Defying Hitler Book review, Sebastian Haffner Author

            Defying Hitler, by Sebastian Haffner,  is an autobiographical book giving a snap shot of a piece of history, specifically Berlin Germany from about 1914 to 1933.  The author was born about 1907, so was old enough to remember the war games of the Great War, but too young to have been in the military.  He observed the great inflation in Germany of 1923, the sports escapism of the mid 1920s, and the passage of various ministers of the German government.  He lived in Berlin, and gives a several hundred page summary of the rise of the Nazis and Hitler through 1933.  He fled Germany about 1938, avoiding the war, and landing in England with his Jewish[i] lover, who was the mother of his son, and became his wife. Haffner wrote the book about 1939.[ii]  But war overtook the events, and the manuscript lay unpublished until after he died about 1999,  when his son translated the text and published the story. In the afterword, the son suggests the book as another comment on how did it happen?  And, why didn’t anybody stop them or at least resist?  “Them” is the Nazis and  “it” is their rise to power in Germany and control of Europe. Having read a number of books[iii]  or observed many films,[iv] about Germany and World War Two, it occurred to me this was the only one, I’ve read, from the unfiltered point of view of a contemporaneous percipient anti-Nazi German witness.[v]

The book could have been named “Politics 101  -a guide to taking over a country – how to destroy a civilization.”  Haffner’s seat for observation is as the son of a Berlin civil servant.  Haffner lives as a student and is supported by his father as Haffner goes through teen age years, attends college and prepares to be a lawyer and future judge. Half of the book is about the year 1933. It was written in 1939, about 5 to 6 years later, with the story only having partially played out, but, by which time there was the strong expectation of eminent major war.

Deutsches Reich postage

Haffner  is fascinating as he describes the Nazis’ activities.  In the 1920s, Haffner reads about Hitler and the Nazis in the press, and then begins to observe some changes on the streets. He remembers his first swastika, and asking what it meant. He was told – oops spoiler alert, read the book.  Still later Berlin news accounts or announcements on the radio greet Haffner, and more frequent contacts with the Nazis’ uniformed SA, until Haffner’s work and the Christian church are both taken over in 1933.  The book ends as Haffner is drafted into Nazi indoctrination camp life. Those were generally the steps Haffner noticed or recorded, and the following are examples of what the Nazis did.  According to Haffner, all of this is done in or by the end of 1933.

The Hitler Youth, previously established as the means for recreation and training of teens and pre teens, and to build loyalty, becomes the sole youth organization.  Haffner was in his late twenties, too late for Hitler Youth. So his comments about Hitler Youth, are brief, and are lumped with the SA and Reichswehr.  As an aside, this meant Hitler disbanded and prohibited the Boy Scouts, and other youth groups, rather than taking them over.  Hitler, thru the Nazis did take over the church, government, military, judiciary, press, wireless, industry and banks.  Prohibition of the Boy Scouts further saved the Boy Scouts from pressure to support the Nazi government, and the extreme and ultimate ignominy those other organizations faced after World War Two.  But it is interesting that Hitler thought the Boy Scouts could not be salvaged or subverted. Ban them outright and start over.

Reichs 1939

The book lists a series of activities, approaches, tactics, the Nazis used. One was terror. Real terror, not threats of terror.  The SA would beat up, on the spot, in real time, anyone who did not salute the swastika and Nazi flag when it passed by parade on the street. The alternatives of saluting or beatings, lead some Berliners, or many, to duck into door wells, to avoid confrontation. Confrontation is so, uncomfortable, unseemly. Contention just is unpleasant.  Haffner notes many Nazi flag parades, unscheduled, day or night. Haffner did not know what for, but the whisper campaign was enough to get the message out, salute or be beaten.  Now. Another example of terror was when the dissidents were rounded up at night, the press said a leftist, taken from bed, shot two SA men in his home. The SA overwhelmed him, and immediately hung him and his sons in the shed, as an example.  Quick punishment sends a message.[vi]  This summary hanging report was included in the last dialogue and discussion of Haffner’s study group of law students.  The study group, with some pro,  and others, anti Nazi, broke up.

