There are many similarities between a Nazi-era pamphlet circulated to Danish farmers during the Second World War and other modern race propaganda, according to a local scholar on hate speech.
"One main part that stood out to me as odd was a few Christian-based references and that is something we don't usually see until much later, in the post-war stuff," said Daniel Gallant, a doctoral student at UNBC.
The pamphlet, The Farmer's Chances if the Axis Powers Lose, was translated into English for the first time by Prince George publishing house Repository Press and recently released to bookstores. The work on the pamphlet was featured in last week's Citizen.
Gallant points out that the propaganda writer of the booklet cites the research of Werner Sombart. Sombart, a leading pro-Nazi scholar who had been espousing anti-Semitic schools of thought long before Hitler rose to power.
"It is an attempt to back up their claims, legitimize their views with something they are trying to pass off as science," Gallant said. "It really played on a common line of thinking, and it is still normal to see this thinking, that the Jews were to blame for society's problems, your problems. It goes back long before the Holocaust. People today might be surprised by this, but it is a heavily used line of thinking today."
Another tactic still alive in the modern context is what Gallant called a "coercion loop" to turn the subject - in this case the Danish farmer - into not only an ally but an active supporter. In the modern setting it the same tactics used by gangs to recruit wayward kids and transform them into thugs and terrorist cells to turn disciples into martyrs.
Gallant said it is also heavily in use for its original purpose: new Nazi-based hate groups ready to do grievous harm to today's ethnic communities.
"They tell a lot of truths, but only partial truths. They present valid concerns that make you nod your head in recognition but they stay on the surface of the truth," he said. "The subtext is always your power and how others are trying to take away your power - freedoms, ways of life, values you hold dear - and how together you can keep your power. It presents a threat, and sets themselves up as the only alternative that's safe and on your side. We see this tactic used today and we see it in this pamphlet."
Carl Aastrup who, with Prince George writer/publisher John Harris, translated the Nazi propaganda booklet into English, agreed that the Nazi example should still be a great concern for modern society.
"Let's not forget that the whole thing - the rise of the Third Reich and the war - happened over only a 12-year period. Germans went from nothing, total poverty, to a superpower, doing murder to millions, back to a crushed regime, in very short time," Aastrup said. "Now it seems strange, but at the time we [in Denmark] took it all just about for granted that the Germans were going to lose the war. But looking back now, you see just how close they came to winning and it makes that all seem a bit scary [to be that naive]."