In re-reading “Berlin Diary,” William L. Shirer’s account of the events leading up to World War II, I was struck by his description of the banner headline in a German newspaper describing the German takeover of Austria — “German-Austria Saved From Chaos.”
According to the article, which Shirer said was drafted by Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, Germany saved Austria from “the violent Red (Communist) disorders in the main streets of Vienna yesterday, fighting, shooting, pillaging.”
As Shirer noted, “It is a complete lie.” But when lies become the accepted manner in which news is disseminated, it is not only an untruth, it is destructive — then and now.
After more than a year and a half of Donald Trump as president, we have come to expect lies from the White House on a regular basis — and he has not disappointed us. What is destructive, however, is the extent to which his lies have been accepted as truth.
At this point, we know the history of what occurred after Germany’s “peaceful” takeover of Austria — the surrender of the Sudetenland to Germany by Czechoslovakia, the German invasion of Poland and the Second World War in which millions of soldiers died in battle and millions more were killed in concentration camps and elsewhere.
What we don’t know now is what the result will be of the constant stream of lies coming from the Trump administration and their impact on the citizens of the United States and our allies throughout the world.
If, as an American citizen, you are not concerned, you should be.