Twentieth Century Monsters
On the very day of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's inauguration in 1933, the day he told America that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," something fearful was happening in far-off Germany. The ReichstagGermany's congresswas deciding to give absolute power to its chancellor, Adolf Hitler . Imagine giving the worst people in a country the power of life and death. Imagine a nation that burns the books of its writers because it fears and hates ideas and truth. Imagine a nation that kills people because it doesn't like their religion or race. A nation that has decided to destroy freedom. That's what happened in Germany in the thirties. It became a dictatorshipthe most evil dictatorship in recorded history.
In March of 1933, however, most people in America paid no attention to what was happening in Germany. Hitler was a little man with a black brush mustache and dark hair that fell into his face . He strutted about raising his arm in a straight salute and shrieking his speeches . He didn't seem evil; he seemed silly. Hitler calls his movement Nazism, for national socialism. In other countries, like Japan and Spain and Italy, similar political movements sprout up . They are called Fascism, and they teach that loving your country is more important than loving truth and right actions. Militant nationalism is a twentieth century disease and a British statesman named Winston Churchill sees the danger of what is happening more clearly than anyone. He says, "Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry ."