User Submission: The Failure of the Reichstag Fire Truth Movement

A great write up by frequent 911blogger contributer BB:

On February 27, 1933, a fire swept through the building housing the German Parliament, the Reichstag. The fire apparently began in several places around the building, and a large explosion accelerated destruction just before police and firefighters arrived.

Adolph Hitler and fellow Nazi leaders quickly blamed and arrested communists. Hitler had been appointed Chancellor in January by Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler and his colleagues persuaded von Hindenburg to invoke Article 48 of the Weimar constitution the day after the fire, declaring a state of national emergency, cementing extraordinary authority in the central government, establishing power to make laws by decree without legislative involvement, and suspending fundamental civil liberties.

Who started the fire? The question remains disputed to this day. Within Germany at the time, a vocal minority questioned whether it was deliberately set by forces bent on tyranny, using it to their advantage. In the summer of 1933, a book was published in Switzerland that compiled essays from recent emigrants from Germany, making the case that the fire to be the work of the Nazis. This book was titled The Brown Book on the Reichstag Fire and Hitler’s Terror. The conclusion was shared by a group that called itself the “Legal Commission of the International Investigation Committee.” Yet the facts remained disputed at the time, even among fair-minded people. It is not disputable, however, that the Nazis aggressively and quickly used the events to their advantage.

The events of 9/11 and their political context are certainly not identical to the Reichstag fire. For one thing, we may be somewhat more resistant to the development of tyranny than the German people in the 1930s, in part because our economy, while not perfect, is substantially better off than what the German people were facing at the time. However, one hopes the 9/11 events are not turned into another Reichstag fire in tomorrow’s history books in the following sense: uncertainty about the source of the attacks may linger for decades.

History is full of lessons. The basic lesson about the Reichstag fire for today is that finding the truth about an event like this carries a special urgency. As time passes, the difficulty with establishing and communicating truth can increase. The Reichstag fire truth movement failed to establish and communicate the facts, and the uncertainty was exploited by parties responsible for the deaths of millions.

Here we are, moving on to five years after the 9/11 attacks, and fundamental questions remain. Each second is precious.

Note: In 1935, German playwright / émigré Bertolt Brecht produced the essay Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties. This essay is available at

The first paragraph reads:

Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the cunning to spread the truth among such persons. These are formidable problems for writers living under Fascism, but they exist also for those writers who have fled or been exiled; they exist even for writers working in countries where civil liberty prevails.

Very poignant and

Very poignant and relevant.

Good article, thanks





Once you realize, that they

Once you realize, that they lie about everything, you may assume that your economy wasn't that well as they claimed, too.

Take the CGI for example:

Thanks for those links, I've

Thanks for those links, I've wondered for a couple of years whether inflation is running higher than the CPI is officially reporting

This is brilliant, well

This is brilliant, well written!! I wonder just how many people world wide in the 1930's dismissed scepticism about the Reichstag fire. Because it was that very lack of scepticism that basically lead to WW2.

Way to go, bb!

Way to go, bb!

Thanks, people, and thanks

Thanks, people, and thanks to dz and sbg for sparking my interest. This is just a surface treatment, it would be a fun/important to look back more closely at the people in the 'truth' movement then, and what they were doing, or trying to do.