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A thread on Reddit’s The_Donald from August 5, 2017 features a lengthy comment from a young Venezuelan on what a life of strife is like.

Language alert: I have put in hyphens below. I have also capitalised a few proper nouns where necessary.

The thread is about London, however, the immediate context is whether a Canadian should emigrate legally to the United States.

This is the Venezuelan’s immediate response:

Listen.

I’m Venezuelan, when Chavez won, my father said he “saw it coming”, but never moved.

Now, I’m plain 2017 almost 2018, I’m HERE, in Venezuela, living the very definition of lefty paradise.

Don’t be retarded: get the f-ck out of there (legally) to the USA, your comment screams “I love America”, so don’t stand there like an idiot [–] GO.

A reader asked him what life was like and he replied:

It’s 1:27am right now. I’m currently on my home, on my PC (playing games, I use Reddit on mobile.)

I’ve recently finished my University second semester, all the protests and constant reports of casualties has made it excruciatingly difficult to concentrate, I know one female companion that has her right leg burned due to a grenade the military threw at her, there have also been reports of tanks shooting at buildings. The following days, after finishing the university have been filled with constant rage and disappointment, rage at this damn government and the fact that I’m stuck here for something I didn’t even vote for, and disappointment at the opposition failing in everything imaginable.

The idiotic previous generation decided it was a good idea to give away our guns, so we’re stuck using shields and blunt weapons. (NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT, THAT SH-T IS THERE FOR A GOOD REASON!!!)

There’s food scarcity, hospitals are in SH-T conditions; not to mention there is also medicine scarcity, prices are off the charts. There’s massive traffic just to buy a miserable coffee, there’s also diaper scarcity, and even if you were to work nonstop you wouldn’t be able to pay sh-t, jobs are also at an all times low.

I originally wanted to study medicine, however, that is only given on public universities, and those are in horrible conditions and are constantly assaulted by the military. So I ended up picking organizational psychology as a career.

Daily life is sh-t. ALL thanks to socialism, and YES, it IS real socialism. Socialism was created by a massive loser called Marx who was ignorant of absolutely everything and whose only life accomplishment was marrying a rich woman.

I didn’t vote for this, neither did any of my family or all my friends. And yet young people are the ones getting bullets and grenades all the time. Some even go to protests because “I’m not afraid of dying because I have nothing to lose” (AND THEY’RE NOT EXAGGERATING. THEY LEGITIMATELY HAVE NO SH-T TO LOSE!)

Socialism, communism, Globalism, Marxism, same sh-t (country going to sh-t.)

By the way: it’s 1:50am right now, why? Because lights went out for a time and I absolutely won’t use my mobile data, which by the way I only get a measly 300MB that I have to manage to deal with a whole MONTH. The government has been trying nonstop to get rid of the internet and any form since it’s the only thing we have that can send the message.

We really need outside help for this.

This was the scene in Caracas on August 3:

By the way, I am aware this did not come from the real Julian Assange’s Twitter account. It does not matter. The video is what is important.

When Chavez was alive and in power, I used to read three different Venezuelan blogs. Since then, one has gone private, another has been deleted, which leaves the third, Venezuela News and Views.

Daniel, the author, has well-written, informative posts in English. The country’s latest elections were held on Sunday, July 30. He did not vote, however, his significant other did:

The summary of his experience was that his normally crowded center, a big one downtown Caracas, was empty. There were not even the normal number of attendants. There was no control except a quick glance to you ID card just before the vote. There was even political propaganda distributed INSIDE the voting area, a major rule violation in electoral law. But nobody cared, nobody monitored. He sent me a scan of some of the propaganda pro regime he received.

On Monday, July 31, Daniel wrote (emphasis in the original):

What happened in Venezuela was an historical electoral fraud of major proportions. So blatant, so nakedly obvious is the fraud that within hours more than a dozen countries have announced they would not recognize the result. And more to come. Only outlaw regimes like Cuba, or commies disguised as lefties in Europe like Iglesias or Melanchon can recognize the result …

The results are meaningless and aim only at the chavista lumpen and brain washed. Think of it this way. Maduro claims that 8 million people voted for his fraud in the middle of the major economic crisis that we have experienced in our history. No food, no jobs, no medicine, violence from crime skyrocketing, etc, etc…  And he gets almost as many votes as Chavez was getting ten years ago at his prime of massive flux of dollars and cash payment to “el pueblo”.  Gimme a break! The other results that are meaningless are who won what. That is, when the injection of votes is so flagrant, so abusive that whoever won whatever seat somewhere it is because votes were allocated to that person according to the regime[‘s] wishes. We will soon find out, I guess, what section of chavismo has come on top, not through votes but through counting the votes in the greatest Stalinist dictum. You know, the one where he says that elections do not depend on the votes but on who counts them.

I think this is enough. If you are not convinced by this then you are either dumb or of bad faith or cashing in, which is the same as bad faith. I am sorry, I live in a dictatorship, I cannot play nice anymore.

On August 2, he wrote about the Reuters article saying that there was a manipulation of at least one million votes. The government uses Smartmatic voting machines, which were also used in the US general election in 2012. Does anyone remember how the vote tallies flipped in the final half hour of news coverage? I do! (I am positive Mitt Romney was the rightful winner.) Daniel included the Reuters  tweet and wrote:

For those late in the game, Smartmatic was an electronic voting machine manufacturer which test run was the most controversial recall election on 2004. A new comer got to organize its first try a NATIONAL election! Needless to say that this was highly controversial and Smartmatic has been enveloped in a cloud of suspicion ever since. Note that the amounts of money paid to Smartmatic by the regime, amounts never quite clarified and showered over successive elections, have allowed it to become an international company that has Venezuela as a mere client now.

Thus the questions. First, what compelled Smartmatic to come out and state that its client padded its vote result by an outrageous 1 million votes (1 in 8, or 12,5%)? Note also the “least” in the Reuters text …. Second, are we allowed to doubt previous elections held through Smartmatic machines?

So that is that.

A little comment: in spite of all that electronic speedy voting the CNE is not publishing complete and detailed results. Yet it is declaring those who won seats. The problem? The total 8+ [million] must match the sum of all the individual votes. If indeed “at least 1M” were added, who got them? Which candidates were favored? Which wing of chavismo got ahead?

Later that day, he posted again:

As I reported earlier, two Reuters dispatches told us that 1) there were less than 4 million votes cast and not 8 and 2) Smartmatic, the service provider of voting machines, said results were not those of the electoral board CNE, with a difference of at least 1 million votes, that is, at least 13%. That is just too much, too far of standard error for any election. (1) …

1) it is to be noted that before making the announcement Smartmatic vacated its offices of all material and took its people out of the country through private airplane. They certainly know how justice and investigation function in Venezuela: jail you first, see if we do anything about it some day.

His post of August 4 attracted a comment from Anonymous calling for an armed revolt as the only way to stop the dictatorship. (The chap writing to The_Donald was right about gun ownership.) Here is the first part of the comment. I have made a few corrections to the spelling:

I have been following and posting on this site for many years now, and been saying forever the only way to stop the dictatorship that happened long ago, not with this Assembly was through Venezuelans taking arms. Any other plan is an absolute waste. The opposition is completely useless, if you cannot infiltrate the brain trust of a money hungry regime as this you’re not even trying. How stupid are people to now only say that a dictator is put in place via the constitutional assembly. It was way back when they trampled all over the constitution with no repercussion. The games were over[;] all that is left since then is armed rebellion which maybe 1% of the populous has the stomach for, hence it is over.

This is all very sad. I remember when Venezuela was a beautiful country. Even before Chavez, things were changing. A good friend of mine went there on business 15 years ago. I was shocked to hear that travellers were advised not to go to out day or night unless accompanied by a Venezuelan who could spot potential trouble. Wealthy Venezuelan families were also targets of kidnapping; their children were abducted for the afternoon in what Caracas residents called ‘McDonald’s kidnappings’. My friend was picked up and dropped off at his hotel by taxis and drivers that were pre-arranged by the company he visited.

It really looks like Venezuela will go the way of Cuba unless another nation steps in.

I also wonder if there was — or is — a similar plan for the United States to go the same way.

Several days ago, I saw a photo with something unusual: an outdoor cigarette advertisement.

SpouseMouse and I went to Germany in 2008 and were surprised to find promotional Lucky Strike matchboxes. Of course, they had a health warning on them. Smoking indoors, except in a few designated areas, is banned. Smoking in bars was at the time dependent on the size of the establishment and in what German state it was located.

However, seven years on, cigarette advertising is still allowed. It is possible that this will be a thing of the past if Food Minister Christian Schmidt gets his way.

Yet, it is worth noting that, despite cigarette advertising, fewer young Germans are smoking. EurActiv reports (emphases mine):

it is being ignored that the share of young smokers has been “plummeting” since 2001 and that 2014 reached a “historical low” with less than 10%, Mücke pointed out. In addition, the rate of smoking among young people has decreased more strongly in Germany than in France, Poland, the United Kingdom where total advertising bans have existed for years. From a lobbyists point of view, this shows that a ban on advertising has neither a real influence on the number of smokers nor is it suited for prevention among young people.

Let’s look at those points again:

  • Germany has cigarette advertising;
  • fewer young Germans than ever smoke;
  • comparative smoking rates for other Western European countries where advertising has long been banned are far higher;
  • advertising and advertising bans have little to no effect on smoking rates.

There may well be a reason why Germany has not yet banned cigarette advertising: Adolf Hitler.

Certainly, Hitler was far from the first to restrict tobacco and develop an anti-tobacco programme. In fact, from the early 17th century, a handful of rulers in Europe and Asia condemned or severely punished tobacco use and possession. American Heritage features an excellent essay by Gordon L Dillow which summarises the history of anti-tobacco movements on those continents before detailing those in the United States beginning at the end of the 19th century.

NaziantismokingHowever, none of these — draconian as some were — was as systematic and scientific as the anti-tobacco campaign and legislation in the Third Reich. I wrote about it in 2013, quoting a review of Robert L Proctor’s The Nazi War on Cancer. Black and white posters come from Blogs of Bainbridge (at left) and Inconvenient History (below right).

