Ever since I was a kid, I have heard Americans ask, “How could the German people have allowed the Nazi regime to commit its evil acts?”
Well, here’s the answer to that question: The German people had the same warped and distorted concept of patriotism that American statists have today.
The overwhelming majority of German citizens believed that it was their moral duty to come to the unconditional support of their government in time of crisis, especially when the nation went to war. The good citizen didn’t question whether his government was right or wrong. The good citizen placed his trust in the judgment and decisions of his government officials, especially during crisis and war.
That’s what patriotism meant to the German people during the 1930s and 1940s. The good citizen — the one who deferred to authority — was considered the patriot.
What about German citizens who refused to defer to authority, those who had an independent mindset — those who would examine government policies with a critical eye — those who would question, challenge, and object to wrongful government policies? They were considered bad citizens — traitors.