Austria stamp

Haffner’s book also reported on circulated stories about ‘concentration camps,’ which camps were filled with dissidents, by the thousands, who were rounded up on the very  same night as the Reichstag fire, the burning of the legislative building. The camps must have been in existence, to move so quickly to fill them up.  This was in February 1933, and Hitler was less than one month into power. Hitler was chancellor with only two seats in the cabinet. The older German leaders and opposition parties, spoke frequently of ‘taming’ Hitler, and giving him a little power to calm or control him.  As the Weimar governments struggled in 1931 and 1932,  fractured amid several political parties, the President, aging Hindenburg, would offer Hitler power, but Hitler would make unreasonable demands.[vii] Then a few months would go by, and Hitler was offered power again,  more power, but the offer was again withdrawn because of Hitler’s unreasonable demands. This continued several times, until lots of power was included, the Government begged Hitler,  Hitler’s demands were met, and Hitler took the Chancellorship January 30, 1933.  Haffner wrote “Hitler’s opponents in Germany at that time suffered from a compulsive urge to offer him everything he wanted, indefatigably and at an ever cheaper price, indeed to press it upon him. It is the same now [1939] with his opponents outside Germany. Again and over again,  this “appeasement” was formally renounced, and again and again it gaily reappeared…”  Haffner gives as the only hope [in 1939] was “Hitler’s own unreasonableness.” Haffner wondered whether Hitler could even exhaust the patience of his opponents. “Then [1933] as now [1939], it became apparent that their [Hitler’s opponents] patience knew no bounds. . .”[viii]

30 Januar 1944

February 27, 1933 was the Reichstag fire.  Total loss, bright flames in the night sky.  A convenient excuse to raid political opponents.  Now, in 2019, the term is “pretext.”  An event,, or activity is used as a pretext to accomplish something for a reason undisclosed or different from the real reason. The Nazis wanted to destroy the opposition, and the Reichstag fire was as good enough a pretext, as any. Haffner points out that previously the Nazis called the Reichstag  a “hot air factory,” but when burned, it became an emblem of destruction of Germany, ‘increase of anarchy and chaos’,  a threat to the state, and which threat had to be dealt with. The same night, the “left” liberals,  opposition ministers, communists, who were blamed by Hitler, were all rounded up by the SA,  and the accusation of arson was repeated in the press. Haffner doesn’t say so, but Haffner implies these following questions. The reader will wonder how did the teams rounding up opponents know to act so quickly? It takes time to draw up lists, and as it was the middle of the night, you would have to have SA or officers on duty, with the assignments already made. Even in the modern age of cell phones and instant messaging, it takes days to organize relief after natural disasters such as hurricanes, or attacks such as Nine Eleven, when US  national commercial aviation was grounded for a week.  But in 1933, the ‘left’, being hated by the Nazis, put the ‘left’ in grand company, with Jews, gypsies, and eventually the Grand Alliance.

12-3-38 Reich stamp

Thus Haffner begins his notice of the concentration camps in February 1933.  The round ups were reported in the press, with the occasional report that a traitor or prisoner was “shot while attempting to escape.” Haffner refers to that phrase, as a quote in the press, throughout the year 1933.

A month later, April 1933,  was the Nazi’s first German  nation wide Jewish boycott.  Prior to 1933, for a decade or more, Hitler had called Jews,’ parasites, subhuman,  and plague’.  Hitler continued to do so on a daily basis. The Nazis attacking the Jews right to exist made the Jewish problem a topic of discussion. Did the Jews have enough ‘war dead’(12,000 graves)  from the Great War (1914-1918) ? Haffner quotes at least one, to whom he spoke, who thought it (12,000 graves) not enough.  So a chant was cited, taught to children, “Judah Destroy.”

