Tag Archive: Germany


Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it..

-George Santayana

For the past week or so I have been seeing many Holocaust remembrance posts, like the one below, in my Facebook feed. We are urged to “Never Forget.” I wonder, however, if the people posting these remembrances truly understand what it means to “never forget.” As a Jew, whose grandfathers lost everyone they loved to Hitler and his henchmen, I feel as though the adage of “never forget” isn’t just a battle cry of “we’ll never let this happen to us again.” It is, or should be, I believe, more of a call to all those who have a unique understanding of the kind of devastation that hate, fear and anger can wreak on an entire group of people, simply because they are different, to never let this happen again – To anyone.

I believe, we should strive to learn from history. Never forget what happened. Never forget HOW it happened. Never forget that it happened because one man spewing hate-filled rhetoric chose a few minorities to use as a scapegoat to rally together a nation searching to regain its former ‘greatness’ into thinking it was okay to murder millions of men, women and children. It happened because a frightened and angry populous bought into that rhetoric because it was easier to believe that these minorities were the cause of all that ailed their country than the idea that they themselves were to blame for their misery.

In Hitler’s Germany it was the Jews, the Gypsies, the homosexuals and the infirm who were punished for the crime of not being “true” Germans  – even if they were born in Germany – even if their families had lived there for generations, fought in their wars and contributed to their society. The violence and hatred towards these minorities then fueled the German populous to be rid of these ‘inferior’ beings, not just those in Germany, but all over the world.

This violence and murder was fueled by one man’s quest for power – Nothing more and nothing less. This man spoke to the most base of the populous. To some, he spoke the gospel. He spoke to their deep seeded bigotry. Anti-Semetism has been around for ages. It still is. But there was a larger population of Germans who didn’t hate Jews.  They had friends who were Jews. Some of their children had married Jews. No one believed that this funny little man with the funny little mustache would ever really make good on his promise to get rid of the Jews. But little by little, like a cancer, the hatred spread. People were scared. People were hungry. People needed a scapegoat. Hitler gave them the Jews. People came to his rallies, enthusiastically cheering him on as he promised to “Make Germany Great Again.” There were even, despite all the evidence that he’d not be good for them, Jews who supported him.

All it took was one man who knew how to speak to the anger and restlessness of a country full of people who felt they deserved better, for no other reason that their prominent history dictated it, to cause the Holocaust.

The thing is, most people who have studied history KNOW all of this. We can look back and talk about Hitler and why and how he managed to get the German people, and many people from countries he conquered, to go along with his diabolical plans. And we swear, we’ll never let it happen again.

Each year we, the descendants of the survivors of that nightmare, swear to never forget. But I see way too many of these same descendants  allowing themselves to be swept up in hatred and rhetoric spewed against minorities in this country. I see the same people who post ‘never forget,’ regurgitate hate-filled rhetoric, reminiscent of all the anti-semetic propaganda of Nazi Germany, in reference to other minorities. These same people whose parents and grandparents suffered due to the ignorance and hatred of others seem to have no problem blaming others for their own misfortune and the supposed disintegration of ‘American exceptionalism.’

We should never forget. But more importantly, we should never allow it to happen to anyone else. Just because this time the hatred isn’t directed at us, (for the moment anyway), doesn’t make it any less heinous or any less dangerous. If we do nothing, we have learned nothing. We HAVE forgotten.  And this time? We are no better than the hapless Germans who didn’t hate the Jews, they just didn’t care enough to help them. This means this time, we would have to share the blame.

I’m not okay with the idea that a generation or two from now, I will have to answer for the crimes I permitted to happen because my people didn’t learn from their own history. I don’t want blood of the innocent on my hands.

You may laugh at my profound dislike of a certain presidential candidate. You may think he’s a joke or see his rhetoric and proposals as impossible. You may think his followers are no more than a bunch of ignorant morons who still hold KKK meetings.

And while it can be amusing to laugh at Donald Trump and his idiotic supporters, just remember, folks laughed at Hitler once too.

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Pastor Martin Niemoller

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Starting with the 2008 campaign season, and then again in 2012 (and in between…and after…and to this day), we, the American Public, have had to endure a myriad of “Obama is like Hitler” comparisons.  None of which ever made any sense to anyone who actually knew anything about Hitler, or Obama for that matter.

