1918 Pandemic Linked to Rise of Nazis, Study Shows
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In a warning for the potential political implications of coronavirus, a New York Federal Reserve paper has shown a link between the 1918 flu pandemic and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.
The study shows that cities with the greatest fatalities saw a reduction in social expenditure and that “influenza deaths of 1918 are correlated with an increase in the share of votes won by right-wing extremists.”
“This holds even when we control for a city’s ethnic and religious makeup, regional unemployment, past right-wing voting, and other local characteristics assumed to drive the extremist vote share,” economist Kristian Blicklewrote. “The deaths brought about by the influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 profoundly shaped German society.”
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