It is good to see that The Atlantic picked up on the book the following year in ‘The Nazis’ Forgotten Anti-Smoking Campaign’, because I know a History professor who says it never happened.

A brief excerpt from The Atlantic follows:

Nazism was a movement of muscular, health-conscious young men worried about things like the influence of Jews in German culture and the evils of communism,” Proctor says, “but also about the injurious effects of white bread, asbestos, and artificial food dyes.

According to an article in Toxicological Sciences, before 1900, lung cancer was extremely rare worldwide, but incidents of the disease increased dramatically by the 1930’s. This coincided with the growing popularity of cigarette smoking beginning toward the end of the 20th century, but a link was never identified between lung cancer and smoking until Nazi-era scientists made the connection.

Research into the harmful effects of tobacco were funded by the Institute for the Struggle Against Tobacco, which was established in 1941 and funded by Hitler’sNazi anti-smoking motherhood_smoking Inconvenient History Reich Chancellery. The Institute was led by Karl Astel, a doctor, high-ranking SS officer and fervent anti-Semite, according to Proctor.

Among other things, Astel’s institute funded and distributed pamphlets and articles about the harmful effects of tobacco, including a collection of Goethe’s views on the subject. The institute conducted research into the potential damage or mutations that nicotine could cause to the genetic material of the master race.

I posted on American research into the lung cancer phenomenon a few days ago. In short, there is no scientific proof of a connection between cigarettes and lung cancer. However, anyone against tobacco — Nazis included — can be persuaded that manipulated scientific data ‘prove’ causality. This junk science will proliferate. In 1997 epidemiologists strongly supported the continued use of ‘risk factor’ epidemiology, which gives us the frustrating array of contradictory studies and distorted dangers of just about everything. But I digress.

What The Atlantic article leaves out are Third Reich specifics that I cited from the review of Proctor’s book in 2013:

Propaganda Minister Joseph Gobbels was obliged to hide his ciggie whenever he was filmed — anti-tobacco activists succeeded in banning smoking from government offices, civic transport, university campuses, rest homes, post offices, many restaurants and bars, hospital grounds and workplaces. Tobacco taxes were raised, unsupervised cigarette vending machines were banned, and there were calls for a ban on smoking while driving …

It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

If some of these measures appear familiar today, then consider the rules laid down in 1941 regarding tobacco advertising. “Images that create the impression that smoking is a sign of masculinity are barred, as are images depicting men engaged in activities attractive to youthful males (athletes or pilots, for example),” and “may not be directed at sportsmen or automobile drivers,” while “advocates of tobacco abstinence or temperance must not be mocked.” Advertisements were banned from films, billboards, posters and “the text sections of journals and newspapers.”

It sounds remarkably like the present day in the West, which fought Hitler.

Nearer the end of the Third Reich more restrictions came into force:

From July 1943 it was illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke in public.(20) Smoking was banned on all German city trains and buses in 1944, the initiative coming from Hitler himself, who was worried about exposure of young female conductors to tobacco smoke.(21) Nazi policies were heralded as marking ”the beginning of the end” of tobacco use in Germany.(14) …

An ordinance on 3 November 1941 raised tobacco taxes to a higher level than they had ever been (80-95% of the retail price). Tobacco taxes would not rise that high again for more than a quarter of a century after Hitler’s defeat.(26) …

Ultimately:

After the war Germany lost its position as home to the world’s most aggressive anti-tobacco science. Hitler was dead but also many of his anti-tobacco underlings either had lost their jobs or were otherwise silenced. Karl Aster, head of Jena’s Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research (and rector of the University of Jena and an officer in the SS), committed suicide in his office on the night of 3-4 April 1945. Reich Health Fuhrer Leonardo Conti, another anti-tobacco activist, committed suicide on 6 October 1945 in an allied prison while awaiting prosecution for his role in the euthanasia programme. Hans Reiter, the Reich Health Office president who once characterised nicotine as “the greatest enemy of the people’s health” and “the number one drag on the German economy”(27) was interned in an American prison camp for two years, after which he worked as a physician in a clinic in Kassel, never again returning to public service. Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel, the guiding light behind Thuringia’s antismoking campaign and the man who drafted the grant application for Astel’s anti-tobacco institute, was executed on 1 October 1946 for crimes against humanity. It is hardly surprising that much of the wind was taken out of the sails of Germany’s anti-tobacco movement …

Germans began smoking freely again. Although there are many German non-smokers today, most of them take a balanced view of tobacco use as they do with alcohol. To rant against smoking or reinstate a Third Reich tobacco control programme would be anathema.

I read all the comments following The Atlantic article and recognised the names of two of my readers, Harleyrider1978 and Michael J McFadden. The anti-smokers they politely and factually countered could respond with nothing other than deplorable ad hominems.

Tobacco Control concerns many of us — including non-smokers — who object to state intrusions on individual and private property liberties hard fought for by our antecedents in two World Wars.

In closing, Hillary Clinton was the First Lady who banned smoking in the White House. The following graphic comes from a reader at No Quarter, an American political site comprised of ex-Clinton supporters who are now mostly independents. Note the similar sentiments voiced, then and now, by Adolf Hitler and Hillary Clinton:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/12115903_10153326426944296_7490413031598449294_n.jpg?oh=371327449d15bcfb887833232bba464c&oe=56CE7D47

Whilst smoking was unlikely to have been the subject of either statement, the communitarian view elucidated by these two leftist politicians is the same one that has given us Tobacco Control.

Only several days ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would accommodate 800,000 migrants from MENA (Middle East North Africa).

By last weekend, her utopian vision went up in smoke after 25,000 arrived. Germany reimposed border checks and closures to those without papers even though it is part of the Schengen group of countries guaranteeing ‘freedom of movement’.

During that time, Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker called for the formation of an EU army to cope with this crisis and others in the future. Few EU citizens want an EU army which would not respect national borders or identity.

Meanwhile, it is unclear what is happening to migrants turned away from the German border. Are they being held until they can be taken elsewhere, e.g. France, with the consent of that country? Or are some quietly disappearing? If so, how many are wandering around unaccounted for?

What was Merkel thinking? Does she have a grand plan in mind or was her migrant pledge an unrealistic knee-jerk humanitarian response which has intractable knock-on effects across Europe?

It seems that the Chancellor has jumped the shark. (The phrase comes from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie rode a shark. Viewers found the scene so absurd that they stopped tuning in. Ratings plummeted and the show was cancelled.)

How can Merkel retain any credibility after this?

Two Telegraph readers offered these observations (emphases mine):

Telfennol: I think that Merkel has panicked over Pegida [in Greece], the cracks widening in the single currency, and the rise of nationalist parties right across Europe. She’s not an idiot, she can see that the EU is starting to look increasingly rickety, and she’s decided to force a “beneficial” crisis in the hopes of being able to use it to impose more Europe, or at a minimum dilute down the national identities of the constituent nations of the EU.

burberryblue (in reply): I think everything you say here is accurate. And I also think that Merkel has shot herself in the foot with this one, because she expected the other EU inmate nations to be shamed into accepting millions of criminals into their borders, no questions asked.

So far, other EU inmate nations aren’t taking that bait.

Indeed, border checks have been reinstituted in Austria and barbed wire fences have gone up in Hungary. More countries are following suit.

Housing and employment

Frontex announced today that 500,000 migrants landed in Europe between January and August 2015. 156,000 arrived in August alone.

Germany aside, European taxpayers are asking where the migrants will live and work.

Europeans resent having to pay for new arrivals when they are having enough trouble keeping their own heads above water. That might sound uncharitable but it is a realistic concern. Last week, news reports and radio discussions in the UK and France stated that even primary school children are worried about earning enough money to survive once they reach adulthood.

There are not enough jobs to go around. Millions of young people, including university graduates, have a hard time finding full-time employment. We also have homeless people and young families waiting for public housing.

Another worry is that a sizeable number of migrants might be on the dole for months and, possibly, years to come.

A further question occurs to many Europeans. How many migrants will turn to crime and rape? How will we be able to vet who comes into our countries? There are no clear-cut answers. This isn’t like Europeans arriving at Ellis Island for no-nonsense processing at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

It is also doubtful that many migrants will be able to integrate into European society. Most will be lumped together in large cities retaining the habits and values they grew up with in their homelands.

Finally, how many terrorists will be among the migrants? We have no idea. Nor do our leaders.

Europe unravelling?

When the Common Market came into being in the 1970s, the idea was to harmonise and facilitate trade among European countries.

In the 1990s, when the Maastricht Treaty was signed, Europeans understood that a stronger European Union meant flexibility for her people (travel, residency, jobs) as well as mutual co-operation among governments.

Twenty-five years on, Europeans see a disconnect between what they — the ‘little people’ — were promised and what was delivered. National sovereignty is evaporating whilst a largely faceless and unelected elite in Brussels tells us all what to do.

And the project is getting larger, with less of a say for individual nations and citizens. Philip Johnston has a good analysis in The Telegraph:

the migration crisis has again highlighted the EU’s essentially undemocratic nature. This was most obviously on display with the imposition of economic austerity measures upon indebted eurozone countries and the removal of elected governments that would not, or could not, accept the constraints on their sovereignty. But this is what they signed up to. A single currency is one of the building blocks of a single state; but without true fiscal and political integration, it just means the biggest country, ie Germany, imposing its will upon the others. Similarly, free movement of people is a necessary condition of a union; but to remove borders while retaining separate national governments is to risk a backlash when voters in member states object to decisions on who should live where being taken out of their hands. Look what is happening in Hungary – the necessary popular mandate simply does not exist. Sooner or later, this will be the EU’s undoing.

In fact, the only way to avoid it unravelling was set out by Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, in his “state of the union” address last week. “There is not enough Europe in this Union. And there is not enough Union in this Union,” he said. In other words, his solution is greater political integration, with democratic accountability exerted through the European Parliament. So even as the borders are going up again all over Europe, the elites who run the EU see this crisis as an opportunity to accelerate momentum towards “ever closer union”.

