Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Want to KNOW about Nazi Germany's REAL History? Go to REAL Germans!
Some bloggers on the Right it seems, are wedded to their 1950s Superman comics. You know, the ones where some super hero (Superman? Green Lantern?) takes on Hitler and the Nazis. That has to be the only explanation of where they dredge up their endless, unsupported comical bilge and codswallop - especially in seeking to conflate Nazism with Socialism or Liberalism. But what this lot really needs to do, if any of them can summon the energy, is to make a pigrimage to Germany and try to talk to actual Germans who were alive at the time of Hitler's short-lived Reich, or better, who actually fought in it! (I suggest they hop to it before the last of these die out!)
My good fortune has been that on two occasions - one in August of 1978, the other in May of 1985, I was enabled to meet and talk to actual flesh and blood Germans from the WWII era: one who had been a member of Hitler Youth (forced to at the point of a gun to his mother's head), and two others who had fought for the most fearsome army on the continent - the German Wehrmacht. At different times, they used their own photographs, films and archives to show me - a visiting American - just what Hitler and Nazis were about. Looking back, I'm glad to have had the opportunity, because it allows me to skewer any nonsense written now.
Let's look at some of the bollocks that has been written in a certain right wing blog:
1) Hitler believed TRUE Christianity had no place in his 1,000-year Reich, so he erected a figure of the Norse god Odin and urged Germans to celebrate the season as a holiday of the ‘winter solstice’, rather than Christmas.
The TRUTH: The German Protestant Church prevailed in strength, and as German author Konrad Heiden notes (The Fuehrer, pp. 497-98), this Christian Church demanded that only Aryans be admitted, especially to the ministry. (Note: writing or talking of 'real Christians' in the historical context- in terms of modern evangelicals - is baloney, since they were never more than a tiny sect at the time, known as "the German Church of the Brethren". Much of this research I owe to my wife, who tracked my own family lineage into three branches that all featured these "German Brethren". All amscrayed to America by the mid 1800s!)`
Heiden, an ex-journalist and the only author who was alive at the time of his writing about Hitler (1930s) also points out (p. 536) it would have been "foolishness" for Hitler or any German leader to have asserted "Christianity had no place" in his Reich! Indeed, Heiden observes that up to 1918 Germany was dominated by religious communities of some type. Unbelievers were as scarce as chickens with teeth! When Hitler arrived, the same religious communities continued only now under STATE sponsorship. I.e. the German Protestant Church became Germany's state church, analogous to the Anglican Church in England.
As for the Odin bit, that wasn't anything novel that started with Hitler, but always part of the Volkisch movement that had persisted in Germany since the Middle Ages. It extolled a kind of phony Aryanism and invested much of it in myths traced back to ancient Nordic origins. It also incorporated Christian rituals, such as the Passion Play at Oberammagau, in which the Jews were featured as "Christ killers". In other words, the Volkisch movement embodied a cultural anti-Semitism that had gone on for centuries, Hitler merely exploited it, partly out of pure laziness (he didn't have to create whole new themes and legends) and partly because German anti-Semitism had existed for centuries as a societal undercurrent (I even encountered some of it my 1978 trip to Germany when some Germans in Hemsbach questioned the "Jew ownership" of the American media).
The same goes for the "Germanization" Hitler sought, which was to create a single German mythos detached from all other European stock or memes. Thus, he emphasized the dramas of Frederich Schiller, the Operas of Richard Wagner, and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. These were MUCH more important and crucial than any "Norse gods"! Hitler was smart enough to know, like his chosen few (Goebbels, etc.) that he wouldn't be able to pawn any ancient idols over on a people who were among the most intellectual and talented in Europe. All my German friends concurred with this, especially Kurt Braun (see photo)in Frankfurt-Am-Main, who showed films of the Nazi parades and marches, as well as others of the S.A. beating up Socialists and Marxists in the streets.
