LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bennett’s abysmal grasp of history

Last week, singer Tony Bennett told Congress the violence in the United States was like that in Germany prior to World War II, when “the Nazis came over, created tragic things and they had to be told off” (“Tony Bennett: Without gun control, U.S. may become 1940s Germany,” Web, Wednesday). Mr. Bennett’s singing talent notwithstanding, his understanding of history is ridiculous.

The Nazis did not “come over” to Germany, they were Germans. And the “telling off” has another name: World War II. Mr. Bennett is so abysmally ignorant of history that he is unaware the violence in pre-Hitler Germany was caused by the Nazis themselves, done to deliberately create fear they then used to gain a plurality in the parliament on a pledge to stop the violence. That led to the naming of one Adolf Hitler as chancellor and, sure enough, the violence stopped — except for the violence and killing carried out by the Nazi government itself.

The Holocaust was not carried out by a few disturbed people, but by the police and security forces of the German government. Perhaps gun control advocates might be better off not to remind the American people that those in power and those seeking power are perfectly capable of creating an atmosphere of violence and fear so they can claim that only their policies will stop the killing.

JAMES E. KEENAN

Middletown, Md.

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