A former Soviet Union insider-turned-dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, has examined the way the EU project developed. He noted the similarity to the USSR in structure. As he discovered by reading previously classified documents, this was the original objective.

Bukovsky explains that the idea for a European federal state developed in the 1980s in an attempt to a) keep hard-left ideology alive and b) create a rapprochement between the USSR and Europe. Emphases in bold in the original, those in purple are mine.

Briefly (more at the link):

In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central Committee secret documents which have been classified, and still are even now, for 30 years. These documents show very clearly that the whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project which [Soviet leader Mikhail] Gorbachev in 1988-89 called our “common European home.”

The idea was very simple. It first came up in 1985-86, when the Italian Communists visited Gorbachev, followed by the German Social-Democrats. They all complained that the changes in the world… were threatening to wipe out the achievement (as they called it) of generations of Socialists and Social-Democrats – threatening to reverse it completely. Therefore the only way to withstand this onslaught of wild capitalism (as they called it) was to try to introduce the same socialist goals in all countries at once. Prior to that, the left-wing parties and the Soviet Union had opposed European integration…. From 1985 onwards they completely changed their view. The Soviets came to a conclusion and to an agreement with the left-wing parties that if they worked together they could hijack the whole European project and turn it upside down. Instead of an open market they would turn it into a federal state.

According to the [secret Soviet] documents, 1985-86 is the turning point. I have published most of these documents. You might even find them on the internet. But the conversations they had are really eye opening. For the first time you understand that there is a conspiracy – quite understandable for them, as they were trying to save their political hides. In the East the Soviets needed a change of relations with Europe…. in the West the left-wing parties were afraid of being wiped out and losing their influence and prestige. So it was a conspiracy….

In January of 1989, for example, a delegation of the Trilateral Commission came to see Gorbachev. It included [former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro] Nakasone, [former French President Valéry] Giscard d’Estaing, [American banker David] Rockefeller and [former US Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger. They had a very nice conversation where they tried to explain to Gorbachev that Soviet Russia had to integrate into the financial institutions of the world, such as Gatt, the IMF and the World Bank….

the original idea was to have what they called a convergency, whereby the Soviet Union would mellow somewhat and become more social-democratic, while Western Europe would become social-democratic and socialist…. This is why the structures of the European Union were initially built with the purpose of fitting into the Soviet structure. This is why they are so similar in functioning and in structure.

It is no accident that the European Parliament, for example, reminds me of the Supreme Soviet. It looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similarly, when you look at the European Commission it looks like the Politburo. I mean it does so exactly, except for the fact that the Commission now has 25 members and the Politburo usually had 13 or 15 members. Apart from that they are exactly the same, unaccountable to anyone, not directly elected by anyone at all. 

When you look into all this bizarre activity of the European Union with its 80,000 pages of regulations it looks like Gosplan… an organisation which was planning everything in the economy, to the last nut and bolt, five years in advance. Exactly the same thing is happening in the EU. When you look at the type of EU corruption, it is exactly the Soviet type of corruption, going from top to bottom rather than going from bottom to top.

If you go through all the structures and features of this emerging European monster you will notice that it more and more resembles the Soviet Union. Of course, it is a milder version…. It has no KGB – not yet – but I am very carefully watching such structures as Europol for example. That really worries me a lot because this organisation will probably have powers bigger than those of the KGB…. Can you imagine a KGB with diplomatic immunity?

Most Europeans do not know this. That is not what they voted for in national referenda 40+ years ago.

This is why the current crisis is so perplexing. For us, Angela Merkel has jumped the shark. For her fellow Europeans at the top of the heap, however, imposing her will on other nations is in line with the blueprint.

Last week, Le Monde‘s weekend magazine featured an article on ‘What would Jesus do?’ wristband bracelets with WWJD on them.

Apparently, they are all the rage among young French Evangelicals aged between 20 and 25. Evangelicals comprise nearly half — 300,000 — of the nation’s Protestants.

In addition to WWJD, one can also purchase wristbands with FROG (Fully rely on God) and PUSH (Pray until something happens) on them.

The article explains that WWJD came from an American novel from 1896, In His Steps. A pastor, Charles M Sheldon wrote it by assembling material from a series of tracts he had previously published and adding a good dose of Christian Socialism involving a homeless man who wonders why Christians are so tight with their money when it comes to charity.

In the book, the homeless man is the guest preacher one Sunday. He collapses of a heart attack afterward and dies. The fictional pastor is so moved by the event that he tells his congregation that they must ask themselves ‘What would Jesus do?’ before doing anything for the next 12 months.

Wikipedia has an entry on WWJD, which explains more about the Congregationalist pastor’s novel (emphases mine):

Charles Sheldon‘s 1896 book, In His Steps was subtitled “What Would Jesus Do?”[3] Sheldon’s novel grew out of a series of sermons he delivered in his Congregationalist church in Topeka, Kansas. Unlike the previous nuances mentioned above, Sheldon’s theology was shaped by a commitment to Christian Socialism. The ethos of Sheldon’s approach to the Christian life was expressed in this phrase “What Would Jesus Do”, with Jesus being a moral example as well as a Saviour figure.[4] Sheldon’s ideas coalesced with those that formed into the Social Gospel espoused by Walter Rauschenbusch. Indeed Rauschenbusch acknowledged that his Social Gospel owed its inspiration directly to Sheldon’s novel,[citation needed] and Sheldon himself identified his own theology with the Social Gospel.[citation needed]

My longstanding readers might recall the post on the history of the social gospel, a revealing and somewhat surprising one. An excerpt follows:

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861 – 1918), Professor of Church History at Rochester Theological Seminaryis known as the ‘Father of the Social Gospel’.  You might be interested to know that John D Rockefeller funded this seminary, along with many others in the United States.

Dr Rauschenbusch grew up in a German Lutheran family but became a Baptist pastor prior to his professorship.  His status as a professor gave him the platform to become an influential theologian.  He wrote two books, Christianising the Social Order and A Theology for the Social Gospel.  He considered himself steeped in ‘higher criticism’ and well-versed in socialism.  He proposed a more relevant and compassionate Gospel designed to change the emphasis and direction of American Protestantism.  He also introduced the idea of an earthly Kingdom achieved through socialism. He posited that Jesus didn’t come to save sinners but had a ‘social passion’ for society. Does that sound familiar?  It’s surprising what our forebears thought of such a long time ago, isn’t it?

In 1907, he met with the Fabians (socialists) in England.  Remember, Margaret Sanger also met with Fabians and had one heck of a time.  As with Mrs Sanger, the Fabians advised a gentle, peaceful, sensible approach to this transformation.  Also, as with Mrs Sanger, they proposed propaganda and infiltration to achieve their goals.  In Rauschenbusch’s case the targets were to be universities, seminaries and churches.

A year later John D Rockefeller helped Rauschenbusch and the Fabian Revd Harry Wardremember this nameto fund the establishment of the Federal Council of Churches. This would eventually become the National Council of Churches. We now have the World Council of Churches, which is very much aligned with the United Nations and global agendas.  Jesus Christ doesn’t get a look in. 

My post has much more. Briefly, Ward was the main player in furthering Communist penetration of churches in the United States. His involvement came to light during the McCarthy hearings in July 1953. A former Communist, Manning Johnson, testified:

Dr Harry F Ward, for many years, has been the chief architect for Communist infiltration and subversion in the religious field.

So, the WWJD slogan isn’t as innocent as it seems. Although there might not necessarily be a socio-political agenda attached to it today, there certainly was one in the beginning.

It is interesting to note that, by 1935, Sheldon’s In His Steps had been translated into 21 languages. I wonder who financed that.

The novel was updated in 1993 by his great-grandson Garrett W Sheldon.

Nazi anti-smoking motherhood_smoking Inconvenient HistoryA year ago I wrote about the Nazi blueprint for today’s smoking bans.

The source is ‘Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign’, which draws on information from The Nazi War on Cancer by Robert N Proctor.

We’re all familiar with the atrocities that occurred during the Third Reich.

However, how many of us know that much of what Adolf Hitler promoted and supported is firmly in place in many Western countries today?

Forbidden words: The government provided the basis for today’s hate speech proponents. They proscribed certain words, e.g. ‘sabotage’, ‘catastrophe’. Interestingly, they also replaced the word ‘cripple’ with ‘handicapped’.

Anti-Christian sentiments: Joseph Goebbels said that Hitler was ‘deeply religious though completely anti-Christian; he views Christianity as a symptom of decay’.

Popular causes: Hitler and the Nazis were committed to animal rights, abortion and gun control.

Bodily purity: Nazis told the Germans they had a personal responsibility to their nation to be — and stay — healthy.

Alcohol taboo: Germans were told that alcohol was harmful; fruit juice was healthful.

NaziantismokingSmoking bans: One of the main Nazi health programmes concerned campaigns and bans on tobacco.

This is what happened:

– Smoking was seen as degenerate, a sign of moral weakness.

– Schoolchildren were told they would become impotent if they smoked.

– SS officer Karl Astel — a well-known eugenicist and anti-Semite — coined the term ‘passive smoking’ (Passivrauchen). He tore cigarettes out of the mouths of strangers. He committed suicide in April 1945.

– Hans Reiter, the president of the Reich Health Office, said that nicotine was ‘the greatest enemy of the people’s health’.

– Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel led Thuringia’s anti-smoking campaign and drafted the grant application for Karl Astel’s anti-tobacco institute. Sauckel was executed on 1 October 1946 for crimes against humanity.

Tobacco taxes were an important source of government revenue. By 1941, they comprised one-twelfth of this revenue.

Anti-tobacco campaigners claimed they were powerless against tobacco companies.

The Nazis banned smoking in government offices, public transport, university campuses, hospital grounds, workplaces and many restaurants and bars. They were also planning to ban smoking in cars.

Does any of this sound familiar?

History is repeating itself.

