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View Diary: Obama's great uncle speaks out about liberating Nazi camp (Update) (161 comments)

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  •  My father landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, (25+ / 0-)

    and my mother was in the French Resistence in Paris. I think all of us raised by WWII veterans, as Obama, will never stop indentifying with the struggle against fascism, anti-Semitism, genocide. It marks you. My father died one year before the 50th anniversary of D Day. My partner, my son and I went to the 60th anniversary ceremony. When asked by a Mexican journalist why we were there, my son, then 13 years old, answered: "I'm here because my grandfather couldn't make it. I'm here in his place. I'm very proud of what my grandfather did, and my grandmother as well, in WWII, fighting the Nazis." Don't forget. Pass it on. Now it's my son's turn to pass it on.

    •  You're right. It does mark us. But it (5+ / 0-)

      has it's bad as well as it's good points.  Yes, we will never stop identifying with the struggle against fascism, anti-semitism, and genocide - but we tend to see it as an external and military struggle.  That's one of the reasons why and how the Rs have managed to subvert the Constitution and bring elements of fascism - and torture and genocide (anti-Muslim instead of anti-Jew) - into regular American processes.  We don't see the enemy within because we're so focused on the external enemy.  (As a generation - not you and me specifically.  Us dfh have seen the enemy within and have been called unpatriotic for fighting against it since Vietnam.)

      •  yup, that's how the Nazis were able to do it (3+ / 0-)

        People can be so shocked—shocked!—when "red-blooded Americans" are compared, in any way, to the Nazis. "Where are the concentration camps? Where are the goose-stepping horde of SS? The yellow stars?" they challenge. It can be very difficult to explain to even well-meaning, non-asshat citizens that there are grave dangers in the way things have been conducted in the United States.

        Of course, the truly egregious among us—and their number is legion—would like to see a little of that reprised, here in "God's Country".

        "They're telling us something we don't understand"
        General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

        by subtropolis on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 08:43:45 AM PDT

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      •  relevant quotes (4+ / 0-)

        ----------------------

        "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security...."

        -- They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, 1955

        "Nazism...kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the 'national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

        "To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' that no 'patriotic German' could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."

        "Once the war began, resistance, protest, criticism, complaint, all carried with them a multiplied likelihood of the greatest punishment. Mere lack of enthusiasm, or failure to show it in public, was 'defeatism.' You assumed that there were lists of those who would be 'dealt with' later, after the victory. Goebbels was very clever here, too. He continually promised a 'victory orgy' to 'take care of' those who thought that their "treasonable attitude" had escaped notice...

        "Once the war began, the government could do anything 'necessary' to win it; so it was with the 'final solution' of the Jewish problem, which the Nazis always talked about but never dared undertake, not even the Nazis, until war and its 'necessities' gave them the knowledge that they could get away with it."

        Anonymous - German scholar, reflecting on 1930s Germany (quoted in 'They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945' by Milton Mayer)

        The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

        by NCrefugee on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 08:46:57 AM PDT

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