Of course , liberals like to associate Adolf Hitler with the right because Hitler has been the historical villain in movies and TV for decades (a reputation Hitler richly deserves.) By liberal logic, anybody who is a villain in a movie MUST be a bad-guy.
This is what I mean by cartoon logic! In fact Hitler is associated with the RIGHT because he espoused FASCISM, which is RIGHTIST! In addition, as documented by Ian Kershaw in his magnificent account of Hitler’s rise to power (‘Hitler Nemesis’) is that the pre-Reich Weimar Republic constituted a weak democracy which had little or no control over the most radical Rightists, especially Hitler’s (actually, originally Ernst Röhm's) NSDAP party. They would regularly beat Marxists, socialists, and any leftists on the streets while holding up signs that read: “Tot dem Marxem!” (Death to Marxists!) Kind of a damned funny way to show kinship with REAL Left Socialists!
Now, if these geniuses who insist Hitler "wasn't of the Right" are correct, then WHY beat up on Marxists, Socialists and Commies of the LEFT? Huh? Kurt's films from his archives also showed the same thing! Hundreds of gangster S.A. (enlisted by Hitler) swooping in on a crowd of union workers, Socialists and Marxists and beating them half to death.
THIS IS HISTORY, ACTUALLY DOCUMENTED! If the American Right doesn't wish to be associated with this, I fully understand, but to try to revise history because you abhor the Rightist link is both pigheaded, and disingenous. Take ownership, then move on!
He goes on:
After all, who would want to be associated with a mass-murdering dictator who spread war, misery, genocide and tyranny? Certainly not the American right who made up the vast majority of the US troops that fought and died fighting against the Nazis.
This is more utter nonsense. For example, he just tosses this one out without a single validating fact! FROM WHERE, i.e. what journal or source did he produce this factoid? He doesn't say! He merely assumes most soldiers were of the "American Right". In fact, at the time of WWII service the preponderance (85-90%)of soldiers were from the political middle (unlike today, when most ARE from the Right, because Christanoid-ism has been interwoven with militarism, look at the AF Academy and their rituals the past decade, including the "heathens' run" - banging new cadets over the head with bibles if not "saved". Look at Gen. Jerry Boykin's famous and stupid remark to all Muslims that: 'My God can beat your god!')
Also, in those times, most American soldiers didn't eat, live and breathe politics and there wasn't the political polarization there is now, and has been since the Right had MLK and JFK killed (look up the architects, namely Haroldson Lafayette Hunt). Polarization didn't exist with political extremes because there was no "FOX News" to delude the mass of people, nor was there any Reich Wing Talk Radio such as from Lush Limburger and clones. People all gathered round the radio and got their news from the same sources (e.g. CBS Radio), and the same voices such as Edward R. Murrow. Thus, political division didn't exist as it does now. Sure, you had the German-American Bund in places like Milwaukee (who largely sympathized with the Nazis and Germany) but they were a small niche group and didn't join the military.
But again, the issue isn't whether the American fanatical Right "wants to be associated" with a mass murderer, but rather the historical facts about Hitler and his absolutely positive Right wing political bent! Kershaw again (‘Hitler Nemesis’, p. xxxiii):
“Leaders of big business, though often harboring private concerns about current difficulties and looming future problems for the economy, for their part were grateful to Hitler for the destruction of the left-wing parties and trade unions. They were again ‘masters in the house’ in their dealings with their work force”
Note carefully: It wasn't Hitler destroying right wing parties but LEFT WING PARTIES and TRADE UNIONS! THIS is why the German capitalists, such as Krupp, Volkswagen, I.G. Farben (infamous for later manufacturing the Zyklon B gas used in the gas chambers) etc. threw their lot behind him and provided the political ballast, without which he could never have become 'Der Fuehrer'.
As Dieter, former Wehrmacht soldier (see photo) put it:
"It was disgusting how far the big businessmen went to support Hitler! Had it not been for them I doubt he'd ever have been Chancellor or even gotten 15% of the vote in the 1932 elections.
