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Fascism

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Administrative Fascism
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Enabling Act of the Nazis
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Marcher Lord
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Phillipp Jenninger, once the president of the Parliament in the former West German Republic. Jenninger was forced to resign in November of 1988, following a speech he gave at a special parliamentary session marking the fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht. In that speech he rendered an account of events leading up to the infamous "Night of the Broken Glass" in 1938, when German Jews were set upon, their property destroyed and their lives taken--a night which many historians mark as the beginning of the Holocaust. An uproar was created by the fact that many in his audience construed Jenninger's brutally frank account of prevailing attitudes among Germans in the 1930s as a disguised defense of National Socialism. Paradoxically, all agreed that Jenninger had for many years been an opponent of totalitarianism of all stripes, a fierce anti-Nazi, and an arch supporter of Israel. Thus, he was a unlikely defender of Nazism. No one accused him of being anti-Semitic. However, even before his speech had ended there were demonstrations of anger from some in the audience who, finding his words profoundly offensive, rushed ashen-faced from the chamber. Yet, virtually all reviewers who examined the speech concluded that he had said nothing untrue, malicious or defamatory; he simply said things that some people did not want to hear in a manner that they were unwilling to accept. The context of his remarks, and perhaps more importantly the voice he employed during a part of the speech, made his utterances impossible for many Germans to accept. According to one analyst, his mistake was that he had such confidence in his reputation as a friend of Jews and of Israel that he believed he did not need to use the subjunctive mood, or some other grammatical distancing device, when making what would otherwise be perceived as noxious statements.