|Posted: 12/7/2012 8:09:51 PM|
Adolf Hitler = well-known vegetarian! I usually open with that...
Anyway, I'm sure it's been brought up before, but it wasn't all that weird that MANY people joined the Nazi party between 1927-1939. The country was in a horrible depression, and here comes this charismatic guy who has what on paper sounds like a good idea to get out of it (this before all the 'war stuff' so to speak). Party officials literally had open-house meetings all over, where free beer was served, so you can imagine how poorly attended those were! People signed up because they wanted free beer, and...change. (And before anyone jumps on me as a Obama-hater, I assure you I am a lifelong moderate Democrat.)
As for Hitler's eugenics ideas, etc, it may surprise people to know that he modeled his plan after the eugenics studies being done in the GOOD OL' USA. We are HARDLY innocent in that light particular light of day!
Has anyone seen the episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian are on the open-air German tour bus flipping through the guide book, and Brian complains that "Why is there nothing in here between 1939 and 1945?" and the guide insists "We were all on vacation!" That's not a joke. We have a German friend who was very reticent on communications with us for a long time, even though we encouraged her and email her often. Finally she asked us what she deemed a personal question, and this was it: "Do Americans today still blame us all the time for everything that happened in the war?" She meant, like, in everyday conversation. We were absolutely floored. She had been ashamed to talk to us, because she was afraid we disliked her for that! Holy cats! After we reassured her that there were PLENTY of other topics that Americans have on the front-burner, she explained it thusly:
Germany and German people in general today are so crushingly ashamed of what happened, they don't even like to acknowledge it.
According to her, the guide book joke from FG is pretty much based on reality. She and her immediate family recently found out the truth her own grandfather was a camp tower guard and a member of the SS, and the family is in a state over it. They don't talk about it, not over wanting to hide the truth, but out of SHAME. We just reassure her that we are her friends and can't wait to meet her someday.
So, I don't immediately damn someone because they were a Nazi. It was NOT UNCOMMON AT ALL that many Germans joined the Nazi party, because, in a very general nutshell...
They were sick of the way that their government was handling the current woes of the country, and some charismatic guy and his cronies came along with what sounded like a good and viable idea, so he was put into power.
Any of that seem familiar? THROUGHOUT HISTORY?!!
There is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.
What happened was beyond horrible. I completely acknowledge the victims and their families. I do not want anyone to forget it, lest history repeat itself. But...what will this deportation do? Does it bring anyone back? Does throwing a shamed elderly man out of the USA really satisfy someone's primal need for revenge?
Anyway, it's a difficult topic for everyone concerned. But knowing ALL of history, not just the shiny parts, helps put it in perspective.