So does it appear as a surprise that a boycott was ordered? Haffner explains that Hitler and Goebbels thought it up over a Sunday lunch, and implemented it within a week.  The boycott was to be enforced by SA armed guards standing in front of Jewish merchants, and with searches of lawyers and physicians waiting rooms.  No one was to shop at Jewish stores after Monday at 8 am. Aryan merchants must fire their Jewish employees. Jewish merchants had to keep paying Aryian employees, while the shops were closed. The Universities had to fire their Jewish Professors, and hospitals fire or refuse Jewish doctors to practice.  Jewish owners had to withdraw from their businesses and hire Aryan managers.The purpose was to financially ruin as many as possible, as fast as possible, and Haffner records a twenty-something Jewish friend who packed and left for Switzerland. His parents sending him money.  The boycott did the friend a favor, as it happened. He escaped before the borders closed.

Travel restrictions began. No more than 200 marks a month could be sent out of the country. The Nazis claimed that Jews were slandering the Nazis and Germany with horror stories in foreign countries. Thus German  foreign travel stopped.  Also, Jewish travel stopped, or if Germans or Jews did get a visa, perhaps by bribery, the travelers left all behind. Again, they, the boycotters,  did the Jews a favor,  to flee, as it was all to be destroyed,  within a decade, utterly.

Later, by October 1933, the Nazis withdrew Germany from the disarmament conference and resigned from the League of Nations.[ix] The allies (England, United States, Japan, Russia, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, China) from the Great war did nothing.  Haffner asks several times, what happened to the 60% of the Germans that voted for opposition parties. Did they die? Did they become Nazis? He asks, but never answers. He may not have known what happened to them, even in 1939.

Moving so quickly and shockingly, the Nazis scared some scientists, professionals, doctors or lawyers, to leave Germany, immediately. Doing them a favor, for as is well known within a decade, during war, the holocaust was in full total final force.  Thus scholars such as Einstein fled to America.  This flight of the shocked and scared recalls the shock some of the French peerage felt in Paris in 1789 after the fall of the Bastile. They fled across the Rhine to Coblenz and the low countries.  They left when they could, because within 4 years, after borders were sealed, by 1793, the reign of terror would be in full force, targeting hundreds, then thousands, and then tens of thousands of nobility and clergy for accusation and the guillotine, including the King and Queen.  Still, in either Berlin in 1933 or Paris in 1789, many more looked around and not seeing a panic, stayed on, and on, and on, and on, and on.

In America, we hear of boycotts, such as boycotting the grape growers of California back in the 1970s to organize the manual farm laborers, or boycott hotel owners who contributed to pass Proposition 8 in California, or boycott entertainers who so contributed, or insurance companies.  Boycott is a tool of unions, who go on strike, using moral persuasion for others not to cross the picket lines. Or by force. Most recently in the U.S., you may recall the TV and movie writers’ strike in the late fall of 2007 and winter of 2008. It was a minor inconvenience, as producers and the media filled entertainment time with re runs.  But these are private groups. State boycotts are focused on an international basis against other states, such as sanctions or restrictions by the US Government on finance, or trade, or travel to states on the Department of State’s terrorist list. To be successful, sanctions require cooperation from other major or prominent nations.  For example, the US has had no, or limited, trade and travel with Cuba for two generations (until 2015). Stories or pictures of 1950s era cars driving the streets of Havana demonstrate the difficulty of importing cars or trucks, in quantity.

I can think of only one American state sponsored boycott which is not against a foreign power. That is one against  the Boy Scouts of America. As an example the State of Connecticut adopted as its policy that Boy Scouts would be excluded from the United Way contributions from Connecticut State employees.[x]  Other states have approved of the  boycott of the Boy Scouts, figuratively kicking them out of the United Way.[xi]

As mentioned, one purpose of the Nazi boycott was the financial ruin of Jews. Haffner quotes a friend commenting that nobody starved in Germany, and if the Jew were destitute, either because he lost his business or customers, the Jew could go on state relief. Hmm. Hafner did not think it an option.

