July 6, 2020

RESEARCH: Flu Pandemic Led to Rise of Nazis in Germany?

  • Analysis

By: Ted Patterson

In Brief:

A new study suggests the flu pandemic of 1918 helped the Nazis take power in Germany.

The Background:

The New York Post reports:

Right-wing extremists such as the Nazis won a greater share of the votes in parts of Germany that suffered larger numbers of flu deaths during the pandemic that started in 1918, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The link held up even when researchers accounted for factors such as past right-wing voting, regional unemployment and a city’s religious and ethnic composition, Fed economist Kristian Blickle said.

Why It Matters:

History repeats itself.

Notable Quotes:

“The deaths brought about by the influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 profoundly shaped German society going forward.”

  • Fed economist Kristian Blickle 

Ted Patterson is editor of Republic Press.

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