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I'm writing this diary in response to the McCain camp's attempts to link Barack Obama with William Ayers. Everything that follows is true. I am intentionally leaving out any information that would identify the people in question.

In the late '80s, a very well respected couple (HIM and HER) came to the home of myself and my then-wife for dinner. It was a social occasion. We invited them because we liked them. Not only were they both world renowned researchers in a challenging and important medical field, but they were also gifted writers who were very interested in the visual and performing arts. We had a lovely evening filled with stimulating conversation. Later, we were guests in their home (but never invited for dinner).

A few years later the couple left our town for a better research opportunity with their own lab and greater resources. My ex-wife remained in touch with them; I did not. When my ex-wife learned that HER was dying of cancer, she made the trek to the opposite coast to see HER one last time. We didn't talk of her trip.

When HER died several months later, my ex called me and said that we had to meet for a drink (most unusual) because she had something to tell me. While visiting HER, my ex learned several things:
- HER did not believe that the holocaust had taken place
- HER was most proud of her name, because of the family member for whom she was named
- The family member for whom HER had been named was a Nazi war criminal who was executed for crimes against humanity
- HER had asked her husband to give the bulk of her estate to anti-Zionist terrorist organizations (which he did not do).

Based on HER's first name, I researched Nazi war criminals with that name who were executed and learned that the source of HER's name was considered one of the most brutal guards in Aushwitz, was closely associated with Josef Mengele, and was hanged shortly after turning 22 years old for crimes against humanity.

I realized that HER was not a neo-Nazi who picked up the cause because it suited her; she was a second generation Nazi, raised by Nazis to be a Nazi.

As a Jew, the fact that I entertained a Nazi in my home has never stopped sickening me, whenever I have thought about it.

When I read about Obama being smeared for knowing William Ayers, I am reminded of that dinner. I also think about the hundreds of scientists who attend the annual conference held in HER's name, started by HER's widower with the money she wanted to be used to kill Zionists.

It's an important conference for a good cause named for a brilliant, cultivated woman with a twisted and hateful view of the world. It's the reason I'm hiding the names. None of the attendees know that the conference is named for a Nazi. Had it not been for my ex-wife's visit to a dying friend, I never would have known that I had entertained a Nazi.

Barack Obama once taught at the same school as William Ayers, where they became acquainted. Both were highly regarded in their fields. Maybe they liked and respected each other. Maybe they had dinner together.

I don't really have a nice, neat way to tie this up, except to say that I don't think we ever really know anyone else; it's hard enough to know ourselves. Are the demons that torment others any greater or lesser than those we face every morning when we look in the mirror?

I'll leave it to Tom Waits, and this verse from Please Call Me Baby

And I admit that I ain't no angel
I admit that I ain't no saint
I'm selfish and I'm cruel but you're blind
If I exorcise my devils
Well my angels may leave too
When they leave they're so hard to find

Originally posted to mdb on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 05:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  America had no problem accepting Werner Von Braun (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      testvet6778, Katie71
      and every other Nazi SOB that caused the deaths of 1,000s of British citizens after WWII..Because we needed their expertise and that is the only reason America vaulted to #1 in the space race..Von Braun and every other Nazi should of been sent to the Neurenberg Trials tooo..Same old shit, we will overlook everything and anything if it fits our needs..

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Julian Winston

      by Johnny Rapture on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This diary appears to be a fabrication (0+ / 0-)

      Based on HER's first name, I researched Nazi war criminals with that name who were executed and learned that the source of HER's name was considered one of the most brutal guards in Aushwitz, was closely associated with Josef Mengele, and was hanged shortly after turning 22 years old for crimes against humanity.

      Auschwitz was liberated on January 17, 1945.  The Auschwitz trial defendants were executed on January 28, 1948.

      If this person was executed "shortly after turning 22 years old" then he must have just turned 19 when Auschwitz was liberated.

      That's a little young to be "one of the most brutal guards in Auschwitz" and to be closely associated with Josef Mengele.

