Meine Ehre heißt Treue or My Honor is Called Loyalty, which was used by the Nazi SS.
James Comey, the former FBI director who was fired by Trump in April 2015 referred in a speech and article to “the murderers and accomplices of…Poland” which was attacked by the Polish foreign minister and a complaint made to the American ambassador. Yes there were thousands of positive relations that saved numerous Jews even in Poland and the United States eventually saved 100,000 Jews, but…but…but.
There were no “sanctuary cities” in those times, but there were sanctuaries (recalling the Hunchback of Notre Dame). Paul Gruninger, a courageous police captain, refused to follow orders and 1,000 Jews entered Switzerland. There was sanctuary in the Roman churches in 1943. Metropolitan Sheptytsky in Lvov (Lviv) wrote to Himmler asking that Ukranian police not be used in actions against the Jews. Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac of Zagreb, Croatia helped hide Jews in Catholic buildings. Two-thirds of the convents in Poland offered protection to Jews. Six Catholic groups in Belgium hid Jews.
Two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans were in favor of the restrictive immigration quotas of the United States.
Congress would not pass the Wagner-Rogers Bill which would have helped 20,000 Jewish children arrive in the United States.
Franklin D. Roosevelt sided with his State Department, even after the Anschluss and Kristallnacht and did not relax standards for immigration.
10 percent of Americans favored deporting Jews in America.
32 percent of Americans believed that Jews had too much influence in business.
The national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars passed resolutions against further immigration.
58 percent of Americans felt that Jews were partly to blame for their own persecution (1938 poll).
68 percent of Americans feared that living conditions for Americans would go downhill if there was relaxing of the quotas.
Father Charles Coughlin had three million fans listening to his radio show and this Irishman made false claims about Jews, claims that had incited people against the Irish in the United States and in England and other places.
Kristallnacht was not newsworthy to the students at the Medill School of Journalism which considered among other things the flight of Wrong Way Corrigan to be more important (he flew to Ireland instead of California).
FDR could have reversed the denial of permission of a passenger ship (1,600 passengers) to sail from Lisbon to New York which would have saved Jews.
The St. Louis returned to Europe. That ship with 937 Jews on board could have resulted in everyone receiving safety from death. The results that we wish to know are that 28 Jews got off in Cuba, 1 committed suicide, 620 were admitted to France, Belgium, and Holland and only 365 survived the war, and 288 were admitted to Britain.
I visited Tel Aviv in 1984 and went to the apartment a friend’s mother on Rechov Rothschild or Rothschild Street. It just occurred to me that this woman was sent to Siberia by the Russians with her son and family members. I did not find out why, but the answer my friend is in the book by Peter Hayes called Why? Explaining the Holocaust.
Here in America, the Associated Press wrote that a G.O.P. candidate from Missouri spoke out in 2017 saying that “Hitler Was Right.” The article appears on page 12 among advertisement and news, but the front- page news is a 2015 attempt to convince singer-actress Jennifer Hudson not to sing at a charter school event. The New York Post has been known for presenting news related to “Hymie Town” and more on the front page including news about Minister Louis Farrakan of the Nation of Islam. With the midterm elections coming up, exposing more G.O.P. candidates for their racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia is critical to the survival of our democracy. The candidate when questioned finally said to the press “Well, then maybe they (Jewish voters) shouldn’t vote for me.”
I heard it many times during the Campaign of 2016 and during and after the election that year that the choice was “the lesser of two evils.” There were things that surely disqualified both candidates in 2016, but the fact is that Trump won. The Republicans won. I did an outreach to the Kasich campaign and I know people that felt good vibrations from Kasich and if it had been Clinton vs. Kasich there could not have been an election of the “lesser of two evils.” But we must also look at the Jews and their own feelings after 1939. There was a decision to make based on the “lesser of two evils.”
