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Reading “The Nazi Doctors”

2010/05/03

by Robert Jay Lifton.  I’m sure I mentioned I ordered it last week.  It explores the ideology behind the Nazi movement, particularly among the doctors, and how so many healers became killers.  I never really learned about how it all began, and how an entire society accepted, even approved of, such atrocities.  It seems anti-Semitism was pretty high well before even the 1st World War.  And with the Nazi movement required one to care more about the nation than individuals.  People were able to justify themselves and numb themselves to the persecution of other people, for what they tought was good for the nation.  What surprises me is how many intellectuals were so anti-Semitic.  You don’t think of informed people having a prejudice like that.

Over the weekend I watched a film called “A Life Without Pain“.  It portrayed 3 little girls who have a disease that causes them to not feel pain.  They can feel touch and pressure, but are insensitive to any pain and extreme temperatures.  Of course after I watched it I had to research it on the internet.  You know, “inquiring minds want to know!”.   It is a very rare disease, just a few hundred people have it.  I found it was common in some Jewish people, and also in a homogenous village in Sweden,  there is a disproportionate amount of people there who have this disease.

While I was searching around the internet on either the film or The Nazi Doctors, I came across this horrible website, a white supremacist hate group, which is apparently very well-known, because then today there were articles in the news about the group & its president.  This group feels Jewish people are a genetic blight to society, just like the Nazis.  There are a plethora of hereditary diseases among all races, and I’m not sure there are any that only a certain race can get, even if there are diseases that are more prominent in one particular race.  These people on this website are very misinformed, but choose to believe lies and propagate them.  It’s pretty scary. 

I think I’ve been naive.  I ordered the book, though, to stimulate myself  into examining this again.  I hadn’t thought too much about it since I learned about the Holocaust as a kid.  Well, that probably isn’t true because I’ve read a couple of books about people like Randy Weaver, who wove white supremacy into his extreme Christian & anti-government ideology.  I’ve read several books about people like that.  I’m probably as informed as anyone else.  We just can’t forget how group thought can be shaped to believe a complete lie, and to think of some individuals as any different or even less, than them.  I started a book once written by a woman who seemed almost enamored with the leader (well known, but I can’t find his name now) of a white supremacy group.  I had to stop reading it.

Now, I’m watching a TV documentary about American Nazis.  I don’t get that at all, considering white people took America  from indigenous Americans.  I’m concerned about current anti-immigration sentiment, and the increase in hate groups.  I’m concerned the lines between hate groups and conservative “activists” are going to become more and more blurred.  They moved closer since Y2k, and now they are closer than I’ve ever seen them, even during the Reagan years.   And it’s very, at the least, distasteful, how some politicians are embracing some of these extremist views for political gain.

Okay, sobering thoughts.  I’m going to think of something positive to share…  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.  Don’t give the haters power.  All there is, is Love and Fear.  Choose love.

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