loans, this could lead to Americans being put into “internment camps” again — solely because of their ethnicity.

Did Germany ignore it’s Constitution in order to put Jews into concentration camps?  I don’t think so.  Hitler did everything legally.  He learned his lesson after he tried to take over the German government by force, and was arrested and put into Landsberg prison in 1923.  After he got out in 1924, he vowed to take over the government of German by doing everything legally.

Feldherrenhalle in Munich was where Hitler’s failed 1923 Putsch ended

Hitler leaving the town of Landsberg, after being released from Landsberg prison in 1924

This quote is from another blog which you can read here:

After being appointed chancellor of Germany on January 31, 1933, Hitler asked President von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag. A general election was scheduled for March 5, 1933.
The burning of the Reichstag six days before the election, depicted by the Nazis as the beginning of a communist revolution, resulted in the Reichstag Fire Decree, which (among other things) suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus rights. Hitler used the decree to have the Communist Party’s offices raided and its representatives arrested, effectively eliminating them as a political force.
Although receiving five million more votes than in the previous election, the NSDAP had failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament, depending on the 52 seats won by its coalition partner, the German National People’s Party, for a slim majority.
To free himself from this dependency, Hitler had the cabinet, in its first post-election meeting on March 15, draw up plans for an Enabling Act which would give the cabinet legislative power for four years. The Nazis devised the Enabling Act to gain complete political power without the need of the support of a majority in the Reichstag and without the need to bargain with their coalition partners.

The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was passed by Germany’s Reichstag and signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step, after the Reichstag Fire Decree, through which Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and established his dictatorship. It received its name from its legal status as an enabling act granting the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag for four years.
The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich (English: Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation).


  1. The photo of Hitler “leaving Landsberg Prison” is incorrectly identified. The building in the background IS NOT the prison. It is according to an article in the magazine History Today (Dec 2014 p7) the southern most entrance to the old town of Landsberg.

    Comment by Ross Smith — February 3, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

    • Thank you for spotting this error. I have changed the caption on the photo.

      Comment by furtherglory — February 3, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

  2. Election campaigns will draw on anything extreme and in this case he has, to my mind, used the ‘slippery slope’ comparison to ‘if you don’t do something…something like this could happen’ therefore invoking the consequence of extreme politics. It’s not fair game to my mind either because he cannot argue his point without bringing something as extreme as this into politics. He’s fundamentally using fear as a voting behaviour. Paradoxically, I also believe that he’s appealing to a particular voting element in the USA; i.e. those Germans that left Germany for the right reasons and the Jewish population that would sympathise with this extreme view.

    Ultimately he’s a politician that believes very strongly in education for all and using all the wrong arguments to persuade a general public to vote for him.

    Comment by mogseyward — September 10, 2012 @ 10:37 am

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