Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hitler Didn’t Kill Anyone

I’ve never seen a picture of Hitler killing anyone, yet some claim he killed six million of his subjects. Yet we never hear about him pulling triggers, turning gas valves, wielding long knives, or tying ropes around people’s necks. He apparently spent the whole time in the comfort of an office.

So how did all those people die?

The autumn of 1977 saw the first television miniseries, Holocaust, about one Jewish family that suffered under Hitler. As I remember after 32 years, every German soldier was portrayed as a heartless brute. For example, the admissions officer at the concentration camp asked, “What was the name of the whore who bore you?” Heh, heh, heh.

But who were they really?

I have to guess. The only German World War II veteran I have met was as nice a guy as you could have as a friend. He devoted his empty nest years to helping Bible translators in the third world with logistics so they could concentrate on their work. I could never bring myself to ask him about his role in the war.

I do know that an 18-year-old in 1939 was born in 1921, during the Allied punishment of Germany for its part in the Great War. Between the sanctions, the inflationary policies of the (Allies-backed?) government, and the taxes imposed to pay off the war debt, that soldier could likely have grown up never knowing a full stomach or a warm bed in winter. His father might never have had a steady job.

That is, until Hitler.

People who are oppressed—and the Germans were oppressed—thirst for someone in power to identify with their suffering and do something about it. Hitler was the Barack Obama of his day, and the idea of Aryan supremacy was his call for black power. As today’s blacks look at thieving, self-righteous whites and know we’re no better than they, the Germans looked at the Allies and grated under victor’s justice.

Those who shouted “Yes, we can!” in the stadium in Nuremberg and went on to slaughter the Jews were normal, decent guys “just following orders.” They went to Bible studies (even in their Hitler youth camps), wrote poetry for their girlfriends and letters home to their mothers, played guitar and painted with oils, and, I suspect, rescued innocent people in ways that would rival anything you can read in Reader’s Digest today. They had no idea history would not treat them kindly.

Can it happen here?

Look around. We have our Heimat, or “homeland.” Our “Gemeinnütz geht vor Eigennütz” is “Duty. Honor. Country” and “Individuals need to sacrifice for the good of the community.” We have Volkswagen in General Motors. Hyperinflation is just around the corner. The government can hold US citizens indefinitely and torture them without charging them with crimes; our Jews are Muslims and (will soon include) individualists.

What if the soldiers who herded the Jews into camps “temporarily” had been greeted with bullets? Would “just following orders” have seemed like the virtue it was to them then? It didn’t later on, when a dozen or so guns in the hands of “insurgents” kept the entire Wehrmacht out of the Warsaw ghetto for two weeks. If we wait until the camps are operating, will there be any way of resisting?

What stops the “calm heads” that prevailed under Hitler from prevailing in the face of Uncle Sam’s rapacity today?


  1. Me thinks the blog post may leave some uncomfortable with the comparisons. But I do believe close examination of all intentions is wise. We need to be cautious and prudent and have our eyes open at all times. I'm not saying I agree with the post nor disagree. I'm just agreeing we need to be ever vigilant.

  2. We agree, do we not, that if it walks, talks, swims, and flies like a duck it's a duck? Maybe at this point I've only shown that it has feathers and is therefore not an armadillo. What do you need---this is an information question, not a putdown---to see before deciding if it isn't a duck it's close enough for government work? I wrote the post on the train in less than an hour to answer an honest disagreement to a Facebook comment. The evidence is out there. I'm happy to give teasers and point readers to it.

    I've been the mouse who called for belling the cat here. I don't own a gun, and my nearest and dearest says she'd rather be gang raped and die in a concentration camp than shoot an intruder. So tax resistance and shooting enforcers is not on my horizon anytime soon. But if we want to stop the violence---and the violence has already started, as witness the governmment's treatment of the people after Katrina, let alone their putting people in prison for years and torturing them without charging them with crimes---what are our alternatives, prudent or otherwise?

    Have you ever run for office? Are the people you voted for in office? Have you written your political executives and legislators recently? How much good did it do? Did they vote your way?

    If voting and writing politicians and running for office is ineffective and armed resistance is out of the question, what's left? What's the point of taking our heads out of the sand?

