I've noticed that whenever the subject of Nazi Germany is raised, someone always says something like this: "It's unbelievable that Adolf Hitler was able to manipulate and control the entire German population. It just seems impossible."
Yet that's exactly what he did. Yes, there were some dissenters and political foes, but they were subdued and quashed as the boundless power of the Nazi regime shut down all dissent with the use of the brown-shirted Sturmabteilung or SA, the Schutzstaffel or SS, and the dreaded Gestapo or Geheime Staatspolizei.
Perhaps a bit of context is in order here. I spent three years in Germany with the Army Security Agency involved in SIGINT (intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets). I am fluent in German, my wife is German, I have studied German history, and I keep up with current events in the country.
Like a lot of Americans, I always assumed that America was safe from the kind of tyranny the German people experienced under the heavy hand of the Third Reich. There is no way our federal, state, and local governments could restrain and control the American people the way Hitler and his Nazis dominated the German population, I thought.