Hoaxes & Rumors

Did Hitler Say “To Conquer a Nation, First Disarm its Citizens”?

Did Hitler Say “To Conquer a Nation, First Disarm its Citizens”?

A common – and controversial – quote attributed to Adolf Hitler states: “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” This quote is often cited amid gun control debates. Did Hitler actually speak these words?

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It’s unclear if Hitler spoke those exact words, but he did express the sentiment.

A variation of the quote often reads, “To conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens.”

A 2012 Newsday op-ed entitled, “Misinformation: Did Hitler say “one must first disarm citizens” to control a nation?” sought to dispel rumors that the quote originated from Hitler, offering its absence from internet searches as proof. While a direct citation does seem lacking, such absence neither confirms or denies the source of the quote. The original source cannot be found, Hitler or otherwise.

There are, however, verifiable Hitler statements which very closely echo the sentiment of the quote in question. These can be found in Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941-1944: Secret Conversations with the English translation copyrighted 1953 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Consider this often-cited passage, from Part Three: 6 February – 7 September 1942:

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.

There is another passage from the same book with perhaps an even closer resemblance to the quote in question. This quote is referenced on page xxxii of a preface of the 2008 edition from Enigma Books entitled “The Mind of Adolf Hitler” by H.R. Trevor-Roper. It isn’t clear whether this is a separate quote, or merely a different translation of the second sentence in the quote above. It states, “History teaches us that all master races have declined once they consented to arm the peoples they had conquered.”

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The quote in question is often accompanied by a date of 1933, although occasionally other years are also used. Again, we have no evidence of the direct Hitler quote, so the year included cannot be verified either. If, however, the quote was derived from those included in the Table Talk passages, then the year should read 1942, not 1933.

During our research, a few readers suggested to us that the quote may have been originally spoken by Nazi Propaganda Minster Joseph Goebbels, but once again there have been fruitless attempts to find the quote directly attributed to him or anyone else.

Another Theory

We did find one suggestion which put a new spin on the quote above. This quote read, “To conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens by re-inventing their collective memory of the past,” and attributed to Goebbels. If this is in fact the sentiment of the actual quote, then “disarm” takes on an entirely new meaning. Finding original sources or citations for this variant has been elusive.

1938 Nazi Gun Laws

If one looks closely at the quotes above, the quote in question, and the 1938 Nazi gun laws, it becomes apparent that the quote is most likely aimed at restrictions placed upon Jews at the time. The use of the word “conquer” likely didn’t refer to those citizens with which Hitler identified, but of a population he wished to vanquish, and to remove their rights to bear arms. In fact, the 1938 German Weapons Act actually lowered the age upon which German citizens could own firearms, but essentially stripped Jews of any rights to own firearms.

Google Trends

The chart below from Google Trends shows that interest in the quote began in July 2012, peaked in January 2013, and subsided by April 2013. The quote received a slight surge in interest in late 2015, but at a much lower volume than the surge of 2012 and 2013.

Bottom Line

We could find no evidence that the exact quote can be attributed to Adolf Hitler, nor could we disprove that he said it. If Hitler isn’t responsible for the exact quote, it’s possible that it was derived from words Hitler did speak, such as those cited above. It could also be the work of a very liberal translation, which is why finding an original source is so elusive.

It is likely that the context of the quote was directed specifically at Jews – perhaps as Hitler’s argument to remove their right to bear arms. History has shown that Hitler sought to conquer and disarm Jews, who were in fact banned from owning guns by Nazi laws passed in 1938, while Hitler’s own “master race” actually enjoyed more relaxed gun laws in the same legislation.

Your Turn

If you have any insight as to the origin of the quote in question, please drop us a comment below.

Updated December 7, 2015
Originally published December 2012

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  • lily

    Since I am not a gun owner, I don’t really follow the rules
    and regulations as they change or don’t change.

    But – every gun has a registration number. And if they
    don’t, first insist on that. Second, no gun can be purchased without a permit. Third, if a crime is committed
    with the gun, the owner will at least share in the guilt for
    the crime. So in other words, if you lend someone your
    gun, or give it to someone, or if you sell to someone without a permit, you will share in the punishable guilt.

    If your gun was stolen and later used to commit a crime, you need to inform the police that it was stolen – before the crime was committed.

  • Me777

    that’s what puppet Clinton wants

  • odiouscentipede

    There was an author who started this that stated this came from “Mein Kampf” this was a complete lie, so Hitler never said this at all he was too focused on achieving the master race. None any of history’s dictators ever said that. But one thing for certain is that the author did kind of summarize just how some dictators work.

