The Hitler Comparison

No topic makes Godwin’s Law swing into action more predictably than that of Geert Wilders. In any given article about Mr. Wilders the Nazi comparisons are likely to pop up before the end of first paragraph — or even the first sentence.

Our Flemish correspondent VH has translated a piece by Afshin Ellian about Peter R. de Vries, a TV crime-show host who was made internationally famous because of the Natalee Holloway case (which, according to some people, he misused for his own benefit) and who has blasted Bram Moszkowicz for defending Geert Wilders. Now Mr. De Vries has joined the vast throng of Dutch bien-pensants who find a striking resemblance between Geert Wilders and the Austrian corporal.

Peter R. de Vries

VH remarks:

The demonization of Geert Wilders these days is like a reprise of the events in the final months of Pim Fortuyn’s life, although it is more massive this time, since the government, the Queen, and the Court are openly involved.

The translated article from Elsevier:

De Vries compares Wilders to Hitler

By Afshin Ellian

Peter R. de Vries and his fight against ‘evil’ Wilders

Sometimes I think I can no longer be surprised anymore. And then it happens. Via the internet I regularly watch programs of the Iranian state broadcaster. It is an agony to watch them. They are not familiar with hearing both sides. Facts and fiction are not separated from each other.

And the language! The language of violence and hatred. A political debate does not take place there. Opposition leader Mousavi time and again warns of violence-spreading language in Iranian TV. In that way the opposition and their supporters are presented as dangerous and evil people. These are precisely the concepts the opposition resists. Do join us in a debate on substantive issues.

A Dutch broadcaster is not within light years comparable with the Iranian state broadcaster. But the Pauw and Witteman show [Wednesday, February 3, TV news show of the state funded broadcaster VARA] here and there showed some similarities to some of the news programs of Tehran.


They crossed a number of journalistic and moral boundaries. But here the end justifies the means. And this they have already done for quite a while. Witteman? Not incomprehensible for someone whose mentor was Marcel van Dam, who in a disguised way had called for violence against Pim Fortuyn. He even qualified him as an inferior human [in a TV debate hosted by Paul Witteman]. Of course chic opinion-makers issue a call to violence in different terms than those farmers would use. Its shape is well-refined and wrapped in historical terms.

Paul Witteman created the necessary opportunity in which a covert call for violence against MP Geert Wilders and his party could be composed. This art he did not learn from Bach, but from Marcel van Dam. Yes, you are reading this correctly. On Dutch TV there appeared in a noisy but camouflaged way a call for violence. How has Witteman composed his violent music?

Peter R. de Vries

This was done with the deployment of Peter R. de Vries. A street boy who does not know the difference between good and evil anymore. A flopped populist who tried to start up a PvdA [Socialists, Labor] Light. Such a guy you need to have on hand when you want to call for violence.

– – – – – – – –

De Vries is not a Professor of Law. Yet he knew the case against Wilders had not yet begun. The trial, however, has already started and the formal decisions that are taken now will determine the course of the trial.

Witteman’s super expert does not know that criminal law and freedom of expression constitute a legal minefield. Especially when the suspect has been voted into parliament by over 600,000 people. De Vries and Witteman have no regard for democracy. That is allowed. Democracy is a form of society that also affords room for anti-democratic people and movements.

It is of course very comical when ‘professor’ de Vries can anticipate that the ruling of the judge was a balanced decision. But the shrewd Witteman knew all this. Witteman is a dinosaur from the ancien régime of the Netherlands, of the days when Jan Blokker and Marcel van Dam decreed how the Netherlands should think. That time is past.


But the real interview, in which everything was carefully composed, concerned the violent expressions of Peter R. de Vries. These are the sentences that were spoken on the state broadcasting outlet:

Peter:   “I think we must say something of it in an early stage. I do not want to criticize myself later about why I never spoke out against it. In my experience, quite a lot of people do not do this; even more, that they do not dare to. I think that is a little scary.”
Witteman:   “When I read your blog and see the comments there, they do not cheer me up.”
Peter:   “I think I need to let a note be heard, not too late, but in time; then I will not have to blame myself. I do not easily feel threatened. But I am shocked by the massive aggression that is in those messages.”
Witteman:   “Do you believe that others should join your position?”
Peter:   “There is a kind of fear among Dutch celebrities to say plainly what they find in this man and his party.”


