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Sarah Palin's "Triumph of the Will" at Nuremberg, Minnesota
Anyone who's seen McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin's speech at last night's RNC must of had shivers running up and down their spines. And not the shivers you get from embracing a long-lost love one, but the kind of shivers one might feel when watching a slasher gore fest movie.
The parallels between Adolph Hitler's Rally's at Nuremberg, shown vividly in Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 movie, "Triumph of the Will" and the RNC staged love in at St. Paul's Xcel Center were too eerie to discount. Instead of torchlights, we had laser lights.
Instead of speeches by various Nazi leaders like Rudolph Hess and Joseph Goebbels, and portions of speeches by Adolph Hitler, we had speeches by Rudolph Giuliani and Joseph Lieberman with today's reigning Fuhrer, GW Bush, sending in his speech via satellite.
The Republicans were maniacally waving signs saying "Country First," and swooning over anything the talking heads with the bullet proof hair would cite verbatim from the tele-prompters.
"The Party is Hitler - and Hitler is Germany just as Germany is Hitler!" --Rudolph Hess
Not that far removed from saying "The Republican Party is McCain-and McCain is America just as America is McCain."
The most dominant voting block in the US, the soon to be raptured-they and I hope-evangelicals were ecstatic that one of their own was chosen, showing how shallow and petty these people are.
It's the old "Do as I say, not as I do," routine, evidenced in a swollen belly.
But a little thing like principles won't stand in the way of the Brown Shirts for McCain, as they slash and burn their way to the White House.
This morning's opening meeting…was more than a gorgeous show, it also had something of the mysticism and religious fervor of an Easter or Christmas Mass in a great Gothic cathedral." -- Reporter William Shirer
In September 1934, American journalist William L. Shirer had just arrived in Germany to work as a reporter for the Hearst company. He proceeded to keep a diary of the entire seven years he spent reporting from inside Hitler's Reich.
Shirer thought it would be a good idea to attend the 1934 Nuremberg Rally to better understand the Nazi phenomenon. On his very first evening in the old city, he found himself accidentally stuck among a throng of ten thousand people in front of Hitler's hotel, shouting: "We want our Führer!"
"I was a little shocked at the faces," Shirer wrote in his diary, "when Hitler finally appeared on the balcony for a moment. They reminded me of the crazed expressions I once saw in the back country of Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers...they looked up at him as if he were a Messiah, their faces transformed into something positively inhuman ."
Instead, after receiving a standing ovation from an adoring crowd, she walked out and
delivered an A+ speech that was better than anything Barack Obama has done in the last two years, if not ever. color=red>
'Day 1': The film opens with shots of the clouds above the city, and then moves through the clouds to float above the assembling masses below, with the intention of portraying beauty and majesty of the scene. The shadow of Hitler's plane is visible as it passes over the tiny figures marching below, accompanied by music from Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, which slowly turns into the Horst-Wessel-Lied. Upon arriving at the Nuremberg airport, Hitler emerges from his plane to thunderous applause and a cheering crowd. He is then driven into Nuremberg, through equally enthusiastic people, to his hotel where a night rally is later held.
“You see tonight that Sarah Palin has served the cause of uniting this convention quite ably,” said anchor Brit Hume. “She certainly has galvanized elements of the party behind McCain within the conservative wing of the party, which had not been enthusiastic for him before.”
Sitting on the panel with Hume, Fortune’s Nina Easton called it a “home run,” and Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes was even more complimentary: “It’s a gift. She’s a natural. You can’t teach this.” color=red>
'Day 2': The second day begins with a montage of the attendees getting ready for the opening of the Reich Party Congress, and then footage of the top Nazi officials arriving at the Luitpold Arena. The film then cuts to the opening ceremony, where Rudolf Hess announces the start of the Congress. The camera then introduces much of the Nazi hierarchy and covers their opening speeches, including Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Fritz Todt, Robert Ley, and Julius Streicher. Then the film cuts to an outdoor rally for the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Labor Service), which is primarily a series of pseudo-military drills by men carrying shovels. This is also where Hitler gives his first speech on the merits of the Labor Service and praising them for their work in rebuilding Germany. The day then ends with a torchlight SA parade.
Down on the floor, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said that a “star was born tonight.” Fellow Sunday show moderator, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, came to a similar conclusion: "Clearly, a star has been born here in the United States." color=red>
'Day 3': The third day starts with a Hitler Youth rally on the parade ground. Again the camera covers the Nazi dignitaries arriving and the introduction of Hitler by Baldur von Schirach. Hitler then addresses the Youth, describing in militaristic terms how they must harden themselves and prepare for sacrifice. Everyone present then assembles for a military pass and review, featuring Wehrmacht cavalry and various armored vehicles. That night Hitler delivers another speech to low-ranking party officials by torchlight, commemorating the first year since the Nazis took power and declaring that the party and state are one entity.
Radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt called Palin “terrific.”
“The contest has changed,” Hewitt wrote. “Her character and candor have changed it, and John McCain's judgment is vindicated.”
And the headline on RedState said it all: “Sarah Palin. An Amazing, Historic, Epic Win.”
“Sarah Palin took to the podium tonight and gave the speech of a lifetime,” wrote RedState’s Erick Erickson, “perhaps the best nationally broadcast political introduction in the convention history, and a knockout blow to the Obama-Biden campaign and their pals in the media.” color=red>
'Day 4': The fourth day is the climax of the film, where the most memorable of the imagery is presented. As the soundtrack plays themes from Wagner's Götterdämmerung, Hitler, flanked by Heinrich Himmler and Viktor Lutze, walks through a long wide expanse with over 150,000 SA and SS troops standing at attention, to lay a wreath at a World War I Memorial. Hitler then reviews the parading SA and SS men, following which Hitler and Lutze deliver a speech where they discuss the Night of the Long Knives purge of the SA several months prior. Lutze reaffirms the SA's loyalty to the regime, and Hitler absolves the SA of any crimes committed by Ernst Röhm. New party flags are consecrated by touching them to the "blood banner" (the same cloth flag said to have been carried by the fallen Nazis during the Beer Hall Putsch) and, following a final parade in front of the Nuremberg Frauenkirche, Hitler delivers his closing speech. In it he reaffirms the primacy of the Nazi Party in Germany, declaring, "All loyal Germans will become National Socialists. Only the best National Socialists are party comrades!" Hess then leads the assembled crowd in a final Sieg Heil salute for Hitler, marking the close of the party congress. The film fades to black as the entire crowd sings the "Horst-Wessel-Lied".
Some of the comments in red taken from this story
The film's most enduring and dangerous illusion is that Nazi Germany was a super-organized state, that, although evil in nature, was impressive nonetheless.
In reality, Nazi Germany was only well organized to the degree that it was a murderous police state. The actual Reich government was a tangled mess of inefficient agencies and overlapping bureaucracies led by ruthless men who had little, if any, professional administrative abilities. From the Reich's first hours in January 1933 until the end in May 1945, various departmental leaders battled each other for power, and would do anything to curry favor with a superior Nazi authority and especially with Hitler, the ultimate authority. Hence, they would all become enthusiastic cogs in the Führer's war and extermination machines.