Removed from society

I always take the approach of explaining things so that a child can understand it, not because I am condescending, but I know that if a child understands it, everyone else should.

How would you explain the Nazi ideology to a child though? Especially during the 1933-1945 years..

How would you explain the removal of neighbours from your street, or the removal of classmates from the school, basically the removal of certain groups of people from society.

People who were just like the anyone else. They looked exactly the same, spoke the same language, the same dialect ,had the same habits. The only difference for most, not all, was that they had a different religion. They didn’t go to church on Sunday, but to a synagogue on Saturday.

You could not explain that to a child because there is no logic to it, none whatsoever.

How do you explain that these people were fetched from their houses or apartments, violently. Them they were taken to certain assembly points, and were put in railroad cars, and not the sections for human beings but for cattle. To be transported far away, where they were murdered or put into forced slave labour. As one lady from Ulm described what she witnessed during her stay in the transit camp on the Killesberg in Stuttgart. “About one thousand people of Jewish descent from all of Württemberg and Hohenzollern were brought there on November 27, 1941. They are housed in the so-called »Hall of Honor of the Reichsnährstand«, which was built for the Reichsgartenschau in 1939. They become the first victims of a total of more than 2500 Jewish citizens who are deported via the transit camp on the Killesberg to the assembly and concentration camps in Riga, Iżbica, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, the Theresienstadt ghetto and a camp near Wolfenbüttel. Most of them never return.”

There is no sensible explanation.

How would you explain that babies were murdered, families split up or completely destroyed. All because of a political movement, headed by delusional and evil men. How would you explain that it is so clear to see what is happening, yet so little resistance is given.

How would you explain to a child that suddenly they have to go to another dentist or doctor. That now they have to but bread and other food somewhere else. How do you explain to a university student that their lectures in physics has been removed.

How do they explain the lack of resistance? Is because of some herd mentality? Where everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move. You do what others do, or rather you do nothing when others do nothing.

How would you explain that it easily could be you next? Did they not realixe that? People were being executed for just making jokes about Hitler. Did people not see this as something fundamentally wrong and rotten to the core?

I am judging because it is easy for me to question all these things, because I do not risk my life for asking questions. In retrospect is is easy to be critical, The simple fact is that those who did not live in that time would not know how they would react. I know I wouldn’t.

However with retrospect and hindsight comes the option for us to recognize the signs of the past, To take action when we see history repeating itself. Now we don’t have any excuses. Unfortunately another fact is that people don’t learn from history. Mistakes from the past are often repeated and often amplified.

We are not that far away now from the environment that was allowed to flourish in 1930s Germany.

sources

Tatort Nordbahnhof

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How Curious George nearly didn’t make it.

george

I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who hasn’t heard of Curious George, you may not have read the books or watched the cartoons or movies, but you will recognize the iconic Chimpanzee when you see him.

Although it is an iconic children’s book character and has a strong brand recognition, it could have easily been a different story, His origin tells a story of luck but indirectly also a tale of a false sense of security.

Curious George was written by H.A Rey and his wife Margret.

Rey

Hans Augusto Reyersbach was born in September 1898 in Hamburg , Germany,near the world-famous Hagenbeck Zoo, which gave him a lifelong love for animals and drawing.  His wife Margret was born on May  16 1906 also in Hamburg, her father Felix Waldstein had been a member of the Reichstag. the German parliament from 1871 to 1918. Hans and Margret both Jewish. The two first met in Hamburg at the 16th birthday party of Margret’s sister. They met again in Brazil, where Hans had a job as a bathtubs salesman Margret had moved to Brazil to escape the rise of Nazism in Germany. On August 16, 1935 they got married and went to Paris on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the place and decided to stay there.

Although Hitler had come to power in Germany it is apparent that the Rey’s felt safe in their new home, as most of the Parisians and the rest of France felt. Although the French were anxious of the developments in Germany, they did not envisage any danger to come from their eastern neighbour.

While in Paris, Hans’s animal drawings were noticed by a French publisher, who commissioned Hans  to write a children’s book. The book was to be” Rafi. and the Nine Monkeys” or “Rafi et les neuf singes” in French. It was published in 1939.

9 monkes.JPG

One of the characters in the book was George, although he was called Fifi in the French version. Hans Rey thought that George deserved a book of his own.

But alas, war broke out.

On June 10, 1940, German troops were a few days away from Paris. People were trying to flee by  every way possible, cars,bicycles or whatever they could find. The Rey’s had left it a bit late but they managed to get 2 bikes.In fact Ray built the bikes himself, he had bought enough spare parts for 2 bicycles.

They left Paris only a few hours before it fell. Among the few possessions they were able to bring was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George.

Their journey  took them to Bayonne, France.On June 20, 1940.They crossed the Spanish border, where they purchased train tickets to Lisbon. Because they still had Brazilian passport  they returned to Brazil, they journeyed on from Brazil to New York.

The couple soon went to Houghton Mifflin publishers , they bought the manuscript for $1,000 and an additional three stories. The only demand  was that they change the name of Fifi to George.

The rest is history.

So next time you read a Curious George story yourself or to your children or other youngsters, remember that George nearly didn’t make it.

george fifi

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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