Sally Jo Sorensenhas the scoop:
Faced with criticism of Kitty Werthmann’s Obama-is-like-Hitler analogy, a Hutchinson woman who shares those views now implies in a letter that her critics are Holocaust deniers.
An Austrian Catholic who immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s, Werthmann was 12 when Germany annexed her native country. By her own account, she witnessed Nazi oppression first hand, but was never sent to a concentration camp or jailed herself. Prominent horrors of Hitler’s regime for Werthmann, president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum, include equal rights for women (historians have discovered a rather different story about women in the Third Reich than what Werthmann recalls).
Werthmann peddled this version of history, along with the notion that America was turning Nazi as early as the second Bush administration (and claims to have been ranting about it for 30 years), but prominent conservatives like Glenn Beck dismissed her until Obama was elected.
Werthmann’s fans are if anything nuttier than Werthmann. One of them, Yvonne Piker, sent a letter to the local paper, the Hutchinson Leader, that glowed with praise for Werthmann; when someone who’d stayed awake in high school history class when they taught us about World War II dared to suggest via another letter that Werthmann might be grotesquely out of line in going Godwin on Obama in particular and modern American society in general, Piker doubled down on the asininity by accusing the critic of forgetting the Holocaust.
As Ms. Sorensen of BSP points out in another article, there seems to be an orchestrated plan by movement conservatives and Republicans to keep going Godwin on anyone to the left of Mitch McConnell:
As one might expect, Werthmann has her critics. RightWing Watch looked at her 2007 tour in Eagle Forum: Nazi Hunters:
For months now, Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum have been shopping around a conspiracy theory about a proposed “North American Union” that would, in the words of the John Birch Society, create a “full-blown economic and political merger of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the US is also apparently at risk of being taken over by Nazis, at least according to Kitty Werthmann, head of the Eagle Forum’s South Dakota chapter . . .
Two years later, Right Wing Watch looked at the How to Take Back America Conference held in St. Louis this Friday, Sept. 25, and Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 in How To Take Back America … From the Nazis:
Back in 2007, I wrote a post about a DVD produced and sold by Kitty Werthmann, the head of the South Dakota chapter of the Eagle Forum, called “Freedom to Dictatorship in 5 Years”. . .
Given that Phyllis Schlafly, head of the Eagle Forum, is co-chairing the upcoming How To Take Back American Conference along with Janet Porter, I guess it comes as no surprise that Werthmann has been tapped to speak at the conference, along with various members of Congress and former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, to explain how America is becoming just like Nazi Germany.
The Right Wing Watch post by Kyle Mantyla concluded:
Allow me to ask one last time: what are members of Congress and people like Mike Huckabee doing associating themselves with this type of insane right-wing rhetoric?
Bluestem wonders why that question needed to be asked, since Bachmann and Steve King were among of the members of Congress at the conference. Huffington Post commenter Allison Kilkenny observed in Nazipalooza:
The cause du jour for the Republican Party is to make as many rapid-fire comparisons between the Democrats and the Nazis as humanly possible. . . .