IHR Open House: A Memorable Event

News from the Institute for Historical Review

Food, drinks, spirited conversation and an informative talk helped make the first-ever IHR Open House an enjoyable and memorable event. Engineers, authors, businessmen, an attorney, a priest, a filmmaker, and a few teenagers were among the two dozen local friends and supporters of the IHR who met for the occasion at the Institute's offices in southern California on Saturday evening, Dec. 5, 2009. (Limited space and seating restricted the number of invitations for the event.)

At the IHR Open House

Two Institute staff members and two local supporters addressed the gathering. Director Mark Weber began by expressing appreciation to all those who had volunteered time and labor in recent months. These volunteers, mostly younger people, helped in moving to new offices in July, and since then at the IHR quarters. The July move is one of many measures taken during the past year to cut costs and make operations more cost-effective. Never before, Weber noted, have so many local friends volunteered so much time and effort.

The IHR's webmaster and volunteer coordinator also spoke, thanking those who had helped out in recent weeks. Then a local man who is also a member of the IHR's corporate board recalled his years of support for the Institute and its work. A businessman with exceptional networking skills spoke with verve and spirit about the importance of the Institute's mission, and called for contributions to sustain its work. He and three other attendees donated $400 during the evening.

Weber addresses
the gathering
A high point of the Open House was an informative and well-delivered talk by the IHR director on the origins of Hitler's National Socialist movement, and how it grew in 13 years of struggle before taking power as the nation's largest political party.
Weber cited comments by Winston Churchill about this remarkable achievement. The story of Hitler's efforts and rise of his militant movement, he wrote in 1935, "cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance, and the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all the authorities or resistances which barred his path." And in 1937 Churchill wrote: "One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."

Weber described the confusion, despair, social disorder and political unrest that plagued Germany during those years. He spoke of the hopes, motives and often great personal sacrifices of the millions of workers, students, middle-class citizens and young people who joined Hitler's movement. He also reviewed the fervor and vast scale of the historically unparalleled election campaigns that brought the National Socialist party to power in January 1933.

© 2005 Institute for Historical Review