Take it from a German political scientist. As Sebastian Schutte writes at the Washington Post,
During the recent U.S. presidential campaign, a number of editorials compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. As Trump assembled his transition team, another round of articles likened his new chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, to Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
What do I as a German think about these comparisons? While Godwin’s Law tells us that any sufficiently long discussion will produce a Hitler analogy, this one cannot be shrugged off. Using it lightly is massively inappropriate, but ignoring real warning signs could lead to history repeating itself. Therefore, we need to take a closer look.
The comparison is certainly overdrawn if we consider how the two men came to power. Unlike Hitler, Trump never tried to seize power by force; he has not spent a decade calling for violence against entire peoples and nations; and he does not speak of building an empire beyond America’s shores.