Hitler and Trump

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
- Walter C. Langer, A Psychological Analysis of Adolf Hitler, Office of Strategic Services, 1943, p. 51 (also on Amazon, 2012)

Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.
Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” I said.

“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

But it appears that one way or another, much of the content in My New Order about how Hitler says propaganda works, and how he structures his speaking style, and how Hitler targets the lowest-common denominator as his intended audience, has seeped into Trump: the way he speaks, argues, rages and responds in public. This goes beyond what has been reported in the New York Times, which analyzed 95,000 words from five months of speeches and concluded that Trump shares a style with the 20th century's biggest demagogues.
- Steven Rosenfeld, Is Donald Trump Getting His Cues from Hitler? How the GOP Leader Is Following the Führer's Recipe, AlterNet, December 10, 2015

Trump is drawn to people who know how to dominate a room and exaggerated displays of macho, citing three of his top five movies as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather.”

As a young real estate developer, he would hang out at Yankee Stadium and study the larger-than-life figures in the V.I.P. box: George Steinbrenner, Lee Iacocca, Frank Sinatra, Roy Cohn, Rupert Murdoch, Cary Grant. He was intent on learning how they grabbed the limelight.

“In his first big apartment project, Trump’s father had a partner connected to the Genovese and Gambino crime families,” said Michael D’Antonio, another Trump biographer. “He dealt with mobbed-up suppliers and union guys for decades.

“When Trump was a little boy, wandering around job sites with his dad — which was the only time he got to spend with him — he saw a lot of guys with broken noses and rough accents. And I think he is really enchanted by base male displays of strength. Think about ‘Goodfellas’ — people who prevail by cheating and fixing and lying.
- Maureen Dowd, The Don and His Badfellas, NYT, July 28, 2018

He said it. “Grab ’em by the pussy.” ...
President Trump is currently indulging in some revisionist history, reportedly telling allies, including at least one United States senator, that the voice on the tape is not his. ...
In the days, weeks and months to follow, I was highly critical of the idea of a Trump presidency. The man who once told me — ironically, in another off-camera conversation — after I called him out for inflating his ratings: “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you,” was, I thought, not a good choice to lead our country.
- BILLY BUSH, Billy Bush: Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That, DEC. 3, 2017

“But when Trump arrived here, basically without a team, without experience, people were convinced that they would manipulate him. But no, you can’t manipulate him.”
- Maureen Dowd, Au Revoir, Trump and Washington, D.C., NYT, April 27, 2019

The man pivotal to Hitler’s appointment was Paul von Hindenburg. The ageing president had met Hitler for the first time in 1931 but was far from impressed with the NSDAP leader. This was partly due to simple class snobbery: Hindenburg was a Prussian general and a member of the Junker elite, while Hitler was a former corporal from a humble background, who spoke with a distinctive Austrian accent. Hindenburg nevertheless gave the Nazi leader a hearing but was decidedly unimpressed with his grandiose political ambitions and his vague plans. The president suggested Hitler might make a good postmaster, but that was about all. He scoffed at suggestions that Hitler might eventually lead the government. “Gentlemen,” he told political advisors, “I hope you will not hold me capable of appointing this Austrian corporal to be Reich chancellor.” ...
Also encouraging Hitler’s appointment behind the scenes was Franz von Papen. A conservative who had himself been chancellor until November, when he was dumped in favour of von Schleicher, von Papen was a self-interested intriguer, who saw in Hindenburg’s uncertainty an opportunity to restore his own influence. He urged the president to consider replacing von Schleicher with Hitler. He eased Hindenburg’s concerns about Nazi fanaticism by suggesting that Hitler, for all his grand intentions and personal intensity, was a political novice; once in power, he could be kept in check and easily controlled. ...
“In two months time we will have squeezed Hitler into a corner until he squeaks”, von Papen told a confidant.
- Jennifer Llewellyn, Jim Southey and Steve Thompson, HITLER BECOMES CHANCELLOR, alpha history, 2018

See also Where We're Headed.

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