When he first started to gain traction,  Obama was called a ‘brilliant orator, just like Hitler.’ When Obama would visit schools, the children singing to him were viewed as being “indoctrinated” (in to what exactly was never made clear).  Some folks even tried to equate, erroneously, and ridiculously, the Affordable Care Act to Nationalist Socialism.  A fact checker, not even a good one, could have easily shot down any comparison  (sadly, the only popular organization ever to try to even look into all the stupidity was “The Daily Show” and, well, it’s audience just laughed at the whole thing anyway, because seriously, comparing Obama to Hitler is like comparing a human being with Putin).  They, and by ‘they’ I am absolutely referring to the Right, were grasping at straws with the whole Hitler comparison, and yet, they were very persistent in the attempt.

Just a quote from one of my favorite members of the circus known as the Republican Party in reference to Obama care:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. – Sarah Palin

So why bring this up now? With one year left, to quote Jon Stewart, Obama doesn’t “.. have that much time to take away Americans’ guns, declare martial law, and put hardworking Americans in FEMA camps..” I think Obama has proven he is not the anti-Christ, he’s not the devil, and he’s certainly not the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

I’m bringing this up, because now, with someone running for the Republican nomination actually sounding a lot more like a dictator than Obama ever could, I’m hearing nothing coming out of the Right, with any comparisons to this fucking nightmare of a ghoul they have foisted on us. Comparisons to Hitler (and yes, I will admit, it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to compare anyone to that murderous, mentally unstable despot who isn’t actually a murderous, mentally unstable despot..) that would actually be more legitimate than any made with Obama.

So does Donald Trump, candidate, for the Republican Nomination, have any similarities to Adolf Hitler? You be the judge

  • Like Hitler, Donald Trump is a charismatic character who most people view as a horrible joke. Surely he won’t be the nominee, let alone President, right? Yeah, that’s what folks thought of that Charlie Chaplain looking guy who kept yelling at them about a 1000 year Reich, and returning Germany to its former glory (“Let’s make America Great again” anyone?)
  • Germany, back in the late 1920s, early 1930s was going through a horrific economic meltdown. Instead of pointing the finger at the right place – a war started by the Kaiser (ruler) of Germany (World War I), essentially in revenge for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (and you thought that was just the name of a band huh?), which Germany lost horribly, and was forced to pay for all losses incurred during the war by the Allies – They wanted badly to blame someone, anyone else. The public needed a scapegoat. Hitler gave them the Jews. Similarly, the US, while currently, economically on the rise (because of Obama, not that he gets any credit for it), is still reeling from the meltdown of 2008. Instead of pointing the finger at that right place – Two wars (or was it three? I lost count) started by Bush, which we had to borrow money to sustain – Trump is giving us a scapegoat:  Undocumented immigrants, particularly those coming in to our country from Mexico. Go read a transcript of the propaganda used by Hitler in reference to Jews – He called Jews criminals, rapists, etc… You get my point here, I’m sure.
  • Hitler, once he rose to power, started to invade other counties, with the premise of “taking back what was ours.” Trump recently stated that he would not be opposed to sending US troops to attack Iraq and “taking over a lot of the oil and certain areas of Iraq… you take away their wealth, that you go and knock the hell out of the oil, take back the oil…” “Take back the oil?” as if it were ours to begin with? What right does he think the US has to go into ANY country and steal THEIR resources? How on earth could he justify that kind of an action?

I can go on (Hitler was often red-faced an yelling through his speeches -Trump is always red-faced underneath the orange glow of that awful spray tan, and speaking with a raised voice; Hitler loved to use kids as a propaganda tool – Trump took a bunch of kids for a ride in his helicopter at the Iowa State Fair, telling one of them he was Batman..), but I think I’ve actually made my point. If nothing else, this could be good fodder for the next time you’re sitting across the table from one of your knee-jerk Republican/Tea Party relatives (I have a few myself, and while I love them dearly, their ability to, verbatim, spew out the most factually inaccurate shit drives me crazy.. Thank-you mom for the education you provided me – Even if sometimes I use what I learned in school against you).

Besides, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? And the way I see it, dear Republicans, your goose needs to be cooked.  Oh, wait, Hitler didn’t like goose. He was a vegetarian..Maybe he and Trump aren’t that similar after all?