Hans, the other former Wehrmacht soldier (who had pinned American troops down in the Teuotoburger in 1945 but didn't press the advantage) was more colorful:
"The Big Businessmen just kissed Hitler's ass! They wanted him in power more than a drunken sailor wanted a whore in shore leave!
Beyond all this, we now have very solid evidence, thanks to released FOIA files, of how close the Republican Party has been to the Nazis of Europe. We have to thank author Russ Bellant (Old Nazis, The New Right and The Republican Party, South End Press, 1990), for meticulously documenting how and when Nazi-SS elements and cliques infiltrated the GOP and insinuated themselves into the national political framework. (Which makes one wonder how many of their current policy formulations, e.g. Paul Ryan's Medicare "plan" are Nazi-based, or hatched originally by Republican Heritage groups.)
The key link are the Republican Heritage Groups, which attained major ascendancy after Reagan became president. Bellant notes (p. 4):
"In a sense...the foundation of the Republican Heritage Groups Council lay in Hitler's networks into Eastern Europe before World War II. In each of those Eastern European countries the German SS set up or funded political action organizations that helped form SS militias during the war."
He cites, for example, that in Hungary the "Arrow Cross" was the SS affiliate. In Romania it was the "Iron Guard". In Latvia, it was the "Latvian Legion". And members from ALL of these - and others - obtained passage to the U.S. and found a home in various groups after the War. Under the umbrella of the Republican Heritage Groups Council and later its "Ethnic Division". Their main purpose was in Republican campaign fund raising but they were also used for assorted "dirty tricks" against Democrats and may well have come up with the noisome plan to bargain with Iran to keep American hostages there, until after Reagan was elected (as opposed to Carter, in 1980).
No connection between the Nazis and American Right? Hell, they're freakin' bedfellows!
Now on to more bunkum:
2. As previosuly mentioned , Hitler hated Christianity...just like the SD's. Hitler would use religious symbols to manipulate people but in his own words and deeds, Hitler hated the Judaeo-Christian morality code.
And as I noted, this is bollocks. Hitler himself was a Christian, born and baptized a Catholic (whether this blogger calls Catholicism 'Christian' or not is immaterial, given that 99.9% of all religious scholars recognize it as the oldest Christian faith). Hitler also never renounced his Catholicism but even signed a Reich Concordat with the Vatican, through Eugenio Pacelli.
Further, if Hitler truly "hated Christianity" why did he not eliminate the German Protestant Church? In fact, it grew stronger than ever during the nine Reich years! Some theorize (e.g. Robert Payne in 'The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler', and Konrad Heiden in 'The Fuerher') because Jews or former unbelievers sought to join in record numbers for protection.
He does get one thing correct, that Hitler did use some PAGAN religious symbols to manipulate people. But this was not so much religious manipulation as political-psychological.
Hitler knew the psyche of the average German was at a nadir following the Versailles Treaty and all the war debts. (Germany was held almost solely responsible). He knew the only way to expiate that guilt was via a national resurrection, which saw the German people as staunch über-heroes as opposed to warmongering criminals. THIS is why he continually held pageants, with stirring speeches, and littered the airwaves and theaters with propaganda from Leni Reifenstahl. The aim was almost single-handedly to build German national self-esteem which the Versailles Treaty had demolished.
Moving on to more bilge:
3. Hitler loved big-government...just like the SD's. NAZI is a German acronym for 'Nationalist Socialist'. Hitler first gained power in elections promising 'hope and change'
Actually, 'NAZI' is an American corruption of the correct term, from the acronym: N.S.D.A.P. for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei and the party was founded by Capt. Ernst Röhm, NOT Hitler, as Konrad Heiden notes. (I thank Dieter for providing the correct acronmym and spelling). He also chose the name not because he was fond of workers or socialists, but because it was one of the few names not already taken! (Again, smart people don't go simply by party names! After all the Democratic Republic of North Korea is neither a republic nor democratic! DOH!)
