The Wednesday Rant.
August 16, 2017 | Posted in:General
As fate would have it, I am smack dab in the middle of writing a book, or perhaps the better way to say it is that I am co-creating a literary work from bits and pieces of thoughts and text scattered over nearly four decades of unfinished fiction, based on the real-life experiences of an 88-year young woman who grew up under Nazi rule in Germany.
I took this project on months ago, long before a crowd of disenfranchised white people bought out all the patio torches they could find and exercised their “right” to free speech in Charlottesville, doing what disenfranchised people do best.
Put their pain on others in any way, shape or form they can.
“Disenfranchised:” To deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity.
If the right combination of elements and circumstances are present, mixed in with an overdose of blame, shame and guilt, add in a warped belief that someone different than you is responsible for your lack of “privilege” then you have all that is needed for the laundry list of hate to be complete.
Then they get into small groups and talk about how “the other they” held them back or down, that the color of their skin, religious or political beliefs or ethnicity is the cause for all your problems. After a few more meetings the snowball of shit gathers up more and more low-self esteemed white men (and women) that now have a feeling of “belonging” like any other gang and decide to “vote in” the source of their relief the one with the answers to their internal suffering and angst.
Basically, that is how it all began in 1933 with the appointment of Adolph Hitler as chancellor of Germany and the beginnings of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP.)
One person emerges as the embodiment of all the venom that can be barfed up and becomes the ultimate symbol for a movement which if left unchecked grows like a case of human herpes.
Then you end up having to deal with 5’8 Austrian high school dropout with serious mother issues that once fell in love with a Jewish girl but was afraid she would reject him so he never asked her on a date. Perhaps it might have been because he only had one testicle and later tried injecting himself with bull semen (before Viagra) in order to get a boner. That same guy abstained from “the ravaging effects of alcohol” but instead consumed up to 80 different drugs a day, one of which was pervitin, is basically what we now call crystal meth.
He was the self-appointed and self-anointed Führer. You know the kind of guy you want to emulate. The “Ultimate Aryan” ended up blowing whatever scrambled eggs of a brain he had left out with a revolver before he could be brought to trial for crimes against humanity.
So, there I was on Saturday morning, researching and writing about “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass) that was put in motion when on November 7th, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Polish Jew, assassinated the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris in retaliation for the expulsion of his parents from Germany. When vom Rath died on 9 November, the Nazis used his death as a pretext to instigate a pogrom against the Jews in the Third Reich. Although the Nazis claimed the pogrom was spontaneous, it was actually planned and ordered by Hitler and his wannabe sidekick and pindick Goebbels.
Over 7,500 Jewish shops and more than 1,000 synagogues were either damaged or destroyed.
According to the Nazi’s-the death toll was officially given as 91, but turned out to be around 300 men, women and children.
30,000 men were sent to the Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.
A decree on November 12th barred Jews from most of the remaining occupations that they had not yet been banned from. After Kristallnacht, Jews caught in the Third Reich stepped up their efforts to leave the country. It also marked the end of any sort of public Jewish activity and culture and the beginning of “The Holocaust.”
Under Hitler’s leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed Untermenschen (sub-humans) and socially undesirable. Hitler and the Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II. The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in warfare; the casualties constituted the deadliest conflict in human history.
Seventy-nine years since “Kristallnacht” and what have we learned?
Humans will push aside common sense for uncommon favor. As long as my ass is covered and not threatened, we’re good. If my 401k is doing great, gas prices are down that is the extent of my concerns. Politicians will allow for all sorts of disruptive behavior in order to have their own agendas fulfilled.
If it fits my internal narrative and prejudices, no big deal.
When you squeeze oranges, you get orange juice- totally predictable outcome. When you squeeze humans all kinds of shit gushes out, the good, the bad and the ugly. The good helps you keep the faith, the bad teaches you a lesson, the ugly is the result of lessons that have been forgotten.
On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot by an illegal immigrant named Juan Francisco López-Sánchez. López-Sánchez fired a .40 caliber handgun on Pier 14 in San Fransico. The bullet ricocheted off the pavement, then struck Kathryn Steinle in the back, causing her to die two hours later at a hospital. López-Sánchez, a Mexican national, was arrested and charged with her murder.
Then candidate Trump cited the murder as a prime example of why a wall needed to be on the Mexican border to keep out what he claimed was the greatest threat to the American people.
So, two years later, when a legal resident of the United States uses a Dodge to mow down a crowd-not unlike ISIS-killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was the same age as Kathryn Steinle, it’s not about the Neo Nazi in the car who pressed on the gas pedal.
This time, according to now President Trump, all sides are to blame in this one.
For those of you who continue to be outraged by the behavior of Donald Trump, he showed you and told you exactly who he was and is for at least 18 months. For those of you who thought that somehow by sitting his backside in the Oval Orifice that “God would change his heart” you should consider finding a different church. For those of you that think he is being picked on “more than any other president ever” and should “be left alone so he can do his job” should read a history book.
Every single president has been dissected, chopped, sliced and diced no matter what party they represent.
But that is asking a lot. It’s easier to watch a highly produced reality show that makes someone look presidential because he fired some celebs in a studio boardroom.
Our current POTUS has claimed on more than one occasion that he can “be as great a president as the great Abraham Lincoln.”
The real Abe Lincoln said “Nearly every man can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.”
To be clear, at least for me, this isn’t really about Trump or politics but the fact as I have been spending time with someone who was there when Hitler was able to start with a small group of people and capitalized on their fears to become the most hated man in history and to still see swastikas in our streets all these years later should be a warning shot across the bow.
Or we can just ignore it and hope it goes away, cause you know…that works.
As a veteran I stand with those who went to Omaha Beach, to the “Battle of The Bulge” to the Occupation of France and from every skirmish, dogfight, hand to hand combat and sea battle, millions of Allied soldiers lost their lives to halt the Nazi threat from spreading.
Now they march down the street in Virginia carrying patio torches bought at some Big Box Store chanting “We will not be replaced by Jews.”
The 9,387 white crosses at Normandy should mean more than just a “thank you for your sacrifice” post on Memorial Day.
History doesn’t just repeat itself on its own.
We do that.