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On my 21st birthday, I woke up in the morning and drove to Dairy Queen.  I got soft serve vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping and I ate it for breakfast.  Why?  When I was a child I asked once if I could have ice cream for breakfast, and my mother said, “You can have ice cream for breakfast when you’re 21.”  And so I did.

My father spent his 21st birthday in a prisoner of war camp.  Deaf in one ear, and completely flat-footed, he could have easily been a “4-F” and escaped service for medical reasons.  He was a peaceful man but he, like so many of his generation, felt the need to serve his country, and to fight againgst the fascism that was threatening to engulf the democratic nations of Western Europe, and had even attacked the United States.

When he was 20 years old, he’d been taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge, was marched for miles, imprisoned, and starved.  Like many men of his generation, veterans of World War II, he didn’t talk about it much.  He held his memories close to his chest.  If he talked to anyone about them, I didn’t know.  It was only many years after his service and just before his death that he shared some of those memories with me.

Starvation does strange things to people.  He told me that after a while in the camp, he had the same recurring dream, every night – a stack of pancakes topped with two fried eggs, sunny-side up.  He’d dream that dream over and over, a still frame, a picture of a breakfast that never came.  He told me that his fellow prisoners got so hungry that once they had killed and eaten a cat that had strayed into the camp.  You don’t forget a story like that.

Or the story of the man in the camp, who snapped.  In peace time, we’d have called him a boy. Suddenly and without warning in the middle of the day, out in the yard, his mind went. He ran for the fence in a desperate effort to escape.  There was nowhere to go, and in broad daylight with armed guards everywhere, he didn’t stand a chance.  My father, who was quick to pick up languages, had learned some German.  “Don’t shoot!  He’s crazy!  He’s lost his mind!  He doesn’t know what he’s doing!” my father called out to the guards as he ran out in the yard waving his arms.  The man kept running for the fence, and he climbed, and the guards didn’t shoot.  They waited until he reached the top.  And then they shot him. They left him there for three days as a warning to anyone else who might have been thinking about escape.

Any survivor of World War II has stories.  Millions were never able to tell them.  Their lives ended on battlefields, and in gas chambers, at the hands of the Nazis.  My dad was able to tell me some of his experiences, but most of those memories died with him, like they died with many vets and victims of the war.  I didn’t even know he’d received a Purple Heart until after his death.  But he survived.  He survived to marry the girl he left at home, to buy a house, to get a college degree, to start his own company, and to raise a family of five children.

I asked my dad if he ever got his stack of pancakes with the fried eggs on top.  I imagined it being his first meal after the Russians had liberated the camp.  The Germans had heard that the Russians were coming, and they left quickly in the night.  The prisoners hadn’t known what was happening until two days later when the Russian army came and let them out, confused and near death.  No, he told me, he never did have the pancakes and eggs.  It took months in the hospital to build his system back up to where he could eat normally. He began at 5’11” weighing less than 100 pounds, and started with an IV, then a liquid diet, then cream of wheat, and finally solids. A fellow prisoner, he said, on his way from the camp to the hospital in France had managed to get a hold of a box of donuts and had gorged himself.  He died a free man, but still a victim.  By the time my dad was able to eat that stack of pancakes and eggs, the desire had passed.

I remember as a child I was not allowed to watch Hogan’s Heroes.   It wasn’t a joke in my house.  There was nothing funny about prisoner of war camps.  There were no handsome well-fed prisoners with secret tunnels under their bunks, and pirate radio equipment who always managed to play their captors for the fool.  There were frightened, emaciated young men whose minds and bodies were broken an ocean away from home, who were shot on fences , and who ate cats, and watched their friends die.  There was nothing to laugh about.  Those were Nazis.

I am tired of people comparing Obama to Hitler. I am tired of seeing signs with swastikas and nazi symbols at health care rallies. I am tired of people saying that a health care plan designed to uplift millions of Americans to give them dignity, and choice and the ability to care for their families, is like Naziism.  I am tired of Rush Limbaugh.

As time passes, and as the greatest generation becomes a memory, passing into history one soul at a time, it is up to the generations that follow them to keep “Hitler” and “Nazi” out of the clutches of those who would make them political buzzwords for people they don’t like, or policies they don’t understand. Those words remind us of the worst that people can be. There is nothing horrible about Germans in particular that caused them to do these things. This is humanity’s dark potential, and something that we all need to remember, whether we were there or not, or whether our family was affected or not, because this is what people can do to each other. To strip those words of their power and meaning in order to create political fear for self-gain is inexcusable and needs to be confronted and refuted whenever it arises, by all of us, whether we support the current health care bill and the current president or not.



480 Responses to “Nazis.”
  1. Winks in AZ says:

    AKM, my maternal grandmother, who died in March of this year, was the only survivor of her immediate family. Her father, mother and two younger brothers were taken by the Nazis a short time after she left her small village in Hungary to live with distant cousins in distant lands.

    Her parents were Orthodox Jews, and did not want their sons to leave home, but they insisted my grandmother leave, promising they would follow as a family unit after she secured a job in America and sent them enough money to travel.