  3. My comments were more of a response to Jeff's comment of being out of the conversation. You obviously offended him or he thinks you are off the deep end and irrational - an observation I think you might already be familiar with. :-) I can personally agree with some of your comments, but not all. Yes, I have written my legislators recently, one even changed their vote on an issue due to calls and letters from consitituents. That doesn't happen often, obviously. I do no that no government is perfect and ours is far from it but I'm not in favor of throwing the baby out with the bath water either. I think our current administration is making all kinds of horrible, irreversible mistakes. I don't agree with your wife on her "shooting an intruder" scenario, but I also don't own a gun, nor have I ever allowed them in my house (until my sons became cops, that is - and I was one that never wanted them to play guns as children, for all that did). I don't believe a violent over-take of government is called for, nor would ever be an action I would want to take. I can see over history that it has happened and with good result - our own revolution with the British brought democracy to America. Has that democracy held? NO! I do believe for a while yet, we will still have the best government out there. But before long it will just be another socialized system much like the British have and we will no longer be a prosperous nation of entrepreneurs. Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not. I think not. .... I'm late for an appointment. Gotta run.

  4. Thanks for writing! I'm honored that someone who disagrees with me on a consistent basis takes the time to give me hard pitches to swing at.

    I'm not in favor of a violent takeover of the government. Whips and leashes both have slaves at both ends, and I have no desire to be a slave.

    As I tried to communicate in my post on neighbors---and I realize I communicate less effectively than I'd like to---the relationships that mean the most to us are of the "let's make a deal" variety; government is always "do it my way or I'll kill you."

    Shooting armed agents of government is simply one way of saying, "I won't do it your way and I won't let you kill me. Leave me alone to make deals." Whether Jesus wants us to shoot government agents or any other kind of intruder is another question.

    I'm writing this blog because I'm convinced that Christians have forgotten how to be good neighbors, and that is why the American experiment has gone sour. It is through the church that God will build a just society, but I don't see how he can or will do it if Christians are simply another special-interest group elbowing their way to the public trough and complaining about this or that policy when the system is rotten at the core.

    I don't know if I whiffed, fouled, or connected on that pitch, but I'm still in the box if you're still on the mound!

  5. I do agree 100% that Christians have forgotten how to be good neighbors. Everyone, of all faiths really, have forgotten how to be good neighbors. I think it might be due to the fact that we don't do well at "mixing" values, morals and faiths very well? Not sure. We have let greed and arrogance take over our society at all levels from government to the individual working or not working. I see so much arrogance all around. Being politically correct has just become a cover for discrimination through the back door at the expense of the little guy who is just trying to do his work, support his family and leave others to lead their own lives as they desire. I think at the heart of most American's is the desire to truly live free and to pursue their happiness as they wish without someone else telling them how that should be done or can be done. We are no longer free to make our own family decisions at so many levels and too many people are expecting government hand-outs as a matter of due. We have failed in our schools to teach civic responsibility, constitutional understanding and individual responsibility. All that is taught now is what you can expect your government to give you. I can't believe how many young people today think there is nothing wrong with expecting the government today to pay for their health care, their welfare, their cars, give them jobs, give them homes, and the list goes on. They really think they shouldn't have to just work for those things. Too many are really okay with just living comfortable lives, working a job that is decent as long as their government gives them everything they will need. That is not why I work, or my husband works, or our parents worked or their parents before them. I don't want the government giving me anything but security and safety as a nation to live freely, with liberty and TRUE JUSTICE for all. But that's me. And I thought that was the original intent of our nation. If it was, we are no longer there and won't ever be there again. We just get further and further away from it as the years and presidency's go by.
    I've gone on longer than planned and don't have time to proof but here it is.
    Thanks for the sharing, as usual.

  6. At Henry's request, I have posted an email response here:


    I find the idea of comparing Adolf Hitler to President Barack Obama to be laughable. This is not the first time I have heard this comparison, but I have never taken it seriously, nor will I ever take it seriously. The notion that the German nation of 1930 is comparable to the African-American community in the United States is a preposterous notion.

    President Obama has never called (and will never call) for a black power movement. He has certainly called out the black community to be more responsible citizens, especially black fathers.

