August 14, 2012 by Ronn Ives, under Uncategorized.
Yesterday, as I read “I Will Bear Witness”, the diarist Victor Klemperer mentioned (in 1945) having seen a particular child’s 1942 school book. His comment: “The most terrible hubris.” It laid out maps of Europe showing how Germany was successfully gaining more (and more) land for The Chosen People – The Uber Race (Germans). (It does NOT mention the flip side of their coin… the How…)
One tends to forget what TOTAL CONTROL means, because we do not face TOTAL control. The Nazis tried and nearly succeeded. Book burning rallies were more Rally than effective destruction of information, but making certain books illegal and death the penalty for owning unapproved books WAS effective. This of course also meant NEW books were not only needed but desirable as part of the youth propaganda plan. THIS plan was the most successful facet of their overall attempt to control thinking. They created the MOST rabid Nazi support among the Aryan children who were growing into adults. This should come as no surprise. Malleable minds.
Anyhow, this mention of a 1942 Nazi-designed school book caused my interest, so I tried to find information on the web. I failed. I didn’t expect it to be easy… I even used translating programs so I could search for it in the German language. I failed. I then thought about asking for help. I have American friends living in Germany (who know the language). Perhaps they had insights.
Good old Web, good old Facebook, good old pal Heidi. Within moments we were discussing my search, and within an hour she had links to translatable German sites that appeared to have the book I sought. It was original and available for purchase – and Heidi would manage it for me. ALL THIS IN AN HOUR, despite the distances, time zones, and the circumstances of the book.
In 2012, I read one mere sentence from a 1945 diary written by a sixty year old Jewish man harassed and hunted by the Nazis 67 years ago. (Most of his neighbors and friends were already murdered.) I decided to try finding a 70 year old book meant only for German school children, published for a short time by an evil military-government that was eventually smashed and all its reminders eradicated as fast as possible. (To this day, it is ILLEGAL to display the swastika or SS symbols in Germany.) Most of the “memorabilia” was destroyed at the end of WWII BY the Germans – who then wanted to look as “distant” to the Nazis as possible. “Deniability”. And here I was, an hour later, after 70 years, with the chance to acquire this same book.
Do any of us REALLY take such moments for granted?