From: *~ ShiVaNi SaNnYaSiNi
Date: Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:35 am
Subject: [Trippy-Dippy-Hippies] ~*~ A Warning From A Nazi Survivor
About The Bush USA ~*~
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From: George Douvris
Date: Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:21 am
Subject: warning from a nazi survivor
To: Rev. Kolleen and/or Bruce Wheeler
The Bush Hitler Thing
t r u t h o u t / Reader Submission
Friday 09 January 2004
My family was one of Hitler's
victims. We lost a lot under the Nazi occupation, including an
uncle who died in the camps and a cousin killed by a booby trap.
I was terrified when my father went ballistic after finding my
brother and me playing with a hand grenade. (I was only 12 at
the time, and my brother insisted the grenade was safe.) I remember
the rubble and the hardships of 'austerity' - and the bomb craters
from Allied bombs. As late as the 1980s, I had to take detours
while bombs were being removed - they litter the countryside,
buried under parking lots, buildings, and in the canals and rivers
to this day. Believe me, I learned a lot about Hitler while I
was growing up, both in Europe and here in the US - both my parents
were in the war and talked about it constantly, unlike most American
families. I spent my earliest years with the second-hand fear
that trickled down from their PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]
- undiagnosed and untreated in those days.
I'm no expert on WWII - but
I learned a lot about what happened in Germany - and Europe -
back in those days. I always wondered how the wonderful German
people - so honest, decent, hard-working, friendly, and generous
- could ever allow such a thing to happen. (There were camps
near my family's home - they still talk about them only in hushed
conspiratorial whispers.) I asked a lot of questions - we were
only a few kilometers from the German border - and no one ever
denied me. My relatives had obviously spent a lot of time thinking
about the war - they still haven't forgotten - I don't think
anyone can forget such a horrible nightmare. Among the questions
Why didn't you do anything
about the people in the camps?
Everyone was terrified. People
'disappeared' into those camps. Sometimes the Nazis came and
lined everyone up, walking behind them - even school children
- with a cocked pistol. You never knew when they would just shoot
someone in the back of the head. Everyone was terrified. Everyone
was disarmed - guns were registered, so all the Nazis had to
do was go from house to house and demand the guns.
Didn't you see what was happening?
We saw. There was nothing
we could do. Our military had no modern weapons. The Nazis had
technology and resources - they just invaded and took over -
we were overwhelmed by their air power. They had spies everywhere
- people spying on each other, just to have an 'ace in the hole'
in case they were accused - and anyone who had a grudge against
you could accuse you of something - just an accusation meant
you'd disappear. Nobody dared ask where you had gone - anyone
who returned was considered suspicious - what had they said,
and who did they implicate? It was a climate of fear - there's
nothing anyone can do when the government uses fear and imprisonment
to intimidate people. The government was above the law - even
in Germany, it became 'every man for himself'. Advancement was
possible by exposing 'traitors' - anyone who questioned the government.
It didn't matter if the people you accused were guilty or not
- just the accusation was enough.
Did anyone know what was going
We all knew. We imagined the
worst because the Nazis made 'examples' of a few people in every
town and village. Public torture and execution. The most unspeakable
atrocities were committed in full view of everyone. If this is
what happened in public, can you imagine what might be going
on in the camps? Nobody wanted to know.
Why didn't the German people
stop the Nazis?
Life was better, at first,
under the Nazis. The war machine invigorated the economy - men
had jobs again, and enough money to take care of their family.
New building projects were everywhere. The shops were full again
- and people could afford good food, culture, and luxuries. Women
could stay home in comfort. Crime was reduced. Health care improved.
It was a rosy scenario - Hitler brought order and prosperity.
His policies won widespread approval because life was better
for most Germans, after the misery of reparations and inflation.
