Professor worried about violence after Charlottesville protests

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Videos online showcase the actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. UNCW professor, Barry Salwen, says this is just a reminder of what Nazi Germany was like.

“So the parallel with Nazi Germany seems to have, the fear of the outsider, the disliking of the outsider and the using of the outsider for political purposes in this racial purity thing,” Salwen said.

Salwen is the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival co-chair. He says when he saw the images from the clash in Virginia and the way the white supremacists were speaking, he saw similarities to a propaganda video from the 1940s used by the US War Department to warn Americans against falling into Nazism. Their mentality lead to incidents, like what happened in Charlottesville.

“This idea of splitting, you know, people into warring or opposing camps, but I mean yes the comparisons with what is happening now to Nazi Germany are flying all over and I don’t think we’re in danger of becoming a Nazi state but some of the rhetoric is distressingly similar,” Salwen said.

Salwen says it is ironic this happened during their summer film festival because the films they are showing give an understanding of behavior in Nazi Germany.

“We keep seeing the same things happen. History does repeat itself because human nature doesn’t essentially change. And again, if we improve we tend to also step back. So yes absolutely, there is a continuum,” Salwen said.

And according to Salwen, this rhetoric will only bring more hate.

“People need to realize this is a danger. It’s not just an extremist group that you can dismiss,” Salwen said.

The International Jewish Film Festival will showcase at Thalian hall this Thursday “The people vs Fritz Bauer” at 7 pm. Tickets are still available. For more information, go to their website.

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