IT will Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, something that should never been forgotten. I have always had a problem with this not that I did not believe it was not true but that my mother was German. Here was a women who was kind, thoughtful, intelligent and most of all very loving, so how could she be from the same nation who had done such evil acts? I as a child travelled to Germany every Summer Holiday to stay with relations in a beautiful Country yet there was always that stigma.
I spoke to my mother on many occasions about the Concentration camps and she said till the day she died she and most Germans did not know anything about them and was horrified after the war when she was shown photos and newsreel of the camps. At first her and the rest of the German population denied it saying it was propaganda but the realisation then struck that fellow Germans had done this evil thing. Yet so deep was the indoctrination of the Nazi people, she still believed it was not Hitler but others who were behind the death camps. This obviously changed when she came to England but from then on she was very wary of jingoism and would warn me, when I started getting interested in Politics, not to listened to the rhetoric but study the substance. I doubt if she would have said in that way but that is what she meant.
She told me many stories about her time and youth in Germany How she was in the Nazi Youth something she really enjoyed as she went to camps had sang round camp fires, went on long walks. It was a variation of the Scout movement although she said when she looked back she realised their were a few of speeches about how marvellous the Fuhrer was and how the Jew was portrayed as the enemy of the Fatherland. Careful brainwashing. As a child she would visit a small Jewish bakery to buy bread and she would often play with the bakers daughter but after Crystal Nachte the night all Jews had their windows broken and were beaten by the Brown Shirts, they were never seen again, There was a time when her father a devout Catholic stopped going to Church because the priest was giving propaganda speeches from the pulpit, as a WW1 veterans and the winner of the Iron Cross he initially supported Hitler at the beginning but soon realised what totalitarian power leads to. All young people were expected to a do National Service hers was to work on a Farm in Poland, she told me how she used poke food through the prison camp wire fence for starving Russian soldiers I could go on. When she came to England in 1949 most people accepted her and she became a leading personalty in the Sittingbourne scene, in fact she was known throughout the UK for her Judo expertise, many people still talk about her teaching them Judo and how good she was with children and she affectionatly became known as Oma (German for Gran). Yet the Jewish thing would still haunt her I remember when I was about 18 years old there was a young chap who started Judo but would hang around my mother like a puppy. Eventually my father confronted him, he then explained he was Jewish and had heard so much about the wicked Germans and he wanted to meet one. It seems he was disappointed as he found my mother to be a nice person.
So why am I telling you all this well I believe there is such thing as Evil and it manifest it self in many ways it was not just the Germans who committed horrendous evil crimes in the 20th Century, Stalin killed millions of his own people. Pol Pot in Cambodia is estimated to have slaughter 3 million of his people even to day we here of mass murder in Africa and the Middle East. Until we recognise that evil really exists and stop making excuses for people behaviour i.e. was breast-fed, had a bad childhood etc., we will never see the end of this slaughter. Something in us Humans can turn us into beasts and sometimes we behave like pack animals. There is an old saying put one rotten apple in with others and they will all go rotten I do not agree with I believe that one good person can rescue you a bad person but not an evil one. So maybe we need more religion and Faith not less
ONE THING IS FOR SURE WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THE HOLOCAUST