Waking to Danger: Americans and Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Waking to Danger: Americans and Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Waking to Danger: Americans and Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Waking to Danger: Americans and Nazi Germany, 1933-1941

Synopsis

Isolationist Senator William E. Borah proclaimed that, "the people of the United States are not interested in European boundaries." Henry Ford declared, "They don't dare have a war and they know it." Public opinion, whether voiced by the elite or the man on the street, is a varied and changeable thing-and a fascinating resource for those seeking to understand history.

Excerpt

“One knows nothing of the history one has experienced,” reflected Victor Klemperer, a German diarist of the Nazi years.

My earliest memory of an historic event is of the inauguration on March 4, 1933, of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which I read about in My Weekly Reader in second grade. At the time of Pearl Harbor, I was fifteen and a sophomore in high school. My memories of the years between these two events are like islands in a dark and turbulent river—the history of which I knew nothing.

In this little book, I revisit those islands while plumbing one of many currents in that dark stream: Americans’ diverse responses to Nazi Germany in the prewar years. It is also a journey into my own history—in a sense, a “researched reminiscence” perhaps worth sharing with younger generations.

The 1930s were years when Americans struggled to define their country’s role in a dangerous world. Opinions were deeply divided and passionately held. Before the debate could be resolved, America was attacked. Under President Roosevelt, America entered World War II not only in self-defense but—contrary to the recent desires of many—as a champion of liberty against tyranny, of world order against anarchy.

It was, as has often been observed, the last good war.

R.A.R.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.