Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Series’ Introduction and Part 1
…Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew…
Many recognize the World War II era poem cited above in all of its stanzas as the clarion call for people to take a stand–and start early–when any group is targeted for hate. The stanza cited references the Jews, of course, and the Jews are the topic of this series.
Unfortunately, it is time not only to distribute this poem again but also to recognize the war rumblings of the Nazis, not just as a murderous political entity from days past, but the modern “Nazis” whose use the universally known and despised term, ironically, as a trope to–blame groups opposed to them, groups who expose them as the actual control-mongering, culture-destroying ideological would-be despots. And that is an effective ploy to shut down most debates.
See how it works?
Psychologists also call it projection.
And, I believe, it is also time to review some real history regarding what happens when dislike becomes hate (then rage then murder) by original source testimonies and fact-based information and reports from, and about, that original Nazi era as well as what has resurfaced today of relevance. See below after “The New Series: the What,” for the first installments.
For, I fear, many are not familiar with the truth, the real news.
Perhaps by adding my voice to today’s “Niemöller poem in progress,” so to speak, I may also add warning and hopefully help by doing my bit (and you have your own way, should you decide to “speak up,” or share others’ analyses) in the resistance to the Nazi movement re-packaged for the twenty-first century–but just as lethal as in any century.
My New Series: the Why
First: Through genetic research, my family has recently learned (what some knew all along but never discussed) that on both sides of the family we have Jewish forebears.
On my father’s side, they were members of the immigrants from “Prussia,” Ashkenazi Jews who left Eastern Europe a few years before the pogroms of the 1880s and eventually migrated to Upper Michigan where my parents and most of my brothers and sisters were born. On my mother’s side, we don’t yet possess copies of the (immigrant) ship manifest and other historical records verifying that lineage, but we have some on my father’s side along with now-emerging oral histories on both sides.
We have no idea, of course, how many of our distant relatives who stayed in Poland and other Eastern–and Western–European countries where they assimilated perished in the pogroms and/or the Holocaust.
But even if none of my Jewish relatives perished, which is not likely, I feel an obligation as a writer in this century to speak on behalf of all of those who have gone before me as well as those affected now, not just in my families, but in all.
In this way I add my “voice” in opposition to the downward trajectory of the evil of Nazism, whatever its form, and to take the advice, which I regard as a personal mandate, implied in the Niemöller poem.
But there is another reason I speak now that predates my family’s recent DNA discoveries.
Long before genetic markers and some documentation proved this to my family, as Christians, many of us have had respect and gratitude for our “engrafted” lineage* in Christ, our spiritual kinship with the Jewish race.
And now, it seems, the same spiritual evil that forced my great-grandmother’s family from Poland in 1874, and is seen throughout every epoch of history, is an evil that has infected nearly every nation once again. This leads to my second, more immediate reason for taking what stand I can.
Second: Many believe that Thursday, March 7, 2019, was a political watershed day in the United States of America, an historic day, concerning “official” recognition by way of a “non-binding resolution (#183)” in the Democrat-lead House of Representatives declaring the House’s rejection of all hate groups–however (and it is a very significant “however”), the resolution stopped short of condemning the reason for calling for the document to begin with: freshman representative Ilhan Omar’s (D MN) unashamed and blatant antisemitic statements**.
Not that antisemitism did not exist in the United States prior, of course, but this past week, modern Nazism snaked into the House chamber, visible perhaps for the first time in such a significant, albeit seemingly harmless, “non-binding” manner.
And it wasn’t dealt with at its head.
For anyone aware of the history of Nazism, as well as Socialism, Communism, and any and all other genocidal, totalitarianistic movements, the question is WHY?
It sneaked in because, for one thing, a lot of people are unaware of the real historical makeup of antisemitism, and for another, evil, in whatever form, is brilliant, well-educated in the ways of manipulation, charismatic, and devoid of a conscience.
The last element being the most frightening and brutal.
(Many argue, as in the article linked, below, at **, the antisemitism was not addressed head on also because Rep. Omar is, according to the modern Political Correctness movement, considered to be among the “protected class” of Americans, thus, if one cites her one might be liable for some kind of “punishment” if just political ostracism, for committing a “hate crime,” if not in deed, in thought or presumption. That topic is defined and discussed in the linked article as well…)
In short: modern Nazism has changed its words and tactics, is all, and today it is often couched in good-sounding, even religious, platitudes.
Its face is young, pretty, and its influence is spreading like wildfire via venues carefully designed to addict readers and viewers by means of propaganda campaigns whizzing by in seconds, crafted in as few words and images as possible so that decreased attention spans get what they crave–and become, well, addicted to.
But those who really listen, hear what is being propagandized; those who really see, view the escalating hatred.
