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One Small Town, One Terrible Lesson
Illinois Review ^ | April 29, 2012 A.D. | John F. Di Leo

Posted on 04/29/2012 1:13:57 PM PDT by jfd1776

Reflections on the anniversary of the liberation of Dachau…

For eleven centuries, it was just another town.

Founded in what is now southern Germany sometime before the early 800s A.D. (the first documented deed is dated 805), Dachau was home to merchants, farmers, millers, and brewers, like a hundred other towns in Bavaria for 1100 years. In the 1800s, it became known for its artists’ colony.

But all that was to be forgotten when the world learned of what had gone on near this town, in the twelve years from 1933 to 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party ruled the country.

Adolf Hitler took office as chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, and wasted no time. His new administration immediately established the Sondergerichte, “special courts” to try political opponents. These kangaroo courts had to have a place to put those who would be convicted, so they established concentration camps as well. The new government knew going in that the number of prisons already in place to handle real criminals would be of insufficient size to handle their needs.

The first such camp was opened at Dachau, in March of 1933, less than two months after Hitler assumed power. By the time it was finally liberated, on April 29, 1945, at least 25,000 people died in this camp alone, some 35,000 total in the Dachau camp system.

They died of so many things… of intentional starvation, of the disease that naturally spreads in overcrowded conditions, of murder. Even though this was not one of “the killing camps” – those camps designed specifically for mass murder – Dachau was to be a death sentence for thousands and thousands of people.

A civil society must have prisons; among the foremost duties of any government is to protect its citizens by incarcerating those known to be robbers, rapists, muggers and murderers. The more such crimes that occur, the more prisons must be built (the United States, at present, could do with more, as the revolving doors of our jails are opened like floodgates streaming criminals right back into their communities). Yes, a prison is an unpleasant necessity for any civil society.

But there was nothing civil about the society that the National Socialists intended for Germany in 1933, and their prisons were not built for robbers, rapists, muggers and murderers.

Socialists win political power by demonizing their enemies. They list the problems of the day, as any politician must – addressing poverty, crime, unemployment. But then they add the mild character weaknesses common to all mankind – ethnic bigotry, religious differences, simple jealousy – to that stew. And they ferment the mixture with anxious oratory, with calls to action, with rabble-rousers sprinkled throught the crowds and across the land, to whip up “their people” in a battle against the scapegoats of the day.

There are many names for those they were to demonize. Marx called them the bourgeoisie in the 19th century; Lenin and Stalin added the Kulaks, the small private farmers they were to starve to death by the millions in the 1920s. The modern American Democrat calls them the One Percenters. The Nazis focused on the Jews. But no matter how they identified their victims, in the end, it was the same: identify decent, law-abiding citizens who are perceived to have been a little more successful than your political base – and bring the full force of government and public opinion down upon them.

Dachau was the first place to put these created “enemies.” But it was not big enough for their needs, and satellite camps were built, so Dachau was just the anchor of a network of camps in which to house and torture and kill. Some 200,000 souls went through this group.

Others were far bigger, and even more malicious. Buchenwald, Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzik, too many to name. The Nazis built a system of camps, some to house people, some to kill on arrival, some a combination. By the end of WWII, the Nazis had established some 1200 formal camps across Europe, with mass killings – proportional to the size of the camp – in too many of them to count, especially by the end, as the goal of wiping out millions became a driving priority in 1942. Counting even the smallest of them, the number of camps – not prisoners, but camps, large and small – has been estimated as potentially reaching 15,000. Even if their Reich was to fall, sooner rather than later, the Nazis wanted to have killed millions by the end.

A new lexicon was built, to differentiate labor camps from holding camps from extermination camps. New job classes were invented, as wardens made way for the operators of gas chambers and mass crematoriums, and for the perversion of medical science practiced by those who performed experiments on their tragic charges.

How many were killed? Students of the era do not know. The original estimates were in the range of six million. Six million persons, six million individuals. Six million fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, uncles and aunts. Six million... it is impossible for most of us to comprehend, though for a frightful subset of humanity, it was then, and remains, a worthy cause to their twisted minds.

It is not important whether the number is a little high or a little low. The Holocaust deniers (there still are some, despite all evidence) shout that it couldn’t have been that many, and the statisticians sadly posit that it might even have been more. What matters is that it happened, and that it was intentional… and that it was a government that did it… and that this government was popularly elected.

The Soviets killed tens of millions – but then, they were not popularly elected; the Bolsheviks had illegally hijacked a republican revolution to gain power. The Chinese communists killed tens of millions, but they gained power militarily as well. The Nazis have the distinction of being the most deadly killing machine in history with an unassailable claim to popular support – at least at the beginning. No majority of Germans would have reelected Hitler in 1942 when the “final solution” began, but it didn’t matter; they had elected his party a decade earlier when their intentions were clear. If you had asked the average voter “But what about all that stuff about the Jews??” the average voter would have replied “Oh, they don’t mean it; you can’t take that sort of thing literally, you know.”

