I'm reading Saul Friedlander's Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1, The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939, largely because my wife thought I was a little too enthusiastic about the arguments of Christopher R. Browning's Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Friedlander points to some suicidal political cluelessness at the rise of Hitler that easily rival the current idiocy:
Even after the April 1 Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses, some well-known German-Jewish figures, such as Rabbi Joachim Prinz, declared that it was unreasonable to take an anti-Nazi position. For Prinz, arguing against Germany's "reorganization," who aim was "to give people bread and work... was neither intended nor possible." ... Some eccentrics went much further. Thus, as late as the summer of 1933, in the opening statement of his lectures on the Roman poet Horace, the Kiel University historian Felix Jacoby declared: "As a Jew I find myself in a difficult situation. But as a historian I have learned not to consider historical events from a private perspective. Since 1927, I have voted for Adolf Hitler, and I consider myself lucky to be able to lecture on Augustus' poet in the year of the national revival. Augustus is the only figure of world history whom one may compare to Adolf Hitler."Friedlander points out that Jacoby's statement among German Jews and Lippman's praise among journalists were exceptional cases--but then again, much of the lunatic fringe left, relative to the American population, qualifies as exceptional cases. If they weren't so stinking rich (people like George Soros, for example), we could just ignore them.
And Walter Lippman, the most prominent American political commentator of the day and himself a Jew, found words of praise for Hitler and could not resist a sideswipe at the Jews. [pp. 15-19]