Today we will concentrate on two bad men whose names constantly crop up in history. One, the first, was a Nazi leader in Germany, the second was a German-born President of a Latin American country.
Julius Streicher was born in 1885. Though it is difficult to believe he was once a schoolteacher. But he frightened his pupils by teaching them anti-Jewish propaganda. He also wrote at least three books for children with strongly anti-Semitic text. He used the periodical Der Stúrmer (which at one time he owned) to publish his virulent views, and probably because of this came to be noticed by Adolf Hitler.
He was appointed Gauleiter (Party leader) in Franconia, where his home town Nuremburg is in 1933, and stayed in this post until 1930. Hitler was amazed to see membership of his National Socialist Party double after Streicher decided to join forces with him and bring his own following (which was immense) with him.
When the Allies won the Second World War Streicher was arrested, imprisoned on charges of war crimes, sentenced and duly hanged. He was sixty-one, and had dedicated virtually all his life to the cause of anti-Semitism.
Alfredo Stroessner was the son of a German immigrant to Paraguay, in South America. As a young man he used his para-military skills to fight against Bolivia in the Chaco War (1932 – 35). He rose speedily through the ranks to become commander-in-chief of the Paraguayan armed forces in 1951, when he was just thirty-nine. He was also responsible for the removal by main force of President Federico Chávez in 1954.
Being a dedicated right-winger, Stroessner was supported by the landowning classes, and in return made it easy for them to operate huge haciendas at little cost. Nevertheless he used huge sums of foreign aid to develop schools, hospitals, roads and hydro-electric power using dams. There is always a ‘but’ and in his case it was that he was backed to the hilt by the army, and this symbol of the right-wing gave him a very bad international press image, just as a later President of Chile enjoyed an endearing press image because of his Marxism.
He was fond of special camps and totalitarianism, undoubtedly used torture against dissidents, and was genuinely guilty of harsh, draconic and repressive methods. He was born in 1912 and after being removed from power lived until the year 2006, dying in his bed with his boots off. He was ninety-four years old.