  • Paul Spittle

    ‘Hitler didn’t write it….’
    No one would ever think he did.
    It was simply the collection of memories from people who had spent time with him and experienced his conversation, in an informal, relaxed setting.

    Stalin disarmed the Russians…..
    Now you’re just saying Black because someone else said White.
    Show some evidence.

    Trevor-Roper a disinformation agent, working for MI6 and the CIA (no doubt).
    Norma, you talk absolute nonsense.

  • Paul Spittle

    The vast majority of the UK population agree with their nations almost complete ban on personal gun ownership.
    Hungerford Massacre, 1987, led to many restrictions.
    Dunblane Massacre, 1996, led to many more.

    In 2010 the guy who killed 11 people, then himself, used his legally owned .22 target rifle (essentially a pellet gun) and his legally owned shotgun.
    You seem to think that, because there was still a mass shooting event (in 2010) the gun laws have been a failure.
    A 14 year long period of time without a mass shooting event – the Americans are doing well if they have 14 days without a mass shooting.

    I wouldn’t try to disarm the Americans.
    I would just stop allowing any more firearms to enter society.
    Then, over many years, I would slowly outlaw certain types and categories of firearm and ammo.

    Many people complain about ‘losing the right’ to own guns. But that’s a small right to lose.
    The right to LIFE,
    The right to not be gunned down by a lunatic,
    The right to feel safe on the street, in school, in a mall or theatre…..
    These rights are far more important than the right to own guns.

    As for the idea that armed citizens are the only way of protecting society from tyrannical government…..
    UK, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Spain, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand and a great many more places, maintain a democratic system of government, where the states leaders are chosen by the people, without those same people owning firearms.
    Places like Holland and Denmark are, arguably, the most honest democracies on earth – politically informed citizens, high voter turn out, efforts made to restrict lobby groups and the influence of big business/media,
    yet neither country allows the personal possession of most types of firearms.

    The attitude of ‘I will use my guns to maintain a political system I want’ has resulted in the murder of FOUR Presidents, in less than a century. And the attempted murders of several more.
    Ironically, the most tyrannical acts of recent governments have been overwhelmingly supported by the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ crowd (Homeland Security Act, Edward Snowden running for his life because he told the people how our government was spying on us, Julian Assange needing sanctuary in an Embassy, Guantanimo Bay, Enemy Combatant, Extraordinary Rendition, TORTURE, Illegal wars justified with lies to the electorate, Regime Change of foreign governments…).
    These people who claim their guns are a last defence against tyranny, do everything in their power to support the control of foreign states by military invasion (Colonialism/Imperialism), to support the harsh punishments of whistleblowers (Police state), to support the US military’s involvement in ANY and EVERY conflict (never criticize)…. Every month hundreds of innocent civilians are killed in US drone strikes. An estimated 90% of drone strike casualties are the ‘collateral damage’ of the actual target. But I never hear any of the Defence Against Tyranny crowd say anything.about this, other than to excuse or justify or even praise it.
    When there is actual, genuine TYRANNY, this particular group are its biggest fans. They LOVE Government tyranny.

    • Keith Pyne Howarth

      Spot On!

  • Hogarth Kramer

    The problem arises when people that share your beliefs try to force them onto the rest of us.

  • ray silver

    Hitler said quote;
    “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of there freedom at a time, to erode rights by a tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.
    In this way , the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed”.
    Americans began loosing their rights after day after 9 11.
    The uncomfortable truth is that, despite your guns many of the right given to you by the founding fathers are being or have been removed. So what are you going to do about it?

    • Randy

      The definition of “progressivism”

  • Virginia Liberal

    Thank you Norma. Education is always a good thing.

  • Virginia Liberal

    Hitler was speaking only of the Jew’s being disarmed, not the Aryan white Germans. His means were to directly suppress the Jew’s ability to fight what he was planning to do.

    • Abel Worker

      No, you have to think Hitler actually was going around and conquering nations, not just thinking in hypotheticals. The argument was whether or not to raise a militia from Ukranians loyal to Germany. Many generals thought it would help bolster the ranks and increase loyalty. Hitler, on the other hand, just saw them as slave labor. This was a huge reason his generals began turning on him. Most were not privvy to Hitler’s master plan and what little rumors they did get about the holocost, they chocked up to allied propaganda. The horrible treatment and underutilization of the people in conquered territories would be sited as one of the main reasons behind Hitler’s assassination attempt.

