In an unusual 2013 article written by now-Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and published on joemiller.us, Bronson claims that “Adolph Hitler was not always a tyrant. As he rose to political power his vision for a better Germany lifted his nation from the depths of a severe depression and the humiliation of defeat. But more importantly, he gave his countrymen hope for better future while he returned to them their pride in their homeland, the pride they so passionately desired.”
In fact, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party openly campaigned on a platform of Aryan racial supremacy, virulent anti-Semitism, military conquest of lands inhabited by alleged racial inferiors, and mass eugenic killing for years prior to Hitler’s initial assumption of political office in 1933. Once in office, Hitler and Nazi Party immediately began transforming Germany into a totalitarian fascist dictatorship, rescinding civil liberties and initiating long-planned programs to violently persecute political dissidents, religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities, and disabled people.
In a Friday afternoon e-mail, Corey Allen Young, the Communications Director for the Office of the Mayor, confirmed to the Landmine that Mayor Dave Bronson had written the article.
In the 2013 article, Bronson states that, while attending a dinner party, he asked an elderly German woman whether she saw any parallels between Nazi Germany and the United States (then under President Obama). The answer, Bronson writes, “prompted a swift, if not indelicate, kick under the table from the hostess, a dear friend.” The hostess and host explain to Bronson that their elderly dinner companion, in fact “adores Adolph Hitler.” The hostess and host explain that “many if not most Germans of her vintage do as well,” and tell Bronson:
“Hitler in the 1930’s, and even after his death, was extremely popular. He did many great and good things for a nation suffering terribly and needlessly under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. He built roads, bridges and hospitals. He put people back to work while he rebuilt the economy. In less than ten years he accomplished the miraculous … even while he began to commit the unspeakable.”
Bronson states that he viewed this interaction as a “teachable moment,” learning that “a tyrant so universally reviled for committing such horrific acts” can also create positive change by improving a country’s economy and bolstering nationalist pride. Bronson states that:
“Tyrants are not uniformly evil. They are capable of great good and small kindnesses. They smile, they laugh and they love their children. But eventually they embrace the evil which defines their tyranny, and then those who gave them their power begin to pay a terrible price.”
Bronson concludes by drawing parallels between the Nazi regime and the Obama Administration, writing “Now to the question before us. Do I believe President Obama has the capacity to be a tyrant? Most certainly.”
The article can be found here:
“The Tyranny Before Us,” by Dave Bronson
In the article, Bronson does not praise Hitler for actions taken after his early political career. Bronson includes Hitler in a list of tyrants that also includes Chairman Mao, Stalin, and Mussolini.
It is unclear why Bronson concludes that Hitler was “not always a tyrant.” Hitler penned the autobiography “Mein Kampf” in 1925, which states that Germany would have won WWI if “twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the nation had been subjected to poison gas,” calls for “extermination” of “international poisoners,” promotes racist expulsion of peoples from Central and Eastern Europe, and calls for the killing of allegedly inferior individuals. Mein Kampf became a bestseller in Germany, and was widely read both in Germany and abroad during Hitler’s rise to power. The Nazi Party explicitly campaigned on the priorities laid out in Mein Kampf, interweaving them with other domestic and international policies.
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany–his first political office–on January 30, 1933. Following his appointment, Hitler and the Nazi party immediately began dismantling Germany’s democratic institutions and violently suppressing political opposition. On February 28, 1933, the Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germany, including freedom of association and freedom of speech. On March 21 and 24, 1933, the Nazi-controlled government passed a set of laws legalizing the arrest and extrajudicial imprisonment of any critics of the Nazi regime. Also on March 24, 1933–less than two months after Hitler had been appointed chancellor–the Nazi government announced the opening of its first concentration camp, in Dachau. Tens of thousands of Germans, including Communists, Social Democrats, other political opponents, and sexual minorities, were rounded up in subsequent months and sent into Germany’s growing network of prison camps, where many were killed.