    Hitler mobilized a demoralized nation that was still reeling from their defeat in WWI. He shored up their economy and put into place very solid internal structures. However, he was hell-bent on finding someone to blame and took this out on Jews, blacks, gypsies and other social outcasts.

    Our nation is by and large in the present situation because of the cowboy politics of Bush II. His "blood for oil" campaign (the occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq) decimated the economy because DOD spending went through the roof. Bush II inherited a surplus from Clinton and pissed it away, ignoring infrastructure along the way. So now we get all up in arms because President Obama has started deficit spending (which I don't agree with). But no one stops to ask where this deficit came from!

    The "sliding into socialism" rant is tired and without merit. Just yesterday I saw John Hagee preach that same idea (although interestingly, did note that deregulation was a key factor in the downfall of the economy). People throw around accusations of socialism (as if its a bad thing) like they did with communism in the 1950s. It is fear-based and unwarranted. Even some of the great conservative bulwarks (Reagan, Bush II) have employed socialist methods in their political agendas.

    You write that "our government is working not in our best interests nor in the interests of anything we could consider justice or compassion." Did you hold this view when Reagan was dumping social programs or when Clinton was heavily involved in the Balkans, or when Bush II started up a war with Iraq? None of those are in our best interest (unless cheap oil is worth the price of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Kurdish lives). Whose best interest? With regard to this administration, "anything we could consider justice or compassion?" Justice, like a full review of prisoner abuses at Guantanamo Bay? or is enhanced interrogation considered compassionate? Compassion, like first-time homebuyer credits, like financial relief to let homeowners get caught up so they don't lose their homes. Justice, like appointing regulatory commissions on industries. Justice, like the G8 agreement to regulate human-caused climate change. Let's be careful when throwing around phrases like "anything we could consider justice or compassion." It is easy to set our moral compass in one direction and ignore the issues on either side.

    I write this to say that what I hear (mostly from the conservative side of the spectrum) is that President Obama is Hilter/the Anti-Christ/Muslim, etc. I find this all to be laughable. Our government has considerable issues and I do not believe that they are the answer to mankind's deepest longings. I am a Christ-follower and I understand my moral compass to be dictated by what I consider to be his ideas of justice and compassion. I do not agree with everything that the Obama Administration is doing, but I believe it is a far cry better than the inept regime of Bush II.

  7. I probably should have mentioned my name at some point in the previous comment. Sorry about that.

    Jeffrey Allen

  8. Nice to see you are back Jeff. Thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

  9. Thanks for the comment, Jeff.

    This post is already longer than what I would expect a reader to stay with, so I’ll deal in other posts with the issues you’ve raised.

    For now, I must confess that I misjudged my audience with this post. It was aimed at readers of a Facebook page that seemed to me to be McCain-Palin Republicans, a box I wouldn't put you in. Judging by the rhetoric I read in my skims of World magazine, they would consider a “slide into socialism” a bad thing, and I certainly got a lot of “Obama is the antichrist” e-mails around election time, so that’s why I chose that slant.

    As you say, though, Reagan and the Bushes were both evil and socialistic; we seem to disagree on whether or not their presidencies reflect a slide into socialism by our society as a whole and whether or not that slide is or would be a good thing.

    I voted Socialist Labor in 1972 when I shared more of your presuppositions than I do now. I voted for Carter in 1976 because I figured anyone who could pardon Nixon after Watergate, let alone Vietnam, was a crook, and I thought that anyone who would admit to Playboy magazine that he had a problem with lust was my kind of Christian. I decided Reagan was the lesser of two evils in 1980 because I knew something was wrong when, under Carter, “the maximum interest allowed by law [for banks to pay small customers]” were lower than the rate of inflation. I won’t make that mistake again: while my firstborn was in preschool, Reagan was using “supply-side economics” to spend my grandchildren’s money because “deficits don’t matter.” It’s been downhill from there.

    You’ve raised issues that go to the core of what I’m trying to discuss here, specifically what justice and compassion are and how they should be applied to such things as businesses. I’ll send up clay pigeons, and you’re welcome to shoot at them. Tell your friends to chime in, too: the more the merrier. I think we agree that the church needs to reexamine its priorities and methods. I know (in theory) I’m not perfect, and I expect to get my fingers slapped occasionally.

