A recent report from the New York branch of the Federal Reserve Bank found that the rise of National Socialism in Germany was linked to social changes caused by the effects of the Spanish Flu pandemic following World War I.
Nazis rose to power in Germany in part because of dislocations caused by a mass-death pandemic a century ago, research published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday said.
The paper, written by bank economist Kristian Blickle, examined how the German political system reacted to the influenza pandemic that struck the world between 1918 and 1920.
Those events have been back in the world’s consciousness as nations attempt to navigate the coronavirus crisis. The current crisis has resulted in large death tolls, profound economic dislocations and great political uncertainty, at a time when many nations have seen the rise of nationalist political movements that seek to reverse decades of economic and political international linkages.
A century ago, “influenza deaths themselves had a strong effect on the share of votes won by extremists, specifically the extremist national socialist party,” the paper said in reference to the Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler, who became chancellor of Germany in 1933.
“This effect dominates many other effects and is persistent even when we control for the influences of local unemployment, city spending, population changes brought about by the war, and local demographics or when we instrument for influenza mortality,” Mr. Blickle wrote.
The changed voting patterns specifically appeared to boost Nazis over other movements, the paper said. “The same patterns were not observable for the votes won by other extremist parties, such as the communists.”
Germany’s economy was in terrible shape in the wake of World War I and its defeat. But it wasn’t just the economic environment that helped fuel the rise of the Nazis and the plunge of the world into a second global war. (source)
Now in fairness, it would be grossly unfair to account for other social circumstances that helped with the rise of National Socialism in Germany during the 1920s. However, as the report notes, one of the major causes was the effects of the flu.
This is one of the major worries that we at Shoebat.com have about COVID-19. The disease is indeed a threat. There is no denying this. However, in addition to the disease, is the social changes that come following it which can be used to set up the conditions for conflict.
Shoebat.com has written at length about the rise of nationalism and the revival of National Socialism. It should be noted that Shoebat.com has identified 2007 as a particular year of interest, for not only was this the “height” of the “counter-jihad” movement, but it seems to have marked a transition to promoting nationalism in American and European politics that emerged again in 2015/2016 with the refugee crisis. Gone are the days of the “counter jihad” anti-Islam movement, but instead it is about promoting nationalism with Islam as one of many points to support very questionable people and evil ideas inclining openly towards horrors such as eugenics, murder, and racialism.
With the rise of COVID-19, the global economy has been shut down. All nations are affected, but in Europe, Germany, which is the economic heart of the continent, is being severly wounded. As the son of the former National Socialist governor of Poland, Hans Frank, warned in 2017, all Germany needs for National Socialism to return is five to ten years of serious economic problems, at which point there would be a resurgence of populism like in the 20th century that propelled Hitler to power.
“Running for the hills” in the time of COVID-19 is not just a smart idea, but an act of likely good preparation for the future, for as the disease is creating economic conditions conducive to the return of Germanic militarism (as well as that for Japan also), “running for the hills” may be able to help one survive as the bombs begin to fall in what may become a Third World War, with nuclear bombs that will rain fire down on the human race…