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Foreign Affairs History Military Politics

The Lessons of History

Have the lessons of World War Two been forgotten? We have been watching the horrors unfold in Odessa. I always ask myself, have we forgotten the lessons of the Second World War? Putin has shown many similarities to Adolf Hitler. He has “restored” Russia by increasing its military. He has annexed Crimea. Does that sound familiar? Hitler did the same thing in Germany when he built their military and then annexed Czechoslovakia. Doesn’t that sound just a little similar?

Vladimir Putin has recently banned all curse words in television and movies. This ban on speech seems reminiscent of the Nazi ban on anti-government speech. When you really think about it, almost all American television has cursing in its program. I find it highly possible that Mr. Putin is trying to eliminate all American messages in Russia, just as Hitler banned all Jewish messages and writings in Germany.
Putin is also trying to bring Russia back to superpower status just as it was during the Cold War. Germany was in shambles after the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler had promises of a restoration of Germany. He hated the West for the Treaty. Hitler was essentially a rock star politician in Germany. Putin is also a rock star politician.

putinhitler2Hitler pulled many strings with President Hindenburg in order to become Chancellor of Germany. He lied and essentially blackmailed Mr. Hindenburg into giving him the Chancellorship while Mr. Hindenburg was in poor health. Putin did something quite similar during his rise to power. While Boris Yeltsin was in the final years of his term as president of the Russian Federation, he was in ailing health. Yeltsin secretly formed what has become known as “The Family.” It was composed of a few members of Yeltsin’s actual family as well as high profile political figures. Mr. Putin charmed them enough to become the Russian Prime Minister (all but a guarantee of becoming President). He then turned his back on the promises he made to the family and reinstated the communist national anthem (only the music, not the lyrics), among other things. Hitler was able to make himself dictator by lying. Putin appears to be on the same path. Have we forgotten the lessons of World War Two?

Perhaps the most crucial variable are the politicians. In 1938 the British had Neville Chamberlain. Today we have Barack Obama and John Kerry. All the politicians I mentioned are not proficient at their jobs. Have we forgotten the lessons of World War Two? Should we fear Putin more than Hitler? I believe we should. This does not mean we need to do nothing. We cannot keep drawing lines in the sand. We need to take a hardline approach to Putin. What would Reagan do? That is what we need to ask ourselves. We have waited too long to take action. I fear the lessons of World War Two have been forgotten.
Casualties of World War Two:

United States: 420,000
Great Britain:  451000
France: 567,000
Poland: 5,600,000
Germany: 6,600,000 – 8,800,000
Soviet Union: 24,000,000
Total casualties: 60,000,000

Will we forget the sacrifice these people made? Do not forget the lessons learned in the Second World War.

Sixty Million dead because of one power hungry man. Do not allow history to repeat itself.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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Young Publius

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