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Fwd: 1938 Austria --Land of "The Sound of Music" Story

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  • sheldon waxman
    ... From: R. J. Tavel, J.D. Date: Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM Subject: 1938 Austria --Land of The Sound of Music Story To: Kitty Werthmann
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2009

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: R. J. Tavel, J.D. <rj3@...>
      Date: Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM
      Subject: 1938 Austria --Land of "The Sound of Music" Story

      Kitty Werthmann spoke at the Eagle Forum national conference a couple of months back. She told a powerful story about what it was like growing up under Hitler.

      *America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’t Let Freedom
      Slip Away*

      By: Kitty Werthmann  http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showthread.php?t=349456

      What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or
      will ever read in history books.

      I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that
      Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We
      elected him by a landslide – 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in
      any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in
      with his tanks and took Austria by force.

      In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our
      workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan
      interest rates.

      Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young
      people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they
      didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a
      Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we
      cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry
      people – about 30 daily.

      The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each
      other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were
      destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to
      let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

      We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been
      in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment
      or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said
      about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to
      believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in
      Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of
      unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses
      would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight
      percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have
      Hitler for our ruler.

      We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had
      candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and
      everyone was fed.

      After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle,
      we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was
      employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created
      through the Public Work Service.

      Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it
      was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home.
      An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support
      his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they
      could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for

      *Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:*

      Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.
      The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our
      schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my
      schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging
      next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told
      the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang
      “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

      Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents
      were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told
      that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of
      warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the
      equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.
      The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of
      the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so
      much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and
      gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

      My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out
      of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do
      that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.
      There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no
      political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate
      it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to
      my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their
      loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By
      that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It
      seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went
      along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t
      exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

      *Equal Rights Hits Home:*

      In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was
      rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same
      time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work,
      you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved
      to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any
      marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

      Soon after this, the draft was implemented. _It was compulsory for young
      people, male and female_, to give one year to the labor corps. During
      the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to
      their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were
      trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal
      corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in
      the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and
      friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just
      were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I
      turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a
      leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and
      into military service.

      *Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:*

      When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government
      immediately established child care centers. You could take your children
      ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days
      a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole
      generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the
      children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time,
      no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

      *Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:*

      *_Before Hitler, we had very good medical care_.* Many American doctors
      trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was
      socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government.
      The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors
      for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40
      people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were
      full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for
      your turn. There was *_no money for research_* as it was poured into
      socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped*,
      _so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries_.*

      *_As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income_.*
      Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to
      establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care
      and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government
      and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free
      handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

      We had another agency designed to _monitor business_. My brother-in-law
      owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him
      he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump
      themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional
      bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack
      bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If
      the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones
      existed, it could be in control.

      We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy.
      Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency
      specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count
      the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to
      produce it.

      *“Mercy Killing” Redefined:*

      In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The
      villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were
      closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people
      intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I
      was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all
      useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well.
      He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw
      Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they
      were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department
      would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were
      required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit
      for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and
      might cause homesickness.

      As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died
      a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected
      what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and
      all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

      *The Final Steps - Gun Laws:*

      _Next came gun registration. _ People were getting injured by guns.
      Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few)
      was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding
      and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms.
      Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to
      turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was
      futile not to comply voluntarily.

      _No more freedom of speech. _ Anyone who said something against the
      government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not
      only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

      Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, _it took 5 years from 1938 until
      1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria . _ Had it happened
      overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead,
      we had _creeping_ gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles.
      The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by
      little eroded our freedom.

      _After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria_ . Women were
      raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When
      the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could,
      dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole
      orchards of fruit, and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned. We
      called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves
      in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops
      mobilized. Those who couldn’t, paid the price. There is a monument in
      Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the
      Russians. This is an eye witness account.

      “It’s true….those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a
      country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

      *America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’t Let Freedom
      Slip Away*

      *_"After America , There is No Place to Go"_*

      Sheldon (Shelly) Waxman
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