In America we hear of financial ruin, but that is usually attributed to business decisions, economic turmoil, loss of income due to catastrophe, losses due to medical or health issues, and so forth.  The federal government also uses the tax code to encourage preferred activity and discourage disfavored activity. One modern example was the loss of tax exemption by Bob Jones University, after the Internal Revenue Service acted to deny the exemption. Boy Jos had to keep paying its taxes. Of course this moves the tax policy from raising revenue, to support social or  force political change.  The mere threats of audits over tax returns is usually enough to get compliance from individuals or businesses.  Every spring the IRS press releases describe tax prosecutions during the tax filing season to send the message to millions to file and report accurately.  This has been effective, as the Treasury Department estimates that 98% of taxes due are collected on wages, and 70% are collected on business and investment income. This is the envy of the world. 

State efforts, in the U.S.A.,  to cause financial ruin include the Boy Scouts. The exclusion from the dozen United Way chapters attempts three results. First it tries to cast a pall over the Boy Scouts, putting them on the outside looking in at all the other hundreds or thousands of charities that are included in the United Way. Secondly, its goal is to hurt the Boy Scouts financially.[xii]  Third, it reduces the ability of the Boy Scouts to expand their influence, increase their membership, either helping youth, or training adults.  Connecticut, New Jersey, and District of Columbia[xiii] are on board for this. In 2001, the legislature of California refused to pass a motion commending the Boy Scouts for its good work.

The Nazis did not quit with the Jew business boycott.  Haffner, as a law student in 1933, was preparing to take his law exams, the equivalent of an American bar exam.  Hafner studied at the Kammergericht [an equivalen to our highest courthouse]. As Hafner read of the boycotts, beatings, round ups, threatenings, in the press, Hafner noted that the courts continued business as usual.  Hafner remarked he had missed most of the sensational reports. When the Reichstag burned, Hafner was on the other side of town,  Berlin, eating and then sleeping. When the roundups occurred, Hafner checked on friends, and only acquaintences of friends of friends disappeared. Hafner wrote he was nervous, as his girl friend was Jewish, and missing her on a date, set him greatly at distress. She was fine, for then.

But, finally, Hafner was eye witness to the Nazis taking over the courts. Studying away, and writing about it 5 or 6 years later, Hafner remembered the lighting, the noise, the conversations, and how the Nazi guards entered the court house building and cleared out the Jewish judges. The Jews were replaced by Nazis. Haffner was none to complementary over the ignorance of the Nazi Judges placed as the highest Judges in Germany.

Already all civil rights had been abrogated by Hindenburg.  Before Hitler as Chancellor.  The Nazis stepped into it without missing a beat. Mail could be opened and read. Telephones could be tapped or listened. The Press would be reviewed. Opposition papers ceased. Nazis took over as editors of all papers, and all writings were favorable or non political. Sort of the arts and leisure sections of todays’ papers.

Haffner tells a story about the prestige of the German court, the Kammergericht. How, during the reign of Frederick the Great, 1740 to 1786, the Judges went to jail rather than violate the law to confiscate a miller’s business so the King could have an unrestricted view of the countryside. But the Nazis SA marched in,  and took over without any physical or open resistance from the Jew or non-Jew Judges.