      I couldn't find any list of the ages of all the guards who were executed, but there is no mention of any of them having been particularly young and all of the notable ones (and presumably "one of the most brutal guards in Aushwitz" who "was closely associated with Josef Mengele" would have been notable) were substantially older than 22 when they were executed.

    •  didn't catch your diary fast enough to rec it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J Royce

      hence this comment. Very good. And one of my favorite Tom Waits quotes too! Gravy on the cake.

      "Man is a blind, witless, low-brow anthropocentric clod who inflicts lesions upon the earth." - Ian McHarg / Design with Nature

      by mieprowan on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:33:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My own grandfather (7+ / 0-)

      was a Nazi sympathiser, a member of the German-American Bund, and an associate and sometime-employee of gangsters. I'm glad that my own memories of him are unsullied by this knowledge (he died when I was five) to some extent. It all started to come out after his death. My father found some Nazi stuff (a uniform? I'm not sure) and burned it on a bonfire. I started to pick up the rest through listening to grownups when they thought I wasn't--eventually my father told me the whole story, including how his dad made him listen to Hitler on the shortwave during the war, and how he trained with a Bundist unit to prepare for the day that the Nazis called them to take over the US.
      Does my "association" with him make me complicit with Nazism? Hell, no! I've spent a lot of my adult life doing what I can to oppose fascists and fascism.
      What is perhaps even more inexplicable is that along with speaking German, my grandfather spoke adequate Yiddish (learned to sell to Jewish customers) and had many Jewish friends. The man I knew as his closest friend was the local Rabbi. As the negative activities noted all happened in Chicago, it's entirely possible that this man never knew of his friend's past a few hundred miles away. Did that make the small-town Rabbi complicit in Nazism?
      I don't think so. My grandfather was an intelligent man, though not well-educated he had traveled a bit, made good conversation, shot a good game of pool. In our little town, he was well-connected. He probably seemed like a good guy to be friends with.
      I don't know if my grandfather ever apologised for, much less denounced, his past. I doubt it. I think he saw his Jewish friends as different from "those" Jews, in much the same way as my other grandfather saw the hard-working Black men he worked alongside at the factory as different from "those" Black people that he dismissed with casual racism.
      People with dodgy pasts are everywhere. In fact, they are almost impossible to avoid in the worlds of business and politics. You couldn't even avoid them in a small-town Elks Club. Or your own family.
      And a person's dodgy past only matters if you share their views and values. This is where Palin/McCain and Obama differ--there's no evidence that Obama shares Ayres' youthful views, but loads of evidence that McCain and Palin share at least some of the views of the characters they have been associated with (the AIP, Pat Buchanan, G Gordon Liddy, Charles Keating...)

      Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
      "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

      by expatyank on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 12:10:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  tipped for all the usual reasons and also (5+ / 0-)

    for quoting one of my all time favorite Tom Waits lines!

    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." -Einstein

    by Lady Libertine on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 05:50:23 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for your story. (5+ / 0-)
  •  The mother of the girl who used to babysit me (12+ / 0-)

    when I was a young child dated a man who brutally raped and murdered a girl a few years younger than me. She lived on the same street as I did. She had the same newspaper route that I once had.

    By the republican standard, I sympathize with pedophiles and murderers.

    I can't imagine how horrific it must have been for you to learn these things about a woman you had invited into your home.

    (One small suggestion, if you could just change HER to a made-up name, this would be a little easier to read. But I'm tipping and rec'ing regardless.)

    "money may buy death, pain and even administration of torture but.... it won't buy patriots. -edscan

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 05:52:58 PM PDT

  •  Oh, there are lots of HERS here... (5+ / 0-)
    I think I have met one who is heavily involved in Scientology or Est..or Landmark .. whatever the incarnation is..it is kind of weird..but you know what their background is and the impulse is to challenge them..but it is a little scary to do at the same time..
  •  My guess is you're talking about Irma Grese (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, NogodsnomastersMary

    (the war criminal).