That is the issue most horrifying to contemplate, because if a western republican electorate can make such a choice once, in one country, it can happen again in another.

Some Germans deny it out of shame, in a flawed attempt to redeem their nationality. Understandable… Some deny it out of a psychological inability to admit to themselves that such evil is possible. That’s understandable, too, but unhelpful; if you don’t admit it can happen, you may blind yourself to the preventable possibility that it can happen again.

And that is the goal of the Ahmedinijads of the world. There are Holocaust deniers who do so specifically to lower the world’s guard, in the hope that they can do it again.

The specifics of the Nazi exterminations are theirs alone, but the general idea of governments killing their own innocent citizens en masse has a long and frightful pedigree. From the Baal-worshiping Carthaginians who fed their own children into a furnace… to the Reign of Terror in 1790s France when seemingly every Parisian turned in a family member in the hope of being spared himself… to the killing fields of Cambodia and the Cultural Revolution of China in the 1970s… The long tradition of malicious rulers violating their trust to kill their own citizens may never be eradicated.

It is hard to write of such times, harder still to read of them. But we must remember that the risk is there, that it still exists, and always will. Some of us grew up in neighborhoods where the reminders were all around us… the numbers on the arm of an elderly shopper in the grocery store, the empty seats at the dinner table, the limp of a friend’s grandparent or aunt, the sadness that comes when you mention your own heritage, and ask a friend to recall his.

But these reminders are now fewer and farther between. It’s been 67 years since the camps were liberated, most of those who survived have gone to their reward by now, and generations to come may not know about it.

As hard as it is to remember these horrors, we must find a way. Not to dwell on the morbid, but to remember that what has happened before, could happen again… that unless restrained, governments can kill. And in particular, socialists kill.

The mass killings of the 20th century were by socialists – the Nazis of Germany, the Bolsheviks of Russia, the Maoists of China. These godless movements imagine their own utopia and take measures to reach it. If merchants can be imagined to be in the way, or Jews, or Christians, or bankers, or executives, just make it a crime to be one, and whip up your partisans into a frenzy. Before you know it, picketing gives way to occupying; civil disobedience gives way to throwing rocks at groups or assaulting the odd target caught unawares. Then the government starts harassing them, through tax department audits and agency investigations and justice department examinations; scrutiny gives way to official raids, fines give way to imprisonment, the isolated execution gives way to genocide.

We see the signs of it today, all over the world, at different stages of the process. In the United States, the communists of ACORN and the SEIU organize outdoor sit-ins to support their leader’s demonization of his many “enemies” – banking on the envy of their base to grow if enough reminders prompt them in the desired direction. Nigerian and Egyptian muslims bomb Christian churches during peaceful services, killing dozens, hundreds, hopefully thousands of churchgoers, as their islamofascist leaders blame their poverty and stagnation on the Copts who’ve lived there peacefully for two millennia, or on the evangelicals who peacefully arrived much more recently. The Iranians, Syrians, and so-called “palestinians” scream for the eradication of Israel, root and branch… calling on their audience to “push the Jews into the sea” in Arabic, then telling us in English to interpret it only figuratively, not literally, as if that should calm our fears.

What lesson can we take – MUST we take – after all these years, and all these experiences, and all these warnings for the future?

Yes, shed a tear for those lost… yes, say a prayer for them and their descendents… of course.

But most importantly, learn from these past horrors, and resist their repetition today. We must elect statesmen who know the difference between real villains and straw men. We must favor policies that use prisons to house real criminals, keeping the lawful citizens safe and free.

But this requires an understanding of right and wrong, a differentiation between good and evil, things that are not taught – or not taught right – in atheist government schools or islamist madrassahs or drug-infested tenements of fatherless truants.

Political evils are, at their core, cultural ills, caused by moral decay. And in a nation of universal suffrage, we must keep these issues in mind not just on election day, but every day. We must look for the telltale signs of politicians and movements headed down the path of Naziism and its cousins, and thwart them at every turn.

It takes both the private sector and the public sector to make a difference, when we think of the evils of the past and say, with conviction and commitment, Never Again!

Copyright 2012 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade lecturer. Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the byline and IR URL are included. Follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

TOPICS: Government; History; Miscellaneous; Politics
KEYWORDS: dachau; germany; hitler; holocaust; israel; nazi; socialism

1 posted on 04/29/2012 1:14:09 PM PDT by jfd1776
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To: jfd1776
I visited the Dachau museum that stands near where the actual camp was situated.It was a rainy,dreary,cold March day which only added to the spookiness.I was so freaked out that I had to leave after about 30 minutes.
2 posted on 04/29/2012 1:17:38 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: jfd1776

Imagine how the Polish inhabitants of Oswiecim must feel. Through no fault of their town is forever associated with evil.

3 posted on 04/29/2012 1:19:40 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: jfd1776

Mark for later.

4 posted on 04/29/2012 1:23:23 PM PDT by sport
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To: jfd1776
An excellent essay. My kids are learning about the Holocaust now in school. My one daughter has been interested in it for awhile, and did a website on it earlier this year for her history day project. A lot of the kids had the same questions and didn't really believe her (”how could they kill so many without anyone knowing”, “how could one guy be that powerful”, etc.)