CommunistParty justsaynotooOne of my readers — Damo — recently sent in a link to a Front Page review of historian and political commentator David Horowitz’s latest book, The Black Book of the American Left, Vol. 1: My Life and Times.

Theodore Dalrymple — known nearly 20 years ago as Dr Dalrymple in The Spectator (UK) but whose real name is Anthony (A.M.) Daniels — wrote the review.

I’ll get into more about both author’s lives later on in this post, but first on to the review. Dalrymple says that this is hardly the first of books about the far left with the title ‘Black Book’. However, Horowitz’s is the first in-depth one about American leftism, as seen from his own experience. Horowitz, Dalrymple says (emphases mine) accuses leftists in the United States:

– with a great deal of cumulative evidence – of equivocation towards, support for and outright complicity with the Soviet Union. Ignorance of the horrors of Soviet rule was not an excuse, because the horrors were known and documented from the very first, and for decades the left preferred to ignore the facts than abandon its fantasies. And although the American left was not responsible for much violence in America itself, there was hardly any revolutionary violence that to which it did not provide aid and comfort, repeating its original sin ad nauseam. In the process it rewrote its own history as assiduously and dishonestly as Stalin wrote his.

He has focused his powerful guns on the American left for two reasons, the first personal and the second sociological, though in fact in his case the two reasons are inextricably linked. First[,] he himself was a member of the left for much of his youth and early adulthood, and[,] second[,] leftist ideas of various stripes were and remain predominant in academia and among the intelligentsia …

Unfortunately, the internal logic of its socialist beliefs led it to support or make excuses for totalitarian regimes such as Castro’s, just as the previous generation of orthodox communists had done. It also indulged in what would have been comic operetta revolutionism had it not been for the extreme criminal nastiness of the acts which it excused, condoned, concealed or perpetrated.

Dalrymple tells us how, in the book, leftists minimise their allegiances and can’t seem to shake their perspectives:

this leftism was not an ‘infantile disorder,’ to quote Lenin, or a mild and mostly harmless childhood illness like mumps, but more usually like a chronic condition with lingering after-effects and flare-ups. Those who suffered it only very rarely got over it fully, the late Christopher Hitchens being a good example of one who did not. He, Hitchens, could never bring himself to admit that he had for all his life admired and extolled a man who was at least as bad as Stalin, namely Trotsky …

Except that some would say, ‘Well, Trotsky was more of an intellectual, disliked by those favouring the cut-and-thrust.’ There is always an excuse: ‘Don’t pay attention to Lenin; his wasn’t true Marxism.’ Yes and no. His brand of Marxism was just as violent and horrible as what Karl had advocated. Even in the early days of the 20th century, Lenin relied on Stalin’s well-engineered violence — bank robbery ‘spectaculars’ — to bring in astounding amounts of cash to the Bolsheviks.

Back to the present day. Dalrymple notes the passages in the book which describe the Left losing interest in parts of the world where they’d previously advocated violent revolution:

Just as American leftist intellectuals ceased to be interested in Indochina the moment American troops left, so the fate of Central America ceased to interest them once there was no possibility that utopian leftist regimes would be established in them. Their interest in far-flung places was only as a screen upon which they could project their own psychodrama.

Horowitz’s Wikipedia entry gives us an indication of what we will probably read more of in his book. He was born to secular Jews in the upmarket Queens neighbourhood of Forest Hills (tennis, anyone?); it’s interesting that, given where they lived, they were long-time members of the Communist Party and Stalinists. One wonders if they knew Bella Dodd, also a Party member at the same time, who also lived in New York.

Also interesting is that both Horowitz’s parents were teachers; Dodd says teachers unions were the fertile ground for new Party members. She spent a lot of time in that sector of Party activism.

Horowitz said that as a child, his parents did not allow him or his sister to watch television or movies, unless they were Soviet propaganda films. When Stalin died in 1953, Mr Horowitz told his son:

You see what a genius Stalin was. It took five men to replace him.

David Horowitz wrote of his parents:

Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. The mission they had undertaken, and about which they could not speak freely except with each other, was not just an idea to them. It was more important to their sense of themselves than anything else they did. Nor were its tasks of a kind they could attend or ignore, depending on their moods. They were more like the obligations of a religious faith

In 1956, when Soviet Leader Nikita Khruschev gave what is known as his Secret Speech against Stalinism to the Communists in the Soviet Union, Horowitz’s parents were shocked. Khruschev severely criticised the late Stalin, his policies and his ‘cult of personality’. To many, it looked like an effort to bring the party back to Leninism. However, Khruschev was trying to consolidate his own power base. Their illusions shattered, the Horowitzes broke with the party after that.

At that time, young David was in college. He attended two well known leftist universities — Columbia and University of California, Berkeley. He read English, earning his BA from the former in 1959 and a subsequent Masters degree on the West Coast.

After finishing his studies, the young Horowitz worked in London at the Fabian Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and got to know many of the principal Marxist personalities of the day. In 1968, upon his return to the US, he became editor of the left wing magazine, Ramparts.

During this time of student protests and riots in the US and other Western countries, Horowitz got to know a number of black activists, among them Huey Newton of the Black Panthers.

Horowitz introduced Newton to a Rampart employee who was looking for extra work.  Newton hired the woman, Betty Van Patter. A few years later, in 1974, Van Patter’s corpse showed up floating in San Francisco Bay. Horowitz became suspicious; the Communist Party seemed to confirm Panther involvement.

Later, Horowitz would describe Newton similar to the way historian Simon Sebag Montefiore describes Stalin as a young man:

equal parts gangster, terrorist, intellectual, and media celebrity.

It’s fascinating and alarming how these personality traits are consistent from the early days of Marxism to the present.

It was Ms Van Patter’s murder which caused Horowitz to re-evaluate left-wing politics.

Another review of Horowitz’s latest book states that this was a life-changing time for him. Sara Noble of the Independent Sentinel writes:

The torture and murder of Betty Van Patter was so traumatic that it took him ten years to come out of it. He came out as a conservative fighting a lonely and courageous battle.

Furthermore:

Horowitz’ departure from the communist party also led to his alienation, at age 35, from lifelong friends and a complete shunning by some in the media who were once his most ardent supporters, before his change of heart.

He came to the conclusion that the ideology of the left must always end in totalitarianism and violence.

He decried the hypocrisy of leftists who would claim they are fighting for peace in Vietnam but ignored the massacres that followed.

Noble asked Horowitz about the state of America today:

he said that conservatives need to understand what progressivism is about and the Republican Party needs to speak out.

I asked him what the difference was between communism and progressivism and he said ‘they are the same thing.’

One of the things that has clouded peoples’ understanding of what is going on is the fact that we are being led to believe that the worst we are facing is European socialism. I asked Mr. Horowitz about that and he said, ‘it’s much worse than that, it’s communism.’ ‘Look, he [Obama] has already destroyed our standing in the world. He is destroying our economic system, our healthcare…’

Mr. Horowitz said ‘we are at war.’ Obama is ‘taking down our country’. People must understand that and they must be ready to fight …

Obama is a communist,’ he affirmed.

My readers who have wondered about Catholic curriculum will be interested in this:

Horowitz sees education as the place where leftism gained its foothold into society, beginning with the Catholic colleges and universities. He spoke out against the unions during our interview and said that K-12 schools should be on a voucher system with parents getting the money, not the schools.

He briefly addressed common core which he has not studied. He is against any centralized education – it’s more statism. All of this is about the same thing he told me.

However, this is the quote that almost had me applauding:

‘conservatives are classical liberals’ because they want two sides of the story told. Leftists only want one side of the story and they are ‘not liberal.’ There is nothing liberal about them. People … need to stop calling them liberals and playing into the deception.

I read that elsewhere two years ago, which is why I will continue to edit any comment from a leftist referring to himself or other leftists as liberals — similarly from someone who isn’t a leftist and refers to them as ‘liberals’. Not here, thank you.

In closing, I wanted to tell you a bit more about Theodore Dalrymple, real name Anthony N Daniels.

Mr Daniels’s father was a businessman, although a Communist of Russian ancestry. His mother, born in Germany, was Jewish and arrived in England, escaping the Nazis. Daniels was born in London in 1949.

Daniels is a retired physician and psychiatrist who has written much about the state of England today. Not surprisingly, he looks more at social problems; he has worked in the NHS and in a prison.  He also has written about Africa, where he worked during the early part of his career.

He was raised as a secular Jew with no formal religious upbringing. He says that whatever belief he had in the existence of God vanished when he was nine during school assembly when a teacher instructed the students not to open their eyes whilst praying. If they did, God would leave the assembly hall. Daniels opened his eye enough to see that the teacher had one eye shut and the other open. From that point forward, he concluded:

I quickly concluded that Mr. Clinton did not believe what he said about the need to keep our eyes shut. And if he did not believe that, why should I believe in his God? In such illogical leaps do our beliefs often originate, to be disciplined later in life (if we receive enough education) by elaborate rationalization.

Sadly, instead of deciding that the teacher was misguided or overemphasising obedience, Daniels pushed forward with empiricism and rationalism in his life.

That said, he takes exception to militant atheism and claims to appreciate the value of older religious writing.

However, his books on society are well worth reading. I have read three and given them as gifts.

These are but a few of Daniels’s themes:

– One of the things that makes Islam attractive to young westernised Muslim men is the opportunity it gives them to dominate women.[16]

– Criminality is much more often the cause of drug addiction than its consequence.

High culture and refined aesthetic tastes are worth defending, and despite the protestations of non-judgmentalists who say all expression is equal, they are superior to popular culture.[20][21][22]

– The ideology of the Welfare State is used to diminish personal responsibility. Erosion of personal responsibility makes people dependent on institutions and favours the existence of a threatening and vulnerable underclass.

Moral relativism can easily be a trick of an egotistical mind to silence the voice of conscience.[23]

By chance a few days ago, I ran across an article from The Independent‘s archives.

The article is called ‘Hitler and the socialist dream’ by George Watson, who summarised his latest book for the paper. The book is called The Lost Literature of Socialism (Lutterworth); the article appeared on Sunday, November 22, 1998.

