Friday, November 12, 2010
As a young child I had a particular fascination about the Holocaust. Maybe fascination is the wrong word. From the first time I heard about it from my Father I wanted to know more. I couldn't believe that something so horrific happened to people - many of them not so different from me at all.
My father was stationed in Germany at the time and the first summer we lived there we went on a family vacation to Munich (1972 - the time of the Summer Olympics) and visited the Dachau Concentration Camp. I have talked about my feelings about that place at this post so I won't repeat myself here except to say that there are few places in the world that have affected me as much as that evil place. I could feel the weight of death there.
I know a lot about the Nazis. I have read books and watched programs about their regime for decades, always with the eye to understanding how something like what happen to Europe in the 1930s and 40s could ever have occurred. I have always wondered if I would have just 'gone along' with everything if I was living in that time.
As a teacher it is often difficult to teach this subject because the true scale of the horrors is very hard for students to get their minds around. I always am told by students that they would have never bought into Hitler's message and propaganda. They were too 'sophisticated' to ever fall for those lies.
Back in the days of Afterschool Specials, they did one show called 'The Wave' (which you can see on You Tube). I always showed this to my classes. It was a true story about a teacher who was teaching this exact subject to his students. They too were skeptical of many points so he started a club in school called 'The Wave'. Everyone who joined this 'special' group got a patch with a wave symbol on it.
There were also functions and events only open to 'Wave' members. Those who didn't want to join found themselves ostracized by Friends. Some even had violence done to them. A few were so into this club that they would follow the teacher around, hanging on his every word and opinion. They would act as bodyguards and threaten anyone who spoke out against the teacher's message.
Then there came a time when the teacher told the 'Wave' that their's was a national movement of like thinking students and that there would be a huge rally to meet the national spokesperson of the organization. He gathered them up in the auditorium and when the lights went down he got them worked up and flashed the picture of their leader on the viewscreen.
Of course that face was the face of Adolf Hitler.
He then went on to make his point about following someone's ideology, no matter how evil it was, just to 'belong' to something. He told them how their new self esteem and perceived greatness was perverted by the 'Wave' to advance an evil agenda. Just like the Nazis did to the people of Germany.
Now I bring this up because I have heard some things that radio and TV provocateur Glenn Beck has been saying all week about a man named George Soros. He is a rich and powerful Democrat in the U.S. who gives lots of money to liberal causes. For this reason he is hated by the right who seek to demonize him for what they themselves to - accept money to advance a political agenda.
It's fine to disagree with someone's politics but it's not okay to say that Soros (who is Jewish and survived the Holocaust) was really a Nazi who was responsible for sending his own people to their deaths during that time in history.
This is anti-semitism of the worst kind and Glen Beck knows what he is saying is evil but he says it anyways. This goes BEYOND simple being and entertainer and pundit. This plays into the worst prejudices of those on the Far Right who hate Jews, and Blacks and Mexicans and anyone else who they view as not being white Christians who I fear most than any old middle eastern based terrorist group.
Since Obama has been president it seems like it's suddenly okay to have these racist beliefs. It is using fear to seduce a group to follow a particular ideology because that group wants 'their America back' from all those groups that they feel threatened by.
You can read the articles HERE about what Beck is doing and then you can tell me what you think. Can you justify his attacks in ANY way. Seriously, if you believe what Beck is saying, have the courage of your convictions and explain to me how this ISN'T evil and dangerous. Explain to me WHY it's okay for Beck to spout these views.
I think he should be in jail, free speech or no free speech. This is incitement to violence. This is calling 'fire' in a crowded theatre.
I have added a portion of the article for you to read.
"George Soros survived the Holocaust. He is Jewish and when the Nazis caught up with his family his father saved his life by bribing an agricultural official to pretend Soros was his Christian godson. At one point, that man took the fourteen year old Soros to survey and appraise the property that had been confiscated from another Jewish family. Obviously Soros did not have a choice in the matter. Soros eventually survived the Holocaust.
To most this would be an amazing and harrowing story of survival during the Holocaust. To Beck it was an opportunity to paint Soros as an anti-Semite and smear him with one of the worst lies I have ever heard….
[When he was] 14 years old, he had to help the government confiscate the land of his fellow Jewish friends and neighbors.
That’s not what happened at all as you can see from above. He didn’t help confiscate people’s land. He didn’t actively participate in betraying his Jewish neighbors or friends. The implications are horrible. But what Beck did next is much worse. He twisted the story further until he came out with this inexcusable lie on his radio show:
[H]ere’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.
That lie takes my breath away. That is a lie that cannot be told.
The ADL has now condemned Beck’s statements as “horrific.”
Michelle Goldberg has a terrific article in The Daily Beast explaining how Beck’s two part series on Fox News Channel about George Soros was classic anti-Semitism. He even named the series “Puppet Master.” Nazi propaganda used to call Jews the “wire pullers.”
Posted by Kal at 8:36 PM