OffGuardian

by Bryan Hemming

hurrah-for-the-blackshirts

It Can’t Happen Here

On the morning of April 9th 1940 mum’s cousin, Bjørg, got out of bed to celebrate her eleventh birthday. That wasn’t the only event to make the day so memorable. Later that morning the Germans invaded.

There are times it becomes difficult to separate fiction from reality. In Sinclair Lewis’s semi-satirical novel It Can’t Happen Here, published in 1935, Senator Berzelius ‘Buzz’ Windrip campaigns for the U.S. presidency on a populist ticket, promising to restore the country to its former prosperity and greatness. But behind all the glitz he harbours a more sinister agenda. He plans to seize complete control of the government and impose a dictatorship supported by a paramilitary force trained to crush dissent with extreme violence.

My Norwegian mother told me that German officers ordered the immediate evacuation of Oslo on the day of the invasion, saying Luftwaffe planes…

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