I wrote about this recently for Orphans of Liberty. My post below will organise Watson’s information in a slightly different format, with additional information on the Fabians. You might wish to read both or read Watson’s article in full. Emphases and sub-heads are mine.

Political misconceptions about Hitler

Watson says that after Hitler committed suicide (by cyanide), the world was so pleased to be rid of him that they no longer cared much about his political outlook.

Only a few years earlier in the mid-1930s, he writes:

By the outbreak of civil war in Spain, in 1936, sides had been taken, and by then most western intellectuals were certain that Stalin was left and Hitler was right. That sudden shift of view has not been explained, and perhaps cannot be explained, except on grounds of argumentative convenience. Single binary oppositions – cops-and-robbers or cowboys-and-indians – are always satisfying ...

Consequently:

By the outbreak of world war in 1939 the idea that Hitler was any sort of socialist was almost wholly dead. One may salute here an odd but eminent exception. Writing as a committed socialist just after the fall of France in 1940, in The Lion and the Unicorn, Orwell saw the disaster as a “physical debunking of capitalism”, it showed once and for all that “a planned economy is stronger than a planless one” … “Internally, Germany has a good deal in common with a socialist state.” These words were written just before Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union …

Furthermore, the West found both Hitler’s and Mussolini’s politics puzzling:

The first reactions to National Socialism outside Germany are now largely forgotten. They were highly confused, for the rise of fascism had caught the European left by surprise. There was nothing in Marxist scripture to predict it and must have seemed entirely natural to feel baffled. Where had it all come from? Harold Nicolson, a democratic socialist, and after 1935 a Member of the House of Commons, conscientiously studied a pile of pamphlets in his hotel room in Rome in January 1932 and decided judiciously that fascism (Italian-style) was a kind of militarised socialism

Bella Dodd, the late member (expelled after many years) of the Communist Party in the United States, says that her party controlled the political memes during the 1930s, which persist today. When I excerpted her book, School of Darkness in 2011 — also recommended for home schoolers and family reading discussions — she explained how this worked (Chapter 7):

Beginning in 1936 a prodigious effort was made by the Party in support of the Spanish Civil War, and this continued until 1939.  Perhaps no other activity aroused greater devotion among American intellectuals …

Since 1932 the Communist Party had publicized itself as the leading opponent of fascism … Its propaganda machine ground out an endless stream of words, pictures, and cartoons.  It played on intellectual, humanitarian, racial, and religious sensibilities until it succeeded to an amazing degree in conditioning America to recoil at the word fascist even when people did not know its meaning.

Today I marvel that the world communist movement was able to beat the drums against Germany and never once betray what the inner group knew well: that some of the same forces which gave Hitler his start had also started Lenin and his staff of revolutionists from Switzerland to St. Petersburg to begin the revolution which was to result in the Soviet totalitarian state.

There was not a hint that despite the propaganda of hate unleashed against Germany and Italy, communist representatives were meeting behind the scenes to do business with Italian and German fascists to whom they sold materiel and oil.  There was not a hint that Soviet brass was meeting with German brass to redraw the map of Europe.  There was no betrayal of these facts until one day they met openly to sign a contract for a new map of Europe — a treaty made by Molotov and Von Ribbentrop ...

The communist publicists carefully took for their own the pleasant word of Loyalist and called all who opposed them “Franco-Fascists.” This was a literary coup which confused many men and womenViolent communist literature repeatedly lumped all of the Church hierarchy on the side of the “Fascists,” and, using this technique, they sought to destroy the Church by attacking its priests.  This was not a new tactic.  I had seen it used in our own country over and over again … 

It became obvious, as the extensive campaign went on, that some of the funds were coming from sources other than the collections.  It is now well known that the Soviet Union was doing everything in its power to bring the foreign policy of the United States into conformity with its own devious plans and that it did not hesitate to use trickery to do so.  It wanted the United States to support Soviet policy on Spain.  I did not understand this at the time ...

As one example of the puzzle that finally became a picture there is the story of the Erica Reed, which will serve as an example of hundreds of others.  It was supposed to be a mercy ship taking food, milk, and medicines to hard-pressed Barcelona.  It was chartered ostensibly by the North American Committee for Loyalist Spain.  In reality it was financed by Soviet agents

The “relief ship” with its supplies reached Barcelona where she was immediately ordered to Odessa.  And so the Erica Reed, ostensibly chartered by the North American Committee for Loyalist Spain, was sent to Odessa by her real charterer, the Soviet Union.  The Spanish people were expendable.

Private memoirs about Hitler’s Marxism appeared too late

Back now to George Watson’s article. As we know, books and television programmes about Hitler are ten a penny.

The better memoirs and biographies, such as those of insider Albert Speer, have been read by millions around the world.

However, others — equally useful — did not appear until the 1970s or 1980s, by which time, our minds were made up that Hitler was ‘right wing’.

Another reason why we continue to accept this point of view is that Hitler was careful not to mention Marxism publicly. As we shall see, private mentions were quite another matter.

Yet, the later memoirs from those who worked closely with him, some preserved from the postwar years, describe the Fuhrer’s political philosophy:

Shortly before they fell out in the summer of 1933, Hitler uttered sentiments in front of Otto Wagener, which were published after his death in 1971 as a biography by an unrepentant Nazi. Wagener’s Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant, composed in a British prisoner-of-war camp, did not appear until 1978 in the original German, and arrived in English, without much acclaim, as recently as 1985.

Watson also cites Hermann Rauschning, who knew Hitler well — before and after his accession to power.

Hitler’s admitted debt to Marxism

Watson writes:

It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National Socialism was not hypocritical. The evidence before 1945 was more private than public, which is perhaps significant in itself. In public Hitler was always anti-Marxist, and in an age in which the Soviet Union was the only socialist state on earth, and with anti-Bolshevism a large part of his popular appeal, he may have been understandably reluctant to speak openly of his sources. His megalomania, in any case, would have prevented him from calling himself anyone’s disciple.

Yet:

His private conversations, however, though they do not overturn his reputation as an anti-Communist, qualify it heavily. Hermann Rauschning, for example, a Danzig Nazi who knew Hitler before and after his accession to power in 1933, tells how in private Hitler acknowledged his profound debt to the Marxian tradition. “I have learned a great deal from Marxism” he once remarked, “as I do not hesitate to admit” … The trouble with Weimar Republic politicians, he told Otto Wagener at much the same time, was that “they had never even read Marx” … His differences with the communists, he explained, were less ideological than tactical. German communists he had known before he took power, he told Rauschning, thought politics meant talking and writing. They were mere pamphleteers, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun”, adding revealingly that “the whole of National Socialism” was based on Marx

Socialism relies on eugenics and death — Fabians

During the same time frame — at the turn of the 20th century through the 1930s — the Fabians in England supported similar socialist ideals of a pure race. They were also big fans of the Soviet project.

Creating a pure race of intelligent, healthy, acceptable people could mean only that selective breeding — eugenics — would need to be established. This was also popular in Sweden and elsewhere in the West, including the United States (e.g. Margaret Sanger, a friend of the Fabians).

Watson explains:

… the socialist intelligentsia of the western world entered the First World War publicly committed to racial purity and white domination and no less committed to violence. Socialism offered them a blank cheque, and its licence to kill included genocide. In 1933, in a preface to On the Rocks, for example, Bernard Shaw publicly welcomed the exterminatory principle which the Soviet Union had already adopted. Socialists could now take pride in a state that had at last found the courage to act, though some still felt that such action should be kept a secret. In 1932 Beatrice Webb remarked at a tea-party what “very bad stage management” it had been to allow a party of British visitors to the Ukraine to see cattle-trucks full of starving “enemies of the state” at a local station. “Ridiculous to let you see them”, said Webb, already an eminent admirer of the Soviet system. “The English are always so sentimental” adding, with assurance: “You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.” A few years later, in 1935, a Social Democratic government in Sweden began a eugenic programme for the compulsory sterilisation of gypsies, the backward and the unfit, and continued it until after the war.

Hitler: socialism demands anti-Semitism

Therefore, it is not surprising that being unfit comprised racial or cultural differences. In the previous paragraph, the Swedes targeted gypsies or those lacking physical and intellectual vigour. Similar experiments occurred in the southern United States with poor blacks, those afflicted with Downs Syndrome or people whom authorities viewed as undesirable.

And where did all these ideas originate? With none other than Karl Marx. I recapped the mindset of famous Marxists the other day. Even though they are long dead, the ideology continues. That post is meant as a warning for the future, something to always keep in mind. Marxism isn’t dead, nor is communism. Socialism is alive and well, even in so-called ‘conservative’ circles and political parties.

Marx mixed it up with regard to the Jews, the late Richard Wurmbrand — a Lutheran pastor tortured in communist prison — wrote. In some instances, Marx railed against the Jews. In others, he said the contrary. With all the anti-Semitism (pogroms) rife in Eastern Europe during that time, however, it is not surprising that Marxist apologists picked up on it.

Marx, Wurmbrand’s book Marx and Satan tells us, was born into a Jewish family. His mother was Jewish but his father converted to Lutheranism before his son was born. Marx was raised in the Christian faith. As my post stated the other day, Marx turned against religion altogether and wanted it stamped out. What follows is but one example of this, an excerpt from an article he wrote for the New York Tribune in 1856:

We know that behind every tyrant stands a Jew, as a Jesuit stands behind every Pope. As the army of the Jesuits kills every free thought, so the desire of the oppressed would have chances of success, the usefulness of wars incited by capitalists would cease, if it were not for the Jews who steal the treasures of mankind. It is no wonder that 1856 years ago Jesus chased the usurers from the Jerusalem temple …

We still see similar thoughts on today’s conspiracy theory sites — left or right wing.

Anti-Semitism is a dangerous sentiment.

And most of the anti-Semites I have known have allied themselves with … the left wing.

