"It was nearly two thousand years before the scattered Germanic tribes emerged as one people; before the countless lands and states forged one Reich. We may now consider this process of the formation of the German nation as having reached its conclusion. The creation of the Greater German Reich represents the culmination of our Volk’s thousand-year struggle for existence. As streams of German blood flow together therein, so do traditions of times past, their standards and symbols, and, above all else, all the great men of whom their contemporaries were rightly proud. Small matter whose side they stood on in their day, all those daring dukes, great kings, formidable warlords, mighty emperors, and around them the inspired geniuses and heroes of the past served as instruments of Providence in the formative process of a nation. Insofar as we embrace this great Reich in grateful reverence, the wealth of German history reveals itself to us in all its splendor."
2. Fragment from "They Thought They Were Free: Germans, 1933-1945" by Milton Mayer
"If the last and the worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and the smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked. If, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in 1943 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in 1933. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see...everything has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you lived in - your nation, your people - is not the world you were born in at all."
3. Fragment from "What is Fascism?" by George Orwell
"To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the regimes called Fascist and those called democratic. […] Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come. But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword."
4. Fragment from the psychological profile of Adolf Hitler, written by the United States Office of Strategic Services
"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."
- Authoritarianism: Political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or small elite with no legal responsibility to the population, generally by limiting freedom of thought and action.
- Totalitarianism: Variation of authoritarianism that seeks to subordinate all elements of individual life to the state. Governments might do this by supplanting all existing institutions (whether social, political or cultural) with new ones in the pursuit of a special nationalist goal, while suppressing all types of dissent and opposition.
- Cult of personality: The creation of an idealized image of a leader through unquestioning flattery in the media, the arts, and public discourse.
- Propaganda: Subjective or inaccurate information that may be used to further an agenda or cause emotional responses.
- Nationalism: The belief that a nation should be allowed to unify and pursue its own purposes.