Monday, April 12, 2010

Blind Loyalty and Neutrality

Almost everyone agrees, whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, black, white, or pink and purple polkadotted, almost everyone agrees that Adolph Hitler was an evil man. 

Almost everyone agrees, except Hitler himself.  He never considered himself evil, or that what he was doing was so very wrong.  He just wanted to do what he though was best for his country, the world, and the human race in general.  His eugenics programs were designed to purify and strengthen the human species, at least in his mind.  Not just by eliminating the 6 million Jews he murdered in his concentration camps, but also the other 6-7 million people euthanized in his medical facilities.  The elderly, the infirm, the physically disabled, the learning disabled.  Those with Down's Syndrome, or any other genetic condition.  Homosexuals.  Even something as relatively minor as a cleft palate or club foot was a death sentence in Hitler's world.  He felt it was his duty to eliminate these types of defects from the gene pool. 

Almost everyone today recognizes that he was evil.  But what people want to forget is that he could not have risen to such power, he could not have completed the evils he did without two things:  the blind loyalty of the German people, and the neutrality of the Swiss. 

Now, there were some Germans who fled the country.  There were others who resisted, and still others who risked everything--even their very lives--to hide Jews or help them escape.  But for the most part, the German people as a whole were blindly, fiercely loyal to Adolph Hitler.  They wholeheartedly supported him in his efforts.  Deep within their consciousness, they had to have known that what he was doing was horrible, terrible wrong, but that didn't matter to them.  He was their Fuhrer, their Messiah, and they were going to be loyal to him, no matter what.  Loyal to the point of turning in their neighbors, co-workers, friends, even family members to be imprisoned or as was more likely, executed.  One can't help but wonder how many lives might have been saved if the German people as a whole had stood together and said, "This has got to stop."  But they didn't, and 12 million people died at the hands of the one they considered their savior. 

One can't help but wonder also, how many lives would have been saved if Switzerland had stood up and said, "This has got to stop."  But they didn't.  They chose to remain "neutral".  Think about it, while Hitler was conquering and plundering Europe, murdering millions of people, Switzerland basically said, "Eh, we don't want to get involved in this.  Leave us out."  And he did.  I'm sure Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Holland, etc. would have love to have been left out of the fracas, too, but they weren't.  Hitler conquered them.  This begs the question, why then did he leave Switzerland alone?   There had to be a reason he didn't conquer them, also.  Could it be that he was afraid of the Swiss?  Could it be that he felt that Switzerland was strong enough that he didn't want to risk defeat by attacking them?  And if they were that strong, could it be that they could have stopped him? 

Instead, they chose to remain neutral.  Yet, in a situation such as this, one cannot truly remain neutral.  There is an old saying, "silence is consent."  By their silence, Switzerland was in effect giving their consent to what Hitler was doing.  And in so doing, they became his allies.  They became his silent partners. 

And in so doing, the blood of 12 million people was on their hands as well. 

1 comment:

Martial Arts Mom said...

Hey, Becky, are you trying to make a comparison here? Hmmm...I get it. : )

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