Those on the Left who seek to use “Nazi” or “Hitler” as a label in their bid to mischaracterize their political enemies rely upon one central assumption: that Hitler was the sole cause of anti-Semitism in Europe, and is solely responsible for the Holocaust.
In simple terms, without Hitler, such anti-Semitism would not exist.
By presenting this notion, the Left are able to wield a significant amount of rhetorical and metaphorical power. If the tipping point between peace and genocide can be represented by one villain, then their hyperbolic warnings are justified. Don’t vote for Trump, for Romney, for Bush! They are the difference between civilization and chaos!
Central to this claim, therefore, is the idea that Germany — and Europe more broadly — was nothing but a tolerant utopia prior to the rise of Nazism. Suddenly, with Hitler at the helm, the continent descended into madness, with citizens driven to a feverish level of racial and religious hatred.