You don’t need me to tell you about the horrors of the Holocaust, of the brutally efficient attempts to wipe out Jewish people, Roma and LGBT people. But somebody clearly needs to tell the yahoos of Turning Point, the Trump-aligned, MAGA hat-wearing political group that’s just set up shop in the UK with the endorsement of Nigel Farage.
There are tons of reasons to detest and refuse to give a platform to these arseholes, who illustrate the paradox of tolerance: if you refuse to silence the intolerant, eventually they will come to silence you. But even by their despicable standards, this is disgusting. Speaking in London, Candace Owens of Turning Point spoke favourably about Hitler:
But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize.
Hitler just wanted to Make Germany Great Again. To Owens, taking his “dreams” global is “not nationalism”. She adds: “I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t.”
Owens is not some random who grabbed a mic. She’s Turning Point’s communications director, so presumably she’s articulating the organisation’s policy here. She doesn’t really have an issue with genocide as long as it’s local.
This is Holocaust denial in a nice dress, Holocaust denial with millionaire backing, the kind of Holocaust denial that gets invited to dinner parties and to share its “controversial views” as part of a “debate”.
To go online at the moment is to feel the dread hand of history repeating. Anti-semitism is once again widespread. Racism and bigotry is vocal and unafraid and raising huge sums via crowdfunding. Views that used to be the preserve of the National Front are given airtime, unchallenged, on our national broadcaster. And organisations such as Turning Point run “professor watchlists” of people they consider ideologically impure and consider themselves to be fighting a new world war.
We say “never forget” and “never again” not just because the Holocaust was a horror it’s hard to contemplate without going mad, but because the Nazis didn’t begin with the camps. Germany went from one of the world’s most progressive countries to Hell on Earth in an incredibly, terrifyingly short period of time. They didn’t ride to power promising to murder Jews. They promised to make Germany great again.