    •  Irma Grese (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina

      died at the age of 21 in december 1945 for war crimes as a camp guard.

      Who ever said life should be fair?

      by Void Indigo on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 07:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Irma (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sister Havana, brightstar

        My father was a witness at the trial of the Belsen guards. (He was one of the British liberators of the Belsen camp and later supervised the mass burials. Later still he was in command of the guard outside the execution chamber where Irma Grese was hanged - and the ugly sounds he heard made him an opponent of judicial capital punishment.)

        He said that Irma Grese was physically one of the most beautiful women he ever met - except that her eyes were emotionally dead, which gave her a competely chilling presence. A personal friend of his was a member of the British Special Forces Unit that went into Belsen a day before the offical liberation to stop the guards escaping (one of the untold stories of the war)and spoke to her at lenght. This friend was so revolted by the way she spoke about what she had done that he came very close to cutting her throat on the spot.

        Irma Grese came from a family some at least of whom  did not entirely fall in with Nazi enthusiasms - her father forbade her and her sister from joining the BDM. (League of German Girls, the female version of the Hitler Youth). She rebelled against her father and threw herself enthusiastically into work in various Nazi projects. She was in her teens when she became a warden at various Concentration camps. Someone like her was quite of an age to fit in with the person described in this posting.

         

        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

        by saugatojas on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I won't confirm or deny any guesses (8+ / 0-)

    Revealing the identities of these people could only cause more pain. Feel free to guess, but I won't tell you when you get it right; if you get it right.

    Just say, "Thanks, but no thanks," to John McCain's campaign to nowhere.

    by mdb on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:08:48 PM PDT

  •  Nixon let nazis use me for medical experiments (13+ / 0-)

    at Edgewood Arsenak in 1974  they snuck 9 docotrs and scientists in after Ww2 thru the OSS/CIA  the reason they wanted them was experience in human experimentation    many of them had worked with menegele  no one told me about that when they used us in the experiments from 1955 thru 1975  this did not become know by the veterans until 2002

    Nixon, Cheney and Rumsfeld allowed it    so who is eveil and who is good?  I don't know anymore

  •  Interesting diary (n/t) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Norbrook, abarrenfuture

    Pro-Choice and Proud of It!

    by powwow500 on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:11:43 PM PDT

  •  Everyone has connections (8+ / 0-)

    I can look back, and remember people I knew, worked with, or was friendly with at one time or another who either ended up badly, or had something in their past.  One of my best friends a few years back had an arrest for murder in his past.  I've worked with someone who, as it turned out, was a pedophile.  I had various schoolmates who turned out badly.  

    I have a sister who's married name is the same as one of the top Nazi officials.  Yes, her husband is related (second cousin) to him.  No, they're not Nazi's by any stretch.  

    It doesn't mean that I'm a murderer, pedophile, drug dealer, arsonist, thief, Nazi, etc. or that I condone it.  If anyone wants to go down the "guilt by association" road, where you take any connection, no matter how tenuous as "proof." it just ends up with "we're all guilty."  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:14:02 PM PDT

  •  Another point (11+ / 0-)

    I think it is important to note that Barack probably knew about Ayers' background.  (Maybe I'm wrong about that).  But Ayers had dealt with his legal obligations by the time Barack had met him.  Also, Ayers was by now a respected teacher and community member.  After all Sarah, doesn't your church talk about redemption?  Aren't people allowed to pay their debt to society and then become contributors?  Ayers hosted a fund-raiser for a different (female) Chicago politician, and she invited and introduced Barack at that event - so Ayers did not hold a fundraiser for Barack.  Yes they were on the board of a community organization.  But that does not mean Barack condoned Ayers' earlier actions when Barack himself was only 8 years old.

    Pro-Choice and Proud of It!

    by powwow500 on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:17:45 PM PDT

    •  That is my biggest problem with this. (10+ / 0-)

      The man served his time. He was a criminal, he went through the system and he is now a free man and has not shown any signs of recidivism- in fact, he has gone out of his way to improve his community... but, if you're not a Republican, any crime you commit will tar you forever and no amount of punishment will ever be enough.

