Sunday 26 March 2017

Trump poses threat to many but Hitler comparisons are way off

US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka walking to board Marine One at the White House in Washington. Photo: GETTY
US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka walking to board Marine One at the White House in Washington. Photo: GETTY
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

In many quarters at home and abroad, Éamon de Valera's signing of the book of condolences at the German embassy after the suicide of Adolf Hitler in 1945 was not well received. As the months and years passed, and the full horrors of Nazism became apparent, it became an ever larger blot on his record as a politician and a statesman.

For many decades now, and for very good reason, Hitler and his regime have been seen as the epitome of evil. When one wants to use an example of a regime that is utterly without a redeeming feature in debate or discussion, Nazism is easily reached for.

Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, for instance, those who advocated the ousting of Saddam Hussein often likened those who opposed the invasion to Hitler's appeasers in the 1930s. Although there was some basis for the parallel, it was mostly wrong. The same can be said of the increasingly common parallels being made between Hitler's regime and the Donald Trump administration.

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