And Nazism, both the trope and the re-packaged political entity, is getting louder and uglier.
In Nazi Germany, the violence against Jews that began by propaganda (often using very “reasonable,” even “scientific” means and media, promulgated by good-looking, powerful, and well-educated people as well as many religious leaders) later escalated to violence via ghettos, guns, and finally gas–Zyklon B, to be specific.
Once again, the expression “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it,” surfaces with greater relevance along with a much older expression, “our arch-enemy prowls about seeking whom he may devour (katapin— overwhelm, consume, destroy).”
That enemy, I believe, would be the evil spirit “behind the scenes,” Satan, Beelzebub, the totalitarian of a thousand faces, names, and epochs and here. now.
This supernatural entity is no cute Halloween costume in red satin and plastic horns, as it is usually portrayed, but one who often appears as an angel of light, or perhaps even as a kindly grandmother but underneath is a wolf with big hungry teeth, “all the better to eat you with,” said he, and the wolf-in-Grandma’s-clothes of the children’s fairy tale, “Little Red Riding Hood,” presents yet another trope but this one to warn the innocents of the wiles and ways of evil.
Or perhaps she might appear as hip, slick, cool, and verboten to resist due to the PC construct of hate crimes against only certain groups deemed, well, PC hip-to-protect (but other groups can be demonized and punished),
Worse, of course, is the real news that certain groups are apparently PC hip-to-hate, including Jews, as illustrated by Rep. Omar’s non-apology for tweeting antisemitic remarks, its apparent acceptance (by silence to rebuke) by the House in their “resolution”… Some argue various members of the House even defended and/or covered for Omar.
Think it stops there?
Many see a parallel progression of the evil, and danger, of Nazism now in progress, but all dressed up for the 21st century in the aforementioned Political Correctness with its concordant Virtue-Signaling, and False Flag of Compassion. Not to mention in the young, cute, charismatic new leaders in Congress such as Omar who know how to play to their demographic–and intimidate everybody else. The problem is: where are they leading us?
Same spirit, updated evil? More and more are saying yes.
And who knows how much past the propaganda phase we actually are, given the blatancy of the “movement”–and the violence– at this point in time.
Fortunately, we can still speak out. Well, most of us. For now. Who haven’t been shadow banned and otherwise blocked on social media already, as well as suppressed in other media venues by other mechanisms.
And it is important to speak out.
Here is an interesting discussion of the progression of totalitarianism, whatever its form, that begins with a suppression of the truth.
Here is a view on how this has already begun, even in the United States.
My New Series: the What
Section 1: Article
Section 2: Resources–Video, Print, and Survivor Testimonies
It was real.
It could happen again.
In this section I will be featuring testimonies and features from and about survivors of the Nazi persecution and eventual Holocaust in the early and mid twentieth century. For this introductory post, I encourage the reader to explore two sites that feature video and audio testimonies as well as other education features and historic collections.
Part 2: Two Recent Video Testimonies–and Warnings
The antisemitic tweets and remarks by Muslim-American Ilhan Omar, Democrat from Minnesota and recently elected to the United States House of Representatives, remarks many argue she did not sincerely apologize for, continues to greatly concern Americans, particularly Jewish-Americans who understand Sharia law with its severe antisemitism.
The first section of this post features a recording by a Minnesota woman made just after the November 2018 election, a Jewish-American who shares her grave concerns about the election of Omar to a position of national power.
Prior to her presentation, another Jewish-American woman talks of her experience being kicked out of a speech by MN Attorney General Keith Ellison, also a Muslim, who has held other positions of power and who was the first Muslim to hold a position in Congress. This woman made the recording because she is on a list of people not allowed into such meetings. She also issues a warning.
UPDATE: note: this video has been “removed by the user.” I have tried to find it with original search terms and have not been able to. 4/13/19.
It was real.
It could happen again.
The second section of this post features an historic video that underscores the reality of the Holocaust for viewers in this modern era when there are some once again promoting the lie that it did not happen, that it was just Jewish propaganda.
This clip features the experiences and remarks of the camp liberators, American soldiers, and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe in WWII Dwight D. Eisenhower whose famous words are carved into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.:
The things I saw beggar description…(Eisenhower said). The visible evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty, and bestiality were so overpowering…I made the visit deliberately in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.
*For a good discussion of how truth, I’d add “real news,” is the first casualty of a genocidal program–or pogrom–see here.
**See here for a good discussion of what happened Thursday, March 7th 2019, on the floor of the Democrat controlled United States House of Representatives and why there is such universal concern among those who comprehend the forms of antisemitism, old and new, but in many ways exactly the same and using the same tropes that precede the tragedies.