(The following was published in the Newsleader on November 27, 2009)
General Dwight D. Eisenhower said upon discovering the Nazi death camps, bring in the film crews, record these facts, gather up the witnesses.
Somewhere down the road some SOB is going to stand up and say this never happened. That was one of the messages I recently learned as I sat through a presentation by St. Joseph, MN resident and WWII veteran Larry Tillemans. Larry was a clerk typist/stenographer during the Nuremberg trials. He was a witness to history. He looked into the faces of the Nazi monsters who perpetrated the Holocaust and caused the death of 6,000,000 Jews as well as millions of others during their arrogant and failed attempt to rule the world. He listened to their rants and their excuses as they tried to explain away their murderous activities.
I have been a history buff for sometime and I have had a special affinity for the study of World War II. It was a great treat to sit and listen to one who was there. His presentation made the whole scene come alive. We are truly blessed to have such a witness in our midst. Yet as blessed as we are, we must also be aware that the march of time is claiming these heroes daily and their ranks are diminishing at a rapid rate. Soon enough they will all be gone. What then will happen to the history? Will it be forgotten? Will it be rewritten, revised? Will the images that burned into our memories just be forgotten?
Sure enough today there are morons who happen to be in positions of leadership in their third world countries who already deny the Holocaust. Even Great Britain has eliminated the teaching of the Holocaust from their school's curriculum. It would appear that such teaching is inconvenient to the political correctness they wish to practice. General Eisenhower was right. He knew that eventually the deniers would come forth and continue their particular type of hatred by trying to revise history.
What then is the lesson to us? What should we take from this denial? Do you think this could never happen again? Consider if you will just the past few years. Consider Iraq under the murderer Saddam Hussein. How about North Korea? Then there is Africa and South East Asia. All over the world today millions of innocent people are being eliminated by various dictators. Entire races and ethnic groups are being purged by those in power. These are all just new Holocausts. In Nazi Germany Jews, Gypsies and others were inconvenient so those in power just decided to eliminate them. What is happening now is the same deadly game just with different players.
Well you say, "Sure that is happening in other parts of the world. It could never happen here." Don't bet your freedom and your life on that. Don't bet your freedom of expression on it. Don't bet your freedom to own guns on it. Don't bet your freedom of religion on it.
The facts are clear. Our way of living is under continuous attack from outside forces as well as forces from within our own country. Do you think the German people wanted their country to fall into the hands of murderers and thugs? Do you think that when they looked the other way as their neighbors were rounded up and hauled away to concentration camps, they didn't know what was happening? Was their complacency actually an aid in allowing this to occur? You be the judge. I have my opinion.
My message, and I think Larry's message, is simple. DON'T FORGET. DON'T EVER FORGET. It can happen again. Never let complacency allow us to be taken over as was Germany. Our freedom is precious and dear, but it is also fragile. Never take it for granted.
Thank you again Larry Tillemans. I hope all those who have heard your presentation will take your message to heart.
Ron Scarbro November 20, 2009
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