      If you're, say, G. Gordon Liddy on the other hand, it's no big deal.

      •  Yes, time served has to have meaning. (0+ / 0-)

        Either you have been punished enough and should be returned as a full citizen, or you are still dangerous and should not be released.

        I am strongly against all forms of registries for former sexual offenders, and similar forms of continuing to ostracize former prisoners.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        by Odysseus on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 07:06:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In theory I would be against that as well... (0+ / 0-)

          except our system has shown a systematic failure to reform sex offenders.

          The problem with sex offenders is that they are generally not criminals of neccesity or opportunity, but of pathology.  They are broken people, and our penal system does not fix them most of the time.  Frequently, it makes them worse.  So while a better system is needed, until one is in place (like that'll ever happen) registry is neccesary to protect the public.  Unfortunately the registry is used with a broad brush, such that even a 19 year old kid who had sex with a 16 year old class-mate might be required to register as an offender (in extreme cases of prosecutional zeal).

          By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, [journalism] keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. - Oscar Wilde

          by The Laughing Man on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 11:16:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He never went to jail (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, kurt

        charges against him were dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct apparently connected to COINTELPRO.  
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Interesting finding in the article...he denies the oft quoted statement that he didn't regret anything they did and felt they should have done more.  He said this wasn't just out of context it was a distortion and he didn't say it.

        My middle name is Hussein!

        by regis on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 08:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Ayers didn't serve much time, but... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, churchylafemme, kurt, BYw

        ...but he almost certainly expected to when he surrendered.

        I think his wife served a year or two for bail jumping and he only spent a little time in jail immediately after surrendering.

        Both he and his wife got all the major charges dropped, due to well-documented governmental misconduct.

      •  as was pointed out today on public radio (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho, Sister Havana, BYw

        The nonprofit boards that Obama and Ayers served on had other members: Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal.  These people didn't, and don't, have a problem with the man as he is today. I wish those who hear Governor Palin's smear may also be listeners to PRI.

        I must confess that I, too, have an association with Mr. Ayers. Although it's not a personal connection.  

        Apparently Beacon Press has published a few of Mr. Ayer's books:

        A Kind and Just Parent, William Ayers, Beacon Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0807044025

        Fugitive Days: A Memoir, Bill Ayers, Beacon Press, 2001, ISBN 0807071242 (Penguin, 2003, ISBN 978-0142002551)

        Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, William Ayers, Beacon Press, 2004, ISBN 978-080703269-5

        Beacon Press is connected with the Unitarian-Universalist Association.  I grew up Unitarian, but stopped going to church by about 1980.

        But wait, there's more!!!  In the early 90s I worked for the Los Angeles recipient of the Annenberg grant, sister organization to the Chicago nonprofit that Obama and Ayers were members of.

        Yay.  I'm a fellow traveler.

        •  An old and dear friend is a Radio voice and (0+ / 0-)

          journalist with BBC/PRI/NPR combined effort at world reporting and election reporting. That's a very good source of info in my book.

          "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

          by yuriwho on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:59:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The NYT article so widely referred to about Obama (8+ / 0-)

      and Ayers closed with the line from I believe Tom Hayden, that Obama is willing to talk civilly and constructively with ALL world leaders, so of course he'd have been willing to talk with Ayers about education.... Great line, sorry I can't find it right away....

    •  If Ayers had "Found Jesus"... (6+ / 0-)

      ...he wouldn't have had to deal with no steenkin' leegal obleegations.  And if he had, it would have been cited as further proof of his devout nature and sterling personal qualities.  Just think of Chuck Colson.

      Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

      by WarrenS on Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 06:31:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bill Ayers is not a Nazi nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina
    •  in 21st Century America (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw

      Ayers is not only respectable, he's boringly respectable, the kind of person who winds up invited to be board members of community organizations.

