From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Koreen B) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Germany Date: 25 Feb 1995 18:43:16 -0500Since there has been some discussion of the Germany ads, I thought people might be interested in seeing them here, in case they missed them in the NY Times. The below is I believe the third in the series.
The exhibit, Chancellor Kohl's personal piece de resistance, is notable not for what it includes, but for what it omits. Its literature abbreviates Jewish resistance to the Nazis to a single page and downgrades the Warsaw Ghetto, the heroic symbol of WW II resistance, to one sentence. It also completely ignores the Belgian and Yugoslavian resistors who, unlike the tiny and unsuccessful German resistance, were able to rescue some Jews and political dissidents from being deported to concentration camps.
By attempting to misrepresent a very few courageous acts that had no impact whatsoever on Hitler's reign of terror as being indicative of a widespread resistance movement, the exhibit diminishes the horror of the Holocaust and the Nazis' mass murder, virtually unopposed, of millions of Jews, Gypsies, Rosicrucians, Jehovah's Witnesses and other minorities.
According to the Washington Post, the Bonn government campaigned vigorously, enlisting politicians, diplomats, historians and curators, to launch this exhibit in the heart of American political life.
Yet, the paper reported, "The dreary presentation doesn't square with the Germans' feverish work to place the exhibit somewhere in Washington... The intended audience seems not to be the casual visitor, but history itself -- the version that will be passed on through teachers and textbooks. That's why it was so important to the Germans to place this exhibit in Washington, and in a cultural institution of impeccable credulity."
The media named Chancellor Kohl as the official who ordered the exhibit as a means to neutralize the U.S. media coverage of rising violence and injustice in his country. Herr Kohl and his fellow politicians perceive the reporting as unfavorable to Germany's carefully groomed public image.
Those concerned for human rights who observe the plight of minorities in present-day Germany have denounced the exhibit as blatant propaganda intended to blind future generations to the truth about German history.
We must remember one other thing about the so-called resistance. The officers who plotted the failed attempt on Hitler's life in 1944 primarily wanted to save what could be saved of Germany's war effort. They knew Hitler was losing the war. Many of them had blood on their hands. One of them, Artur Nebe, is portrayed as a hero of the resistance, one of the "Men of 20 July 1944", by another exhibit, this one sponsored by the German Army and currently shown in Berlin.
The truth is that Nebe was a mass murderer -- he ran mobile SS killing units that came in after the rapidly advancing army and rounded up the Jews, Bolsheviks and dissidents. These units loaded people into trucks, made the exits airtight, then pumped the trucks full of carbon monoxide. At one point, Nebe reported with satisfaction to Berlin that his "Einsatzgruppe B" (Attack group B) had killed 45,467 people -- facts completely omitted by the German Army's exhibit.
In 1994, while the German government puts on this exhibit to rewrite history, attacks upon Blacks, Jews, Turks and other religious and ethnic minorities are now so common that they rarely make the press in Germany anymore.
Due to government sponsored hate campaigns, Scientologists are routinely denied employment and excluded from membership in political parties, trade unions, professional and social organizations and schools. A recent statement by a government minister is representative of the virtually unchanged mentality that characterizes government attitudes towards minorities. On September 21, the Federal Minister of Labor, Norbert Blüm, launched a vicious attack on members of the Church of Scientology. Blüm called for the "use of all means that the state has at its disposal" to prosecute a "war" on members of the Church. In the same breath, without having met or spoken to a single Scientologist, and without citing any factual evidence to justify or substantiate his oppressive measure, he banned Scientologists from operating employment agencies, which was the issue he had been asked to decide on.
In July, Amnesty International warned that discrimination and brutal treatment of minorities in Germany was on the increase. Two months later, the Hamburg Minister of the Interior, Werner Hackmann, was forced to resign over a dozen incidents in which policemen violently beat up foreigners.
After initially defending the brutality, when Hackmann agreed to quit he made the surprising admission that he was deeply ashamed of the police and that violence was rising to unacceptable levels. And a police watchdog group said that, "there is an exaggerated esprit de corps, there is xenophobia within the police and there are mechanisms that keep the police from being properly controlled."
Germany's constitution, based on the American model, was written to protect the rights of minorities so that the horrors of the past would not be repeated. Today, Germany's political leaders are tearing that constitution to shreds while engaging in efforts to mislead Americans as well as their own people over the terrible events that made it necessary.
Write to President Bill Clinton and those whose names appear below. Urge them to take strong and effective steps to stop hatred and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in Germany.
President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Assistant Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dr. Helmut Kohl
53113 Bonn, Germany
Dr. Klaus Kinkel
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
53113 Bonn, Germany.
Columbia University in the
City of New York
New York, New York 10027