Time (1939): Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938: “What Adolf Hitler & Co. did to Germany in less than six years was applauded wildly and ecstatically by most Germans…
…He lifted the nation from post-War defeatism. Under the swastika Germany was unified. His was no ordinary dictatorship, but rather one of great energy and magnificent planning… 1,500 miles of magnificent highways built, schemes for cheap cars and simple workers’ benefits, grandiose plans for rebuilding German cities made Germans burst with pride. Germans might eat many substitute foods or wear ersatz clothes but they did eat.
What Adolf Hitler & Co. did to the German people in that time left civilized men and women aghast. Civil rights and liberties have disappeared. Opposition to the Nazi regime has become tantamount to suicide or worse. Free speech and free assembly are anachronisms….
Germany’s 700,000 Jews have been tortured physically, robbed of homes and properties, denied a chance to earn a living, chased off the streets. Now they are being held for “ransom,” a gangster trick through the ages. But not only Jews have suffered. Out of Germany has come a steady, ever-swelling stream of refugees….
The most cruel joke of all, however, has been played by Hitler & Co. on those German capitalists and small businessmen who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany’s bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on others what amounts to a capital tax has been levied….
In five years under the Man of 1938, regimented Germany had made itself one of the great military powers of the world today.Despite a shortage of trained officers and a lack of materials, the Germany Army has become a formidable machine which could probably be beaten only by a combination of opposing armies…. Meanwhile an estimated 1,133 streets and squares, notably Rathaus Platz in Vienna, acquired the name of Adolf Hitler. He delivered 96 public speeches, attended eleven opera performances (way below par), vanquished two rivals (Benes and Kurt von Schuschnigg, Austria’s last Chancellor), sold 900,000 new copies of Mein Kampf in Germany besides selling it widely in Italy and Insurgent Spain. His only loss was in eyesight: he had to begin wearing spectacles for work.
Last week Herr Hitler entertained at a Christmas party 7,000 workmen now building Berlin’s new mammoth Chancellery, told them: “The next decade will show those countries with their patent democracy where true culture is to be found.” But other nations have emphatically joined the armaments race and among military men the poser is: “Will Hitler fight when it becomes definitely certain that he is losing that race?” The dynamics of dictatorship are such that few who have studied Fascism and its leaders can envision sexless, restless, instinctive Adolf Hitler rounding out a mellow middle age in his mountain chalet at Berchtesgaden while a satisfied German people drink beer and sing folk songs. There is no guarantee that the have-not nations will go to sleep when they have taken what they now want from the haves. To those who watched the closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make 1939 a year to be remembered.
This extract has been lifted from American economist Brad deLong’s website. So when we see that Time magazine is considering Trump as their man of the year this is not an endorsement but a simple statement of contemporary fact. The final three sentences appear to be prescient.
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