Thank goodness something like that could never happen again. /s

I read somewhere that the Jews in Germany at the time were not very religious, and that they were preyed upon as they were viewed as the greedy and wealth-takers. The one-percenters at the time.

5 posted on 04/29/2012 1:33:14 PM PDT by 21twelve
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To: Gay State Conservative

“As hard as it is to remember these horrors, we must find a way. Not to dwell on the morbid, but to remember that what has happened before, could happen again… that unless restrained, governments can kill. And in particular, socialists kill.”

That point can’t be repeated too many times!

6 posted on 04/29/2012 1:36:03 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: jfd1776

This is an excellent piece. Thanks for posting it. He doesn’t pull a punch.

7 posted on 04/29/2012 1:38:06 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: jfd1776
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking:  What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?  Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?  The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!


bold added

8 posted on 04/29/2012 1:43:36 PM PDT by tomkat (para bellum)
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To: jfd1776
The idea of abortion came to mind in reading some of this. What scapegoat that threatens our way of life, gets in the way of our progress, our freedom, our financial gains and our pleasures? Hitler ain't got nothing on the millions killed in the U.S.
9 posted on 04/29/2012 1:53:41 PM PDT by 21twelve
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To: jfd1776

6 million? Friend and mentor of Obama, Bill Ayers, thinks 25 million Americans should be killed.

10 posted on 04/29/2012 2:30:56 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1195 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [and what dark chill/is gathering still...])
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To: null and void

25 million when the population was 200 million.

Scale that number up by 50%.

11 posted on 04/29/2012 2:37:51 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Noumenon


12 posted on 04/29/2012 2:38:53 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: null and void

And 150 million Americans think Ayers should be killed.

13 posted on 04/29/2012 2:43:52 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: null and void

And 150 million Americans think Ayers should be killed.

14 posted on 04/29/2012 2:48:34 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: jfd1776

In regards to fighting evil...

One of my favorite Twilight Zone (1980s incarnation) episodes, “Red Snow”:

15 posted on 04/29/2012 2:50:02 PM PDT by Levante
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16 posted on 04/29/2012 3:01:49 PM PDT by xone
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To: jfd1776
These godless movements imagine their own utopia and take measures to reach it

Yet.....85% of our nation's children attend our government's GODLESS, compulsory-attendance, compulsory-funded, and socialist-entitlment schools. What are Christians and conservatives thinking when they send their children into these indoctrination centers?

If children attend godless schools they will learn to think and reason godlessly. They must just to cooperate in the classroom. How could it be otherwise?

If children attend socialist-entitlement schools they risk learning to be comfortable with socialism. Any voting mob powerful enough to give them tuition-free schooling is certainly powerful enough to give them **lots** of “free” stuff.

If children attend compulsory attendance government schools they become comfortable with government compulsion.

If and when we have concentration camps in the U.S., the sheeple will not board trains. The oligarchy will use big yellow school buses and the citizens will compliantly step up and take a seat just as they have been trained to do.

May God save our nation because I doubt our experiment in self-rule can withstand another generation of voters indoctrinated in godless and socialist-funded government schools.

17 posted on 04/29/2012 3:20:31 PM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: tomkat
One of the concepts taught in women's self defense courses is that some decisions **must** be made beforehand. For instance, I have personally decided that I will not be forced into a car. A perp will have to kill me in the parking lot. I will resist and attack him with every ounce of energy that I have.

Well....During the Kosovo crisis, I made a decision. I will **never** allow the men in my family to be dragged out into the street to be shot. They will have go through me first. I, personally, (little ole grandmom me) will resist with everything that I have. They will have to kill me before I would let that happen.

I will **never** allow myself to be rounded up and sent to a concentration camp. I will resist. This is an oath that I have made to myself and to God.

It is time, that we as citizens face this decision and make that decision beforehand.

By the way....If tyranny comes to the U.S. they won't use trains. They will round up the sheeple with big yellow school buses.

18 posted on 04/29/2012 3:28:52 PM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion center.)
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To: wintertime

One of the entries on Claire Wolfe’s “101 Things To Do ‘til The Revolution” is:

“Decide what you’re willing to kill for. Not ‘What you’re willing to die for’; What you’re willing to kill for”.

19 posted on 04/29/2012 3:40:40 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: wintertime
You and me both, sister !

A sincere and rousing Bravo to your attitude !

My personal plan, posted on a thread re bugging out (and others) is:

I hope to kill as many of the zombie bastards as possible, torch the ranch, and the save the last round for me.

Fortunately (tho it often doesn't seem so) I've no children/spouse to factor into that decision,
and am of an age at which any delusions of immortality/invincibility were long ago discounted.

20 posted on 04/29/2012 3:42:25 PM PDT by tomkat (para bellum)
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Click the link. The Republic you save may be your own.

21 posted on 04/29/2012 3:51:22 PM PDT by RedMDer (
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