Hilmar von Campe, Apt Pupil
The self-proclaimed former Hitler Youth uses Nazi-esque Big Lie techniques to smear Barack Obama with allusions to, ironically, Hitler. And WorldNetDaily loves it.
By Terry Krepel
The first thing WorldNetDaily wants you to know about Hilmar von Campe -- as stated in an article promoting his book "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie," which purports to claim that "the U.S. is moving closer to a Nazi-style totalitarianism" -- is that he's "a former German member of the Hitler Youth." This, supposedly, is the gravitas behind von Campe's version of the usual right-wing anti-communist, anti-liberal polemics.
As blogger Richard Bartholomew has noted, von Campe has claimed the American Civil Liberties Union is "distributing Nazi philosophy," and he has likened former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan to accused communist spy Alger Hiss. He's also represented for publishing and speaking purposes by the same firm that promotes Walid Shoebat, who purports to be a former Islamic terrorist.
But it seems that railing against Nazism doesn't entirely take the Hitler Youth out of the man. In one 2007 column published on Von Campe's website, Frosty Wooldridge is given space to attack "illegal aliens" in tones that disturbingly echoes the type of Nazi rhetoric about societal purity and undesirable outsiders he claims to have rejected:
If 20 million illegal aliens returned "home," the U.S. economy would return to the rule of law. Employers would hire legal American citizens at a living wage. Everyone would pay their fair share of taxes because they wouldn't be working off the books. That would result in an additional $401 billion in IRS income taxes collected annually, and an equal amount for local state and city coffers.
(That last citing of diseased illegals echoes a discredited claim about purported dramatic increases in leprosy due to illegal immigration.)
Further, as Bartholomew added, von Campe's expressed admiration of Augusto Pinochet for having "prevented the totalitarian take-over of Chile by the Allende/Castro gang and their armed thugs" and "transformed his country into an envied show-case for the whole of Latin America and returned Chile to democracy" shows that "being a ruthless military dictator who liquidated opponents is not necessarily a bad thing."
Clearly, von Campe hasn't abandoned everything he learned as a Hitler Youth. His anti-communism has now morphed into a hatred of Barack Obama, and he's not shy about spreading lies about Obama and smearing him by likening him to, ironically, Hitler.
Hilmar von Campe
When WND picked up von Campe's book for sale in its online store, it started running von Campe's columns. In an Oct. 28 column published by WND, von Campe declared: "Socialist Hitler destroyed free society in a few months. Socialist Obama is close to his steppingstone. The following is an attempt to clarify the issue." He repeated the misleading right-wing claim that "As Illinois state senator, he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection bill, which would have prohibited the killing of late-term babies that survive attempted abortions," adding, "You wonder on what information Obama voted. Does he play superficially with human life?"
In fact, Obama has cited legal opinions that the behavior the bill would outlaw was already illegal and made distinctions between "previable" fetuses that cannot survive outside the womb and post-viability fetuses that can.
Von Campe ratcheted up his dishonest anti-Obama Nazi rhetoric in a column published Nov. 15 by WND, in which he uncritically repeated Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun's "warn[ing] of an Obama dictatorship," as purportedly shown by "Obama's intention to establish a civil security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship," quickly adding that Broun "makes clear that he does not compare Obama with Hitler." That's a lie, of course; von Campe even quotes Broun's statement that, like Obama, "Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany."
Of course, von Campe picked up that false "civil security force" ball, noting that "Hitler created the Storm Troopers, S.A., and the Schutzstaffel (protective squad), or S.S. Both had the task to silence the opposition."
Likening Obama's mention of a "civil security force" to the SS is an utterly false smear, reminiscent of the "Big Lie" technique used by the Nazis. As ConWebWatch detailed when WND's Joseph Farah tried to raise the same false specter, Obama specially described his "civil security force" as a bolstered State Department as well as "teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military."
Von Campe further demonstrates his ignorance by citing WND as a source for his claims -- always a bad move:
Obama's views, as reported by WorldNetDaily on Oct. 31, 2008, that America after World War II has similarity to Nazi Germany because the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline have no basis. He stated to the present generation of Americans, "You've got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home."
Von Campe, as did WND, takes Obama's words wildly out of context. (Isn't that another Nazi-like propaganda tactic?) The full context of Obama's remarks shows that Obama said nothing of the kind. The quote about "doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home" specifically refers to the experience of African-Americans who fought in the war but faced discrimination and segregation upon their return. And Obama never said that America is Nazi-like because "the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline."
Von Campe also uncritically repeated Aaron Klein's unverified Nov. 11 WND report that representatives for Obama met with the Arab "terror group" Hamas. In fact, even Klein can't provide any backup for the claim; he plucked the account from a single source, "the leading Al-Hayat Arabic-language newspaper," attributed to Hamas official Ahmed Yousef -- Klein's go-to guy whenever Klein feels the itch to baselessly link Obama to Hamas. Klein offered no independent verification whatsoever of Yousef's claim; a Nov. 13 article repeated the claim by framing it around Hamas' statement that "The report in Al-Hayat was not accurate" -- which Klein parsed by claiming it was "carefully worded" and "did not deny the terror group met with Obama aides" -- but Klein again offered no independent verification.
(Of course, Klein has his own anti-Obama agenda, and he can't be trusted to report fairly about Obama.)
Von Campe further likened Colin Powell to the German military official who helped Hitler get into power:
Socialist Hitler was installed into power by the then German president, famous Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg. That made it easy for him to get the military leaders out of the way and in control of the armed forces the only force in the country that could have spoiled his plans.
WND, meanwhile, is loving von Campe's extremist rhetoric.
A Nov. 22 article promoted how von Campe's rantings have "drawn angry reactions from both the American political left and the political right." But the article merely promotes the controversy, and it doesn't treat the criticism as legitimate, stating that, as a former Hitler Youth, "von Campe believes he carries a sober responsibility to warn Americans how quickly free society can be destroyed through socialist ideology." Nor does WND address the false and misleading claims von Campe has made about Obama, a tactic he presumably picked up in his Hitler Youth days.
With such a display of shameless dishonesty by WND, you know what's next. That's right -- another von Campe smear job.
In a column published by WND on Nov. 25, von Campe purported to detail "The real objectives of Barack Obama," which involves more likening to you-know-who and repeating the "civilian national security force" scare tactics:
There was another Nazi organization that had the same task as all other institutions, namely to keep people under control and influence their thinking. It was the Service to Work (Arbeitsdienst). Young men had to serve half a year before entering into military service. It seems that Obama likes this Nazi feature because he has proposed, in addition to the idea of a civilian national security force, a plan to create a national community service program. Obama's motives for this cannot be different from the Nazi motives to bring as many youth as possible under their socialist umbrella and influence. Obama has 3.1 million e-mail addresses from young people who are waiting to do something.
It should be no surprise that von Campe gets Obama's statement on Christianity wrong. Obama never said that "America is no more a Christian nation"; he said:
Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community.
Von Campe concludes: "Barack Hussein Obama would bring his immorality into the White House. He is an enemy of God."
Von Campe has no interest in telling the truth; he only wants to lie about and smear Obama. And in WorldNetDaily -- with its own history of lying about and smearing Obama -- von Campe has found the perfect partner with which to advance the Nazi-esque Big Lie techniques he claims to abhor.
(Correction, 12/4/16: The 2007 column on von Campe's website about "illegal aliens" was written by Frosty Woolridge, not von Campe. This article has been corrected to reflect that.)