On May 3, 1933, all German trade unions in were dissolved and key union leaders were sent to concentration camps. On July 14, 1933, all political parties other than the Nazi party were formally banned, putting Hitler and his allies in total control of the German state. From July 30 to July 2, 1934, Hitler orchestrated the mass killing of remaining political opponents in an event called “Operation Hummingbird,” or “The Night of the Long Knives.”
Beginning in July of 1933, the Nazi government began the mass sterilization of allegedly genetically inferior individuals. In 1939, Hitler authorized “Aktion T4,” a eugenics program that mandated the destruction of individuals with disabilities. Aktion T4, which purported to purify and strengthen the Aryan race, ultimately resulted in the deaths of between 70,000 and 300,000 disabled individuals in German-occupied territories.
Anti-Semitic beliefs and promotion of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories were highly visible features of Hitler’s ideology and Nazism from its earliest days. The first boycott of Jewish-owned shops occurred on April 1, 1933. On September 15, 1935, the Nazi party enacted the Nuremberg Race Laws, which banned intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews, invalidated the passports of all German Jews, limited the names that Jewish children could be given, and required Jews to wear yellow badges identifying them in public. The first major pogrom against Jewish citizens, Kristallnacht, occurred from November 9 to 10, 1938 and concluded with the destruction of thousands of Jewish businesses and the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps.
Over and over, these fascist thugs accuse others of authoritarian behavior. Typical concentration camp mind, wanting to round up all the undesirables.
If anybody is acting like fascist thugs, it would be BLM, ANTIFA, and o’biden…..
If you are going to nonsensically dog whistle with thugs, BLM, and ANTIFA, and not include something about CrItIcAl RaCe ThEoRy, you need to get back on your couch and turn up some more OAN and Newsmax
Fact: BLM & ANTIFA caused Billions of dollars of damage to public and private property.
Don’t watch, don’t have a tv.
“In the article, Bronson does not praise Hitler for actions taken after his early political career. Bronson includes Hitler in a list of tyrants that also includes Chairman Mao, Stalin, and Mussolini.”
Okay, then the article is a nonissue, mudslinging, effort to wound Bronson…..
I mean, he really did say that thankfully his “gaffe” of comparing the US under Obama to Germany under Hitler went unheard.
It was a gaffe because it was being mean to Germany under Hitler.
That lowered my opinion of our Mayor a bit, and I appreciate the Landmine writing the article.
You missed the part where Delta Dave says that early Hitler was, like, totally not a big deal ’cause all he did was… build bridges. Right.
I bet he thought trump was great too….and went all Chiken Little when Obama was president…
Hitler would not have used the Dave Bronson or Mike Dunleavy approach to leadership because first of all Hitler would not have diminished his power by denying the medical science that would have protected his political base and helped return the German economy to a functional level. No, Hitler was evil but he was not that stupid.
what kind of person goes to a dinner party with nazi sympathizers?
…and had a ‘teachable moment’ where he learned that adoring Hitler is just fine, cause bridges?
Obviously the history of post-WWI Germany is complex and all most of us know about it we learned from the histories written by the winners. ‘Does anyone believe that Hitler came to power promising to engulf the world in war and to cause the destruction of his country? ‘Hitler came to power almost exactly as Biden has come to power…by using propaganda against the population to create a false internal common enemy for the citizenry to rally together against while simultaneously promising safety and prosperity to those who supported him. ‘This is exactly what our nation is currently experiencing and… Read more »
“Obviously the history of post-WWI Germany is complex and all most of us know about it we learned from the histories written by the winners.” Uh-huh, and thank god for that. Where do you think we should be learning our history from? The Nazis? Old Nazi women who “adore Adolph Hiter” in 2013?
