[personal profile] pot_t_mouth
All this talk about the new Pope and Hitler's Youth has got me agitated. Super agitated, for a few reason. I have been stewing on it all day so hopefully, I can get my point across. I wish I were a better writer.

First, I think it is so dangerous for us to act as if the average German under Hitler was a bad person or less caring or thoughtful than we are. It's like saying that the Holocaust was an isolated moment in history and it only happened because Germans are bad. That it would never happen here. Not me, I wouldn't do it. I would stop it. It couldn't happen here, we are better.

Second, what would you do? Do you really think that you would've bucked against the Third Reich? I would absolutely love to think that I would, that I would be part of the resistance and that I would fight fight fight and that I would make a difference. But would I? Would I really? When was the last time I thought about the thousands of American Muslims that have been locked in our jails without basic civil rights since 2001? What have I done for these people? Nothing.

It's just that if we think that it can't happen here then that may provide another crack that will allow it. Constant vigilance and true empathy are so important. Especially now. The only thing that we have over the non-Nazi German is that we have a knowledge of what can happen if we are not careful.

I hope that this rant hasn't lead anyone to think I am at all sympathetic to the Nazi. I am not. At all. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. And yes, if the Nazis rose to power again they would seriously get their asses kicked, but I am so worried that this time they are wearing different uniforms and we will all be too complacent to see them.

Man, this is making me shake. I don't know why the whole thing upsets me so much, but it always, always has, probably because Mother Night made a giant impact on my young idealist self.

Date: 2005-04-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyfool.livejournal.com
I understand what you mean completely. Ideally, we should live up to our ideals. But people don't, when faces with life or death. I don't even know how well I'd manage in any serious situation. And that's important to keep in mind; what we'd say and what we'd do are often very different.

I'm nervous lately about how much has gone under the raydar...

Date: 2005-04-19 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pot-t-mouth.livejournal.com
Don't you go reading Mother Night now! I was thinking when I wrote this how similar it is to The Fall in that it is a study in judgement.

Just kidding. Read it.

Date: 2005-04-19 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] windup.livejournal.com
well said. i totally agree.

Date: 2005-04-19 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pot-t-mouth.livejournal.com
Thank you. I may make a grad student after all.

Date: 2005-04-19 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notmarcie.livejournal.com
The news report I heard tonight stated that Ratzinger was the son of very Anti-Nazi parents and was forced to be in the Hitler Youth. So any emphasis on what he did or did not do as a teenager is ridiculous. As you rightly point out, which of us would be able to say for certain that we would have the strength to resist something knowing the potential risk to ourselves ?

I am far more concerned that the man who is now Pope hates so many things that I hold as fundamental to a modern society. That he openly doesn't agree with multicultural society as currently practised in Europe. In addition to his views on divorce, homosexuality, contraception etc. I feel as though the "different uniforms" are somehow vindicated by the new Pope.

Date: 2005-04-19 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pot-t-mouth.livejournal.com
Oh, I agree. I am not so much concerned as disappointed that they didn't do something good with the position. Maybe even elect a guy that would agree that in Africa a rubber might be a pretty good thing to have. Or maybe elect a guy who thought that women weren't lesser beings than men.

Date: 2005-04-19 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notmarcie.livejournal.com
I have pretty much accepted that I am going to hell because my reaction was "well, he is old and has heart trouble. He will die soon."

Date: 2005-04-19 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astronautical.livejournal.com
I'm going to write more about this in my journal, but on fresh air today I heard a historian talking about how slowly the slide into the holocaust really was -- it wasn't just because germans are BAD inherently, or because there were a few evil people. It was a "rational chain of events." It's a good illustration of how ALL war is bad, because it leads to really bad things.

Date: 2005-04-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
Great points.

When I kept hearing that Hitler Youth comment on the news I got so mad. Like you so eloquently pointed out, there is so much more to it, and things that really should be discussed, because, well, you know, that whole "history repeating itself" thing....

Date: 2005-04-20 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] puschia.livejournal.com
i agree with everything you said. its nice to hear other people feel the same way. in high school, we would always have these sorts of discussions in social studies and it used to piss me off. all these kids would be like 'i would NEVER do that! i would stand up to the gestapo!' and its nice that they believed that. but seriously, these are kids who could even stand up to their own peer groups in term of stupid shit like what clothes they wore, i hardly see them staring down the muzzle of a gun for a stranger...

my mom is german so its also a personal thing for me. i know my grandparents were in the german army. my grandmother was a nurse, so i view that as a noble thing, even if it was on the 'wrong' side. but my grandfather, i just don't know. my mom always said he was conscripted, but i don't know. she also said he was stationed up in finland where not much happened, but i don't know. i do know that some of the Nazi crap did infiltrate his thoughts, even though he is not someone who likes to follow authority. but i also know he was almost shot for treason because he wanted to convince his commander to let a bunch of soviet soldiers go instead of fighting them. i like so many things about my grandfather, but then there is that. i kind of want to know the truth but i kind of don't. and the worst thing is that it is all an issue only because of the accident of where and when he happened to be born.

as for the hitler youth, i could be wrong but i don't think it was voluntary. i think you had to do it. if not literally, than simply by the force of public pressure. i think that was the real problem of Nazi Germany, not that they were all evil or hated Jews so much, but that everyone was scared shitless into going along with it all. and anyone who was young then was indoctrinated with all this crap and there was no one to tell them that it wasn't true. i read this book once, i forget the name, it was about German women's experiences in WWII. a few on these women talked about the hitler youth (i forget what the female equivalent was called) - it was basically like being in the boy/girl scouts, they at the time were not aware of any political aspects of it. it was only as adults, being interviewed for this book and being shown lyrics, that they realized the content of the old songs they used to sing and whatnot. these things were much less black-and-white and overtly insidious to the average person at the time than anyone nowadays would like to admit. its much easier to say that everyone was just bad. like you said, it makes it easier for us to be smug about ourselves.

summer swap

Date: 2005-07-14 07:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am running behind on the date to send, but fret not!
It'll be leaving my house within the week!
from Me!
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