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Saturday, July 25, 2015

We either learn from history or we are doomed to repeat it

We either learn from history or we are doomed to repeat it 

 - by Guest blogger, Willz

Its 1919. Germany is in chaos after four years of war that ended in a humiliating defeat and surrender. The German economy crippled by a heavy handed armistice requiring punishing reparation payments to the allies. The German soldiers were dumbfounded how they were defeated when they weren’t even fighting on German soil . Feeling angry and betrayed the returning soldiers were looking for someone to blame. Amongst them a young Adolf Hitler, bitter about the armistice and Germany's humiliating surrender … then a stranger hands him a leaflet blaming the Jews. The hatred is given direction and a man grows into a monster…in the name of patriotic nationalism the Nazi party is born. In 1933, Hitler arranged for the Reichstag building to be burned in a false flag attack so that blame could be laid against the enemies of the Reich: the Jews and Communists. He called an emergency meeting of Reichstag and the term 'your either with us or against us' was first coined, bullying his way into power with a lie.

The persecution of the Jewish people begins in 1933 with attacks on Jewish shops. Jews are forced out of jobs in newspapers and the civil service. Germans are actively encouraged to boycott Jewish businesses.

1934 - Jews are banned from having health insurance while propaganda claims that Jews murder Christian children.

1935 - the Nuremburg laws are passed. Jews are stripped of German citizenship and are not allowed to marry non-Jews or have sexual relations with non-Jews.

1936 - Jews are banned from all professional jobs.

1937 - Jews are excluded from politics and government positions.

1938 - 'Night of the broken glass'. 100 Jews murdered. 20,000 Jews sent to concentration camps. Synagogues and Jewish homes burnt. Jewish shops trashed and Jews are forced to pay for the damage. Jews banned from schools cinemas and public places Jewish businesses forced to close.

1939 - Germany occupies Czechoslovakia and invades Poland. All Jews forced to wear a yellow star.

1940 - Germany invades Holland, Denmark, Belgium and Norway. Persecution in these countries begins. Auschwitz opens. Warsaw ghetto sealed off 400,000 Jews inside.

Starving children sitting on the pavement in the Warsaw ghetto. 
Yard Vashem Photo archives

1941 - Germany invades the USSR. Killing squads organized to kill Jews wherever they find them in Russia. Gassing of Jews at Chelmno starts.

1942 - gassing of Jews expanded into Balzac, Sobibor, Treblinka and Auschwitz. Mass deportation of Jews to Auschwitz begins.

1943 - as the war starts turning against them, the Nazis attempt to conceal the death camps.

1944 - Hungarian Jews forced on a death march to Auschwitz.

1945 - Russian troops liberate Auschwitz. British and American troops liberate camps in western Germany.

When General Eisenhower first saw the death camps he ordered every soldier to look and ordered a camera crew to film the camp inmates. At the time he stated 'in time to come people will try to deny this ever happened but we will have proof'. He also ordered every citizen of Gotha Germany to tour the nearby concentration camp. After seeing the camp, the Gotha mayor hanged himself.

The Nuremberg trials ran from late 1945 till 1949 to prosecute Nazis for war crimes. Three of the top Nazis, Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels escaped trial by committing suicide. 21 senior Nazis were hanged for crimes against humanity and many others received various years in jail depending on the severity of their crimes.

During the trial Goering was asked how they coerced the German people into another war. He stated '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'.

In closing arguments the lead prosecutor said that we must be ever vigilant that we never let this happen again. A psychiatrist was heard to comment, 'evil is the complete lack of empathy'. The second war to end all wars was finally wrapped up.

But what has all this talk of fascism got to do with Australia?

We’ve never had fascism in Australia, right?


Fascism has been part of the political landscape in Australia since the great depression of 1929 to 1933. You see, fascism is a direct result of the failure of capitalism. When capitalism fails, as it did during the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, it results in fascism. From 1931 to 1932, 130,000 (out of a population of 6 million) were members of far right wing paramilitary groups, such as the New Guard, composed primarily of people who had the most to lose when the capitalist system collapsed, such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, wealthy graziers, factory owners and businessmen.

The New Guard formed in 1931 with 36,000 members. It was a fascist organisation that physically attacked union, ALP, unemployed and communist meetings. Its leader, Eric Campbell, visited Italy and Germany and established close relations with fascists there.