What is Peter R. de Vries talking about?

About Hitler. They should have stopped him at an early stage. Many later regretted that they did not try to stop Hitler in time. Peter R. de Vries is also a liar. That table of Witteman has been worn by Wilders Haters. De Vries is not the first one.

Remember the movement “Naming and Building”? That was founded by the great thinker Doekle Terpstra [CDA, Christian Democrat]. And after that a huge campaign started up to prosecute Wilders. In the fight against Wilders foolhardiness is precisely what rules.

Stage for Wilders haters

The problem, however, is that public broadcasting is too often a stage for Wilders Haters, without arguments and without a debate with Wilders or his sympathizers. Because of that, Witteman and his colleagues have just contributed to the popularity of Wilders.

Hate mail directed at De Vries should be condemned. If there are calls for violence, De Vries must file a complaint. The constitutional state must combat violence. Other than that, it is about a moral debate in which not De Vries but the perpetrators must be condemned. But fear to criticize Wilders?

Does Peter not read the newspapers? Did Peter not watch Pauw and Witteman enough? To attack Wilders was and is a top sport among left-wing media figures.

Perhaps Peter means something else. Wilders is systematically attacked, but has not yet been stopped. That is what it is about for Witteman, De Vries, and others. Therefore Peter was hired for the definite message:

Pauw:   “You do make a great danger of it?”
Peter:   “I see it as something that one should not underestimate. I am afraid that he will gets many seats [in parliament] and that the PvdA and other parties that are large now will have been swept away. That he gets into the government. That then we will get to see his true face. That it all will become much worse. Then I want to have spoken out before that time, watch out boys: ‘He is a dangerous politician, an evil man and a demagogue’.”

Now we are talking about real things: a dangerous politician, an evil man and a demagogue.


Who represented, given the moral frame of reference of the Netherlands, these three special qualities? Who was that? Hitler was an evil man, a dangerous politician, and a demagogue. That one had to be slain. De Vries therefore calls for violence against Wilders.

We saw this happen previously to Fortuyn. In those days his friend and lawyer Gerard Spong was of the opinion that the demonization with comparisons to Nazi figures (by, among others, the mentor of Witteman, Marcel van Dam) led to a political assassination.

At the Pouw and Witteman table was also the PvdA State Secretary [Social Affairs and Employment] Jetta Klijnsma. She was asked whether Wilders is a bad man.

Witteman:   “Do you go along with Peter, who finds him a bad man?”
State secretary:   “Well no; I do not know the person Wilders to be evil.”
Peter:   “I am talking about the politician Wilders.”


All of a sudden Peter discovers that evil should not be aimed at the person, but the politician. Too late, and it was almost inaudible. No, Peter, you have said it loud and clear: Wilders is an evil man.

De Vries and Witteman are not criminally liable for this. And Wilders is well protected. But this violent appeal by De Vries may have implications for the parliamentary group and supporters of Wilders. With that, the political climate could become violent.

Henk Hagoort, the chairman of public broadcasting service, should take a look into these passages. Nobody on the public broadcasting service may directly or indirectly call for violence against politicians or opinion-makers. I wonder what Hagoort will make of this.

Public broadcaster

Apparently SBS6 [commercial broadcaster that airs De Vries’ TV programs] does not provide room for De Vries to crow such violent nonsense. As long as the public broadcaster is financed through taxes, this medium should be safeguarded against calls for violence against dissidents.

There is also a moral and political role for the chairman of the public broadcasting service, Hagoort: public broadcasting should reflect our society. Precisely in these times it should not encourage violence. Calls for violence in times of elections is playing with fire. Democracy lives by the grace of conflict, as long as it is not threatened with historical violence.