The other aspects are more bollocks. For example, he insists "Hitler liked Big government" but avoids saying that Hitler liked it in the form that most of the Amerikkan Right does; to interfere in people's lives, choices and personal business! Thus, Hitler under the Reich Laws made it a capital crime to have an abortion (confirmed by Kurt!) Any woman, normal German stock, who did so was guilty of treason against the Aryan State and dispatched to a concentration camp. Hitler also forbade pornography, and history tells us that during the Weimar Republic, German porn had attained a reputation for diversity and out-doing all other forms on the continent.
By the time of Hitler's ascent it was all but wiped out, much like the American Right sought to do under Reagan with his appointed Attorney General- Edwin Meese- at the Justice Dept. Meese set up a "Pornography Commission" and determined it was responsible for sex crimes, thereby launching a crusade much like Hitler did after the fall of Weimar.
Moreover, under Reich laws all homosexuals could be sent to concentration camps, something the American Evangelical Right has also aspired to do, as noted by Joe Conason in his terrifying 'Playboy' piece With God As My Co-Pilot. Therein several hardcore fundagelicals are quoted concerning a desire to set up "concentration camps" in which to send "homosexuals, abortionists, atheists and pornographers".
Thus, the meddling of the American Right has always gone hand in hand with the sort of Big Government meddling of the Nazis. Oh, and the Nazis forbade all use of "controlled" substances as well!
We proceed to some more disingenuous tripe:
4. Hitler was obsessed with race...just like the SD's. The liberal movement of 'multi-culturalism' reduces people to their race and ethnic origin. The multi-culti teach that we are not Americans, we are African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Irish-Americans which flies in the face of traditional American culture
In fact, as both Kurt and Dieter affirmed (in my respective visits to Germany in 1978, and 1985) Hitler's preoccupation with race was chiefly to single out those who diverged from his vision of a SINGLE ARYAN race! Thus, he pointedly obsessed and ridiculed Slavs, Poles, Gypsies, Muslims and many others for opprobrium. In other words, he sought to build ONE uniform Aryan people and disdained diverse groups, the exact opposite ot what this guy claims! He reduced people to different ethnic origins to justify exterminating them! (Note: this blogger also shows an image of Hitler with an Islamic Mullah trying to make a generalization - through this image- that Hitler and Obama are similar. Of course, this is faulty logic, based on false analogy. Hitler despised Muslims as "Untermenschen" but never failed to make treaties with them if he believed he could garner oil, or other resources for the Reich. So the image proves nothing. The Obama= Muslim crap also basically died after he sent out Navy Seals to kill Osama. But maybe this blogger hasn't caught up yet!)
But Hitler saved his most ferocious attacks for German Marxists, Communists and Socialists - who he automatically consigned to "racial traitors, non-German, non-Aryan". (In most of Hitler's writings he asserts Marxists are Jews based on the fact Karl Marx was a Jew. In other words, he uses false or superficial associations to paint a case like this blogger does!)In one of his worst tirades, a radio speech on October 15, 1933 (from Konrad Heiden's book) he shouted:
These ruinous and inferior characters have succeeded in arousing a world psychosis
This was tied to those he perceived as "Jews" in the American press, working in league with communists and Socialists in Europe to spread rumors about Hitler and demonize him.
It also highlighted, as Hans pointed out, the fact that Hitler very dimly regarded the valuation of separate ethnic groups in Germany, on their own. He could not countenance or abide separate ethnics celebrating being Slavs, Poles, Greeks, Gypsies, or anything else different from the single "Aryan German" on which he built his Reich. Thus, his mindset was exactly LIKE this wingnut blogger's - who demands a single Aryan Amerikkan race!