New Guard leader Eric Campbell at a meeting in Sydney 1932

Menzies, Australia’s longest serving prime minister was glowing in his praise of Nazi Germany. In 1938, when federal Attorney-General, he visited the country and enthused about the 'really spiritual quality in the willingness of Germans to devote themselves to the service and well being of the state'.

1937. William Mackay, the NSW police commissioner, established the first Police Boys Clubs. They were modeled on the Nazi labor youth battalions, which he admired because they 'subordinate the individual to the welfare of the nation'.

Fast forward to 1975 when the Racial Discrimination Act was passed in federal parliament overriding inconsistent state legislation under the 'external Powers' section of the Australian Constitution. This Act was left largely intact and unchallenged until 2013, when the most right-wing fascist government to ever govern Australia was elected. Suddenly the fascists were calling for the Act to be watered down. They wanted the freedom to make racial slurs and get away with it.

Proclamation of the Racial Discrimination Act

Repealing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was an election promise borne out of the case of columnist and Abbott confidante Andrew Bolt, who was found guilty of breaching it in two articles he wrote about light-skinned Aboriginal people in 2009.

The changes the fascists wanted would leave Australians with no protection against racial vilification. The comments by the Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, that 'people have the right to be bigots' shows how racist this government has become.

Tony Abbott's pledge to 'stop the boats' was central to his election campaign, and immediately after the election he and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison appointed then Deputy Chief of Army Angus Campbell to take charge. The policy involved secrecy about what was happening on the high seas, a continuation of offshore detention, and reviving the practice of turning refugee boats back.

But this policy has come at a price: riots have broken out at an offshore detention center on PNG's Manus Island, resulting in the death of an asylum seeker, and the Government was forced to bring a group of asylum seekers to Australia after a High Court ruling. Reports also continue to emerge of mental illness and brutality in detention centers. Rape and pedophilia are rampant.

There is no need for Abbott to subdue the mainstream press in Australia as they are already on his side. Dissenters such as the ABC are ridiculed and have their funds cut.

It is now an offense to report anything going on at offshore detention centers, with penalties of up to two years jail for anyone convicted under this law.

The new national security laws make it an offense to travel to a designated area of 'terrorist activity' without a valid reason. Anyone traveling to these area can have their citizenship cancelled on the say so of the Immigration minister without having the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law.

There are also plans for legislation to compel phone and internet companies to retain customers' metadata.

Muslims in Australia make up only two per cent of the population but are copping a huge amount of racial discrimination, yet the government is silent about it, indicating that they either support the racism or don’t care; this government is killing multiculturalism in this country.

The rise of right-wing fascist groups in Australia should be alarming everyone. Frighteningly, there no objection from the federal government as these hate groups multiply and grow like a virus. Groups such as Boycott Halal in Australia, Restore Australia, United Patriots Front, are made up of white supremacists calling for discrimination against Muslims. Some threaten violence against Muslims based on religion.

Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The Reclaim Australia movement held rallies around Australia recently to try and spread their vicious lies and bigotry. Although they were outnumbered by anti-racist protesters everywhere they went, the racists were well protected by the police and allowed to spew their vile racism. Some of the openly Nazi-inspired bigots openly displayed Nazi symbols and tattoos which shows what they really are: 'White Supremacist Nazis'.

Sydney Morning Herald

Meanwhile in Canberra our government keeps talking up Islamic terrorism, further isolating the Muslim community and inspiring the white supremacists to be bigger, bolder and more violent. The term 'Team Australia' is the same flawed 'us and them' rhetoric used as an excuse to drag Australia into an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, Iraq, based on lies which left it in a mess, ripe for the rise of terrorist groups like Isis.

In closing, I would like to say that I am confident Australia will not slide into the abyss of gassing those deemed undesirable like Germany did in the Thirties. However, I am becoming more and more concerned with the increasing violence against Muslims while the Government remains silent on the issue and continues fear campaigns. Australia of 2015 is starting to look eerily familiar to Germany in the 1930s.

It’s up to the decent people of Australia to stand up and say enough is enough, that we don’t tolerate hate, fear and discrimination here.

We must turn back the tide of fascism before its too late.

1 comment:

  1. Freedom for all people to live as they see fit is a basic human right and something we must always be vigilant about lest we alow bigots and racists to get there way