The “lesser of two evils” in Eastern Europe was a decision that did not make things better. And since Poland, for example, had the most Jews and was mostly Catholic, it is necessary to understand what was going on. The Vatican was keeping things quiet and at times made things worse for Jews. The leaders were against the Nazis, but despised the communists more. Pope Pius XI was almost ready to denounce the Nazis, but he chose to remain quiet. Pope Pius XII would not support Bishop Konrad von Preysing’s work to help German Jews in Berlin. The Nazis hoped that Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) would be elected and Pius XII hated “godless communism” and the Nazi fight against communism naturally permitted the church to “coexist” with Nazism. And there was much more.
The Jews of Poland were blamed for the Russian controlled years. Jews were prominent in the communist party and were blamed from all sides. (blamed by a majority of the Polish people). Most Jews did not belong to the Communist party in Poland. The Soviets did nothing to help the Jews for years. So Jews in Poland left to go to Siberia (1940-1941) where they had to do hard work in construction in order to escape death at the hands of the Nazis. Russia was the “lesser of two evils.” After the massacre of Jews in 66 attacks by Poles in the province of Suwalki and then 200 similar attacks in the Soviet annexed eastern provinces, what would you expect Jews to do?
A pogrom in Poland after World War II took the life of Chaim Hirszman, one of the two survivors of Belzec.
Making matters much worse for Jews throughout Europe were the police in many countries who rounded up and even killed Jews. Winston Churchill, I read in Churchill & Orwell by Thomas E. Ricks, was concerned about what would happen if the English had to surrender to the Nazis as other countries had. Churchill indicated that the police could surrender, but under no circumstances should it aid the enemy in maintaining order or providing any other help. Easier said than done as history has shown us. Think again about the resolutions passed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars before World War II.
The Blue Police on the beat and firemen (volunteers) in Poland were involved in rounding up Jews. The Swiss Federal Police for Foreigners rounded up Jews and others. The French police in Paris that rounded up over 13,000 Jews and since then Jacques Chirac has issued an apology for the use of the police and civil servants in that contribution to the Holocaust and later even Emmanuel Macron contributed an important statement “not a single German took part”) exposing the role of the French police. Police were involved at a massacre of Jews at Babi Yar and killings in other places in the Ukraine. Overall there were 1.2 million police in the occupied USSR that collaborated with Himmler. Then there was Belorussia, Macedonia, and Slovakia. All communities in America must reflect on this and the inhumanity of man.
Considering how the internet and FACEBOOK have shown us the bad side of police in the United States, we should take Churchill’s thoughts seriously. I say the liberals (leftists) and conservatives should be doing much more to protect all of us and our freedom. We hear the term fascist being used in the United States and we must be on realizing that people in government and the police (and military) may be very problematic for us and some may even be borderline fascists. In the news right now is an article asking why Trump cannot just condemn Nazis (in the United States). We have much more to fear from Trump and his actions and inactions than we have of a war with Turkey, North Korea, Iran, China, or Russia. The communists are gone from power. So what is left?
Lech Walesa made anti-Semitic statements when he ran for the presidency in Poland. Solidarity?
In breaking news the tape of Omarosa-Kelly has been released detailing Kelly’s assertion that there were serious violations committed by Omarosa Manigault-Newman while she was in the White House, things that in the military would result in a court martial. How can a White House that claims to be so tough and so actively engaged in fighting criminal activity resort to such an easy parting of the ways and how can White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lend his hand to this? I can just sit here and imagine all the men or women in the service that Kelly has let go when there should have been action taken. I wonder what our men and women have to say about this important matter? It really seems to me that the current Kelly message released today adds poison to communities when underserving people maintain a clean slate that they are not entitled to.
Senator Tim Scott (R) of South Carolina is the only Republican that is signing on to an anti-lynching bill that would make lynching a federal crime. After a hundred years of trying 200 times, it now comes down to will Republicans back an anti-lynching bill? There are 26 Democrats already who have signed on. He should be protesting his party’s lack of support right now. Tim Scott should be replaced. And where is Donald Trump on this important issue? Pogrom! Lynching! What follows when times are tough?