Hermann Wilhelm Göring [also rendered as Goering] was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi party. He was founder of the Gestapo, and Head of the Luftwaffe. He notes that it makes no difference what form of government you have, you can always get the people to do what you want.
The following is from an interview with Gustave Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)…
Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
These statements were recorded in Gustave Gilbert’s transcriptions of conversations with many of the Nazi leaders during the War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg, and later published in Gilbert’s Nuremberg Diary (1947).