In If you want your freedom, you can keep it!, his latest column on the op-ed pages of the Albert Lea Tribune, Freeborn County Republican Party BPOU chair Mike "Jerrold" Dettle claims that before World War II, Germans "had been given their freedom through the struggles of previous generations, only to vote themselves bigger benefits including cabarets."
The Minnesota First District Republicans shared the link on the group's Facebook page, remarking that it was ""Freedom earned is freedom appreciated." Another poignant column by Freeborn County MN GOP Chairman, Mike Dettle." (screenshot to the right).
In the column, Dettle makes the statement in a dogwhistle to the notion that President Obama can be compared to Hitler:
For example, the Weimar Republic (Germans) in “selfish want” bankrupted their nation and foolishly elected a popular leader with the name of Adolf Hitler.
Like us, the Germans had been given their freedom through the struggles of previous generations, only to vote themselves bigger benefits including cabarets. Our own Liza Minnelli mockingly made famous the song that scorned the Germans, “Oh Chum! Come to the Cabaret.”
Liza Minnelli's divine performance in the move "Cabaret" certainly is spectacular evidence for Americans being like the Germans, voting in a popular leader who became a ruthless dictator who practiced genocide on an unprecedented scale, as well as going to war against just about everybody with a handful of allies.
Cabaret is a movie starring Minnelli, based upon a 1966 musical, based upon a 1951 play I Am a Camera, in its turn based upon Christopher Isherwood's 1939 novel, Goodbye to Berlin. While immensely entertaining, Cabaret's not only fiction, but it's fourth-hand fiction set in 193, set in the Kabarett culture he knew. (What's up with Minnesota Republicans using musicals, written years after the fact, as primary historical documents in their quest to equate President Obama with Hitler?)
As far as German citizens voting to give themselves cabaret as a government benefit, just like they voted to give themselves Hitler, there's no evidence that Bluestem can find that that ever happened. Rather, the raucous and often raunchy political cabaret scene depicted in the movie and musical emerged after the Weimar Republic's new constitution led to the loosening of censorship laws, and the election of Hitler signaled the demise of the form in all but name.
What Hitler's regime did institute was the "Strength Through Joy" after-work recreational program, but Peter Jelavich points out in a chapter in Berlin Cabaret (Harvard University Press) "Cabaret under National Socialism:"
The National Socialist takeover in the spring of 1933 nearly destroyed the cabaret movement, for most of the entertainers were liberal, leftist, or Jewish. Many of these fled Germany in the first days and weeks of Nazi rule. . . .in the wake of that affair [sly criticism of the Reich], the authorities called for the creation of a "positive cabaret" that would applaud the Nazis' goals and mock those of their enemies. The project, which was totally alien to the spirit of cabaret, was a failure; consequently in 1937, Goebbels banned all political themes from German stages. Thereafter cabaret degenerated into pure vaudeville, the seedbed from which it had sprung in the 1890s (p. 288).
Jelavich writes that while Goebbels sought to rid Berlin's cultural scene of all "decadent" art, theater and literature, he loathed cabaret in particular (p. 230).
Since readers have negotiated through Dettel's analysis, here's Minnelli's wonderful performance as a reward:
Screenshot: Minnesota First District Republicans loving on Dettel's column. The future belongs to someone, and it's poignant. Or something.
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