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The White Rose

Schmorell grave - Jim Forest flickr

The vast majority of Americans support the extra judicial killings of people with drones.  This is not surprising at all since there was great support for going after protestors during the 1960s, Japanese internment during WWII, black segregation and slavery, Native American slaughter and relocation and on and on.

Just as there was great support for Japanese military atrocities in Japan and Nazi atrocities in Germany during Hitler’s time and Generalissimo Francisco Franco in Spain and Stalin in the USSR. Not just out of fear but also because people there were doing OK under these regimes.

And now the extreme right in Greece is becoming more and more popular and Stalin is gaining popularity again as a hero in Russia.

Germany has strict and harsh laws against denial  of the Holocaust and  tribute to Hitler but I wonder how long this would last should they find themselves in the same situation that led to his rise initially.  And how many would dare to speak out such as these young people did.

Liselotte Furst-Ramdohr, already a widow at the age of 29 following her husband’s death on the Russian front, was introduced to the White Rose group by her friend, Alexander Schmorell.

“I can still see Alex today as he told me about it,” says Furst-Ramdohr, now a spry 99-year-old. “He never said the word ‘resistance’, he just said that the war was dreadful, with the battles and so many people dying, and that Hitler was a megalomaniac, and so they had to do something.”

Schmorell and his friends Christoph Probst and Hans Scholl had started writing leaflets encouraging Germans to join them in resisting the Nazi regime.

With the help of a small group of collaborators, they distributed the leaflets to addresses selected at random from the phone book.

Furst-Ramdohr says the group couldn’t understand how the German people had been so easily led into supporting the Nazi Party and its ideology.

“They must have been able to tell how bad things were, it was ridiculous,” she says. – BBC Website

They distributed pamphlets all over the area including to the University of Munich.  Where they were spotted by a caretaker who call the Gestapo who came and took them away.

There was a trial with a quick verdict followed even quicker by an execution in the courtyard by guillotine. Now The White Rose are considered heroes and have a monument. But as Furst-Ramdohr says ….

Since the end of the war, the members of the White Rose have become celebrated figures, as German society has searched for positive role models from the Nazi period.

But Furst-Ramdohr doesn’t like it. “At the time, they’d have had us all executed,” she says of the majority of her compatriots. – BBC Website

Such as those who were killed here at Kent State or Jackson State are considered heroes…or were.

We haven’t had any execution here yet of protestors but the silence of those in LA concerning the LAPD, the attacks on OWS and the imprisonment of Bradly Manning  with very little outcry except some on the political left – leaves me to wonder.  As to why the German people of time supported Hitler and hist actions actively and even passively ? Here is one explanation.

A well-respected German historian has a radical new theory to explain a nagging question: Why did average Germans so heartily support the Nazis and Third Reich? Hitler, says Goetz Aly, was a “feel good dictator,” a leader who not only made Germans feel important, but also made sure they were well cared-for by the state.
To do so, he gave them huge tax breaks and introduced social benefits that even today anchor the society. He also ensured that even in the last days of the war not a single German went hungry. Despite near-constant warfare, never once during his 12 years in power did Hitler raise taxes for working class people. He also — in great contrast to World War I — particularly pampered soldiers and their families, offering them more than double the salaries and benefits that American and British families received. As such, most Germans saw Nazism as a “warm-hearted” protector, says Aly, author of the new book “Hitler’s People’s State: Robbery, Racial War and National Socialism” [TC: I cannot find it on U.S. Amazon, try this German link] and currently a guest lecturer at the University of Frankfurt. They were only too happy to overlook the Third Reich’s unsavory, murderous side.
Financing such home front “happiness” was not simple and Hitler essentially achieved it by robbing and murdering others, Aly claims. Jews. Slave laborers. Conquered lands. All offered tremendous opportunities for plunder, and the Nazis exploited it fully, he says.

Sound familiar ?  Bread and Circuses works every time.  Which could explain why so many here are pretty OK with the status quo. As long as they themselves are well taken care of and are doing OK, that’s all that matters, regardless of how the rest are doing.

And as for those who are just waiting for the system to implode, you might want to remember The White Rose.

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