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The Department of History, University of Northampton & The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team


1825 Days with H.E.A.R.T

The five year anniversary of the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team


Guest Publication by

Dr. Martin Friedhaus


At the risk of appearing to talk nonsense, I tell you that the Nazi movement will go on for 1,000 years! . . . Don’t forget how people laughed at me, 15 years ago, when I declared that one day I would govern Germany. They laugh now, just as foolishly, when I declare that I shall remain in power!

- Adolf Hitler to a British correspondent in Berlin, June 1934


Dr. Martin Friedhaus

Less than twelve years after Hitler made that statement, National Socialism as a governing power ceased to exist. On May 8, 1945, the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.


At the risk of "speaking nonsense" it is important to remember that many in the early 1920's, did in fact laugh at Hitler. Detractors of National Socialism considered the Nazi's a fringe party, and in many circles they were a running joke, –yet just five years later Adolf Hitler was the new Chancellor of Germany!


Many of the leading socialist newspapers of the time, especially the Munich Post. specifically aimed its attention to Hitler. Their open opposition against Him lasted a dozen years, and “produced some of the sharpest, most penetrating insights into his character, his mind and method, then or since.”

These journalists were the first to focus sustained critical attention on Hitler, from the very first moment he emerged from the beer-hall backrooms to take to the streets of Munich in the early 1920s.


The Post continued to attack Hitler until March 9, 1933, when the Nazis banned the last opposition papers still publishing.  In all parts of Germany, including Chemnitz, Muenster, Magdeburg, and Munich, all Socialist newspapers’ buildings were taken over.  The Munich Post offices were turned over to an SA squad to pillage.  They gutted it completely, dumping trays of broken type onto the streets.  Furniture was thrown out the windows, and copies of the newspaper were again burned in the middle of the street.


Although the police witnessed this destruction, they “simply stood by in the street and looked on while the SA wrecked the offices.”  The writers and editors were dragged away to imprisonment in concentration camps.  That was the end of the Munich Post...  Its battle against Hitler and the Nazis had been lost.


Despite victory over their opponents, the Nazi Party control over Germany and occupied Europe would only last for twelve years, about as long as the Munich Posts opposition has lasted, a far cry from the thousand year Reich proclaimed by Hitler. This makes it easy for us to shrug off  his  boast as the ravings of a lunatic despot. Yet the impact of those twelve years, the cost in humanity, the destruction of Europe, and the ensuing new world order, will most assuredly be studied for a millennia.

With the benefit of hindsight we see that Hitler's boast may not have been so far off target.

It estimated that World War II claimed approximately 62 million lives, with 11 million deaths being attributed to the Holocaust and of those; 5-6 million are approximated to be Jews.


The aftermath of the Holocaust had a profound effect on society in both Europe and the rest of the world. Its impact could be felt in theological discussions, artistic and cultural pursuits and political decisions. The fate of displaced persons and Holocaust survivors was a major issue, one which eventually led to the establishment of Israel by Jewish survivors.


Decades after, on November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly voted to designate January 27 as the "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust."  January 27, 1945 is the day that the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated.


As this generational transition is taking place, the demand for Holocaust-related courses at colleges and universities in the United States has grown dramatically, increasing the need for programs to assist faculty in many academic disciplines to teach the subject more effectively. In addition, vast quantities of written material from previously inaccessible archival repositories and private collections have been identified in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Western Europe and the United States


Read more here:


The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team


Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010