What we didn’t learn by watching the Nazis

Thinking about that Nazi analogy. When I was a boy, we took it for granted that the Nazis were supremely evil people; that they were different from us; that the German people were guilty because they had not overthrown their rulers but had followed orders. Their very explanation – “we were good Germans,” meaning they followed the rules as they had always done – became a taunt that seemed to show that a whole people were evil.

But now are getting a good look at what that Nazi mentality and that “good German” mentality looks like from the inside. Our rulers (hardly our representatives!), reacting out of fear and self-righteousness and whatever other emotions, do what they please, and there is damned little anybody who doesn’t have his hands on the levers of power can do about it.

Perhaps if we had troubled to get inside the heads of the Nazis and the German people when it was still safe to do so, we would have realized the psychic danger we were in. A couple of true and appropriate psychological sayings: “You become like the worst in those you fight,” and “Condemnation isolates. Only understanding liberates.”

We can pretend that one side is all evil and the other all good, but it doesn’t lead anywhere we want to go.

2 thoughts on “What we didn’t learn by watching the Nazis

  1. Agree Frank.
    In the last years documentaries (the very first black&white documentaries) have been shown on TV.
    The particular very first documentaries from the liberation of the camps were not shown in public for several years afterwards. They were called “chambers of horrors,” (impossible to “the ordinary” human mind to understand at all), filmed by the English and U.S.soldiers. And even has been shown on TV from the old archives of the “lost films” taken by the Russians when they liberated the camps, they were the first ones from the camps but kept hidden from the public.

    Surely it is a lesson to learn. F.inst., only try to take ANY young child and put them into kindergartens and schools, scout-camps etc. etc. etc… And to begin with a learning-process upon them, the young children, forming their minds (one-sided learning), as in “indoctrination,” as in the nazi-doctrine.

    In the nazi/german occupation of Norway in 1940, they tried to begin with it at the schools.
    Luckily the Norwegian teachers refusing in to do it,and 2,000 teachers (that`s quite a lot, among the population of only 3.5 millions, at the time) were sent to the prison-camps both in Germany in the prisons in Norway.
    Not many of them came back home again.
    When “the rest” of the teachers in the schools realized they could be sent away to the prison camps, they saw it would not do any good if ALL the Norwegian teachers were sent into prison-camps, and eventually the nazi-german teachers would begin (coming along) to replace the norwegians… so, they (the rest of) kept quiet, their mouth shut, and went “under-cover” in teaching the children instead.

    One of the Englishmen, or was it an American soldier?, said on the films when looking at the Hell about them: “Now I know what (and why) we were fighting for, indeed(and died for)..”

    Hmm, peculiarly enough many of “the survivors” wanted to forgive and to forget about it.
    Well, ACIM is among “the teachings” which stresses forgiveness at large… Because “there is nothing to forgive,” when us to have come thus far that is…
    We cannot do it ALONE, it must be “a higher intelligence” somewhere,if you ask me.
    B&B,Inger Lise.

    1. Thank you, Inger Lise. This little snippet of history is no doubt well known to you and to your compatriots, but to us, or anyway to me, not so much. It is a good corrective to those who teach that war is always wrong. It is never desirable, and it never comes without serious consequences even for the victors, but sometimes there is no way around it. Makes it all that important to pick your causes, and your battles, carefully.

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