Trump, Strongmen and German History: Exploring the Relationship


On Tuesday a former U.S. President was arraigned in a New York City courthouse – the first ever in U.S. history – testing the strength of American institutions and democracy. This moment has traces of authoritarianism and brings up questions of how similar or different it is in comparison to one of the most heinous authoritarian moments of world history- the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. To further explore this topic, journalist Andreas Kluth visited Berlin with a mission to visit three landmark sites- the Reichstag building, Hitler’s bunker, and the Holocaust Memorial.

Bloomberg Opinion article writer Andreas Kluth offers his insight into the darker past of Berlin and the similarities, if any, between the authoritarian past and present of the US. Through his guided tour he gives a comprehensive insight into the history, explaining the horrors of the Nazi regime and the relevancy to current times.

This tour provides a stark reminder of the fragility of democracies and the cruciality of upholding the rule of law. The past is more than often prologue of what is to come, and by looking at the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany, this serves as a blue print for fighting authoritarianism in the present.

Bloomberg Opinion is a website owned by Bloomberg L.P.- a financial services, media and software company headquartered in New York City. Bloomberg Opinion provides financial news, insights, analysis and commentary on topics in business, finance and economics; reaching out to over 176 countries around the world.

Andreas Kluth is a journalist who writes about politics and national security for Bloomberg Opinion. He is a Berlin correspondent and Harvard graduate, who combines both his historical knowledge of Germany and his insights on modern political and security issues to explain current events in relation to the turbulent past of Germany.