Claim: Adolf Hitler once said, “To conquer a nation, you must first disarm its citizens.”
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2013]
I saw a post on Facebook that quoted Adolf Hitler as saying, “To conquer a nation, you must first disarm its citizens.” Did he say that?
Origins: This purported quote from Adolf Hitler about the disarming of citizens being essential to “conquering a nation” is frequently cited in discussions about gun control in the United States, but as far as we know no one has ever turned up a source documenting that Hitler literally said this (or something very similar).
Whether this quote could be considered “true” in the sense that it compactly paraphrases an idea that Hitler once expressed depends upon how one interprets its meaning. The book Hitler’s Table Talk,
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjugated races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjugated 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.
If the term “conquering a nation” in the original quote is interpreted to mean that establishing and maintaining oneself as the autocratic head of a country (as Hitler did in Germany) requires disarming the civilian population, then the Table Talk passage cited above doesn’t really
Last updated: 7 December 2015