From Emory University comes The First 100 Days of Fascist Germany, an attempt to document online what happened on each day--from January 30, 1933 through May 9, 1933--when Hitler was named Reichskanzler of Germany.

As you can perhaps imagine, the motivation for the project isn't entirely divorced from current events. The grad students behind The First 100 Days explain:

During the highly contentious political climate in this country, the terms “fascism” and “Nazi Germany” have been tossed around quite freely by both sides of the political spectrum. As a response to this and in an effort to provide some clarity of what fascism in Nazi Germany actually looked like, we at the Emory University German Department initiated a research project that aims to document the first 100 days of National Socialism- from the day that Adolf Hitler was named Reichskanzler on January 30, 1933 until May 9, 1933.

They continue:

The general plan for our project is that our research team will work its way through the 100 days, investigating and documenting the events of each day and then posting the findings on a daily basis for public consumption.

As the daily calendar shows, Hitler didn't waste a lot of time. By Day 51, Dachau--one of the first concentration camps--opened and received its first prisoners, notes Emory News. By Day 60, all new stories critical of the government were censored. And, by Day 88, the press expelled from its ranks all Marxists and Jews. That was just the beginning.

Meanwhile, on Day 88 over here, Trump's initiatives (some relatively innocuous, some alarming) have met civil, judicial and political resistance, or collapsed under their own weight. The concern of January has given way to comedy in April. So far, it's more farce than fascism:

But don't get complacent, terror might be the operative word in May.

You can learn more about Emory's historical project here.

via John McMurtrie

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  • Bill W. says:

    For someone who is a ‘Nazi’, Trump sure likes Jews and Israel…so much so, he has a son-in-law and grandchildren who are Jews! Speaking of fascism, and the first 100 days, remember the ‘Change’ propaganda plastered everywhere when Obama came into office? Who knew that ‘change’ would NEVER happen, and the Anointed One would end up becoming our longest serving wartime president (bombing 7 countries, while anti-war activists remained silent)? Then there was his ability to divide, rather than unite…Trump is just cleaning-up his predecessor’s leftover messes!

  • Susan Morgan says:

    Bill W., what’s wrong with you? Don’t you know that “fascist” is now defined as (1) anyone who disagrees with *left-wingers* and who therefore deserves threats of violence for having the gall to do so (See: Ann Coulter), (2) anyone who *opposes* fascism (which has been historically defined as unlimited state power and/or state/business collusion), or (3) anyone who is “Republican” and does basically the same thing as “Democrats” who receive showers of blessings from places like “Open [sic] Culture”?

  • Randy says:

    I think this makes very clear the shallowness of equating Trump with Hitler. He may be a narcissist, and really stupid, but he’s no Hitler.

  • Joe F. says:

    Easily the vilest post I have read in the years I have enjoyed Open Culture.

  • Mike T. says:

    Bill W., literally Hitler had a problem with Jews. I believe the satire is due to Trumps problem with Hispanics.

  • Maciek Janicki says:

    @Susan Morgan
    Not sure where you’ve come across those ‘historical’ definitions of fascism; perhaps you mean present misconceptions? Far too many people conflate it with Nazi state policies. Fascism in essence was an overblown justification of ‘might makes right’, not surprisingly developed by those in positions of might. That was its only real underlying guiding principle (See: Ann Coulter).

    But besides that, that is poor form, Open Culture. Trump may well have sucked what remaining hope I had for Western political culture but to pair the Emory project with his 100 days is at best misguided. If we had a historical precedent for a democratically [sic] elected leader blatantly selling his own country out to corporate interests while with the other side of his face claiming to be fighting the elites… there was that two-faced mayor in A Nightmare Before Christmas…

  • Dan Colman says:

    Maciek.

    We posted this several days ago, before Trump’s 100th day. And we posted it when we first learned about the project.

    Beyond that, I think we underscored that whatever is happening in the US is not like what happened in Nazi Germany. We haven’t seen concentration camps being created here in Trump’s first 100 days. Nor have we seen civil society cave in like it did in Germany. That’s what we pointed out in the post.

    It does feel like people are irritated by the premise of the project. But frankly, given the rhetoric used about Trump, it’s a useful exercise to see what happened in early Nazi Germany, and underscore what the making of a fascist state really looks like. Then you can decide whether you see real similarities or not. To date, I don’t see those similarities. I see a lot of things I don’t like, but I don’t see an emerging fascist state.

    Dan

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