The people liked the idea of removing the worst elements of society
- the gypsies, the homosexuals, the petty criminals - it was
easy to elicit support for prosecuting the corrupt 'evil' people
poisoning society. Every family was proud of their hometown heroes
- the sharply-dressed soldiers they contributed to his program
- they were, after all, defending the Fatherland. Continuing
a proud tradition that had been defeated and shamed after WWI,
the soldiers gave the feeling of power and success to the proud
families that showered them with praise and support. Their early
victories were reason to celebrate - in spite of the fact that
they faced poorly armed inferior forces - further proof that
what they were doing was right, and the best thing for the country.
The news was full of stories about their bravery and accomplishments
against a vile enemy. They were 'liberating' these countries
from their corrupt governments.
These are some of the answers
I gleaned over the years. As a child, I was fascinated with the
Nazis. I thought the German soldiers were really something -
that's how strong an impression they made, even after the war.
After all, they weren't the ones committing war crimes - they
were the pride of their families and communities. It was just
the SS and Gestapo that were 'bad'. Now I know better - but that
pride in the military was a strong factor for many years, only
adding to the mystique of military power - after all, my father
had been a soldier too, but in the American army. It took a while
to figure out the truth.
Every time I've gone back
to Europe, someone has taken me to the 'gardens of stone' - the
Allied cemeteries that dot the countryside. With great sadness,
my relatives would stand in abject misery, remembering the nightmare,
and asking 'Why?'. Maybe that's why they wouldn't support the
US invasion of Iraq. They knew war. They knew occupation. And
they knew resistance. I saw the building where British flyers
hid on their way back to England - smuggled out by brave families
that risked the lives of everyone to help the Allies. As a child,
I had played in a basement, where the cow lived under the house,
as is common there. The same place those flyers hid.
So why, now, when I hear GWB's
[George W. Bushs] speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have
I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration?
Just one small reason - the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let
this happen again. It is better to question our government -
because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.
So far, I've seen nothing
to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course
as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the
possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism.
The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting
of international law and international standards of justice.
The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against
protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation.
The occupation of a hostile country. The promises of prosperity
and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement
to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government.
The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring
of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion
of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed
'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization
of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of
government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally
ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion
of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination
teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization
of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting
of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing
dissenters at rallies.
There isn't much doubt in
my mind - anyone who compares the history of Hitler's rise to
power and the progression of recent events in the US cannot avoid
the parallels. It's incontrovertible. Is Bush another Hitler?
Maybe not, but with each incriminating event, the parallel grows
- it certainly cannot be dismissed. There's too much evidence
already. Just as Hitler used American tactics to plan and execute
his reign, it looks as if Karl Rove is reading Hitler's playbook
to plan world domination - and that is the stated intent of both.
From the Reichstag fire to the landing at Nuremberg to the motto
of "Gott Mit Uns" to the unprovoked invasion and occupation
of Iraq to the insistence that peace was the ultimate goal, the
line is unbroken and unwavering.
I'm afraid now, that what
may still come to pass is a reign far more savage and barbaric
than that of the Nazis. Already, appeasement has been fruitless
- it only encourages the brazen to escalate their arrogance and
braggadocio. Americans support Bush and mass media sings his
praises while indicting his detractors - or silencing their opinions
completely. The American people seem to care only about the domestic
economic situation - and even in that, they are in complete denial.
They don't want to hear about Iraq, and Afghanistan is already
forgotten. Even the Democratic opposition supports the occupation
of Iraq. Everyone seems to agree that Saddam Hussein deserves
to be executed - with or without a trial. 'Visitors' are fingerprinted.
Guilty until proven innocent. Snipers are on New York City rooftops.
When do the Stryker teams start appearing on American streets?
They're perfectly suited for 'Homeland Security' - and they've
had a trial run in Iraq. The Constitution has been suspended
- until further notice. Dick Cheney just mentioned it may be
for decades - even a generation, as Rice asserts as well. Is
this the start of the 1000 year reign of this new collection
of thugs? So it would seem.
I can only hope that in the
coming year there will be some sign - some hint - that we are
not becoming that which we abhor. The Theory of the Grotesque
fares all too well these days. It may not be Nazi Germany - it
might be a lot worse.
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