    Meantime, I’d like to see your take on my post about neighbors.

    Welcome aboard!

  10. I find your original column a breath of fresh air in a very stuffy (and restricted) climate of semi-free speech. Our society seems to have certain taboos that we cannot bring up.
    It's interesting that most Democrats had no problem comapring Bush to Hitler, but are offended when the shoe is on the other foot. The reality is that neither political party has produced leaders in our liftimes who has not been a Statist, at the core. Some are more similar to the National Socialism of Adolf Hitler, others are more similar to the International Socialism of Lenin and Stalin. In my lifetime, I've seen one president who claimed to try to fulfill his oath to the Constitution. (I don't think he succeeded very well, but at least he grasped the concept. He did have a socialist Congress and entrenched statist bureaucracy to oppose him at every step.)
    Used to ask myself how a Hitler could come to power. It is now clear to me, as I see people who will vote for "Hope and Change" without knowing what that means, or will raise a clamor for war against a nation that has not attacked us. The American People of 2009 are not one whit more sophisticated or discerning than the German People of 1932. Perhaps less so.
    Just try to walk into a federal courthouse or fly on an airplane today, and you will encounter the jack-booted thugs with precisely the same attitude as the guards at Auschwitz. And they're all just doing their jobs. They all agree, "It's okay to give up some freedom in order to be secure."
    Benjamin Franklin addressed that issue rather nicely, "Those who are willing to give up their freedom for security are deserving of neither."

  11. It's all about personal responsibility, accountability & honesty to ourselves.Any person who enforces an unjust law is at least as guilty, if not more so, than the person who gives the order. Unjust orders should be disobeyed, not just unlawful ones. Deep down at some time in our lives, most of us would like to have power to solve all problems given the chance. We just lack the funds to entice followers to carry out our wishes. Unjust drug laws, unjust tax laws, unjust zoning laws, all unjust laws are enforced by "nice ordinary folk" just doing their job. Most law enforcement time is used in enforcing prosecution of victimless crimes, so the government is a greater danger to us than real criminals are.To paraphrase Muhammed Ali "no drug user ever called me......."
    Of course not being allowed to defend ourselves adds to our dependency on government when a real criminal has us in his sights, and makes us easier to control because only the enforcers have guns.
    My son the policeman, whom I dearly loved, is the actual "on the ground" fellow who arrests individuals just for being individuals and for not wanting to be slaves of the government.He would probably arrest me if ordered to, even though with tears in his eyes. "Sorry Dad, but the law is the law, if I don't do it, someone nastier than me will".
    While ever people, citizens and voters replace God with government as their object of worship, the situation won't change. Some old fellow writing in a big black book once said "do not put your faith in princes or the sons of men". Pretty hard to dispute that advice considering the flow of history.Having quoted scripture, except for their non-belief in God, a lot of atheists make a lot of sense. Our individual decisions to either be, or not be, a force for good on the basis of "the golden rule" is what will effect the change we are all longing for.Voluntary non-coercion,and non-co-operation with unjust laws and their enforcers is the only way.

  12. Thank you for your comment---I hope you'll be back!

    I hope you still love your son, even knowing he'd kill you if the state ordered him too. I am in the same situation with my son. It's small comfort to think we're going through the same thing God went through with his son Israel in 1 Samuel 8.

    Since "anonymous" is a rather common moniker, I'd appreciate it if when you post you'd use a name, a pseudonym if you wish, just so I can put some context around remarks.

    I'm only half joking when I say that if I'm reincarnated I want to come back as an atheist Jew. Between Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Walter Bloch, I'd have to say no group seems to balance joie de vivre with intellectual rigor better.

    Thanks again for your comments!

  13. I apologize for not saying my name is Dennis.
    You have some great commonsense ideas to spread.
    Even your dissenters are polite! Well done.

  14. No apology needed. Welcome aboard, and feel free to comment anytime. I think you can subscribe using the widgets to the right and get notified when I post or people comment.

    My intended audience by and large has better manners than I do. They're a good group, and on their behalf I thank you for the compliment.