  • His Royal Majesty

    Dear Agent J,
    A great many of your so called gun nuts may have never touched a weapon until they reached boot camp. If the U.S. spends what it spends on DEFENSE then what should that tell you? If you follow the leader of the “free world’, then you would have to agree that in order to keep you, yours, your home and other ‘hard work’ aquired amenities safe you might want to be prepared to defend them. I believe in God, the church I grew up in taught us to watch as well as pray. History teaches us that some GOVERNMENTS have, will and do turn against it’s own people. What is the police response time where you live? My firearms instructor Kent Turnipseed once posed this question- How much damage could one person with ample ammunition and 3 minutes do? If you take a watch and time that saying bang,bang, bang every time you pull an imaginary trigger…you will find that a lot of damage can be done. If you don’t live in Beverly Hills where the response time use to be less than 3, do you really want to have to wait in the closet hoping they arrive in time? And what about the law suits where people sued for lack of adequate protection and the courts articulated that the police have no true responsibility to protect you as an individual. Isn’t it somewhat hypocritical to send our loved ones to foreign locations to keep the peace and ask us to remain at home without the ability to do so? Whether Black Budgets or tax dollars, isn’t hypocritical to bomb someone elses country and then want to give them aid to rebuild, providing the right person in installed and have people living on the street and in shelters in the “greatest country in the world.” Talk about PR, the greatest is 25th in education and 50% is probably low for the divorce rate. We the people have a lot of work to do, yet the incentive is being steer away from collective effort into individualism [see the Illumicorp Training Video]. We are lied to [see the video Ex-IRS Agent Tells It Like It Is] and then they want to make you think you are the crazy one. How is it that the Swiss government sponsors annually that all able bodied citizens keep up their shooting skills and the sheep in the U.S. are telling people to trust their very lives to someone us. Daily people are incarcerated for Murder, Rape of Women, Rape of Children, Bank Robbery and the like…has the sentence of long term incarceration or the death penalty stopped any of this…hmmm? I don’t want your wife or your daughter assaulted,by you, by home invaders, by a thug[s] walking down the street. Nor do I want a knife, machette, or a samurai sword weilding nut to attack you or your in Kmart and not one person has the balls to even throw can goods at him. I don’t want a van to wisk by and scoop you wife or daughter up and somehow get them out of the country unnoticed and sell them into slavery. So if I am trained, armed, vigilant and should a crisis occur ready, able and willing to suppress the wolf as a Sheep Dog should – don’t restrict me from the tools at which to do it.

    I am a good negotiator, I have talked people down and help prevent jumpers and others whom where at the edge of their wits. Yet, until the world learns to mediate, negotiation, to think through their issues and as the Bible says, “LOVE ONE ANOTHER” – then I for one would like the options of not just self-defense, but self-preservation along with other people whom given a choice would rather live in heaven or earth versus dying a cruel death. For those of us whom believe in Heaven and being at the right hand of God upon the last breath of this human experience…isn’t is selfish and hypocritical not to want the best outcome for you as well.

    Hitler it seems was not the only person who didn’t want the best for all people.
    Idi Amin it seems was not the only person who didn’t want the best for all people.

    I don’t want any person who professes to love people or the United States to become one of those persons who didn’t want the best for ALL people.

  • Knut Holt

    Many rulers think about this in even further extent: They also want to deprive people of deeper knowledge, and of means to keep themselves perfeectly healthy.

  • waffles

    Aside from questions regarding translation or editing, Table Talk is still considered authentic. It was only used as a peripheral source to cite similar sentiments to the quote in question, which has no reliable attribution.

  • odetocentipede

    Good grief. Do we have to “lawyerize” everything in today’s world and miss the forest for the trees?

    The sentiment of the use of the Hitler “quote” is that a disarmed population is powerless to stop what is done either to them or done in their name to others. The point is that the removal of firearms from good and law-abiding people only serves to give the advantage to law-breakers and would-be tyrants.

    Obviously Obama is not Hitler, neither was Bush, but subjugating ourselves and putting blind faith in the benevolence of government is foolish and does have long term consequences. The country was founded on individual liberty. The core question is whether the rights of individuals should supercede the “smooth” operation of the collective.

    Would your great grandfathers have meakly acquiesced to something as mundane as seatbelt laws, salt regulation, eminent domain, etc.. under penalty just because “government” said it is for their own good or because it moved the spreadsheet numbers closer to their ideal?

    As each generation is indoctrinated with a growing paternalistic state, the closer we get to servitude to the state. We get so far removed from liberty, we don’t even realize we have lost it.