8 thoughts on “The Hitler Comparison

  1. I guess when it is discovered that Hitler liked vanilla ice cream vanilla ice cream will be outlawed and vanilla ice cream eaters will be called nazi by European logic. Why are some people so hell bent on protecting and defending these foreign cultures, hostile ideas and peoples from the helpful insight that truthful criticism brings? Why do they consider it their sacred obligation? It is like a abused wife who defends her husband and makes excuses for him. But why bother with the whole thing to begin with?
    And don’t these people see that their hate speech laws and trials are more Hitler like than anything. Why put your own people through so much trouble, why put them in such a position in their own country? And lastly why not favor your own people first, why entangle yourself in such laws. What is the end or goal of all this?

  2. VH thanks for the translation, however there is a rather curious argument put forth at the end:

    “As long as the public broadcaster is financed through taxes, this medium should be safeguarded against calls for violence against dissidents.”

    I would hope that Afshin Ellian is not suggesting that calls for violence by private broadcasters are therefore permissible since they would not be gorging at the public trough. It’s probably just a mistaken choice of words.

    It is, however, my understanding that all broadcasters in the Netherlands benefit from a slice of the big broadcasting pie which is doled out from the Watch and Listen tax.

  3. To me, any invocation of Godwin’s Law is an automatic unconditional surrender of the argument. The implication is that there is no legitimate point to counter the opponent’s argument, thus requiring this last-ditch attempt to tarnish their opponent’s point by association (that is flimsy at best, or laughable at worst (eg calling a monarchist a Nazi)).

    Just remember kids, Hitler ate sugar, was a vegetarian, loved dogs, and thought people should keep fit and exercise.

  4. trencherbone, you appear to be a newcomer, so I just wanted to welcome you to GoV. Your informative posts are very enjoyable.

    Raymond Ibrahim provides some scholarly insights about taqiyya that appear infrequently, if at all, in modern media. The foregoing link connects to what is required reading for anyone who really wants to understand taqiyya and just how deeply seated it is in Islamic tradition. For convenience in reading Ibrahim’s essays, here they are again:

    A Response to the Critics: Taqiyya Revisited


    A Response to the Critics: Taqiyya Revisited (Part II)

    [From the link]: Others have written to me, absolutely flabbergasted that I say Koran 4:29 or 2:195, which command Muslims to not “kill/destroy themselves,” encourages taqiyya. For the record, I said no such thing; the ulema have—such as the classical exegete Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (see Tafsir al-Kabir, vol.10, p.98). According to him, since Muslims are commanded to not “destroy themselves,” disclosing any truths that might lead to their destruction is forbidden. Thus a mujahid (“jihadist”), according to Razi, must conceal his identity, since infidels might “destroy” him if they were to discover what he was about. And so, in this sense, 4:29 and 2:195 do permit deception.

    In closing, it should be noted that the most revealing aspect of the recent, and atypical, barrage of disgruntled e-mails regarding my “War and Peace—and Deceit—in Islam,” is that no Muslim (minus fringe Ahmadiyyas, etc.) has written to deny the more troubling aspects of the essay.

    A telling observation that shows just how eager Islam’s fellow travelers are to exculpate those who seek no exoneration from such charges, no matter how dire the accusation.

    Usually, silence is not necessarily indicative of assent; however, when large numbers of people take it upon themselves to criticize certain (minor) aspects of an argument, it seems reasonable to assume that their silence regarding the more revealing and problematic issues—such as eternal jihad—is, in fact, implicit assent.

    Or, as a Spanish journalist once put it:

    After a while, to remain silent is no longer just consent. To remain silent is to lie.

    The deafening silence of Muslims regarding international terrorism can no longer be construed as anything but a lie about what they are willing to countenance in the name of supposedly “peaceful” Islam.

  5. From another of Ibrahim’s works linked in the previous articles:

    War and Peace – and Deceit – in Islam

    After negotiating a peace treaty criticized by Muslims as conceding too much to Israel, former PLO leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yasser Arafat, speaking to Muslims in a mosque and off the record, justified his actions by saying, “I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraish in Mecca.” In other words, like his prophet, the “moderate” Arafat was giving his word only to annul it once “something else better” came along — that is, once Palestinians became strong enough to renew the offensive.

