woensdag, februari 16, 2005

Listen Up All You Flemish Fuckers Out There Who Think "It Won't Be That Bad." : Pastor Martin Niemöller, Nazi Victim (1892-1984)

Posted by Hello

"They came for the communists, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a communist;They came for the socialists, and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist;They came for the union leaders, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a union leader;They came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me ...."

Martin Niemoeller was a Protestant pastor born January 14, 1892, in Lippstadt, Westphalia. He was a submarine commander in World War I. He was anti-communist and initially supported the Nazis until the church was made subordinate to state authority. Although arrested by the Gestapo in 1937 for his open opposition to Hitler and incarcerated in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps, he nonetheless berated himself for not doing more, as in the quote above. This quotation is often cited incorrectly. The exact phrasing was supplied by Sibylle Sarah Niemoeller von Sell, Martin Niemoeller's wife. The remark was made in reply to a student's question, "How could it happen?"

maandag, februari 07, 2005

Hermann Goering on patriotism, pacifism and manipulating the people in a time of war

Psychologist Gustave Gilbert had extraordinary access to the Nuremberg defendants during their trial.The passage below is from Gilbert's classic Nuremberg Diary (1947). It refers to a conversation the two had in Goering's cell on 18 April 1946 during a three-day Easter break in the trial. Goering committed suicide the following October 15.

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars." "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

(from Snopes.com)

Ain't it fucking funny how a great comedian like Bill Hicks used this insight to make his audience roar and reflect and feel more than a tad uncomfortable. Nazi Hermann Goering used it to make people die. Ain't it?