In America, the judiciary has its main force in its prestige. It has no army, or law enforcement. Those are under the direction of the executive, either Mayor, Governor or President. America seldom seeks to openly control Judges. Judges have no press, with little visibility, except what the Press chooses to report. This was enough for the first century and a half.  Beginning in 1925, the American Bar Associtation has encouraged a “cottage” industry of finding fault with judges, to justify judicial control. The results seek to treat Judges, similar to the way society treats felons and children.  How so?  ABA’s society considers it satisfactory, even needful, to restrict these judge groups’ freedoms of speech, press, petition, religion, and assembly.  By the 1980s, the ABA inserted into its model Code of Judicial Conduct a ban Judges from memberships in suspect or disfavored organizations, to wit the those practicing ‘invidious discrimination’.  Invidious discrimination was an economic term used by the Supreme Court in a case from the 1920s, but it was too good and juicy phrase, not to pass it up during the civil rights era of the 1960s and continue it on forever in any chance.  Such suspect organizations to be decided by ethics “committees,” not legislatures, committees appointed by county or national bar delegates, not elected in the open political process. By 2007, the American Bar Association adopted model rules to ban Judges’ membership in the Boy Scouts, and their sponsors, such as the American Legion, Rotary, Kiwanis, churches, and more. When advised of this anti-Boy Scout anti-sponsor clause, the ABA’s committee’s open response was that this can be litigated. In effect, “sue if you don’t like it, these are only suggested rules.”  Spend that money on litigation.  The ABA Code of Judicial Conduct is from a private organization, but it is was proposed for adoption by states such as Oklahoma and Utah, and federal authorities, such as the Office of Personnel Management which assumes control for Administrative Law Judges, and the Administrator of Courts, which seeks control of the Article Three Judiciary, below the Supreme Court.  Previously an earlier  form of the model code has been adopted by 49 states, and the Administrator of Courts.

Then Haffner described “Clause Four and Six,” wherein the civil service was realigned, or employees fired.  Remember after the 1923 German inflation, all savings and debts were lost in the inflation. Newspapers of that day showed photos of Germans rolling wheel barrows full of  Reich cash to buy a loaf of bread. So German civil servants, as is the case in most countries, relied on their pensions. These pensioners were subject to a Nazi questionnaire sent to all the civil service as to what organizations they belonged? Haffner says it began the decline that killed his father within 2 years.  Haffner was still describing 1933.

Segway to the present. Continuing the 2008 effort to put the Boy Scouts out of business, you can soon expect questionnaires of Judges, asking whether the Judges belong to the Boy Scouts, or other organizations. This has already received approval by the Supreme Court of California in 2003. That Court ruled then, that California  Judges didn’t yet have to resign from the Boy Scouts, but they must reveal it.  And why shouldn’t they reveal their memberships? Sure if you want to make them targets. That was what the Nazis did.

Haffner organized his book chronologically. So when I read about the September 1930 Reichstag elections, and how the Nazis, “a ridiculous splinter party” became the second largest faction, I learned Hitler, still out of the government, became the central figure.  Haffner describes the scene. Hitler’s “personal appearance was thoroughly repellent – the pimp’s forelock, the hoodlum’s elegance,” “the interminable speechifying, the epileptic behavior with its wild gesticulations and foaming at the mouth, and the alternately shifty and staring eyes.” Hitler’s speechs were delights of threats and cruelty, “the bloddthirsty execution fantasies.” But a “strange thing” was in the air with fascination for the “boggy, dripping cesspool” and “repulsiveness taken to extremes.”  Nothing happened. So Hitler “surpassed himself, becoming ever more deranged and montrous” and notorious as compared to the “strange befuddlement and numbness of his opponents.”  Once, Hitler was summoned as a witness before the highest German Court, and “bellowed” to the Judge, that when he came to power, by “strictly constitutional means” “heads would roll.”  The president of the supreme court did not hold Hitler for contempt. So, Hitler repeated it publicly at the next meeting.  When six storm troopers trampled a dissident to death in the dissident’s bed room, and , after trial, were sentenced to death, Hitler sent them (the troopers) a telegram of praise. The government responded with pardons.

Haffner’s descriptions and use of metaphors rival that of Carlyle.[xiv]  Hitler had “the savage impudence that gradually made it possible for the unpleasant little apostle of hate to assume the proportions of a demon.”   Hitler “capped” each speech with “something even more outrageous and montrous.”  The public meanwhile  succumbed to the “glamour of depravity and the ecstasy of evil.”  Haffner noted there was “no alternative party, no banner to carry, no program, and no battle cry,” to oppose the Nazis.  This was 1930, so while reading these descriptions, I wrote in the margin of my copy of the book at page 91, “where were the churches?”[xv]  The answer and the churches would have to wait for a hundred and fifty pages until page 240.

