“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.”*

From Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars:

In France during the 1920s, teachers’ unions had all but banned patriotic references to French victories (which were regarded as “bellicose” and “a danger for the organization of peace”) and removed books that considered battles such as Verdun as anything other than a tragedy that affected both sides equally.

Sound familiar?

How about this:

Of the Anschluss, Germany’s forced annexation of Austria, Chancellor Franz von Papen later concluded, “not only had there been no armed conflict, but no foreign power had seen fit to intervene.  They adopted the same passive attitude as they had shown toward the reintroduction of conscription in Germany and the reoccupation of the Rhineland.  The result was that Hitler became impervious to the advice of all those who wished him to exercise moderation in his foreign policy.”

 

*Extra points for naming the speaker of the quote.  No search engines, no Wikipedia; although consulting your print libraries is allowed.  Graduates of the Hillsdale collection of schools should know this from memory.

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