Hitler wasted no time in pointing out the similarity between socialism and anti-Semitism. Watson writes:

The claim that Hitler cannot really have been a socialist because he advocated and practised genocide suggests a monumental failure, then, in the historical memory. Only socialists in that age advocated or practised genocide, at least in Europe, and from the first years of his political career Hitler was proudly aware of the fact. Addressing his own party, the NSDAP, in Munich in August 1920, he pledged his faith in socialist-racialism: “If we are socialists, then we must definitely be anti-semites – and the opposite, in that case, is Materialism and Mammonism, which we seek to oppose.” There was loud applause. Hitler went on: “How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-semite?” The point was widely understood, and it is notable that no German socialist in the 1930s or earlier ever sought to deny Hitler’s right to call himself a socialist on grounds of racial policy. In an age when the socialist tradition of genocide was familiar, that would have sounded merely absurd. The tradition, what is more, was unique. In the European century that began in the 1840s from Engels’s article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist, and no exception has been found.

Socialism and ‘moral laws’

Another important point about Marxism, socialism and communism is their rhetoric appeals to the setting right of imperfection, according to ‘moral law’.

Along with this comes the labelling of one’s enemies, whether individuals or nations. The skewed morality they use to justify anti-Semitism also becomes a similar hate with regard to many others. Wurmbrand cites Marx:

Marx hated not only the Jews, but also the Germans: “Beating is the only means of resurrecting the Germans.” He spoke about “the stupid German people … the disgusting national narrowness of the Germans” and said that “Germans, Chinese, and Jews have to be compared with peddlers and small merchants.” He called the Russians “cabbage-eaters.” The Slavic peoples were “ethnic trash.” He expressed his hatred of many nations, but never his love.

Marx wrote in his new year’s roundup of 1848 about “the Slavic riffraff,” which included Russians, Czechs, and Croats. These “retrograde” races had nothing left for them by fate except “the immediate task of perishing in the revolutionary world storm.” “The coming world war will cause not only reactionary classes and dynasties, but entire reactionary peoples, to disappear from the face of the earth. And that will be progress.” “Their very name will vanish.”

Of course, in the Marxist-socialist-communist mind, once one’s perceived enemies are vanquished, the result will be utopia.

Hitler played with this in his unique National Socialism, evoking a certain nostalgia of a Germanic people that probably never existed. Watson tells us:

Hitler’s remembered talk offers a vision of a future that draws together many of the strands that once made utopian socialism irresistibly appealing to an age bred out of economic depression and cataclysmic wars; it mingles, as Victorian socialism had done before it, an intense economic radicalism with a romantic enthusiasm for a vanished age before capitalism had degraded heroism into sordid greed and threatened the traditional institutions of the family and the tribe …

The Jew, Hitler told Wagener, was not a socialist, and the Jesus they crucified was the true creator of socialist redemption. As for communists, he opposed them because they created mere herds, Soviet-style, without individual life, and his own ideal was “the socialism of nations” rather than the international socialism of Marx and Lenin.

What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.”

That was the National Socialist vision. It was seductive, at once traditional and new. Like all socialist views it was ultimately moral, and its economic and racial policies were seen as founded on universal moral laws. By the time such conversations saw the light of print, regrettably, the world had put such matters far behind it, and it was less than ever ready to listen to the sayings of a crank or a clown …

Conclusion

We would do well to think of this political ‘philosophy’ (for lack of a better word) when we read of the state encroaching on our freedom, proposing communitarianism.

We would also do well to consider the anti-Israel sentiments coming from mainstream Protestant pulpits.

Furthermore, the current Pope has a few questions to answer when he proposes that we all give more to the poor to create a more moral and just society. Odd that he never calls for a bit of tax relief for the middle classes which would enrich the Church’s coffers. He, too, sees a utopia created from environmentalism, moral law and wealth redistribution.

Left-wing dogma assumes many forms. We need to see it and call it out for what it is.

The lure of Marxism — in whatever form — persists today.

I pity clergymen, especially in the United States, who say that Western Christians are not persecuted. The UK has a whole litany of news items going back nearly a decade of employers refusing to allow employees to wear small crosses or keep them in their work vehicles.

Even in the United States, it is becoming more commonplace for Christianity to be restricted in the workplace. I read some months ago on a comments board that one man was threatened with the loss of his job in IT if he ever brought his faith up again in casual conversation.

I have been reading the award-winning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Young Stalin, which I recommend to everyone — teenagers and adults. (US link is here.) This is an excellent book for home schooling and family reading, where parents and children can discuss the work together.

Sebag Montefiore spent several years researching this work, which involved accessing previously hidden archives in Russia and (Soviet) Georgia, Stalin’s homeland.

It is an eyeopener, to say the least. Let it never be said that Stalin was a simple bureaucrat or a bore. He was clearly capable of verbal and physical cruelty from his boyhood.

I’ll write more about this book — objectively written and eminently readable — once I finish it. It is a page-turner and you won’t want to miss a detail.

In the meantime, may I remind you of the late Richard Wurmbrand’s Marx and Satan, which will supply the necessary background to understanding Stalin and his contemporaries. The aforementioned link — excerpted below (consider all of the following highlighted!) — has separate links to each brief chapter of his book, also highly appropriate for homeschoolers of teens and family reading discussions.

It is particularly apposite to call attention to Wurmbrand’s summary of Marx as an adolescent and young adult. These years, incidentally, were also turning points for Stalin.

As I wrote of Marxism, in summarising Wurmbrand:

Marx — who scored highly in religious studies classes at school — turned from Christ as a young man.  He came to hate Christianity, God and his fellow man.  He wrote that people were ‘human trash’.  He often used the word ‘destroy’, which became his nickname in early adulthood …

None of what he wrote was about making mankind equal around the world.  Nor did he write about improving fairness or the human condition.  He merely wanted to destroy the world and preside over it.

It’s interesting that both Marx and Stalin — atheists — were informally referred to by Christian titles by their followers. Stalin, as we’ll see, was often called ‘the priest’. As for Marx, his:

wife referred to him as a high priest and bishop. 

… Marx called himself the ‘Pope of Communism’.

This twisted atheism — far removed from humanism — turned into satanism:

After finishing school, [Marx] began writing plays and poems.  These featured verses to Satan and used a number of verbal inversions, often used in satanic speech. He called his own writings ‘sh-t’ and ‘swinish’.  In one of his plays, he condemns humanity to destruction …

When he found he could not make a living from his writing, he abandoned the creative side of it, as did Hitler as a young man.  Both turned to political or philosophical subject matter with a dose of satanism. Even then, for Marx, ridding the world of religion was his principal goal …

Engels made Moses Hess’s acquaintance … and parted from his company a communist.  Hess was delighted to have made another convert. Engels then wrote of a ‘devilish spirit’ which had been permeating the world since the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century …

Leon Trotsky related that, at the age of 16, Vladimir Lenin tore a cross from around his neck, spat on it and stamped on it.  This is common in satanic circles …

As a child, Bukharin, who was one of the 20th century’s main Marxist doctrinaires, dreamt of being the Antichrist and tried to co-opt his mother into his ambition.  He later wrote that Joseph Stalin was ‘a devil’.

Stalin’s brother-in-law wrote that the iconic Soviet leader was devoid of humanity.  Many of Stalin’s state colleagues termed him demonic.

Stalin believed that believing parents, even those only under suspicion of religious convictions, should be separated from their children. He said that he derived the greatest pleasure from drawing people close to him in perceived friendship, only to plant a dagger in their backs. He considered love and forgiveness to be the greatest of crimes.

A Soviet official, whom Stalin had shot, had a picture of Satan in his room, where, normally, an Orthodox icon would have stood …

Che Guevara, he of the t-shirts, wrote that a revolutionary must be a ‘cool, calculated and cold killing machine’ …

Marx advocated a ‘permanent revolution’.  There would be no goal other than ongoing bloodshed.  Lenin opined that atheism is part and parcel of communism. Fighting against religion was the main goal.  Furthermore, he hoped that the United States would fall into communist hands ‘like overripe fruit’ …

Various interpretations of Marxism around the world led to active and fatal persecution of Christians, particularly clergy and religious:

[In the Soviet Union] priests and pastors were crucified in prison, just as Jesus was.  Some were disemboweled.  One had an unborn baby from a female prisoner placed in his stomach. Life is cheap to communists.  They do not care about humanity, only themselves and their cult of death …

In prisons, guards used various techniques to humiliate and weaken prisoners in an attempt to get them to blaspheme.  They knocked a priest’s teeth out with an iron rod. They raped nuns and Christian laywomen, including girls, sometimes anally.  Others they forced to perform fellatio.

Marx approved of torture, saying it led to ‘ingenious inventions’.  Let it not be said that this man was a humanitarian …

Elsewhere in the world, similar atrocities occurred.  During the Spanish Civil War, the communists killed 4,000 Catholic priests.  In Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, tribe members — trained by the North Koreans — were ordered to kill their own sons.  Those who refused were killed alongside their sons.

The last thing the communists wanted were martyrs for Christ.  So, they brutally tortured their prisoners in order to get them to blaspheme and to renounce Jesus.  They fully intend for Christians to go to Hell and will do everything they can to inflict horrific acts of physical and psychological pain to ensure it happens. Granted, their methods do not always work, but they have the will and many of the ways.  They want their prisoners to praise Satan.

There were ‘show churches’ in the USSR in Stalin’s time. Some of these aberrant priests were at seminary the same time as Stalin was in the early part of the 20th century. Outside of public services:

A branch of the Russian Orthodox Church was given over to Satanist priests.  Human blood was used instead of consecrated wine during the blasphemous communion services.

Also, relating to the Church:

As people who are interested in Satan, communists reword prayers and distort Holy Scripture in order to prey on people’s greed and a false sense of ‘oppression’.  These are ways in which they can ‘re-educate’ people.  Sometimes they use mass-media broadcasts for this purpose.  Sometimes they use school curriculum.

Yet:

despite this, a number of American seminary professors saw no dichotomy between a seminarian professing both Marxism and Christianity.  Sixty-eight per cent of Episcopalian professors and 53% of Lutherans felt that this was acceptable.

In conclusion, in the 1960s:

Khruschev said that those who believed the philosophy of Marx, Engels and Lenin was dead were deceiving themselves.

