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Most of us look back with horror at what Hitler did to the Jews – and the slaughter on an industrialised scale that took place in Nazi extermination camps in German-occupied Poland and Germany during the 1940s. After WW2 most of us were convinced that there could never be a second Holocaust – but we were wrong, and now suddenly the warning omens are surfacing again all over Europe and in the United States.
For close to seventy years, tolerant liberal values have prevailed on both sides of the Atlantic and in Australia. We clearly voiced our objections to discrimination against people of colour, Afro-Caribbeans, Muslims and others who were not necessarily descended from white, Anglo-Saxon religionists. But within a few weeks in the US and months in Europe, all of this has changed. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia and discrimination against blacks and Muslims is now all in the ascent ... and this really is just the beginning.
When Hitler came to power in the early 1930s there was serious unemployment in Germany and a lot of anger - rather like it is in the US rust-belt areas today. The new Führer used basic Keynesian economic theory to solve unemployment problems. He ordered the building and rebuilding of roads and autobahn right across Germany, and as an economic strategy it worked. Unemployment fell dramatically and Adolf was seen as a saviour for German workers. But he wanted their souls as well as their votes, so he targeted the Jews. Initially, they were mainly just side-lined and sneered at - but it wasn't long before their incarceration and industrialised elimination commenced in the Nazi gas-chambers.
There has been racial hatred and abuse in the US since slavery was introduced several hundred years ago. In Europe, it was slightly different. For here the colonialists provided America's slaves and just abused subservient workers and others in their colonies around the world. But after WW2 migrant labourers increasingly sought work from their former colonial masters in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. Afro-Caribbeans came to Britain in large numbers, while in France, Spain and Italy it was mainly Muslim migrants from North Africa. There were serious anti-immigrant race riots in London's Notting Hill in the late 1950s and there have been intermittent racial incidents in France over past decades.
For the most part, however, Europeans and Americans have endeavoured to behave tolerantly towards black people and Muslims until quite recently. But suddenly the situation has started to change. In the UK over half of the voting population voted last June to leave the European Union and recent floods of mainly Muslim migrants to the UK was what motivated most of the 'let's get out' and 'we don't want any more foreigners here' Brexiteers.
The situation is similar in France, Sweden, Holland, Hungary, Austria and Italy. Migrants - and particularly Muslims - are no longer welcome in these countries, most of whom are currently considering exit strategies from the European Union. In the United States it is a little different. No one in the US media or liberal electorate expected Donald Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential election. But it happened, and now in this once great and tolerant country serious indications of xenophobia, misogyny and fascism are erupting, and these evil traits appear to be welcomed - with blacks, Muslims, Mexicans and other ethnic minorities being cast as the new Jews.
My story Weimar Vibes won a gold star with HarperCollins Authonomy and is available on Amazon. It mirrors elements of 1930s chaos in the UK and Europe tomorrow - and it was written before the arrival of Mr. Trump and his US Presidential team.