Werthmann, who lived in Austria during the Nazi regime, delivered a blistering comparison between what happened under the Nazis and what is supposedly happening today under the current administration.
Here are a few excerpts:
Once the Nazis took control, the people no longer voted for government positions anymore; all positions down to the local level were filled by appointment.
In the interest of a supposedly more efficient government, the Nazis decided to centralize all government between Germany and Austria.
Hitler nationalized (socialized) the banks, health care, automobile production, education, and more....
Werthmann said Hitler expanded “equal rights” for women, which resulted in far more women going out into the work force. The government created state-run child care and began molding the minds of children at a very young age.
Austria had private health care prior to the Nazis, and the quality was good. But the government took over the health care system, and when health care became “free” the doctors quickly became overloaded by frivolous use of the system. Surgeries of a more important nature, however, had waiting lists of about 18 months because of all the “hypochondriacs” abusing the system.
Werthmann said that if a doctor prescribed a medicine not on the government-approved list, the government would take the cost of the medicine out of the doctor’s salary.
Welfare became a “huge apparatus,” said Werthmann. Everyone had access to subsidized housing, food stamps, heating subsidies and many other benefits until everyone–regardless of salary–reached the prescribed standard of living.
“That’s called socialism,” she said. Werthmann cited the exchange between Joe the Plumber and Presidential Candidate Obama about “spreading the wealth” as a sign that it’s already begun here.
Werthmann, however, papers over quite a few significant differences. Let's start with why the Austrians voted in the Nazis:
Austrians were looking to Germany where they saw prosperity and law and order, while they had near anarchy in their own country. With only a border between them, speaking the same language and having a similar culture, they believed the promise of prosperity from Adolf Hitler. Politically in their country, on one side was the National Socialist Party (Nazi) and the other was the Communist Party.
The communists were growing stronger as a party because of their promises, as well. When the country had to decide between Nazis and Communists, most of the people came to the realization they were a country with a Christian background and could not bring themselves to vote for the atheistic communists. Austria voted the Nazi Party in to power.
Notice the absence in this formulation of (a) the liberal and/or Christian Democrats, who actually held parliamentary majorities in both countries before the Nazis; (b) the omission of the particularly rabid anti-Semitism in Austria that made the Nazi message appealing; (c) the territorial revisionism and desire to have a redo of World War One; (d) the overtly racist appeal of the Nazi program of ethnic superiority to all slavs and untermenchen; and (e) the fact that the Nazis came to power in Germany not through free elections unmarred by violence any more than the Nazis came to power that way in Austria.
In other words: what was wrong with Hitler was socialism, not militarism, racism, or genocidal fervor.
Ms. Werthmann, presented as a survivor of socialism in a macabre effort to create and equivalent to a holocaust survivor, is baldy equating American liberals to genocidal Nazis.
I neither like nor support many of the Obama administration's policies, but I will not be silent while somebody makes the self-serving argument that compares them to the policies of one of the leading mass murderers of the previous century.
Jeff, you should have done a little more thinking before you gave this nutcase a forum.