(German Christian) Church elections were in May of 1933, and the Nazi candidate lost.  These were pubic elections, nation wide. No matter. Its seems the  Nazis had a plan B for the churches.  In “June all the papers had headlines ‘Enemy Planes over Berlin!’”  Haffner notes “No one believed it, not even the Nazis, but no one was particularly surprised, either.” Spontaneous demonstrations followed with marches, flags, Heil and song. With this distraction, “the minister of culture deposed the church authorities, and appointed the Nazi military padre Muller as “bishop of the Reich.”   [Oh, I thought to myself as I read, so that’s what happened.]  The Nazis then celebrated this as a “victory for German Christianity,” with Adolf Hitler as the “German Messiah, flags,’’ the “Horst Wesssel Song,” and “Heil.”    Haffner described these Nazi celebrations to include Martin Luther’s “A Mighty fortress is Our God,” “perhaps in honor of the institution that was being buried.”  Then there were more “church elections” wherein the Nazis ordered their “nominally Christian followers” to vote, so the “next day the press reported an overwhelming election victory for German Christianity!”  Haffner then notes “That evening, as I rode through the city, there was a swastika flag on every church tower.”[xvi]

The “buried” institution of the Church finds parallels in America, and again with the effort to destroy the Boy Scouts.  Perhaps half of the sponsors of Boy Scouts are churches.  The restrictions on Judges’ membership for the Boy Scouts, based on invidious discrimination, applies to the Boy Scout sponsors.  After spending millions in legal fees, the Boy Scouts’ religious traditions were minimally[xvii] upheld by the Supreme Court.  The US Supreme Court did not award legal fees back to the Boy Scouts.

In July 1932, Haffner recorded that the Prussian and Bavarian parliaments were “dissolved” to put an end to those ancient governments.  Well, they joined the good company of the Boy Scouts.

At the beginning of the boycott, but years into Hitler’s ranting at the Jews, Haffner quoted an elderly Jew who refused to believe the Jews could be exterminated, citing the effort by Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible.   Even in 1933, Jews, or at least one Jew who was available to be quoted, were recognizing the effort at extermination. That Jew said it, an extermination, would fail. We don’t know where he was when the Weimar Republic flag was abolished almost immediately after Hitler became Chancellor. Leaving Hitler to wear  mandatory red and black swastika arm bands on Hafner’s jacket.

Haffner noted the first time he saw the swastika, and inquired as to its significance? He was told was it was against the Jew.  The swastika, a decoration from antiquity, had no such meaning and was merely another design.[xviii]  But it is now forever burned into history with the memory of Hitler and his Nazi party.

Another technique of control Haffner noted, was when the “press bayed with one voice” over the ‘’provocation” when Austria refused to join with Germany.  The Austrian chancellor was assassinated within a year by the Nazis. Haffner expected his girlfriend to be expelled from Berlin, as she was Austrian, but this waited, as “Hitler found a problem with the idea, or put it aside.” The Nazi press wrote “This will not go unanswered.” Compare that statement to those in the Press when the Boy Scouts were limping back into obscurity after the Supreme Court law suit.[xix]   “This issue won’t go away for the Boy Scouts.”[xx] It had to await appointment of a new President  of the Boy Scouts, a former Secretary of Defense in 2016. After a century, changes were announced to drop ‘Boy’ and become politically correct.

The book  is startling to record so much drama and danger, as to happen in less than a year, even in Nazi Germany.  Of course, there is little ultimate suspense, as I knew, the world knows, what happens. War happens. Holocaust happens. But the author didn’t know, in 1939, when the events happened, nor when the book happened.  That Haffner’s book was not published for more than 60 years brings to mind the diary of Samuel Pepys,[xxi] which went one and a half centuries before it was published. 

About December of 1933, the book, or journal, ended. No moral. No tieing up loose ends. In keeping with the style of the book, this review will just end. As did the book.