    Most recently, a new Islamic group associated with Hamas called Jaysh al-Umma (Islam’s army) stated clearly, “Muslims all over the world are obliged to fight the Israelis and the infidels until only Islam rules the earth.” Realizing their slip, they quickly clarified: “We say that the world will not live in peace as long as the blood of Muslims continues to be shed.” Which is it — until Muslim blood stops being shed in Israel or “until only Islam rules the earth”? [Emphasis added]

    Actually, the answer is, “Both.” While Ibrahim’s mistake is somewhat understandable, it is still a significant error for him to presume that “[so] long as the blood of Muslims continues to be shed” applies only to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Muslim bloodshed is an intrinsic feature of jihad wherever it occurs. Islam’s historical march has always been over the corpses of untold millions of Muslims. Why should it be any different in this modern age?

    Therefore, in reality, “Muslim blood stops being shed” once the moment arrives when “only Islam rules the earth” and not a moment sooner. Thus, there is no contradiction − or distinction necessary − between either statement by the Hamas proxy, Jaysh al-Umma. Their intent could not be any more transparent.

    The “world will not live in peace as long as the blood of Muslims continues to be shed” and Muslim blood will continue to be shed “until only Islam rules the earth”.

    It is only our own folly that prevents us from comprehending the fanaticism and obsession that engulfs Muslim thinking when it comes to Islam’s supremacist and triumphal nature.

  6. War and Peace – and Deceit – in Islam

    Yet for all that, in their attempt to portray Islam as a “tolerant” religion, a religion that, once again, merely seeks “peacefully coexist” with others, the Saudis have been pushing for more “dialogue” between Muslims and non-Muslims, specifically Christians and Jews (ironically, those two peoples who are currently much more powerful than Islam). Rather tellingly, however, Saudi Arabia refuses to host any of these conferences; after all, their prophet Muhammad’s deathbed wish was to expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian peninsula; how to re-invite them now and talk of peace and tolerance?

    How indeed? This should be a cue for the West to insist that all further “dialogue” take place on Saudi soil so that Christians and other non-Muslims may bear fist-hand witness to the conditions of life and persecution of unbelievers that takes place there. After all, what would Christians make of being told that in order to attend they could not even bring their own Bibles with them (much display them in public)?

    A final observation from “ A Response to the Critics: Taqiyya Revisited (Part II)“:

    Others have written to me, absolutely flabbergasted that I say Koran 4:29 or 2:195, which command Muslims to not “kill/destroy themselves,” encourages taqiyya. For the record, I said no such thing; the ulema have—such as the classical exegete Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (see Tafsir al-Kabir, vol.10, p.98). According to him, since Muslims are commanded to not “destroy themselves,” disclosing any truths that might lead to their destruction is forbidden. Thus a mujahid (“jihadist”), according to Razi, must conceal his identity, since infidels might “destroy” him if they were to discover what he was about. And so, in this sense, 4:29 and 2:195 do permit deception. [Emphasis added]

    I forgot to add to this:

    It is vitally important to understand how Islam’s prohibition of suicide is interwoven with its sanctioning of taqiyya.

    Thus, literally any and all jihadis must engage in taqiyya out of sheer preservation. That being the case, it is no great reach to presume that all who engage in taqiyya ARE JIHADIS.

    This is no small matter as deceit and misinformation are so commonly practiced by a huge percentage of Muslims. Taqiyya must be interpreted as a direct form of jihad and not any sort of subset related to the Islamic agenda.

    This is yet one more reason why taqiyya irrevocably damns Islam. There is simply no way to EVER trust what a Muslim says and there is simply no way that Islam can be trusted to genuinely reject such an advantageous strategy no matter how sincere the renunciation. The West has too much to lose and Islam has far too much to gain − as in, world domination − for it to ever abandon this absurdly unfair and monstrously unethical charade.

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