    Firearm ownersip isn’t negotiable and IMO is critical for us to maintain some control of our own government and it’s political cabal.

    • keepsitreal

      I couldn’t agree more Odo. It seems this discussion has floated between whether or not Hitler said those exact words, whether it’s o.k. to say he did, and if taking guns before or after ones “people”(whoever may be defined as so) have been conquered gives any evidence as to their intent, while tip-toeing around the very reason the root of this quote sparks such intense discourse. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SYSTEMATICALLY BEING STRIPPED OF THEIR RIGHTS! (sorry to resort to caps) Although I’m unclear as to the position Dan takes within his post, I felt that the following statement made clear that what is happening now, to us, on our soil, to all races within, is not all that different.

      Dan says:
      “…Hitler had been passing laws for 5 years previous to that, slowly eroding the rights of Jews. Weapons ownership was one of the LAST rights he took away from them, and it was pretty clear that the Jews in Germany were pretty well conquered by the time 1938 rolled around.”

      I’m only 32 so can only relate to the most recent, very encompassing, progression towards the American peoples complete surrender to the dictatorship that pretends to fight among itself in order to avoid addressing any legislation opposed by the desires of the citizens it swore to represent. Correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I know no single legislative action has done more to strip us of our freedom than The Patriot Act. But now, in 2013, our congress can find so many faults within The affordable care act that The Patriot, and more recent Monsanto Protection, acts seem to mean nothing to the very officials we have supossedly chosen to represent us!

      I don’t know if I’m done but I’m sure I’m damn tired so I’ll just lay down and hope it was all a dream. Goodnight America

    • Virginia Liberal

      You are correct in some of what you say however the Second Amendment in this country does not address todays issue’s. What is different now is that people don’t want to remove guns, we want to control guns. The Government has the right to pass laws to control and monitor guns and the sales of guns across the country. Nothing in the Amendment prohibits that. Shall no be abridged had to do with allowing settlers to carry firearms in order to be able to defend against British invasions. The Second Amendment in todays world has no viable place. We now have a very well armed military and state National Guard. There is no need for guns under what the founding fathers envisioned. Since now have advanced 200 years into the future from the time that was written, then we should advance to a new system when repeals the Second Amendment and installs a permit system that all people who are eligible can apply and then all of the controls for keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people would be easier and the rest of us can enjoy our guns for whatever purpose besides killing.

    • Jim Kennedy Summers

      Historical facts are not “lawyerizing”.

      And anyway even the quote from Hitler’s Table Talk is not properly applied to the discussion because the discussion implies that Hitler was for disarming the German people while the actual Hitler quote is talking about disarming the people of nations Germany had invaded. In this case it is the equivalent of America invading Iraq and disarming the Iraqi people. However, whenever the Hitler gun quote is used in American political discourse it is always used by Conservatives against Obama or some other Democrat disarming the AMERICAN people and here is where the Hitler quote about disarming foreigners does not apply.

      • MidclassTaxpayr

        It’s still missing the point, which is that disarming people makes them vulnerable to a tyrannical government. It doesn’t matter who said it; it’s still a truth, and all oppressive governments in history have first disarmed the people they intended to oppress.

        • lily

          “Simple knowledge”

          If it is so simple why don’t you show some proof? Maybe
          you are just preaching to the choir, but not all of us
          necessarily buy into what you are saying.

          I would also add that there are forums around here that
          claim that every government is oppressive.

      • AnonymouseIsAWoman

        Hitler disarmed those Germans he considered inferior – Roma and Jews – and murdered them.

    • MidclassTaxpayr

      Just like the frog in the kettle of slowly heating water, we don’t notice what’s happening until it’s upon us.

  • Windy Wilson

    I have to object to the implicit idea that the German Jews were somehow not German. “Hitler made it easier for his own people to get guns”. His people then were not German Jews, German trade-unionists, German communists, German Gypsies, or anyone who did not support the Nazi goals. Hitler’s people then were the Nazi party members.

    • waffles

      There is no intention to imply that Jews were not German, but certainly Hitler did not consider them a part of the “master race” or one of “his own.”

      • Julia

        Methinks Windy is responding to other replies made to your column, where people repeatly state “Hitler only disarmed ‘Jews, NOT Germans’, making a false distinction.

        I agree with Windy: Hitler didn’t consider anyone who was not part of the loyal Nazi party to be “his” people, no matter what he said; his rhetoric changed over time until he was killing many, many people groups who had previously been ignored.

  • Danzig Panzer

    Funny how many people are so wrapped up in “WHO” actually is the author of said quote.

    The point is that the quote is deadly accurate. An all people of good conciseness should pay attention.

    The reality is that the Korperate / Goverment Amerika is bent on crushing all who stand in it’s way

    An a disarmed citizen body will most certainly be taken advantage of

    What you see the U.S. armed forces dish out to others around the world will be the same treatment given to the citizens of Amerika

    Either no gun or pro gun the truth has been spoken and I hope you take the warning seriously

    As your life hangs in the balance

    So if knowing who is the true author of a quote means so much to you
    Knock yourself out on this one
    But heed the warning of both, as the truth has been given to you, yet again

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

    • Abel Worker

      All you gun wavers want to complain about corporate america taking over yet you keep voting republicans, which are well known to be bought out by corporations. You’d argue to keep your guns while arguing not to raise minimum wage and tax cuts for the wealthy. So, if there ever was a civil war, whose side do you think corporates can count all you gun wavers to be on?

  • Ryan

    Ok, so from what I am reading in these comments and the article is, Hitler did not really say this exact phrase and he only disarmed the Jews that he wanted to conquer, so that’s why disarmament in his case was acceptable. Am I getting that right? That seems incredibly wrong. If you are arguing that, this time its different because its not just one portion of society, that may be true. However, there is a tremendous risk in disarmament. Personally, I believe with our mounting debt crisis, our high unemployment rates, our weak economy and rising inflation that is becoming harder and harder to make ends meet. I believe we are going to see a spike in our national crime rates. Our cities cannot afford more police. You better come up with an alternative for protection and self defense extremely quickly! Washington, DC and Chicago suffer from the most strict gun legislation in our nation. So far in 2013, Chicago already has more than 31 murders. Last year they had over 500. Biden has said that they do not have the manpower to enforce the current gun laws, so we need to add more gun laws to protect our children. More gun laws like Chicago? Everything Lanza did was already illegal in Conn.

    I would ask the reasonable people on this website to please go watch two videos (both available on Youtube) and I would love to hear your reactions. The first is called, “Gun Control: The History of Gun Control” and the second is a two part series called “No Guns for Negroes (Parts 1 & 2)”

    If you are uninterested, obviously I can’t force you to watch or listen. But I would be interested to hear reactions from those who are reasonable and willing to have an open mind.

    • BurfordHolly

      He said don’t occupy a country without disarming it, which is what the US did when it occupied Germany and Japan. He said disarm a country after conquering it, just like we do. The thing he wanted to conquer was France.

      Germany was confiscating everything from the Jews by 1938 – property, bank accounts, whatever. If they had guns the Germans would have confiscated them for the war effort, especially any rifles. There were many jews who were loyal patriotic German soldiers in ww1, so they probably had some guns.

      • Abel Worker

        When we occupied Iraq this last time around, we didn’t disarm the people. To the contrary, we armed them. Look how well it turned out.

        • Hogarth Kramer

          So, Hitler was right.

  • BurfordHolly

    Also by 1938, the Jews were already effectively noncitizens.

    The terror started in 1933 with the Enabling Act and the killing of trade unionists, then in 1934 there was The Night Of The Long Knives where the “socialist” Nazi Strasserists were massacred (not Marxist Socialism BTW), the 1936 Nuremberg laws that barred Jews (and part Jews) from most professions and marriage. By 1938, the German people had already suffered 5 years of brutal purges and many dissidents and Jews had already been slaughtered.

  • BurfordHolly

    Also, the real quote:

    “……History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing…..”

    Which says that you take the people’s arms AFTER you conquer them.

    This is what every occupier does, including America. So unless wingnuts want to compare the US Army to the SS because it takes guns in occupied countries, that doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • Jules55

    We in the civilized world look on in amazement at the so called “freedoms” you enjoy in the US. You allow your children to be murdered wholesale and you stamp your feet when anyone proposes a limit to your toys. I know that if I had had a gun in the house in the past, it would almost certainly have been fired at least once. That is the nature of humans. There are far too many morons with high powered weapons running around squalling that the President is a spoilsport. I pity him, he’s got no chance of anything meaningful coming out of this latest series of unholy wars against the young and the unarmed. Look at yourselves America – we laugh at you for your lack of understanding, but it isn’t funny.

  • Rex

    Hitler, not Butler, my phone and its blasted auto correct. Sorry.

  • Rex

    I agree with the fact you can’t prove it was Butler, stop saying hitler said it until proven otherwise. He relaxed gun laws for his people only the Jews were stopped from possessing guns. Mow on to the who gun control issue, 320 million Americans, roughly 280-300 million guns you do the math. The proposed gun restrictions and/or bans are on new assault rifles not ones already on the market or on the streets t
    , how are they coming for your guns here. Out of the 23 executive actions of the potus, only two have anything to do with stricter gun regulations. Most of them are about tougher screening and better record keeping as well as getting rid of gumshoe loopholes, again how is they coming for your guns. America has more privately held guns then the next 17 countries combined, how is this an assault on the 2nd amendment and how are they coming for you guns??? Its not the second amendment they are attacking it is our liberties and our right to privacy. All of the pro gun people are letting the government get you where they want you and where they want you is not paying attention to what they are really taking from us and you keep falling for it. Talk about them taking our guns when they have taken a few million off the street until then keep your paranoia in check , it’s not flattering. One more thing all presidents are responsible for tons of death and murder so if one is hitler, I geuss they all are , you don’t get to pick and choose along party lines and if they were hitler , why are they nit rounding us dissenters up and shipping us off because hitler took the dissenters, freethinkers, and political rivals out first and last I checked if that was true most of us would be gone as would most of Congress and any politicians that were not in his party. I understand if you don’t like or even hate the Pres but seriously hitler he is not. Peace to all. Sorry for any errors, I’m on my phone.

  • Patriot

    It seems highly likely that he would have said it—Just like the other crazies that killed over 260 million people died at the hands of democide—But yeah, all dictators prefer an armed opposition as opposed to unarmed pacifist liberal sheep—If I were a committer of democide I could prolly pack a 1,000 unarmed liberals into an oven in a single day, and still get home in time for dinner, but It would be far harder to put a single well armed patriot in the same place—-Bah Bah Bah—-Rock on sheep!

  • Ken

    It is possible that this quote (if Hitler actually said it) may have been lifted out of context. He may have been giving a speech complaining about the restrictions imposed upon the Germans by the Treaty of Versailles after WWI. Due to this treaty, the Weimar Republic had to confiscate the guns from the German people. In 1928, they relaxed the gun laws a little bit (required strict licensing requirements etc. instead of the outright ban on gun ownership) Perhaps it was around this time, in support of this new law that Hitler may have said something to the effect of this quote. He was not in power yet, but he was active on the political scene.

    In 1938 Hitler relaxed the gun laws even further (except for the Jews… gun ownership was one of the many rights he deprived the Jews of). So, while the gun laws in Nazi Germany seem tough, what they were doing was gradually chipping away at the ban imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

    • BurfordHolly

      Also he published Mein Kampf in 1927, and there was nothing in there about guns, but he wrote about every other thing imaginable.

      • Jim Kennedy Summers

        There was nothing in there about his love of removing guns either.

  • 2ruth matters

    I find it interesting that no matter how a blog starts out, it almost always degrades to name calling and verbal brawls. Does anyone understand that this only makes your opposition dig in their heels for being attacked and it solves nothing. IMO is that an exact quote isn’t the argument nor is who Hitler indicated be included in the weapons confiscation. Once you disarm A people, they become helpless which was Hitlers goal. Unfortunately, even though many can’t see the underlying threat right now, by removing the ability to defend oneself in an effort to make everyone safe is a most dangerous illusion. The history of man simply does not bear out that scenario. Power corrupts isn’t just a saying, it is fact. I’d also like to point out that the new meaning for “tolerance” has somehow been changed from respecting someone else’s differing beliefs or opinion on something, to not being able to hold a differing belief or opinion about something and applies to EVERYONE and to think otherwise is “intolerant”. Semantic change.. Gotta love it!

    • WordsfromWags

      This is on point. Thanks 🙂

  • The Mad Zak

    This article says that it would not call this quote false because Hitler showed he agreed with this sentiment. I disagree with that assessment due to the context in which the quote is used.

    The quote is often used in gun control arguments on websites. It implies that to conquer a nation from within the powers in charge would first begin to take away the guns. The quotes in this article that we can factually attribute to Hitler discuss oppressing people after they have been conquored.

    This may seem like a minor detail, but it makes a big difference when you put it in context of a discussion on the 2nd Amendment. Of course Hitler or any other dictator that conquors a nation and controls it through force will object to arming its citizens. Is that not logical?

    Under Hitler Nazi Germany actually eased restrictions on guns. The Jews living in Germany were not allowed to own guns, but the other German citizens found it easier to obtain a gun.

    Since the quote cannot be validated as coming from Hitler, and since Hitler did not follow this practice in rising to power or maintaining power in Germany, the quote must be labeled “False”.

