The Green Nazis: Environmentalism in the Third ReichJurriaan Maessen
Aug. 20, 2009
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It has been elaborately pointed out how the device of environmentalism is especially favoured by tyrants as a means of controlling their subjects. The current ‘green’ movement, as we know, is no exception. It has been nurtured from its very conception as a systematic eugenics operation by the deep pockets of the Rockefeller- and Ford Foundations. Throughout the 20th century there have been multiple examples of tyrants implementing a very strict environmental policy to which their subjects had to conform, sometimes through the collection of taxes, sometimes at the barrel of a gun; usually a subtle mixture of the two. It is a well documented though seldom highlighted fact that the Nazis were very much into environmentalism- not for environmentalism’s sake of course, but rather as a means of oppression and control. As it turns out, environmentalism fits the form of tyranny like a well tailored suit.
Before Hitler became Reich Chancellor of Germany, the SA brown shirts had taken to the streets with torches and knuckle-dusters, beating National Socialism into the German system lest the people forget who would be running the show soon. But after his political ascension, Hitler had a once useful instrument on his hands which was no longer necessary and he now needed to discard. It soon became apparent that the methods of the SA were appalling to the average German citizen, even those who supported their Fuhrer and his continuing message of unity under a waving swastika. Romantic dwellers and the otherwise disillusioned were especially attracted to the Nazis, mistaking the Nazi ideology for patriotism, but the ongoing brutality of the brown shirts caused even the most blinded of adepts to raise their arm in protest (while exclaiming the Nazi greeting at the same time). Although the prevailing sentiment could be summed up by the naïve phrase ‘The Fuhrer would not approve of this’, in reality he had initially used the SA precisely for the thing they were best at: terror. Now reports reached his desk illustrating the discontent of the Germans in regards to these power tripping psychopaths roaming the streets with bulging fisheyes. On June 30th 1934, Hitler eliminated the top of the SA in the infamous night of the long knives. All the SA underlings were now brought under the control of the SS and Wehrmacht, to be added to the military for the upcoming war. Once Hitler consolidated his position and that of his party, the true face of Nazism had to be masked somewhat to appease the people who generally desired an age of peace instead of another disastrous World War. In the course of the 1930s Hitler chose to appear in costume rather than his favoured paramilitary outfit- which he had worn consistently throughout the previous decade.
In the spring of 1933, the existing trade unions (although no significant threat to the regime) were replaced by the so-called Deutsche Arbeitsfront, or German labour Front. From that moment on strikes of whatever kind were strictly forbidden and would be met with harsh repercussions wherever they sprung up. The workers had a new employer now, one that had set his sights on world domination. But in order to realise his grand scheme, it can be credited to the cunning of the dictator that he realised he could not submit the German people by terror alone. It was vital that they would learn to love their own enslavement. Hitler realised he would have to provide some compensation for the complete loss of personal freedom lest even the SS-terror should prove inadequate to repel some national uprising in defiance of the regime. Besides, he needed the Germans, fit and content, for the grand military expeditions he had planned for the very near future. How best to keep his subjects happy and energetic? First the massive unemployment suffered by Germany in the previous decade had to be eliminated. Building a massive nationwide network of roads were the answer, as well as the construction of an arms industry without precedent. A few years into Nazi Germany there indeed was enough work to go around- never mind the emergence of the many concentration camps around the country in which dissidents vanished never to return. The second way to ensure the compliance of the German people was the creation of a nice and relaxing environment for both work and leisure. As Hitler reasoned, lots of trees and wide-open spaces would take the minds of his subjects off the war he was preparing and the liberties they had lost along the way.
In the 2005 published book How Green were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich the authors explain the Nazis received a warm welcome by the existing environmental organisations as there was ‘an ideological overlap between Nazi ideas and conservationist agendas’. As clearly illustrated by the current environmental groups, personal liberty is gladly sacrificed for what is called ‘the greater good’. It is a well-known fact that most of the environmental fanatics care nothing for matters of liberty, gladly surrendering it to tyrants and their promises of ‘environmental sustainability’. As the authors state: ‘The Nazis created nature preserves, championed sustainable forestry, curbed air pollution, and designed the autobahn highway network as a way of bringing Germans closer to nature.’ Several nationwide programs were initiated by the Nazis as a facade to cover their real plans. The first, ‘Beauty of Labour’, was created in 1934 to enhance the concept of a comfortable and pleasant workspace for the German worker. In the following year this ordinance was followed up by a ‘Reich Nature Protection Law’ to ensure the worker could walk through parks without worries. Also, laws were enacted to control air pollution. Besides of the fact that all political opponents were deported to concentration camps, it was green and happy days in Nazi-Germany.
But the hardcore environmentalists who had found their champion in the person of Adolf Hitler were soon to be disappointed. By the end of the 1930s, with a World War imminent, Hitler abandoned most of the environmental pretexts he had used to trick the masses, hook, line and sinker, replacing it with a war-ethos of sacrifice for the greater good and ‘lebensraum’. If only a pretext, the entire environmental thing was an excellent beta test for measuring the tolerance of the Germans in regards to the propaganda efforts of Goebbels which had indeed proven to be extremely effective. Not long after, Germany was plunged into a war that finally led to her complete dismemberment.
It will not be necessary to further point out the many similarities to our own time, where any and every environmental ‘good intention’ is hijacked by the elite for the advancement of its own objectives. It is true; most environmentalists love collectivism and are prepared to marry almost every regime that claims to work for a clean and green environment. That makes this group extremely susceptible to the arguments of tyrants.
How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich (Ecology & History) (Paperback)