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The Reichstag Fire-- A Warning From History


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In 1933, the German Parliament was set ablaze. Communists were blame and a crackdown ensued. But what was the truth of the fire? What was the truth of the three apartment bombings in Russia in 1999 that led to Putin's rise to power? If we do not learn from history . . .

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The Reichstag Fire-- A Warning From History

  1. 1. The Reichstag Fire
  2. 2. A history lesson we must never forget. On 27 February 1933, the German Parliament was set on fire. It is also considered an archetype for a terrorist event staged by a political movement/individual to be blamed on the opponent in order to consolidate power and oppress opponents. In this case, Hitler used it to focus hatred on communists and other groups, while suspending civil liberties. The Reichstag Fire
  3. 3. The German Chancellor was Adolf Hitler. Arriving at the fire, he immediately proclaimed it the work of Communists. Without any proof. Hitler called it “a sign from God” that Communists were to be exterminated. The Reichstag Fire
  4. 4. The next day Hitler got President Hindenburg to sign Article 48, the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended most civil liberties in Germany. No more habeus corpus, no freedom of the press, no right of free association or protest, and tapping of all mail and phone. Any publications not deemed friendly to the Nazi regime were banned. The Reichstag Fire
  5. 5. At the time of the fire, the Nazi party had roughly 33% of the vote. By suppressing Communists, they were able to increase that to 44%. Still not a majority, but enough. The Reichstag Fire
  6. 6. By 27 March, just a month later, the Enabling Act gave Hitler the right to “rule by decree”. Hindenburg was out and Hitler was dictator. Democracy was over in Germany in just a month. We all know the results and what it took to stop this. The Reichstag Fire
  7. 7. Historians disagree who was behind the fire. Recent evidence supports the claim that the Nazis set the fire themselves and used it to leverage Hitler into power when the majority of the country was against them and Hitler. But everyone in Germany paid the price. As well as tens of millions of others. The Reichstag Fire
  8. 8. In 1999, bombs blew up 3 apartment complexes in three different Russian cities, killing 293 people and wounding over a thousand. Similar devices were used in all bombings. A fourth, similar bomb was found and defused before it could explode. Local police arrested three FSB (the new KGB) officers for planting this last bomb. The Reichstag Fire
  9. 9. Despite that arrest, Prime Minister Vladimar Putin, who had been elected to that office, blamed these attacks on the Caucasus Islamic Institute and used them to start the Second Chechen War. More importantly, he used these acts of terror to leverage his way into the Presidency a few months later and pass stringent laws giving him control over the populace he has never released since. The Reichstag Fire
  10. 10. Calls for investigations were made by the Russian Parliament, of course. These were not supported by the government, which was now Putin’s controlling party. Two key legislators who pushed for investigations were later assassinated. It is widely believe the FSB did all the bombing on Putin’s orders. The Reichstag Fire
  11. 11. Think of the outrage a large terrorist attack will have here? President Bush, under whose watch Nine- Eleven occurred, wasn’t blamed for the attack. His popularity rating went to over 90%. He was able get the Patriot Act passed. Start a war against a country that had nothing to do with the attack. The Reichstag Fire
  12. 12. This is history. History repeats itself. It can happen here. It will happen here. Unless we are vigilant and act now while we still have a democracy to right our course. And when it does happen, to not fall into the trap of outrage that will destroy our country and our way of life. The Reichstag Fire
  13. 13. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson
  14. 14. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of Cool Gus. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains and other places, including time in the Orient studying martial arts. He now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs.