A more farfetched question is the hypothetical proposition of armed
Jewish resistance. First, they were not commonly armed even prior to the
1928 Law. Second, Jews had seen pogroms before and had survived them,
though not without suffering. They would expect that this one would, as
had the past ones, eventually subside and permit a return to normalcy.
Many considered themselves "patriotic Germans" for their service in the
first World War. These simply were not people prepared to stage violent
resistance. Nor were they alone in this mode of appeasement. The
defiance of "never again" is not so much a warning to potential
oppressors as it is a challenge to Jews to reject the passive response
to pogrom. Third, it hardly seems conceivable that armed resistance by
Jews (or any other target group) would have led to any weakening of Nazi
rule, let alone a full scale popular rebellion; on the contrary, it
seems more likely it would have strengthened the support the Nazis
already had. Their foul lies about Jewish perfidy would have been given
a grain of substance. To project backward and speculate thus is to fail
to learn the lesson history has so painfully provided.
The simple conclusion is that there are no lessons about the efficacy of
gun control to be learned from the Germany of the first half of this
century. It is all too easy to forget the seductive allure that fascism
presented to all the West, bogged down in economic and social morass.
What must be remembered is that the Nazis were master manipulators of
popular emotion and sentiment, and were disdainful of people thinking
for themselves. There is the danger to which we should pay great heed.
Not fanciful stories about Nazi's seizing guns.