Tag Archives: Nazis

Director Scorsese says he is fascinated by history, but fails miserably in his analysis.

At Trinity College in Dublin

Being fascinated by history, I read as much as I can. It just reminds me of the late 20s, the 30s … reading about how these things could have happened at that time. It’s a scary time.”

So is Trump Hitler? Is that what you are claiming, Mr. Scorsese? It’s so unoriginal, that it’s actually boring.

Referring to the rise of global terrorism, Scorsese says that the Iraq invasion “had created thousands and thousands of Travis Bickles.”

This reference to Bickles is much more interesting to me. But. maddeningly, Scorsese does not make it clear what he means.

Bickles, portrayed by Robert De Niro, is the depressed loner who is the focus of his 1976 film Taxi Driver, which I consider vastly overrated. Bickles is drawn to violence in his disgust against the decadence and sleaze around him.

“They say they have nothing to lose.”

Just what is Scorsese getting at?

ajh

I’ve been wondering. I’ve been trying to learn more about the Jews in my ancestors’ neighborhood. ✡

A photograph of a street with the surrounding shops and homes in the town where my great grandparents married in 1880 before emigrating to the United States. The German name is Bütow. It is now within Poland and the Polish name is Bytów. In America it is often known as Buetow.I just learned that the town in Germany where my great-great grandparents married in 1880 did indeed have a synagogue, which was destroyed in 1938 during Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, when the Nazis encouraged people to target the Jews after the assassination of the German ambassador in Paris. I am hoping to learn some of the names of these people, the Jews of Bütow.

ajh

You’d think neo-Nazi, KKK thugs would learn how to draw their symbol.

swa

But outing these hate crimes as liberal, leftist hoaxes doesn’t fit the narrative. The Southern Poverty Law Center makes millions off of this stuff.

In eighth grade I learned how to properly draw a swastika. One day Mr. Howard, who taught history and coached football, gave us a surprise pop quiz.

“Take out a piece of paper. I want everyone to draw a swastika. Don’t overthink it. Just draw a swastika.”

So I did. No problem. Easy A.

Except I got it wrong. I drew it backwards, like this, 卍. The Nazi swastika, however, looks like this, 卐. Once everyone was done, Mr. Howard took a piece of chalk and drew a large one on the blackboard. And, so I learned something that day.

It reminds me of another time when the journalism advisor at college had us write Volkswagen. I wrote it Volkswagon. But it ends in a -en, not -on.

ajh

Tim Kaine gives us the Nazi ‘Sieg Heil!’ & Hillary laughs! (P.S. Bernie’s a Jew.)

PSST. Bernie Sanders is a Jew and an atheist.

AZ_AR

They really are showing their colors, aren’t they? Hey, it’s fair game ain’t it? Going after Laura Ingraham with the same craziness. Hillary and Kaine obviously aren’t Nazis. Well, Tim isn’t. (By the way, Bernie Sanders is an atheist and a Jew.)

ajh

Wisdom from Wiesenthal

 Some of the bad guys from World War II: Hitler, Goering, Goebbels & Hess.
Some of the bad guys from World War II: Hitler, Goering, Goebbels & Hess.

The other day I heard someone on the radio mention a quote, and yesterday I went looking for it. I believe it was about or said by Raoul Wallenberg, passed on by Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

Anyway, I have not tracked it down, but I did find some great material: some quotes of Mr. Wiesenthal. So here are what I consider his best pithy notes of wisdom.

The first is on the nature of mass murder.

“What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands.”

The second is about two men, giants in the history of the 20th century.

“There is no denying that Hitler and Stalin are alive today… they are waiting for us to forget, because this is what makes possible the resurrection of these two monsters.”

The third selection I found very probing, insightful. It is about Nazi Germany, though could also be applied to Soviet Russia, and other less infamous nation-states.

“We know that we are not collectively guilty, so how can we accuse any other nation, no matter what some of its people have done, of being collectively guilty?”

Lastly, Wiesenthal gives some advice on listening. I can understand not wanting to talk about life during the time of Hitler and Himmler, when so few stood up and shouted “Stop!”

“The new generation has to hear what the older generation refuses to tell it.”

I don’t know of any Nazis in the family, but I have run into many relatives refusing to talk about this or that. Of course, it only gets my curiosity revved up.

I’ll keep looking for that gem from or about Wallenberg.

ajh

Remembering the Jews of Bytów


There aren’t any more of them living in the town. Any descendants are likely scattered around the world. Perhaps most are in Israel.

Like Jews throughout Germany, those living in the town of Bütow were driven out by the Nazis. How many died, in the gas chambers and elsewhere, is unclear.

In 2011, remnants of the Jewish cemetery were discovered, which was destroyed during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938.

To honor and commemorate the Jewish residents, a monument is being planned. An obelisk, to be completed by November 2013, will stand at the former site of the Bytów synagogue.

A plaque will read: ‘Pamięci Społeczności Żydowskiej Ziemi Bytowskiej, Bytów 8-9.11.2013 r. (In memory of the Jewish community in Bytów, Bytów 8-9.11.2013).

The monument will be unveiled on November 8th, which marks the 75th anniversary of torching down of the synagogue. The plaque will bear the Star of David and inscriptions in Polish, English and German. The idea has been discussed in Bytów for a few years. However, the discovery of matzevos on Wery Street set the plans in motion. One year ago, a committee for commemorating the Jewish community, headed by Prof. Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński, was set up. Over the past year, committee members were looking for materials, documents and other traces of Bytów Jews and their culture.

ajh

The Executioner

Maximilien Robespierre, one of the people responsible for creating the Committee of Public Safety and who succumbed to its power by being executed in 1794

A man who served as the executioner of 62 individuals has changed his mind. He now thinks the death penalty is wrong. Jerry Givens was Virginia’s chief executioner for 17 years.

“From the 62 lives I took, I learned a lot,” Givens said.

I have always had a problem with the state, formally and officially, killing people. Of course, there are many who deserve it. Killers, rapists, psychopaths.

My hangup is the government, acting on my behalf, on our behalf. It brings to mind the arguments of the founders and mob rule, what so many innocents witnessed during the days of the French Revolution and the Committee of Public Safety.1 Then, there’s also the example of the Nazis, who made death by the state a national pastime.

Stalin. Hitler. Pol Pot. So many people murdered by the evil men who took power and governed ruthlessly. I don’t want to see this ever happen in America.

ajh

1. Note how many government entities, on all levels, use the phrase public safety.  Some even use “Committee for Public Safety,” apparently oblivious to the negative historical context.