We move on:
5. Hitler wanted to use government control as the instrument to create his worker's paradise...just like SD's. Hitler wanted more power to 'right the wrongs' suffered by the Aryan people at the hands of the 'villainous and exploitative Jews'. Just like liberal SD's demonize white Christian males,
Again, Hitler wanted NO "worker's paradise"! Why would he IF the capitalist German companies congratulated him for destroying the trade unions? Logic anyone? A worker's "paradise" is only possible if workers' benefits are available, and these only emerge when unions fight for them. This was totally disallowed under the Reich laws, as both Dieter and Hans pointed out. As Hans put it to me in May, 1985:
That was one reason I joined the Army (Wehrmacht). The ordinary jobs were so poorly paying across the nation, the work and hours so long and the benefits so few, that I thought I'd fare better in the Wehrmacht.
As for "righting the wrongs" suffered by the Aryan people, yes - up to a point. As earlier noted, the Germans were rendered the sacrifical lambs, or more accurately - the scapegoats of Europe after the First World War. Hitler knew he would never be able to build a Reich, 10 yrs. or 1,000 on such beaten people, still paying war debts. So he had to change the game. He did it by elevating all the German people (barring Jews, Slavs, communists etc.) to one conquering race he imagined (the "Aryans") and invented propaganda around it to resurrect the nation to an unrealistic level of expectation, but beholden to his will.
More rot, or is it tommyrot?
Hitler demonized the Jews as the cause of his ethnic group's problems and wanted to use the government to take 'affirmative action' against the Jews. This same ideal is taught by every left-wing cultural institution today, they just changed the target of their hatred. Instead of 'Jews' they target 'white Christian hetero males'.
More idiocy! In fact Hitler needed a national scapegoat, so chose the Jews for that purpose, but again, this built on a pre-existing Volkisch, anti-Semitic tradition! There was no "affirmative action" (which he uses in the wrong sense). What happened is that the Jews - like ALL Socialists, Communists, and Marxists- were dispossessed of their worldly goods and bank accounts. By 1936 virtually no German Jew (just as no German Socialist, or Marxist) could own a business, or even own a personal bank account. Worse, if sighted on the streets they risked terrible beatings by gangs of S.S. thugs. Communists were often killed on sight.
As for "white male Christians" they were at the TOP of Hitler's cadre in doing this! It was all those good white Christian men that joined the S.S. and took delight in beating in the heads of Jews, or commies, to make the Reich safe for Aryan babies. Hitler fed into this hatred, again, using the "Jew as Christ Killer" meme. (Which many American evangelicals also are honest enought to adopt when not praising Israel for being the site of the battle of Armageddon to pave the way for their Messiah's "Second Coming".)
Note, he also makes a specious comparison to what's going on today, implying that liberals (socialists?) want to dispossess "white male American Christians" of their jobs and give them to...blacks? That's a joke! Black male unemployment is at an all time high (~ 17%) nearly twice the white male rate! Moreoever, those blacks who are working earn some 50-60% less on average than a white with similar skills. Thus, the exceptional black earner is now rare in this context. We also see far fewer blacks able to go on to college, as university costs have skyrocketed and academic admissions boards are applying more rigorous standards and actually devaluing affirmative action in many places. Blacks are thereby left out in the cold!
Of course, he is correct that many white males are also left out in the cold, especially in college settings as their enrollment had declined. But who's to blame for that? As noted by numerous publications which have featured recent articles ('The Atlantic, The Economist, Mother Jones, TIME etc.) it is WHITE FEMALES who are now the beneficiaries! They now make up the majority in most university campuses, and also are now graduating at significantly higher rates than males. If he has a bone to pick, therefore, he needs to pick it with the women folk not "liberals" in general!
One more outright lie:
7. Hitler hated Jews...just like SD's.
Of course, the truth is we (democratic socialists) don't "hate" Jews at all. Why would we when Karl Marx himself was a JEW! (One reason Hitler hated him!) What we hate is white evangelical Christians using Jews for rapture fodder, and to justify and create vile narratives around their end of the world schemes- to pave the way for a Second Coming! Indeed, the evangelicals reserve an even more terrible fate for all but 144,000 special Jews - dispatching them to HELL!
More to come....