The Nazis in Germany were not always the mass killers often portrayed in movies and television. Himmler and Hitler- the H Twins- originally were not all that into mass exterminations. Sure, the “alien races in the east” had to be kept subservient and supervised and the troublesome Jews had to be expelled. To the H Twins, physical extermination was “un-German” and more the province of the Bolsheviks. Physical extermination was a line that should not be crossed because no proper German would want to be Josef Stalin. But, a year later, after Operation Barbarossa, the Germans started killing male Russian Jews followed in short order by female Russian Jews. However, the action was limited in scope and geography.
By the summer of 1941, Arthur Nebe was happily killing Jews as commander of Einstatzgruppe B. Nebe had no misgivings about all the killing, but he did question all the killing after the areas he was responsible for were pacified. There had to be a better method, he surmised in 1941, because there were just too many Jews in Belarus. Mass deportation was his proffered solution.
There was no dispute that Russian Jews had to be killed because they were Slavic. But Wilhelm Kube, the German commander in Belarus, started to complain about the Jews being deported from Germany and Austria to Minsk when he noted that they were “German” and shared “culture” with your average blonde-haired, blue-eye German Aryan.
Each of these people were initially against mass extermination for different reasons. For the H Twins, it should not be done to anyone. For Nebe, it cannot be done. For Kube, it should not be done to one of their own. Yet, by the end of 1942 we know that all four had changed for the worse and embarked on the Final Solution with sinister glee.
Did the Nazis go into World War II with the intention of mass extermination? We know, from a shared memo between Himmler and Hitler in 1940, they did not. They knew there was a line in the sand and they were not going to cross it. So why did they? It was not going to win the war for them. Even, Himmler realized that a mistake was made when so many Jews were killed in 1942 that he had to import them from Hungary to fill the depleted labor pool. Oops!
Once that line was crossed, there was no going back and Germany has paid the price ever since to this day. The line crossing was of benefit to no one. Hitler and Himmler were, in a perverse sort of way, “reasonable” people initially, but they did not think cautiously when crossing the line. Some people, like the Communist Chinese, Robert Mugabe, and Pol Pot can totally obliterate the line and not think twice about it.
Bring the story about line crossing forward 75 years to the present. American politicians have visited upon this country a hell of lockdowns, the cessation of commerce and altering one’s way of life. To them, they see themselves as saviors in the future. They believe that 75 years from now they will be seen as Mao is seen in China today, not as Hitler is seen by the world today. They are heroes, not monsters.
Does it not seem strange that no Executive Order by President Trump can be enacted without going through a series of judge after judge to determine the constitutionality of the Order? Yet, actions by two-bit mayors and Governors get a pass on proclamations that commit violence against bona fide Constitutional rights such as the Free Exercise of Religion or the right to assemble. One ventures our Founders never contemplated they would have to enshrine in our Constitution a right to eat dinner in a restaurant or to leave one’s home without a face covering or mask. Most of the time, the proffered reasons translate to: “Because I said so!” That is one helluva of a line crossed.
The notion of national quarantines to stop the spread of infectious disease is nothing new in public policy circles and has been roundly rejected by most experts. In 2014, Michael Dorf, a noted legal professor at Cornell University wrote:
Government officials should not be permitted to issue quarantine orders without any judicial oversight…Moreover, even a quarantine that is justified for purposes of preventing the spread of a disease to the general population can put the individuals subject to the quarantine at greater risk of becoming sick themselves—by concentrating them among others with a higher risk of being infected. Accordingly, judicial review of government officials’ claims that a quarantine is necessary to protect public health should not be a mere rubber stamp.
What we would give for a rubber stamp today, eh? All these studies about the efficacy of quarantines, most of which rejected them, said it would never happen here, and if it did it would be localized and short-lived, and even after that, there was judicial oversight.
Like those four Nazis, we knew what NOT to do. We knew what we SHOULD NOT do. Yet, we watched as they crossed the line.
Seventy-five years ago, the German people emerged from their bunkers and walked into what once was a thriving, prosperous, and powerful nation and witnessed what their deposed leaders had done to their country. They were gone now with a bullet in their head, or would soon be gone at the end of a rope.
Those who brought this country to a grinding halt will still be around, and many of them will still be in charge. There will be no Nuremberg Tribunal to hold them accountable and mete out appropriate punishment. Today’s American tyrant will not be tomorrow’s Hitler; they will be tomorrow’s Mao- saviors of the Republic if we let them.