As Wurmbrand writes in the book, one can be a Christian or a Marxist, but not both. Make sure that you and your children know the reasons why.

There are few more uplifting films for family viewing than The Sound of Music, a heartwarming and moving story about the famous von Trapps.

However, the reality was probably not as comforting as much of the film.

Last year, comedienne Sue Perkins wrote an article for the Christmas issue of Britain’s Radio Times (most of it television listings!) in which she investigated the von Trapp story, particularly Maria (Julie Andrews’s character). (The article, ‘Who Was the Real Maria?’, appeared in the 22 December 2012 – 4 January 2013 issue on pages 55 and 57).

Miss Perkins assures readers that she

went in search of the real von Trapp narrative

which was shown in her television programme Climbed Every Mountain: the Story behind the Sound of Music, which aired on December 29, 2012.

Not having seen the documentary, I am not in a position to comment, although there are a few points which struck me about the difference between Perkins’s account, real life and the film.

Baron von Trapp

Georg Johannes von Trapp was a highly decorated officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the Great War (1914-1918). After the war ended in 1918, the Austrian Emperor

in order to avoid having to give the fleet to the victors … gave the entire Austro-Hungarian Navy and merchant fleet, with all harbours, arsenals and shore fortifications to the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. They in turn sent diplomatic notes to the governments of France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States and Russia, to notify them that the State of SCS was not at war with any of them and that the Council had taken over the entire Austro-Hungarian fleet.

Prior to this, the home port for the Austrian Navy was in Venice, with a supplementary base in Trieste (yes, present-day Italy). Once the Austro-Hungarian Empire was formed, the new naval home transferred to Pola (now Pula, Croatia) with another important base in Fiume (now Riejka, also in Croatia).

Before the First World War, a naval race was occurring amongst the most powerful European countries who were rivalling each other for the greatest seapower technology. It was as important then as the arms race is today and had much to do with the escalation of the war.  Another similarity between the two eras is that later developers, as it were, were able to purchase and improve on the original technology of their future enemies.

Any parent whoGeorg von Trapp Wikipedia 200px-Georgvontrappse child is at a loss for a term paper subject for History class would do well to suggest writing about the Austro-Hungarian Navy and its acquisition of the equipment and improvement on the technology of Germany and Great Britain in this regard. This is an excellent example of history repeating itself. As it was 100 years ago, so it is now — with different players.

Back to the Baron. His father August was also a decorated naval officer. It was through him that the family were elevated to the Austrian nobility. The men would inherit the title of Ritter — Knight, in English.

With regard to fatherhood — more about which below — it should be pointed out that the von Trapp children were unhappy with the Baron’s portrayal in The Sound of Music. Although he had known war and commanded a submarine, privately he was a warm and doting father. He was also interested in music, a pastime he fostered in his children. (See the Winter 2005 issue of Prologue Magazine for the National Archives (United States), ‘The Real Story of the Von Trapp Family’.)

Agathe Whitehead

Four years before the First World War, Georg Johannes was given the command of the Austro-Hungarian Navy’s new submarine, the SM-U6. It happened to be christened by Agathe Whitehead,  the granddaughter of the inventor of the torpedo, an Englishman, Robert WBaron von Trapp Agathe Whitehead Wikipedia 220px-Whitehead-Agather_1909circahitehead.

Soon afterward, Baron von Trapp married Agathe Whitehead, who was also a niece of Sir John Brodrick, 1st Earl of Midleton. As mentioned earlier, in the postwar period, the borders were redrawn, resulting in Austria’s becoming a landlocked country. As a result, von Trapp no longer had a job. It was his wife’s wealth which largely kept the young von Trapp family afloat during this time, and they continued to live in Pola.

Early in their marriage, Agathe lived in the Austro-Hungarian home port of Pola. There, she bore the Baron the first of their two children, Rupert and Agathe. Their other children were born in Austria.

In September 1922, young Agathe contracted scarlet fever. The Baron’s wife, Agathe, contracted it from her and died.

Maria Augusta Kutschera

After the Agathes — mother and daughter died — another daughter, Maria Franziska, fell ill and could not attend school. The Baron, with seven children, decided to hire a tutor. By this time, they lived outside of Salzburg, Austria.  The Baron sold the house in Pola.

The Baron enquired at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg to find out if any of the Benedictine Sisters were available to teach his daughter at home.

Nonnberg Abbey, incidentally, is the oldest women’s religious house in the German-speaking world.

Maria_von_Trapp_2 WikipediaThe convent sent a young teacher who had graduated from the State Teachers College for Progressive Education in Vienna at age 18, in 1923. Maria Augusta Kutschera was a postulant and had every intention of pursuing her vocation.

However, in obedience to her Benedictine superiors, she went to the Baron’s home and eventually taught not only Maria Franziska, but the other children as well.

An important note about Maria’s childhood: Most of us probably thought that young Maria had her eyes set on the convent from an early age. However, Joan Gearin, an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Region–Boston, wrote in 2005 (emphases mine):

Maria Augusta Kutschera was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1905. She was orphaned as a young child and was raised as an atheist and socialist by an abusive relative. While attending the State Teachers’ College of Progressive Education in Vienna, she accidentally attended a Palm Sunday service, believing it to be a concert of Bach music, where a priest was speaking. Years later she recalled in her autobiography Maria, “Now I had heard from my uncle that all of these Bible stories were inventions and old legends, and that there wasn’t a word of truth in them. But the way this man talked just swept me off my feet. I was completely overwhelmed.” Soon after, Maria graduated from college, and as a result of her religious awakening, she entered the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a novice. While she struggled with the unaccustomed rules and discipline, she considered that “These . . . two years were really necessary to get my twisted character and my overgrown self-will cut down to size.”

However, her health suffered from not getting the exercise and fresh air to which she was accustomed. When Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend Mother of the Abbey seeking a teacher for his sick daughter, Maria was chosen, partly because of her training and skill as a teacher, but also because of concern for her health. She was supposed to remain with the von Trapps for 10 months, at the end of which she would formally enter the convent.

It is this repudiation of socialism and atheism, I suspect, which grates with the aforementioned Sue Perkins, who tries to make Maria out to be a liar. Perkins doubts Maria’s abuse at the hands of her uncle, casting aspersions on a priest accompanying the von Trapps to America (see below) and on her autobiography in general.

The Baron was quite taken with Maria’s handling of the children. Maria was not without her foibles — and who doesn’t have them? — among them a quick temper. However, Maria was also exacting with the children, cultured and a devout Catholic. Her character as written for the late Mary Martin (Larry Hagman’s mother) and by Julie Andrews did not entirely reflect Maria as she was in real life.

He soon fell in love with her and proposed marriage, which shocked young Maria, who was only 18 at the time she went to the von Trapps. Maria had already made up her mind that she wanted to devote her life to our Lord.

I had two aunts who were nuns and if this turn of events had happened to them, they would have thought likewise. At this point, I would add — for the benefit of the Sue Perkinses of this world — that my aunts enjoyed sports, were popular at school and had boyfriends. They led ‘normal’ lives but decided that the world was not for them. They freely sought the convent — with no family pressure — and pursued the religious life.

The Baron’s proposal put Maria in a serious quandary. Naturally, she discussed the matter with her superiors. The Mother Abbess explained that Maria was meant to follow God’s will; the unstated subtext being that perhaps He wanted a different life for her than she had envisaged. What is it that John Lennon once said? ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans’.

Maria returned to the von Trapps and accepted the Baron’s proposal. They were married in 1927. She later wrote that:

on her wedding day she was blazing mad, both at God and at her husband, because what she really wanted was to be a nun: “I really and truly was not in love. I liked him but didn’t love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children. . . . I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after.”[7]

Financial and political difficulties

The Baron’s first wife, Agathe, had left him money deposited in a bank in London. During the early 1930s, Austrian banks were in economic trouble because of hostile pressure from Germany. To help a friend involved in Austrian banking, he withdrew his savings from England and transferred it to an Austrian financial institution.

Around 1935, that Austrian bank collapsed, leaving the von Trapps penniless. The Baron, distraught by this turn of events, nonetheless did not want to humiliate his family by seeking work. However, the family had sung together and were good enough, Maria thought, to take their act on the road.

She engaged the services of a Catholic priest, the Revd Franz Wasner, as their musical director. Wasner moved into the family home. In 1936, they came to the attention of Austrian luminaries of the day and began earning a living by singing in public. They would eventually tour Europe, giving concerts.

That same year, the Baron was offered another naval commission as Captain, this time for Germany (not the Third Reich, as Austria was not yet under its control). Whilst considering the offer, he happened to see Adolf Hitler and other officers behaving raucously in Munich. He turned down the offer. The political wind was changing, and the Baron decided that it was time for the von Trapps to leave Austria.

As I mentioned above, the pre-war national boundaries were quite different. By the 1930s, the Baron’s birthplace was part of Italy. It was for this reason that the von Trapps left for the United States for their first tour there via Italy, where the Baron and his family were considered to have citizenship. Contrary to The Sound of Music, they were able to leave for Italy by train.

After their singing tour in the United States, they sailed back to Europe for a series of concerts in Scandinavia in 1939. They sailed from Norway to return to the United States, which produced a glitch at immigration on Ellis Island:

apparently because when asked by an official how long they intended to stay, instead of saying “six months,” as specified on their visas, Maria exclaimed, “Oh, I am so glad to be here—I never want to leave again!” The Story of the Trapp Family Singers notes that they were released after a few days and began their next tour.

By this time, the Nazis had confiscated the family’s Salzburg property and they had many bad memories of National Socialist policies, among them:

They were also becoming aware of the Nazis’ anti-religious propaganda and policies, the pervasive fear that those around them could be acting as spies for the Nazis, and the brainwashing of children against their parents. They weighed staying in Austria and taking advantage of the enticements the Nazis were offering—greater fame as a singing group, a medical doctor’s position for Rupert, and a renewed naval career for Georg—against leaving behind everything they knew—their friends, family, estate, and all their possessions. They decided that they could not compromise their principles and left.