      This is a bullshit nontroversy and the GOP knows it.

      Would they rather he had never met Obama because he's still pursuing a "blowing things up" hobby?

      Actually, they probably would, as long as the things are birth control clinics, and if he were, McCain and Palin would probably be happy to be seen with him at GOP fundraisers with no press.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:56:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I socialize with the singer from Faster Pussycat (0+ / 0-)

    He's doing data entry now. The horror, the horror...

  •  Not the same school as Ayers (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, alizard, yuriwho, kurt, BYw

    Great story, but a correction: Obama did not teach at the same school as Ayers.

    Obama taught at the University of Chicago; Ayers teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago (where I was once a student in the ed. school).

    Ayers is fairly prominent in Chicago, and there's nothing scandalous about someone like Obama knowing him.

  •  One of the more bizarre experiences in my life (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yuriwho, Sister Havana, kurt, BYw

    was staying in a bungalow in Costa Rica on the coast as a guest to a lady who was selling a commercial property. She was in Germany visiting relatives and allowed us to stay in her bungalow while we were reviewing the property.

    In the bedroom was a proudly displayed a photo of our host's father, in his Wehrmacht uniform.  A handsome man in his uniform and all, but I had to admit I had never in my life seen a family photo proudly displayed in any home in America of a father in his Nazi officer uniform.  I sat there staring at that photo for the longest time to comprehend the fact that there was another side in that war.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    bookmarked

    If u will not vote for the Dem. nominee, no matter who that is, go apologize 2 the youth of this nation. U've helped put in "100 years of war no Choice McCain."

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 09:05:48 PM PDT

  •  I once dated a Communist (10+ / 0-)

    Well, admittedly, not for very long, since the minute she discovered my political leanings we got into a nasty shouting match.

    Basically, she'd hit on me in a club, and asked me out later.  We were talking about how much George Bush sucked, when she told me that she had yelled epithets at returning soldiers.  She seemed quite proud of this, and I said that I didn't feel that was appropriate.  She then went on some rant about how they were evil capitalists, and I realized "holy shit, she's a communist!"

    SO I decided I'd end it right then and there by telling her that I, too, was an evil capitalist, albiet a left-leaning one.  Well, things quickly turned ugly.  She called me a "damned fascist" and I called her a "Mao apologist," and that's the last I saw of her.

    And if anyone tried to use that against me, I'd slug them.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 09:11:20 PM PDT

  •  It's a shame this diary didn't get more attention (4+ / 0-)

    I really enjoyed your story.  We really don't know much about our friends or neighbors, just know the areas where our interests coincide.  We also rarely know their past, just pick up their lives at the time we meet them (most people don't confide unsavory bits of their past).

    One house, One Spouse, Obama'08

    by GMFORD on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 09:18:30 PM PDT

  •  good story and I get the point but. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democratinalabama

    There is a difference.  You did not KNOW your friend's history.  

    I don't think that means Obama is responsible for other's actions.  If anything, Obama's relationships just illustrate that there are times when we have to work with people we fundamentally disagree with.  

    I'm sure each and every one of us has had pleasant interactions with people that would apall us if we knew thier whole story.

    Most people are not ALL bad or ALL good, but a mix of both with the potential for either.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  okay. i just have to ask it, (7+ / 0-)

    although i know you haven't the answer.  

    but how in the world can you deny the holocaust occurred when you consider yourself proudly named after a nazi guard at auschwitz?

    i guess i'm pointing to this as an example of how deep denial can run.  

    i don't want to say too much about it but in my academic career i came across someone German in a position of authority who was quite unapologetic for his role in WWII.  His life was a source of reflection for me; this horrible hatred swelled up in the form of a terrible terrible social movement and then returned to a subterranean current in all our lives.  Where did that 'energy' go?  When and where will it return?

    "Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us." Dan Quayle

    by RadicalGardener on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:19:01 PM PDT

    •  That's a great question (5+ / 0-)

      She was willing to admit that some Jews may have been killed, but nothing like the six million claimed.