    • waffles

      Thanks for your comment. The article does state that the quote is used out of context and that Hitler eased gun control restrictions on his own people.

      • Dan

        While you were saying that the quote, if it existed, could be in reference to the 1938 Weapons law, you do not mention that Hitler had been passing laws for 5 years previous to that, slowly eroding the rights of Jews. Weapons ownership was one of the LAST rights he took away from them, and it was pretty clear that the Jews in Germany were pretty well conquered by the time 1938 rolled around. Given that Hitler never practiced this quote, it’s probably derived from the Goebbels quote, and of course the irony inherent there is that what Goebbels says (which is consistent with Nazi philosophy) is exactly what people are doing in manufacturing these mis-quotes.

        • Julia

          I find it interesting that people keep saying, “Hitler didn’t disarm GERMANS, he disarmed JEWS.” Isn’t that like saying “We’re not disarming whites, we’re only disarming hispanics”?? The Jews in question were living IN GERMANY…they were citizens. They were part of the country.

          To say that Hitler’s quote (or his action) about removing gun rights from a select part of the German population isn’t comparable to “today’s” gun control today in our nation is a bit misleading.

          Hitler took away the rights of part of the citizens of Germany…he then proceeded to exterminate them. When I see rights in our country being extended towards some–and withdrawn from others–I can’t help but make the connection.

  • Showtime

    Of course you can’t prove he didn’t say it, you can’t prove a negative. But if you find no proof that he did, then there is no reason to believe he did. What seems evident to me is that the use of this quote, no matter its source, appears to be a misleading paraphrase of what Hitler actual beliefs were in order to demonize gun control advocates in the US.

    • Daniel

      Well, it is important to note that it is not impossible to prove a negative. It’s just harder. If we knew every word Hitler had ever said, we could prove the negative. I feel like the inability to prove a negative is a common misconception. In any case, I could be argued that he view of disarming Jews to take away their power and protection, is similar to abolishing our gun rights taking away our power and protection. Though to some extent you are correct that it is a little out of context.

      • Phil

        Using your logic, it’s possible to prove he never said it if, and only if, we could find every word he ever said. That’s in any meaningful sense impossible. That is, to prove a negative you need to know every case of the issue in question. That’s why it’s impossible to prove a negative.

        • Windy Wilson

          As they say, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, unless you’re trying to win a Motion for Summary Judgment.”

          • Jim Kennedy Summers

            This stuff is like saying just because we can’t find a Bigfoot doesn’t mean Bigfoot isn’t real, but history doesn’t work like that, without the quote it doesn’t exist. So what exactly is the motive here? The need of right wingers to tie Hitler to Obama! That’s pretty much the entire agenda here and history doesn’t exist to help them smear Obama, history couldn’t care less, it deals in facts and only facts.

        • Jim Kennedy Summers

          Because you need to continue to hold magical beliefs about what people might have said which conforms to your political ideology? That’s not how history works.

  • waffles

    Thanks for your addition to the discussion, plus a well-stated assessment of our objectives. 🙂

  • agent j

    I only recently found your website. I am a regular viewer of the doubtfulnews site. There was a link to your site. I read this article and could not but feel the author(s) were not seeking the true source of the controversial quote. It appears from the text the article is walking a PR tight rope. I would suggest that if the quote is not sourced properly, be it as a deliberate misquote for whatever reason, or simply because the source has yet to be located, then the NRA is engaging in a campaign of deception. The concern for this reader is not guns/arms/ammunition and the ‘rights’ thereof. Instead, it is the source of the quote. Moreover, I am wondering why the article did not state it’s position clearly. The quote cannot be sourced as it is. Therefore, it should NOT be attributed to anyone. I would recommend making a stand that is firm and clear. Not a stand that seeks to avoid offending anyone, be they academics, casual readers, or gun crazy nut bars who see an enemy in every shadow and in every eye blink.
    agent j

    • waffles

      There is no “tightrope” when discussing this quote. There are several things to present in such a discussion, which we have done. Consider:

      There is no evidence of the source for this quote, Hitler or otherwise.
      Hitler DID express some similar sentiments, but he was not speaking of conquering his own people.
      The Nazi’s actually relaxed gun laws for Germans while restricting them for Jews.

      If there is a “stand” to make, it appears that the article attempts to do so, that being:
      We don’t know if Hitler said it, and Nazi gun control was primarily aimed at those Hitler wanted to conquer, not his own people.