Also, there was, in addition to the persecution of their children’s Jewish classmates and their families:

the advocacy of abortion by both Maria’s doctor and by her son’s medical school

Hmm. Sounds like the present day in Western countries.

There is much more to read about how the von Trapps — with the exception of the Baron, who died in 1947 — acquired American citizenship, and most of us know how successful their family business has been since the 1950s.

It seems that had Sue Perkins had done a bit more research into the von Trapps, her documentary would have been somewhat different. Yet, perhaps that is not what Perkins or the BBC wanted. It appears that this programme was an attempt to paint Christians as liars. Certainly, Perkins’s article reads as such.

The von Trapps were survivors. They were also philanthropists for Austrians affected by the war. They have brought happiness to many people over the past 70 years. What is there to criticise?

Nothing other than a God-fearing, Catholic family which survived without compromising their principles or their faith.

Further reading:

Georg Johannes von Trapp – Wikipedia

Maria von Trapp – Wikipedia

The Sound of Music – Wikipedia

‘The Real Story of the von Trapp Family’ – Prologue Magazine (National Archives)

NaziantismokingWhat follows are excerpts from a review of a book called The Nazi War on Cancer by Robert N Proctor.

The illustration at left is from BlogsofBainbridge.

Another, below at right, comes courtesy of Inconvenient History.

Not only does this post address how health was viewed during the Third Reich, it also looks at its policies which sound suspiciously similar to those of the Democratic Party in the United States and Socialist Parties (including some Conservative ones) throughout the world.

Emphases in bold mine below. See if any of the following sounds familiar …

It seems that Hitler was a smoker in his youth but at some stage he became aware of its health hazards and, when in power (perhaps with the zeal of a convert), appeared to detest tobacco, which he called “the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man, vengeance for having been given hard liquor.” But the antismoking campaign reflected “a national political climate stressing the virtues of racial hygiene and bodily purity” as well as the Fuhrer’s personal prejudices. The same could be said of Nazi efforts to discourage drinking and encourage a better diet.

Nazi anti-smoking motherhood_smoking Inconvenient HistoryThe state performer in antismoking propaganda was Adolf Hitler. As one magazine put it: brother national socialist, do you know that our Führer is against smoking and think that every German is responsible to the whole people for all his deeds and emissions, and does not have the right to damage his body with drugs?”

Robert Proctor presents a great deal of evidence that the [N]azis exerted massive control over most facets of ordinary citizen’s lives. Yet somehow, he never reaches the obvious conclusion that such compulsive regulations, even if arguably well intentioned, ultimately lead to a large scale sacrifice of basic freedoms.

He explains how the [N]azis greatly restricted tobacco advertising, banned smoking in most public buildings, increasingly restricted and regulated tobacco farmers growing abilities, and engaged in a sophisticated anti-smoking public relations campaign … Despite the frightening parallels to the current war on tobacco, Mr. Proctor never even hints at the analogy. Curiously, he seems to take an approach that such alleged concern for public health shows [N]azism to be a more complex dogma than commonly presumed. While nothing present in the book betokens even a trace of sympathy for the Third Reich, this viewpoint seems incredibly naive. It’s easy to wonder if Hitler and company were truly concerned with promoting public health. The unquenchable lust for absolute control is a far more believable motive.

Incongruously some of the book’s desultory details lend further certitude to its unpromulgated thesis. Hitler not only abstained from tobacco; he also never drank and was,for the most part–a vegetarian. Frighteningly he also was an animal rights activist. The book reruns a [N]azi-era cartoon depicting many liberated lab animals giving the [N]azi salute to Hermann Göring after he outlawed animal experimentation and promised to send violators to a concentration camp. Also included is a fitting quote — now too widely suppressed — from Joseph Goebbels, `the fuhrer is deeply religious, though completely anti-Christian; he views Christianity as a symptom of decay.” Controversial as it may be in some circles, such a quote proves that [N]azism viewed Christianity as hatefully as it did Judaism. Passing coverage is given to the Third Reich’s forays into euthanasia and eugenics …

Propaganda Minister Joseph Gobbels was obliged to hide his ciggie whenever he was filmed — anti-tobacco activists succeeded in banning smoking from government offices, civic transport, university campuses, rest homes, post offices, many restaurants and bars, hospital grounds and workplaces. Tobacco taxes were raised, unsupervised cigarette vending machines were banned, and there were calls for a ban on smoking while driving ...

It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

If some of these measures appear familiar today, then consider the rules laid down in 1941 regarding tobacco advertising. “Images that create the impression that smoking is a sign of masculinity are barred, as are images depicting men engaged in activities attractive to youthful males (athletes or pilots, for example),” and “may not be directed at sportsmen or automobile drivers,” while “advocates of tobacco abstinence or temperance must not be mocked.” Advertisements were banned from films, billboards, posters and “the text sections of journals and newspapers.” Nevertheless, even the Nazis couldn’t equal the recent ban on smoking on death row, meaning prisoners about to undergo massive electric shocks are forbidden from indulging in “one last drag” — talk about cruel and unusual punishment.

This great crusade, propagated through a remarkable network of lectures, re-education programs and congresses, was backed up by the medical and health establishment for the sake of “science.” Or at least a certain type of junk science, one in which objective research and the scientific method was subordinated to, and bastardized for the sake of, a greater political program. Thus, it was commonly touted by scientists and racial hygienists that smoking caused “spontaneous abortions”: a clearly demonstrable fallacy, but one requiring official promotion in order to ensure a high birth rate for Aryan women. (Source: Anti-tobacco Gestapo: past and present)

Historians and epidemiologists have only recently begun to explore the Nazi anti-tobacco movement. Germany had the world’s strongest anti smoking movement in the 1930s and early 1940s, encompassing bans on smoking in public spaces, bans on advertising,restrictions on tobacco rations for women, and the world’s most refined tobacco epidemiology, linking tobacco use with the already evident epidemic of lung cancer. The anti-tobacco campaign must be understood against the backdrop of the Nazi quest for racial and bodily purity, which also motivated many other public health efforts of the era.

… Many Nazi leaders were vocal opponents of smoking. Anti-tobacco activists pointed out that whereas Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt were all fond of tobacco, the three major fascist leaders of Europe — Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco — were all non-smokers.(7) …

German smoking rates rose dramatically in the first six years of Nazi rule, suggesting that the propaganda campaign launched during those early years was largely ineffective.(4) (5) German smoking rates rose faster even than those of France, which had a much weaker anti-tobacco campaign. German per capita tobacco use between 1932 and 1939 rose from 570 to 900 cigarettes a year, whereas French tobacco consumption grew from 570 to only 630 cigarettes over the same period.(9)

… smoking may have functioned as a kind of cultural resistance,(4) [al]though it is also important to realise that German tobacco companies exercised a great deal of economic and political power, as they do today …

We should also realise that tobacco provided an important source of revenue for the national treasury. In 1937-8 German national income from tobacco taxes and tariffs exceeded 1 billion Reichsmarks.(12) By 1941, as a result of new taxes and the annexation of Austria and Bohemia, Germans were paying nearly twice that. According to Germany’s national accounting office, by 1941 tobacco taxes constituted about one twelfth of the government’s entire income.(13)

German anti-tobacco policies accelerated towards the end of the 1930s,and by the early war years tobacco use had begun to decline. The Luftwaffe banned smoking in 1938 and the post office did likewise.Smoking was barred in many workplaces, government offices, hospitals,and rest homes … During the war years tobacco rationing coupons were denied to pregnant women (and to all women below the age of 25) while restaurants and cafes were barred from selling cigarettes to female customers.(19) From July 1943 it was illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke in public.(20) Smoking was banned on all German city trains and buses in 1944, the initiative coming from Hitler himself, who was worried about exposure of young female conductors to tobacco smoke.(21) Nazi policies were heralded as marking”the beginning of the end” of tobacco use in Germany.(14) …

An ordinance on 3 November 1941 raised tobacco taxes to a higher level than they had ever been (80-95% of the retail price). Tobacco taxes would not rise that high again for more than a quarter of a century after Hitler’s defeat.(26) …

According to official statistics German tobacco use did not reach prewar levels again until the mid-1950s …

After the war Germany lost its position as home to the world’s most aggressive anti-tobacco science. Hitler was dead but also many of his anti-tobacco underlings either had lost their jobs or were otherwise silenced. Karl Aster, head of Jena’s Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research (and rector of the University of Jena and an officer in the SS), committed suicide in his office on the night of 3-4 April 1945. Reich Health Fuhrer Leonardo Conti, another anti-tobacco activist, committed suicide on 6 October 1945 in an allied prison while awaiting prosecution for his role in the euthanasia programme. Hans Reiter, the Reich Health Office president who once characterised nicotine as “the greatest enemy of the people’s health” and “the number one drag on the German economy”(27) was interned in an American prison camp for two years, after which he worked as a physician in a clinic in Kassel, never again returning to public service. Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel, the guiding light behind Thuringia’s antismoking campaign and the man who drafted the grant application for Astel’s anti-tobacco institute, was executed on 1 October 1946 for crimes against humanity. It is hardly surprising that much of the wind was taken out of the sails of Germany’s anti-tobacco movement …

For a few decades now, depending on the country, we have had:

– A ban on tobacco advertising.

– Numerous Tobacco Control conferences worldwide.

– WHO diktats on tobacco, which UN signatory countries are obliged to follow.

– Retail prices which are 75 – 80% tax.

– Bans on tobacco use in public places, parks, beaches, nursing homes, hospitals, hotels (including private rooms), cinemas, shops, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants.

– Bans on smoking in one’s own home — flats and public housing.

– Proposals on restrictions of tobacco sales based on age.

– Proposals to ban smoking in one’s car.

Sound familiar?

Hitler, Mussolini and Franco were all non-smokers.

Hitler was also fond of animals at the expense of Jews and Christians. He also advocated eugenics and ordered mass extermination.

Is the man without vices the person to trust? No.

Is this what our forefathers fought and died for?

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