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Misinformation: Did Hitler say “one must first disarm citizens” to control a nation?

Hitler Youth salute during review by their feuhrer

Hitler Youth salute during review by their feuhrer at a mass Nazi rally at 10th annual congress of the National Socialist Party in Nuremberg, Germany. Credit: AP, 1938

MISINFORMATION: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

UPDATE, 1/28: Click here to read a follow-up post with additonal research.

The Aurora, Colo., shootings have set many gun supporters on edge. They fear that it is just this kind of tragedy that will lead to new gun control laws.

One man wrote to Newsday to suggest that if the United States cracks down on gun ownership, it will be following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler. He wrote, "Adolf Hitler said in 1933, 'to conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens.'  “

This quote is easy to find on gun rights websites, but nowhere else. It struck me as the kind of thing people could keep repeating until they believed it was accurate.

So, I tried the Nexis archive to search newspaper and magazine articles. Nothing. Famous quotation websites produced many Hitler quotes, but not this one. A search of Google Books also turned up no matches.

It’s hard to prove a negative. Hitler may have said this. He may also have said he likes cornflakes for breakfast, but then we say a lot of things that aren’t recorded.

Do you think you can authenticate this quote? Or do you have a different public policy questions for Misinformation? Send Newsday an email at letters@newsday.com.

 

UPDATE, 1/28Click here to read a follow-up post with additonal research.

Ever submitted a letter to the editor and wondered why it wasn’t published? Sometimes – not always – it’s because Newsday’s research revealed that the information in the letter wasn’t quite accurate. So, the letter disappears into a void, which may leave writers wondering what happened. That's why we're introducing this regular feature, “Misinformation,” on our blog -- to try to set the record straight about a wrong fact or impression.

Pictured above: Hitler Youth salute during review by their feuhrer at a mass Nazi rally at 10th annual congress of the National Socialist Party in Nuremberg, Germany.

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