In the last truly free election in Germany before WWII on November 6, 1932 the Nazis received only 33% of the vote. The Nazis formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Party which gave them a 53% majority and Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30, 1933. As Chancellor, Hitler asked German President Paul von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a new parliamentary election. The date set for the elections was March 5, 1933.
On February 27, 1933 an arson fire burned the Reichstag, Germany's Parlement building to the ground. It was allegedly started by Marinus van der Lubbe, a communist and unemployed bricklayer. Many historians now believe that the fire was planned and started by the Nazis themselves. This crisis created a huge backlash against the communists and a huge boost in popularity for the Nazis.
Still on March 5, 1933 the Nazis were only able to muster 43.91% of the vote. Hitler alleged that Germany was on the verge of a Communist revolution and was able to form another coalition and pass the Enabling Act on March 30, 1933 which essentially gave Hitler dictatorial powers.
During The Night of the Long Knives which actually occurred between June 30 and July 2, 1934, the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders which further consolidated the Nazi's power. Many believe at that time Germany passed a point of no return
In 1933 and 1944 Germany arguably had the best educated population in the entire world. The German population was arguably better educated than the electorate in the United States today. They were a largely homogeneous, traditional and cautious society. Yet they were able to be led like lambs to slaughter down the path to complete destruction. Obviously economic challenges were a factor but the German economy was in recovery and the populace had plenty to lose.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Ronald Reagan
Excuse my typo, It should say, “In 1933 and 1934 Germany arguably had the best educated population in the entire world.”
As mentioned, Germany was a highly educated and cultured society, and it was incredible what happened there as the thugs took over slowly and methodically.
I see a similar demise happening here with Obama and the Left, even though the methods and goals are different. We have enough citizens who are gullible, uneducated, and indifferent who happily voted in Obama once, and they just may do it again, dragging us all down with them. Even if Romney wins this time ( let's hope ), we can not let down our guard election after election. Reagan was 100% correct in saying that freedom is just a generation away from extinction.