What an irresponsible and repulsive statement
in the face of the current controversies over unions in America. Not only that, it's entirely unfounded.
"I look back in history, in some of the worst governments that we had, you know the first thing they did, go after unions, Hitler didn't want unions, Stalin didn't want unions, Mubarak didn't want unions, these autocrats don't want independent unions," Brown said Thursday during a speech on the floor of the Senate.
Here is a direct quote from Hitler on trade unions.
I think that I have already answered the first question adequately. In the present state of affairs I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trades unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby.
Before everything else, the trades unions are necessary as building stones for the future economic parliament, which will be made up of chambers representing the various professions and occupations.
As you'll see in a piece from February by Brooks Bayne
, they even had a customized version of the Nazi swastika for the union movement. Not only is Brown's assertion ugly given it's intent, it is flat-out ignorant of history to the point of being idiotic. Brown, from Ohio, is up for re-election to the Senate in 2012.
When Hitler came to power, he moved to correct this hyperinflation while keeping his national socialist views front and center. In 1933, the Nazis disbanded the Weimar unions and replaced them with the new and improved union, the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), which was comprised of 2 primary entities, the National Socialist Factory Organization and the National Socialist Trade and Industry Organization. The labor contracts that were Weimar contracts were now DAF-honored contracts. The Nazi’s funded the DAF’s coffers with the Weimar unions’ stockpile of wealth (the existing unions were part of that inflation problem). One of the new unions’ most popular programs was the Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude, KdF)) program, which developed the KdF-wagen, that later became the Volkswagen, or People’s Car.
The primary goal of Germany’s national socialists was to “create a classless” society. Hitler’s unions were front and center in this cause. In fact, Hitler gave the unions their long-awaited demand, one that the Weimar unions were never able to pull off, a National Labor Day, May 1, 1933.