[i]  That she was Jewish very well could have saved both lives, because by fleeing, he avoided being drafted into the Army.  Haffner related the Nazi’s had a strict law, punishable by death, against any Aryan cohabiting with any Jew.  But, as he decribed it,  he loved her, and when she became pregnant, with both guy and gal now in jeopardy, she fled, then he fled.  If Haffner had been Jewish, with both being Jewish, neither he nor she would not have had to flee, and they both would have been in Berlin, in the bull’s eye of the holocaust.

[ii]  Perhaps as a parallel to Churchill’s While England Slept, in which Churchill tries to rally England.

[iii] I have previously read Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich sometime during my college years, and Sir Winston’s Churchill’s six volume History of the Second World War, which won Churchill the Nobel prize for literature, during my military career.  Churchill’s magnificient history is from the point of view of London.  Shirer’s from the point of view of an American  radio journalist reporting in Germany for a half decade, which won Shirer the National Book Award.  Another book  on pre war Euro politics is John F. Kennedy’s Why England Slept, which is a student’s view of international pre war posturing.

[iv]  The films, all from Hollywood’s point of view,  include Casablanca (a Vichy French love story – fiction), Twelve O’Clock high (American bombers over Europe – fictionalized), the Great Escape (Allied soldiers escaping from a German Prisoner of War Camp), Patton (American Generals running Armies into Europe), Shindler’s List (Nazi manufacturer saving Jewish lives), Saving Private Ryan (American Soldiers retrieving the surviving son – ficitonalized), White Christmas (a movie from a song – fictionalized), This is the Army (Irving Berlin’s Broadway’s morale boost),  The Longest day (the Normandy invasion – fiction),  From Here to Eternity (Pearl Harbor – fiction), Pearl Harbor  (fiction), Von Ryan’s Express (Americans escape from Italy prisoner of war train- Sinatra) – None But the Brave  (Pacific –fiction – Sinatra)–Never So Few (Burma – title probably comes from Churchill’s sentence on the RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain – Sinatra), and The Sound of Music (the Von Trapps escape Austria). The television shows include Hogan’s Heroes (Allies in a German prisoner of war camp –  satire),  McHale’s Navy (WW II PT boat – comedy fiction), and Victory at Sea (newsreel documentary),

[v]  The Von Trapp’s Sound of Music is another example of pre war Austrian anti-Nazi point of view, but the movie is filtered, condensed, through Hollywood.

[vi] “Through the whole of February 1933 everything that happened remained a matter for the press; in other words, it took place in an arena that would lose all reality for 99 percent of the population the moment there were no newspapers… the election campaign was accompanied by ferocious acts of terror. The Nazis no longer felt any restraint; with their gangs, they regularly broke up the election meetings of other parties.  They shot one or two political opponents every day… burned down the house … The new Prussian regional interior minister (a Nazi: a certain Captain Goring) promulgated an incidible decree. It ordered the police to intervene in any brawl on the side of the Nazis, without investigating the rights or wrongs of the matter, and furthermore to shoot at the other side without prior warning…”(pg 108-109)

[vii]  After the War, I have read where “never again” became a theme for Zionists.  Haffner records that it was also a theme for 1932, when in August and November, Hitler had been called to be President twice, then vice-chancellor, and finally chancellor. “Both times there had been solemn declarations: “Never again …” Each time  “never again” had lasted exactly three months.”

[viii]  By the summer of 1938 or so, Britain’s Prime Minister Chamberlain, personally intervened in Hitler’s Czechoslovakian land grab. After dismembering the Czech state, the remaining Czech boundaries were guaranteed by the big powers, but only honored for a few months, after which Germany swallowed and occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. Similar land grabs had occurred with Austria’s occupation, and the Rhineland.  The Czech land grab was supposed to be  Hitler’s last demand. It was the also the last of the worthless guarantees. Chamberlain was so totally and personally insulted to his face by Hitler’s lies and claims, that Chamberlain’s patience was exhausted. Churchill later recorded that Chamberlain then undertook to give boundary guarantees to every remaining country in Europe that wanted or would receive one.  Poland received one. But would the guarantees be honored this time? When the Nazi’s invaded Poland, England and France declared for war.

