Thursday, May 3, 2012


He was a fighter pilot, a champion fencer, an
accomplished violinist... and a fanatical Nazi.
Reinhard Haydrich planned and conducted
mass executions in WWII.  
Historians regard him as the darkest figure
within the Nazi elite. Hitler described him as
"the man with the iron heart". He was the
founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD),
an intelligence organisation charged with
seeking out and neutralizing resistance to
the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and

killings. He helped organize Kristallnacht,
a series of coordinated attacks against Jews
throughout Nazi Germany and parts of 
Austria on 9–10 November 1938.
The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers
and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon
his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to
eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation
by suppressing Czech culture and deporting
and executing members of the Czech 
resistance.  He was directly responsible for
the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces
that traveled in the wake of the German
armies to round up and kill Jews and others
deemed undesirable by the regime.
Haydrich was assassinated by the Czech
resistance in 1942.
(NC-17 Subject and Content)
The voice of the people has an impact, and public resistance can interfere with national plans.  How leadership responds, though, can be problematic.

Portrayed as a mercy death for the suffering, the German euthanasia program killed 70,000 beginning in 1939. Targeting the disabled and incurable, children and adults were killed.  Hitler's attempt to purify the race raised troublesome public resistance; the Catholic church openly opposed the policy.  The program supposedly ended in 1941, but another 200,000 victims followed. (ref) (ref)
It was presented to the public as a merciful deliverance from suffering.  Little if any of the killing, however, was done to alleviate pain or suffering on the part of the victims. The bulk of the evidence, including faked death certificates, deception of the victims and of the victims families, and widespread use of cremation, indicates the killing was done solely according to the socio-political aims and beliefs of the perpetrators. [ref]
The Nazis portrayed Germany as a targeted victim of foreign aggressors, as a peace-loving nation forced to take up arms to protect its populace, to defend Europe against Communism. The war aims professed at each stage almost always disguised the actual Nazi intentions of expansion and racial warfare. This was propaganda of deception, designed to desensitize or misdirect the German civilians and the international community.

Illustration from a children's book.  The
headlines say "Jews are our misfortune"
and "How the Jew cheats." Germany, 1936.
Hitler's Aryan purification plans continued.  With deliberate portrayal of Jews in the media as 'racially inferior', simple animals with behavior akin to 'rats' in a marketplace. Public opinion in Hitler's Germany eventually bent toward favoring separation of some sort.  Hitler, having learned his lesson from the outcry caused by his euthanasia project, worked through the media and kept the truth hidden from the public.  

The later campaign to rid Germany of Jews was disguised as a re-settlement program with nice passenger trains for the folks departing.  It seemed good to the victims, moving away from the discriminatory environment where they'd lost their common rights as citizens.  The slaughter happened outside the country and behind the scenes. 

Jewish women and children before being shot
by the SD. A beach near Liepaja in Latvia, 
15 December 1941.
Initially, only a few knew what was happening. Thousands, thirty-three thousand in just two days at Kiev's Babi Yar, then millions died.  Children were executed by gun, lethal injection, and gassing along with adults.
Auschwitz, August 1944: a network of German concentration
and extermination camps built during World War II in Poland.
 It consisted of Auschwitz I, II–Birkenau, III–Monowitz, and 
45 satellite camps.  (RAF Aerial Reconnaissance)

As the war turned against Germany and the Russian army advanced through eastern Europe and towards the death camps, the evidence had to be destroyed before the public became aware of what had happened. The Nazis tried to erase all traces of the camps and planted trees, for instance, when they had destroyed the extermination facilities.
A government of the people, by and for the people must conform to standards of legal and ethical conduct as well as requirements for transparency and accountability. When leadership becomes secretive and propagandic, manipulating legal definitions of this or that, we get slaves or rats or disenfranchised inferiors that we can treat differently, and there's a cost behind the scenes.
That's why our children are referred to as fetuses before they're born.
So we can treat them differently.

It's a matter of socio-political preference and ideology, not mercy.  Had you noticed?