      • nopropforwords

        Personally I find the reference of Hitler to any AMERICAN offensive. However, in researching this myself I came up with not any more conclusive information…I do feel the connection of this quote if actually sentimented by Hitler, would more closely be related to the people (JEWS) he sought to destroy and NOTHING TO DO WITH GUNS. This is what I find disgusting when factual words are taken out of context and skewed…This man was a murderer and no American should ever be compared to him…If that is how anyone feels they should find someplace else to live…

        • Murray Smith

          Where would you suggest? Pakistan? What rock do you live under? Obama is already the Adolf Hitler of the 21st Century … a murderer.

          But hey . . . God bless AMERICA reicht?

          Yours is the most offensive country on earth, literally!

          • Emmy

            This must be the most absurd comment I’ve ever read. As if there are no murderers in America. As if our president doesn’t send drones to the air space of other countries and boasts that he’s only killed a few women and children to get the bad guy. I’m STUNNED at the level of idiocy in this world. That one could say did hitler say “to…one must first disarm citizens..” Rather than ask did hitler did hitler disarm those he sought to conquer!? Which is more important? That he said it? Or did it? If he did it, then who cares if HE SAID IT!!! Absolutely AMAZING that we put more stock into what dictators say, rather than what they did. The same with Stalin! Is it important as to whether or not he said (to paraphrase) “America is like a healthy body, with its resistance being patriotism faith and morals, if we can undermine these 3 things America will collapse from within” that we debate whether or not he said it while remaining blind to the fact that America’s faith, patriotism, and morals have been undermined and we are now on the brink of collapse! The whole summation of communism are these two quotes attributed to these two communists and you sit here debating whether or not they said it. They (as in communists) DID IT! They’re doing it NOW! And you strain at the gnat of whether or not they said it, while swallowing the camel of the fact that they DID IT! And ARE DOING IT! MORONS!

        • Capt. Obvious

          Richard Ramirez was also an American. Just because someone is an American, this does not make them a good person, this does not make them any better than anyone else, and it certainly does not mean they can not be every bit as twisted as hitler. They may not be as successful in their twisted ventures, but they are still just as dispicable of a person. So go ahead and be offended, I’ll stop comparing certain Americans to Hitler, when they stop acting like him.

    • Painter

      Swearfinger said, “Point blank, he took guns away from Jews then murdered millions of them. Exactly what is going on here in the US.”

      Really? You’re xenophobic and paranoid. Independence Day was a movie. Go watch another one while you enjoy your freedoms but complain how you have none.

      • Robert

        Less than 1% of the Jews that died in gas chambers, fire pits or died because of starvation were affected by Hitlers “Gun control.” So, to say that Hitlers “Gun control” led to the deaths of 5.7+ million Jews is delusional at best.

    • Bozo3333

      The brown shirts were right-wing, Skippy.

      • Windy Wilson

        Exactly what were the differences between the International Socialists and the National Socialists except the snappyness of the uniforms and the way the National Socialists allowed private ownership of things but regulated every aspect of that ownership, so the government effectively owned the things regulated?

        If anything, Presidents Bush and Obama are our Weimar Presidents. Laws have been enacted that can be misused. The fact that they have not yet been misused does not mean they cannot. Research the Red Scare and the Palmer Raids and get back.

    • BurfordHolly

      Hitler slaughtered the Nazi “socialists” in the 1934 Night Of The Long Knives.

      They were not Marxists, they were the Strassers who wanted a military junta run by the “Junkers” (the hereditary military officer class). The Nazi “socialists” were probably a lot more like our modern GOP – religious military minded status quo types. Hitler killed them because he wanted his race based conspiracy theories.

      Of course Hitler also wanted to crush the trade unions which were the base of his opponents the Social DEMOCRATS.

      Anyway “socialism” had nothing to do with the germany that fought ww2 or the death of the Jews, well except that Hitler swore he’d kill the Socialist Jews, and he did.

      • Windy Wilson

        But it started as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The 1920 platform wanted all sorts of social programs funded by the state and also including policies to encourage fuller employment.

        • Allen

          The key word in your statement is “GERMAN”. If you don’t get it I’m sorry for you.

    • Michele

      You are without an argument – just all over the place, distraction doesn’t equal anything.

      Calling fellow citizens “you people”, and defining them by your opinion makes it impossible to have any reasonable discourse with you. This is the problem we have in our country right now and until people stop putting up walls, name-calling, and acting like jerks to one another, we are going to crumble.

      As for slippery slopes, this idea, gleamed from Hitler or Mother Theresa or whomever, seems to be exactly that. Everything is much more complicated than a couple of sentences.

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