[ix]  In the Sping of 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote Chancellor Reichs Feurer General Messiah Hitler to consider peace and dialogue as an alternative to war. Hitler wrote back reminding Roosevelt the United States had remained outside the League of Nations. See Time Magazine’s Time Capsule series for 1939.

[x]  Declaratory  Ruling on the  Petition  Filed by the  Connecticut  Commission  on  Human Rights and Opportunities, Feb. 8, 2001. excluded the Boy Scouts from  the “annual campaign designed to raise funds from state employees for charitable and public health, welfare, environmental, conservation and service purposes. The funds are administered through a Principal Combined Fund Raising Organization (“PCFO”).   Affirmed Boy Scouts vs Wyman, CHRO, U.S. Ct Appeals 2d Cir, 02-9000, 2003.

[xi]  North Carolina Durham; Illinois Chicago “the culmination of boycotts” in 2003 claiming 70 United Ways stopped funding. Another article said 12  of 1,400 nationwide chapters of United Way joined the boycott.  “Most companies supporting Scouts” Sept 7, 2000 WorldNetDaily.

[xii]  “Under pressure, some United Way chapters and … Levi Strauss…– have revoked or curtailed funding for the Boys Scouts of America.  … Many Boy Scouts see economic sanctions – the withholding of funds – as punishment directed against them as well as a detriment to the community as a whole. “Bush Calls Scout Values ‘America’s Values’ By Jason Pierce Staff Writer July 31, 2001.

[xiii] TheWashington District of Columbia Office of Human Rights ordered the Boy Scouts to pay $100,000 in compensatory damages for embarrassment, humiliation and indignity plus undisclosed legal fees for violations of the Human Rights Act of 1977 to complainants in Pool and Geller vs Boy Scouts of America and National Capital Area Council  (6-18-2001) , 93-030, 93-031.

[xiv]  Thomas Carlyle wrote History of the French Revolution. His style was one of effective use of the metaphor, several times on every page.

[xv] My interest was peaked as almost exactly three centuries before (1630-1632),  Colonel Hugh Cochrane, lead a Scots contingent in support of King Gustavus Adolphus’ Swedish army, which saved Germany for Protestantism in the Thirty Years War.  After the King died, the Swedish legislature added “the Great” to his title, the only Swedish monarch to be so honored. Perhaps the name Gustaf Adolf the Great, inspired Hitler’s parents to grant Adolf for Hitler. Of course, now Hitler has forever smeared the name Adolf from use by parents, unless it is a deeply entrenched family name.

[xvi]  A similar scene is in the movie, The Sound of Music, with relatively huge red flags centered with the black swastikas, flying outside of the Captain’s estate front entry way. Captain Von Trapp pulls the flag down, while his associate looks around pained to see if anyone is spying.   The flags are displayed throughout the show.

[xvii]  5 in the majority to 4 in the dissent.

[xviii]  It was used as a border decoration for the Stamford Connecticut’s 250th anniversary year book published about 1901. It was also the symbol for the US Army’s 45th Division, the Thunderbird division, from Oklahoma.  Subtle distinctions as to whether the 4 ninety degree lines were bent right or left, or standing flat or on edge are lost. The swastika has been smeared from use by anyone except the Nazi.

[xix]  .  Newsweek featured the Boy Scouts on its cover.  The Hollywood Reporter included a press release concerning a director’s membership with the Scouts.  The New York Times  web site lists 211 hits (since 1981) for Boy Scouts and discrimination. The Washington Post lists 81 hits.  Timelists 23 hitss,  USA Today lists 53 hits.

[xx]  NGLTF executive director quoted in  Spielberg Resigns From Boy Scouts Board.

[xxi] Pepys was a civil servant, member of Parliament and President of the Royal Society. Pepys gave an eyewitness record of the  London fire, the plague, war and Restoration of Charles the Second.

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