      Just say, "Thanks, but no thanks," to John McCain's campaign to nowhere.

      by mdb on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 11:06:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this question of what i term (4+ / 0-)

        'nazi energy' for lack of anything better, is something that i have puzzled over quite a bit.  about a dozen years ago, the nyt ran a series on the persistence of nazism in germany that curled my toes.  the article spoke of people who have secret shrines in hall closets to adolf hitler, who hold secret nazi meetings etc.  it hasn't just 'gone away'. none of this is intended to be an indictment of 'germanism' or anything like that.  but i found it chilling, the persistence of history, and so on.

        holocaust denial is an amazing phenomenon. i can't quite come to grips with the motivation for maintaining such acritical unthinking opinions in the face of such overwhelming evidence.  

        "Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us." Dan Quayle

        by RadicalGardener on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 11:30:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  long ago as a young woman (3+ / 0-)

    I was working in our garden and along the sidewalk can a tall gentle old fellow, He stop to talk to my hisband and I about how nice the neighborhood was. As we stood by the sidewalk chatting with this fellow he talked about his time as a war prisoner in Canada and how lovely Canada was.  He continued to talk about time as a prisoner and he was clearly German due to his accent. After he left to continue his walk. Husband and I turn to each other and thought ..... Nazi! living peacefully in Southern Ontario within blocks of Mrs. XXX who was the neighborhood preschool child care person who still had the tattoo of her number on her arm for her time in a camp.....

    Strange....
    and scary.

    my diary on my exerience in Nuremberg
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Too young for me but.... http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/4/132726/659/392/619988

    by TexMex on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:26:40 PM PDT

    •  Are you sure? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sister Havana, Lashe

      Why did you immediately assume that this person was a "Nazi"? Any male German of this person's age was required to serve in the armed forces, no matter what their party affiliation or personal views may have been. Otherwise they would have been put away for a long time in a very dismal place - or worse. He also would have been very young at the time. This characterization doesn't seem quite fair. He may very well have suffered a lot more due to the Nazis than you can possibly imagine.

      •  This is quite true, and important to keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sister Havana

        Not everyone who served as a soldier for Germant during WW2 was a Nazi, it sounds almost like this guy was happy to have been taken out of the situation, as your description sounds almost like he was wistful about being a prisoner in Canada.

        By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, [journalism] keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. - Oscar Wilde

        by The Laughing Man on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 11:22:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This story reminds me of GWB gandfather (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    Prescott Bush, US senator and Nazi enabler. By that alone anyone that voted for GWB or GHWB is a Nazi enabler.

    Guardian story on Prescott and the Nazi's

    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:49:37 PM PDT

  •  I had a good friend (4+ / 0-)

    now deceased, whose parents were Nazis. They were Germans who were living in the U.S. (my friend was born here). I don't know if they had become U.S. citizens. It was only after knowing her for years that she told a few of her friends one day about her folks; it has been a long time since then and I don't remember most of the story, but I think she said that one or both went to jail for Nazi activity of some sort during WWII.

    When my friend was three years old, the family went to Germany for a visit and she was introduced to Hitler! I don't know what year that was, obviously before the war. She said she shook his hand.

    My friend lived her adult life as a very active progressive involved in feminist and local issues. She also married a Jew.

  •  In '1998 I met a Nazi friend of Demjanjuk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana, J Royce, Clio2

    John Demjanjuk was convicted of being Ivan the Terrible, a brutal murderous Nazi guard during WWII. He lived in Seven Hills, Ohio where I had met associates of his.

    It was a home improvement job that brought me to this house. The house was next to a corn field at the end of a very long dirt road. It was a very private setting, almost spooky.

    I knocked on the door and an older woman wearing a babushka answered. She invited me in. She spoke with a thick accent of which I couldn't recognize immediately but in my youth sounded a bit like my grandmother (grandma was a Slovenian who had come to the US after WWI.) I guessed the accent to be  German, Czech or Slavic. She asked me to stay in the entry for a minute while she checked on her husband.

