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How America Inspired The Nazis, And Other Shadowproof Reader Feedback

The Shadowproof Mailbag

August 8 – August 13 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of the Shadowproof Mailbag. This installment covers the first part of Shadowproof’s second week. I’m taking a day trip to New York City tomorrow and Brian will be filling in for me as editor, so we’ll have to catch up on Friday and weekend feedback in the next edition.

Here’s some of the best reader comments and feedback we’ve received about our recent articles.

How America inspired the Nazis

On Saturday, I shared an article about the forgotten non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and Shadowproof reader holdbar offered this thought-provoking historical note on the inspiration for the mass killings:

The United States’ westward expansion was Hitler’s model for extermination of native people in Eastern Europe according to Yale professor Tim Snyder in his book Bloodlands:

“The general design was consistent throughout: Germans would deport, kill, assimilate, or enslave the native populations, and bring order and prosperity to a humbled frontier. Depending upon the demographic estimates, between thirty-one and forty-five million people, mostly Slavs, were to disappear. In one redaction, eighty to eighty-five percent of the Poles, sixty-five percent of the west Ukrainians, seventy-five percent of the Belarusians, and fifty percent of the Czechs were to be eliminated.

After the corrupt Soviet cities were razed, German farmers would establish, in Himmler’s words, “pearls of settlement,” utopian farming communities that would produce a bounty of food for Europe. German settlements of fifteen to twenty thousand people each would be surrounded by German villages within a radius of ten kilometers. The German settlers would defend Europe itself at the Ural Mountains, against the Asiatic barbarism that would be forced back to the east. Strife at civilization’s edge would test the manhood of coming generations of German settlers. Colonization would make of Germany a continental empire fit to rival the United States, another hardy frontier state based upon exterminatory colonialism and slave labor.

The East was the Nazi Manifest Destiny. In Hitler’s view, “in the East a similar process will repeat itself for a second time as in the conquest of America.” As Hitler imagined the future, Germany would deal with the Slavs much as the North Americans had dealt with the Indians. The Volga River in Russia, he once proclaimed, will be Germany’s Mississippi.”

Snyder estimates that between 1933 and 1943, Stalin and Hitler combined, killed about 14 million non-combatants in the lands between Russia and Germany (Bloodlands).

I read somewhere else, that at the beginning of the 20th century, the idea of indigenous people having rights began to replace the long-held belief that conquest was a legitimate method of acquiring property – very convenient for the United States.

Although I only briefly mentioned it in the third installment on my series, genocide against Native Americans continue to this day. Police kill Native Americans at a rate about equal to that of black people, and far out of proportion to their overall population. I recently documented one tragic case, the Death of Paul Castaway, for MintPress News.  In addition to similar issues of systematic racism and inequality here in the U.S., there’s a horrifying epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

‘This country’s human rights record is an abomination’

On Tuesday, Brian reported that a federal inmate was allegedly refused HIV treatment in two Florida jails. On Facebook, Carl Howard insightfully placed this crime in context with our overall prison-industrial complex:

Drom Federal prisons to immigration detention centers run by the for-profit Geo Group and CCA, to Guantanamo Bay, this country is in violation of international law regarding the treatment of prisoners, including political prisoners like Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier, and even women and children who not only have never been convicted of any crimes, they have never even been charged with anything.

This country’s human rights record is an abomination that shows no signs whatsoever of improvement.

While ThingsComeUndone questioned how correctional facilities can get away with ignoring life-threatening disease:

” … specific exemptions for HIV/AIDS treatments and other severe illnesses which they claim are ‘rare’ among prison populations.” Given the popular views of Prison rape as a common occurence just how could anyone grant such an exemption with a straight face?

‘Ike was right’

Dan’s coverage of the F35 war plane boondoggle reminded several multiple readers, including JamesJoyce, of President Eisenhower’s famous farewell speech in which he coined the term ‘military-industrial complex’:

Ike is right. … This is corporate FASCISM.

I wonder how many Meals on Wheels this could buy for the greatest generation, rather than wasting more money on the military-industrial complex for oil wars, under the pretense of a War on Terror?

JJ included this recording of the speech, in case our readers needed a refresher:

In conclusion …

Our tech team is STILL working to bring all our old Firedoglake comments into Shadowproof. We’re also working to fix the bug that causes comment counts to be improperly displayed as zero on our posts.

Please let us know if you find any other bugs on our site.


  • This introduction to our community is a good place to start if you want to know how you can help us make Shadowproof a better, more welcoming place.
  • We welcome your feedback, ideas, links to good music and even silly jokes in the comments below. Also, don’t forget you can Share Anything With Us


I already look forward to reading your comments and feedback every day, and it’s only our second week. Thanks to all our readers who are making the Shadowproof community grow so quickly and so well.

With <3 and Solidarity,

Kit O’Connell
Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and