I guess you missed the entire point…that being history is what those in control tell us it is and their narrative is always reflective of their biases, beliefs, prejudices, etc. ‘Hitler rose to power because he sold his vision to enough of the German people and he did that exactly the same way they all do it…by promising them a better future. ‘Part of his strategy was to create a common enemy for the majority to rally together against. ’He did that through highly effective propaganda disseminated by his partners in the German media. ‘The parallels between 1930s Germany and… Read more »
Bronson didn’t just say that Hitler rose to power by promising a better future, though. He said Hitler wasn’t a tyrant at first. That he WAS a better future. And that’s sick and wrong.
Honestly, yes, it should be included! The psychological intricacies that caused such a person to come to power are crucial for us to prevent history from repeating itself. As a german, with a grandfather who was in the hitler youth, i have learned more from his stories than I ever got out of the history lessons. We focus so much on the gruesome events (which are important to note) that we forget to look at what got us there. I think painting elderly germans as Hitler sympathizers is a mistake, these people were brain washed, their entire childhoods are steeped… Read more »
Things Delta Dave thinks are tyranny:
Things Delta Dave thinks are not tyranny:
Thanks for the civics lesson, Dave!
Most elderly Germans DO NOT ADORE HITLER. Dave, your dinner party companion who still, in 2013, “adores Adolph Hitler” was ***AND IS*** a Nazi. Hitler never won an election, killed millions of people, and destroyed the country. Hitler is remembered by nearly all Germans as an evil tyrant.
This article makes me sick.
That is what struck me too. Dave Bronson just bought what his Nazi buddies offered him, hook line and sinker. Germans abhor Hitler now. Including most of the elderly ones. Bronson (or at least Bronson’s Nazi friends) are living in a revisionist fantasy.
A guy like this couldn’t become a dog catcher anywhere else. How can the people of Anchorage vote for such a scoundrel?
Very well written and educational takedown, Paxson. Impressed!!
Absurd. He’s criticizing Hitler and was wondering why in the world people followed him. Good to learn from our past so we don’t repeat it. I have read 3 books over the past few years that have been life changing – they have been recommended from friends whose families have survived tyrannical communist regimes. 1. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Russia), 2. Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng (China) and 3. Stay Alive, My Son by Pin Yathay (Cambodia). In almost every regime – different dates, different countries – people followed and… Read more »
Yeah right, Bronson was criticizing Hitler 🙂 I would suggest you add Sheldon Wolin to your reading list!
Yes, I know Wolin, but I’m not talking about reading political theories from professors at Ivy League schools, and how political thoughts play out on paper. I’m talking about reading and hearing stories from people who have actually lived under these totalitarian regimes. Schools in the US have thankfully done a good job teaching children about the horrors of Nazi Germany. But communist totalitarianism has been even more murderous. Read the stories of these suffering people! Talk to people who’ve fled Venezuela, China, Russia and the Eastern bloc countries. We need to hear their stories and learn from them, be… Read more »
Swing and a miss. Bronson concluded that Hitler wasn’t a tyrant during his early years in power. That conclusion (reached at the urging of a Nazi no less) represents gross ignorance of history.
A lot of people under these regimes say this, that at first they believed things would get better under these leaders. This is quite different than our understanding looking back. His point was that he came into power promising that the Germans lives would get better, and they believed him. He didn’t start off as the murderous tyrant we all know him to be. The frog in boiling water analogy applies,
Corey… get out while you can. You won’t be able to find a good job again if you attach yourself to these people. You’re better than this
Not always a tyrant?
Look up the “Beer Hall Putsch”
Hitler and the newly redefined Nazi Party attempted a political coup in Munich. Mein Kempf was written while Hitler was in prison for his involvement.
Bronson’s “Navigation Center” sure had a lot of parallels to the early concentration camps
Let me get this straight: Hitler at some point in his position as a fascist dictator was NOT a tyrant, but PRESIDENT OBAMA MIGHT BE? God help Anchorage. This is the rambling delusion of the town lunatic.
Fact: Hitlers intentions, even before he took power, had always been to “cleanse” Germany of Jewish, handicapped…etc.
To even think of even arguing that he “was not always a tyrant” or “a good man because he did good for the German people, the German economy and was a vegetarian” is completely ignorant & idiotic.