    While she was gone I stepped into the living room and had a look around. I noticed some WWII German memorabilia scattered about- old military photographs and hardware, a picture of a swastika an some sort of booklet and photos of civilians dressed in 'liederhosen' saluting in the Nazi-style.

    I was a bit shocked when the lady suddenly came in the room and caught me off guard. She quickly shooed me out of the room and scolded me for taking 'privelege' with her house. After a few minutes of apologizing I played dumb and realized I had a job to do. So to ease the tension I lied a bit and suggested that my family had come from the old country. This put her mind at ease and she began to loosen up.

    In a few minutes we were sitting in the living room looking at a few pictures of her past. She only discussed the civilian pics, all from the WWII era, photographs of her friends and relatives of whom she so dearly missed. Before long she began to cry. She mentioned something about John from Seven Hills and a sad day for a deportation or something. I only realized later that she had meant the guard on trial in Cleveland for his alleged Nazi activities.

    She grabbed a kleenex and rambled a bit about how she had to leave the old country in a hurry, of a  heavy heart for old friends and country that she hadn't seen in years. Then, all of a sudden we heard a creak in a floor board and she immediately stood up, brushed her apron and ushered me out the door. As I walked out I turned and noticed the smallish figure of a man who had just stepped in the room.

    That was all I saw of her until the end of the day, after the job was completed. My worker was loading tools in the truck which was about 30 feet from the house. Babushka lady re-emerged on the back porch and called me over, said her husband wanted  to meet me. As I approached I observed an older man,  two hands gripping a walker, shuffling slowly across the porch. He wasn't very tall, maybe 5'4" or so, but with broad shoulders and unusually large hands. Must be her husband I had thought.

    He made his way out doors and stood on the flagstone for a minute to catch his breath. Then, sufficiently rested he held his head up and turned it in my direction. Then bam! Now I don't know if I had somehow  spooked myself for the chill I was about to receive, but when his eyes met mine I literally froze in my tracks.

    His eyes were ice blue, clear as day with a most piercing stare I have ever witnessed. As I stood there, hypnotized for what seemed like eternity,  the wife came over and made an introduction. We shook hands, I drooled some syllables and he turned and walked away.

    Dumbfounded I returned to my truck where my worker had observed the greeting. Before I said a word my worker blurted something to me about the old man. He talked of his 'cold' blue eyes and of the stare that caught my worker by surprise, and of a hopeless feeling, an empty, dreadful emotional pain felt in the belly, albeit brief but remarkable- exactly what I had felt a few moments before.

    I have no way of knowing for sure who this fellow and his wife really were. The connection to John D was genuine, according the lady. Maybe I am making a Nazi connection where there is none, but for my two cents I'll take the position that it was. And in my fifty two years on this earth I have never been stopped dead in my tracks by a cold blank stare, ever.

    What was it? You tell me.

    Screw the banks. Seller finance with RealtyRTO.com

    by PlanetTreasures on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:07:41 AM PDT

  •  Another thing that interests me greatly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    about this diary, is that this person was a "second-generation" Nazi raised in this country.

    I have long had an intuition (can call it nothing else) that there are at least a few actual, active Nazis or Nazi sympathizers secretively working here as well as abroad and that it is possible that there may even by some connection between this and some of the well-known public events of the past 8 years.

    I am not talking about the pathetic rag-tag neo-Nazi types who openly distribute hate literature -- nor am I forming any "conspiracy theory" to explain a wide sweep of recent history!

    But.

    I was invited to dinner some years ago by a lovely couple on Capitol Hill -- really nice, interesting people who were or appeared to be quite liberal in their outlook (both now deceased). One of the other dinner guests, another older man, spent quite some time bending my ear about his friend Rudolph Hess, what a fine, gentlemanly, brilliant man he was, and man what a thoroughly decent human being.

    I really could not muster the chutzpah to question the man aggessively at this nice social event. But it sticks with me.

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