Diary

Who are the Nazis?

The left have been absolutely up in arms over the presidency of Donald Trump, and the instances of the left referring to Mr Trump and his supporters as “Nazis” are too frequent to bother mentioning. But my question is: just who are actually behaving like Nazis these days?

Tell Hudson’s Bay Company to stop selling Trump merchandise

Deborah Blythe | Montreal, Canada

We care deeply about the catastrophe facing the United States and the entire world caused by the election of Donald Trump to the most powerful office in the world. People everywhere are speaking out and doing everything in their power to RESIST this evil. Mr. Trump is a danger to world peace and the environment. He promotes sexism, racism, bigotry, and prejudice, and this has led to an increase in hate crimes not only in the United States but elsewhere, including Canada. He has instilled fear in millions of people in the United States who are afraid of losing their health care, afraid of being deported, afraid of having their families torn apart, and afraid of being subjected to hate crimes, while people around the world watch in horror as the United States has elected its first fascist president. Mr. Trump is threatening the freedom of the press, refusing to attend security briefings, fueling prejudice through lies and propaganda, denying climate change, refusing to admit that Russia had anything to do with tampering with the election, and the list goes on and on. Boycotting all Trump businesses is one small way that we can make our voice heard, and the purpose of this petition is to ask Canada’s iconic department store, the Hudson’s Bay Company, to take all Trump merchandise off its shelves and close its Ivanka Trump stores in solidarity with all people fighting for peace and justice. Click below to see the letter addressed to Hudson’s Bay Company.

This petition will be delivered to:

Tiffany Bourré Director, External Communications [email protected]

Now, I support the right of Miss Blythe, or my Facebook friend who signed and forwarded the petition to all of her friends, to decline to purchase any merchandise associated with Mr Trump or his family or any of his businesses. However, that isn’t what this petition seeks to do. While the author states that “Boycotting all Trump businesses is one small way that we can make our voice heard,” what she is actually asking is for a particular retailer to remove all merchandise associated with the Trump businesses from its shelves. The petitioners are not asking for people to boycott Trump-associated merchandise, but to take away the opportunity for other people to buy Trump-associated merchandise.

Here’s what the real Nazis did:

On April 1, 1933, the Nazis carried out the first nationwide, planned action against them: a boycott of Jewish businesses. Nazi spokesmen claimed the boycott was an act of revenge against both German Jews and foreigners, including US and English journalists, who had criticized the Nazi regime. On the day of the boycott, Storm Troopers stood menacingly in front of Jewish-owned shops. The six-pointed "Star of David " was painted in yellow and black across thousands of doors and windows. Signs were posted saying "Don't Buy from Jews" and "The Jews Are Our Misfortune."

The nationwide boycott was not very successful and lasted just a day, but it marked the beginning of a nationwide campaign by the Nazi party against the entire German Jewish population.

That was, no matter how repugnant the motives of the Nazis and the Sturmabteilung, an economic boycott, asking German citizens not to buy from Jewish-owned businesses. The Storm Troopers were a bit more brutal about things than are the so-called #Resistance against President Trump.

But the government of the Third Reich was certainly not satisfied with a voluntary boycott.

  • January 5, 1938: The Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names forbids Jews from changing their names.
  • February 5, 1938: The Law on the Profession of Auctioneer excludes Jews from the profession.
  • March 18, 1938: The Gun Law bans Jewish gun merchants.
  • April 26, 1938: The Order for the Disclosure of Jewish Assets requires Jews to report all property in excess of 5,000 reichsmarks.
  • August 17, 1938: The Executive Order on the Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names requires Jews bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin to adopt an additional name: “Israel” for men and “Sara” for women.
  • October 3, 1938: The Decree on the Confiscation of Jewish Property regulates the transfer of assets from Jews to non-Jews in Germany.
  • November 12, 1938: The Decree on the Exclusion of Jews from German Economic Life closes all Jewish-owned businesses.
  • December 14, 1938: The Executive Order on the Law on the Organization of National Work cancels all state contracts held with Jewish-owned firms.

That is only a partial list, for just one year. Der Führer was not satisfied with asking Germans not to buy from Jews, but was undertaking measures to make it impossible for Jews to sell anything to ‘Aryans,’ other than, of course, their businesses, at deeply discounted prices. When Miss Blythe is asking that Trump-associated merchandise not be available for sale at Hudson’s Bay,¹ she is asking for more than a simple boycott, but is moving along the lines of the Third Reich’s ultimately successful attempts to prohibit German Jews from being able to sell any merchandise.

I absolutely support the right of individuals to ask other individuals to boycott something, to decline to buy a particular good or service. But in attempting to enforce that boycott by pushing retailers to not make such things available for purchase, the left are moving away from freedom of speech, into the tactics used by the Third Reich.
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¹ – Hudson’s Bay, a Canadian company, is making overtures to buy out Macy’s, a large American department store chain.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.