by Philip Sharp
On February 27, 1933, a fire broke out in the Reichstag building. The place where the German parliament met was gutted by the fire and would not be used again during Hitler’s reign. Hitler had just recently taken power, and this became the first big event of his tenure. The event is naturally shocking to many. Who did it? What was their motive? Is there a conspiracy and how deep does it go? What is going to be done about it?
Well, it didn’t take long for the answers to be provided. The next day a sweeping action was taken as a response to the shocking event: the Reichstag Fire Decree. In this sweeping move, the right to the freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, and the right to privacy was made waivable by the national government. Warrants were no longer required for searches or for confiscation and restriction of property. This decree, encouraged by Hitler and signed by Hindenburg, effective overruled many parts of the Weimar Republic’s constitution and aided Hitler in effectively becoming the de facto dictator of Germany.
Why this sudden desire to overrule a republic’s constitution to the point where it is no longer an actual republic? Because the simple tactic of not letting a crisis go to waste. A man named Marinus van der Lubbe was found at the scene and arrested as an arson suspect. Not long afterwards, the Communists were blamed, and actions were taken against them. Van der Lubbe stated he was acting alone and the fire chief on the scene, Walter Gempp, presented evidence for possible Nazi involvement and interference with the fire brigade’s response. Nevertheless, the Communists as a whole were blamed for the fire. Van der Lubbe was found guilty, along with other Communist “conspirators,” and executed. As for Gempp, he was removed from his position as fire chief for daring to go against the narrative. Four years later he was arrested for abuse of office and jailed without appeal, eventually to be strangled to death while incarcerated.
With their juicy newfound powers, the Nazis basically went after their political opponents. Leaders were arrested, parliament members were prevented from taking their seats, and any opposition was intimidated into not resisting. The results were the consolidation of Hitler’s dictatorial powers and the subsequent world war and holocaust to follow. The irony is it was all done legally and justified by a “crisis,” even though it overruled the rest of the constitution. Hitler didn’t “seize” power; it was given to him out of fear!
On January 6, 2021, there was a “mostly peaceful” assembly of American citizens who gathered at the capital to express their concerns about the handling of the election. Far worse “mostly peaceful” assemblies had taken place over the prior year. These were vehemently defended even as a part of democracy. If there was any violence, it was because that is the language of the unheard – you know, they get a pass. Yet, this “mostly peaceful” assembly is seen in a more sinister light. Why? There were clashes with police and deaths occurred as well. Only this time, it is the mob’s fault and not the police – totally opposite for all of 2020. Yet, this is an “insurrection.” Why not all the other events of 2020? Well, simply because those events don’t help with the narrative or the attempts of controlling your political opponents.
Today, our president plans to mark the anniversary with a speech in which he will strongly condemn the violence. With this event, our president will insist half the nation…HALF THE NATION!...is an insurgency. As if all the violence the year before was not a problem, but now it is. Will he speak about locking down our capital with 20,000 troops and making it look like downtown Baghdad once looked? Will he actually name any suspect who has actually been charged with treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government? Will he condemn the attacks on the federal property as well as federal agents in Portland, OR, or will he conveniently forget that? This whole thing is a SHAM!
Ironically, the events of January 6th took place around the changing of power. The Reichstag fire also took place around a change of power. Both events took place at the capital building, giving it the oomph for the narrative that you need. January 6 is used to label political opponents as insurgents and insurrectionists. The Reichstag fire was used to do the same thing. January 6th is still being used as an emotional play on fear to condemn a political opponent and intimidate them. The Reichstag fire was used for the same thing. The narrative has been heavily propagandized for the events of January 6th and any contrary report have been ignored or even removed from social media. Van der Lubbe acting alone and Gempp’s testimony were ignored as well in order for the Nazi’s to go after the Communists.
Hopefully all of us dislike the Nazis. I don’t like them though as a conservative I am labeled a “fascist” quite often. I still can’t get one person who makes this claim to clarify what a fascist really is yet, but maybe someday they will figure it out. I don’t even like the Communists, because despite a very few rhetorical differences, they really are cut from the same cloth. Either side winning in Germany at the time would have brought bring ruin. Though most won’t claim to be like the Nazis and Communists, there are some who won’t shy away from using their tactics. Control over the narrative, targeting political opponents with crimes they did not commit, harping upon an event for its emotional appeal to justify what you do – this was done with the Reichstag fire. The same is being done with January 6th.
The manipulative and deceitful will try to portray January 6th as a shameful day of insurrection, despite the fact it was a mass gathering of angry citizens concerned over questionable election activity. The violence was no different and perhaps even tamer than what had been witnessed for an entire year prior. They were “mostly peaceful;” this is an “insurrection.” Instead, I will refer to it as “Reichstag Fire Day,” as a reminder that I refuse to accept twisted portrayals of events by those who want to target and suppress others and care so very little for the Constitution.
Philip Sharp is a US Army Infantry Veteran of 20 years with 3 combat deployments, author of "Not in the Wind, Earthquake, or Fire," and host of the podcast “Rage of the Age: Politics, Religion, Economics & History With a Conservative Bend.” You can follow Philip Sharp on Twitter @RageoftheAgeNow or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org