---Yehuda Bauer (Israeli historian and scholar of the Holocaust)
I have come to understand the actions of my ancestors in Germany in the 1940's. People over the last sixty some years ask why the Jewish people stayed when their fate seemed so obvious. Even the wealthy families who could have booked passage to a safer continent remained in their homes. Surely they knew that their possessions were not as valuable as their lives, and yet they continued along in those lives as if they were invincible.
It is because they believed in their country and their countrymen. They believed that since they had done nothing wrong, they would be safe. Their politicians would straighten out this odd little man with a gift of rhetoric, and life would go back to what it always was. After all, one man could never have the power to topple a strong government.
This one little man with the most powerful of voices garnered an army of those who felt that they had been forgotten, and he promised them that they would be forgotten no more. He pointed to the several groups of so called heathens who were robbing them of a life that they deserved, and he swore that if he was given power he would rid Germany of them. He promised them that if these people were gone, the "real" Germans would be safe, and they would make Germany great again.
Even those with good hearts began to be swayed in their thinking, and even those who knew it was wrong, believed that their elected officials would never let it go too far. So they watched their neighbors get "deported" and said, "maybe we will be safer, and they will be happier with their own kind anyway." Meanwhile, the Jewish people, the gypsies, the Catholics, they all believed if they were good citizens who did their jobs diligently, they would be safe. They saw the walls being built, but believed the walls were not for them. After all, some of them even voted for the party that this little man with big ideas represented. They believed he would make them safe too.
When all was over, and the world came to realize what had happened, there was a unified cry of NEVER AGAIN! Never will we turn our heads and watch our brothers and sisters be villainized and victimized. Never again will we collectively believe the rantings of one individual. Never will we believe that "it could never happen here," because it can happen anywhere.
When times are tough and someone pushes just the right "buttons", a few people can become a mob of people who will turn on the innocent. When people are hungry or cold or even bored, they will look for someone to blame, and if a little man with a big voice shows them the group who is causing their pain, they will support him as he attempts to "protect" them. They will overlook his flaws if he is addressing their needs, and unless there is a strong government of men and women who believe in country over party, the country in question will change.
I do not believe that our President is comparable to Adolph Hitler. I do not think that it is hatred that rules his heart. I do believe that he has a vision of a stronger America and truly believes his way is the right way to attain that goal. I do believe that he has no idea why so many people are against him. I also believe that too many congresspeople are looking the other way so their individual agendas can be met. They fear that if they stand up for what they really believe in, they will lose the support of their party and eventually lose their jobs. Maybe they will, but if it were me, I would rather go out fighting the good fight. So thank you Senators McCain, Murkowski, and Collins for believing that the people that you represent are worth standing up for in this tumultuous time. I hope more of your brethren will step up and help guide our leaders and protect our way of life.
Whisper My Secret: A Memoir written by JB Rowley tells the story of her mother whose first three children were taken from her by her husband's family. This story takes place in Australia but could well have taken place here. Myrtle was a wonderful mother who went on to raise seven more children with her second husband, but her heart always ached for those children she lost.
The Wrong Child, by Patricia Kay, is another story about mothers and children, but in this one, a hospital's mistake irrevocably changes the lives of two families.
As always, complete reviews of both books follow this blog.