    My grandmother’s journey took her through Germany, where she experienced “Jewish only” stores and hotels for the first time. She also saw people walking around with yellow Stars of David pinned to their shirts. My grandmother was amazed by all of this, and as she chatted with an Austrian woman (who would later become her mother-in-law), she heard of atrocities occurring all over Europe.

    My grandmother continued sending money to her brothers and parents via the American Red Cross for years (we later found they accepted this money long after they knew my grandmother’s family had perished in a real Death Camp).

    I think she carried survivor’s guilt to her last days.

    My mother never allowed us to watch Hogan’s Heroes either! But of course, we snuck and watched it while she was at work.

    My other grandparents also had Holocaust survivor stories, but for some reason, my maternal grandmother’s resonated with me the most.

    I can only assume that those who are using this type of imagery to protest our current government – whether from left, right or center – did not pay attention in history class. Thank you for starting this thread.

  2. Original Lee says:

    Brava, AKM. Thank you for a beautiful and moving post.

    My school when I was a kid was in an area of mostly Eastern European immigrants. Lots of Lutherans, Catholics, and Jews concentrated on building new lives for themselves in the US. The principal, an incredibly wise woman, set aside a day in late April for a big school assembly for the older kids. I don’t think the day had a special name, the date moved around some, but we all knew that when we were older, we would have to spend a day in April in the gym. Well, that day was dedicated to having WWII survivors come to tell us their stories. Different people came every year, and we usually heard from 6-10 people, so by the time we graduated, we had heard quite a few of those stories. The man with his “Auschwitz room number” tattooed on his arm, the woman whose mother and brothers were shot before she and her sisters were raped by the German soldiers, the man who had to stand outside his sisters’ bedroom door while his sisters traded sex for food, the man whose family was killed by the SS because of his activities with the resistance – I remember all of them. Never again! was never explicitly attached to this day, but it didn’t have to be.

    My family also had people in the war, and I grew up hearing some of their stories. I didn’t hear any of the most hair-raising ones until the last few years ago, though. I think people in that generation are starting to realize that they need to pass on their experiences to us. This is a good thing – ignorance is NOT bliss!

    I may have posted this before on this blog, but one of the relatives who had lived in Germany during the relevant time period said, after watching an SP campaign rally on TV, “Hitler was a lot like her. He really knew how to rile up the crowd.” I figured he ought to know.

  3. arsonist heritage says:

    n writes:


    I am happy to report that, at least in my experience, you are mistaken. As much as I despised Bush and thought he should have been impeached, I did reign in some of my relatives and friends when they referred to Bush as “Hitler-like”. Bush and Cheney had certain dictatorial and manipulative tendencies, they were awful for the country, but they didn’t sink to the level of Nazi Germany. And – my friends and family came to agree on new language which would describe the Bush administration without references to Nazis.

  4. Winks in AZ says:

    Not everyone who disagrees with Obama is labeled a racist. In fact, many from the left frequently criticize him as well. Only those who criticize with an obvious racist bias are labeled racist.

    You assume people were not appalled by previous protests which utilized Nazi imagery. On what do you base this assumption? I heard quite a lot of outrage when people protested against Bush. In fact, I heard many representatives of the Bush administration refer to the left as “a misinformed and angry mob,” “Nazi sympathizers” and “Unamerican.” This rhetoric was outdated when Dick Nixon used is. When will America outgrow it.

    Finally, two wrongs do not make a right. (Pun not intended.) If you felt outraged by this imagery being used against Bush policies, all the more reason you should be outraged to see it dragged out again!

    Great post and great comments.

  5. What is so remarkable about this abuse of history is that it is itself a
    Nazi tactic, this scapegoating and libeling, this shut-down of intelligent discourse in the name of patriotism. As a veteran, I often see the right wing attempting to corner the market on patriotism, trying to make the case that only the right wing cares about the defense of the country, about veterans, about our soldiers—totally ignoring the obvious fact that while our armed services look like our actual demographics, our politicians do not. No, instead, we have old white men, fearful of a multicultural society, sending a multicultural army in harm’s way.
    The situation is as lunatic as the world’s many cultures and nations depriving themselves of the intelligence and talent of half their populations, namely women.
    Djelloul Marbrook

  6. democracy7 says:

    What a moving piece, and one that needs repeating. I am always appalled at the willfuly ignorant, those that attempt to trivialize the horrors of the holocaust and the men, women and children that perished.

  7. nadi says:

    why would using hitler or nazi not be acceptable? i am german and i think on the contrary given the monstrosity of the german crime it is important that people keep using the terms hitler or nazi to never let anything like it happen again. the world needs to understand how a ‘situation’ can get so out of control it ends in world war and genocide.

    in context with bush the swastikas came up as people regarded him as evil. i remember the hitler-pictures of bush were especially popular when he reigned a war on iraq based on proof of wmds never to be found. i myself have compared quite some of the changes the bush years brought with them (patriot act etc) with the control machinery of the nazis, at least a few times in my mind. shoot me, but it did come to mind!

    comparing obama to hitler because of the health care reform seems totally out of context though. i really dont get that part. i have recently read somebodies comment capitalizing socialism in nationalist socialism trying to compare obama to the nazis and was very outraged by that. the nazis were really not about socialism, i thought this should be clear in everybodies mind by now. they were murderers and plunderers of the worst kind! on top of it the health care reform bill isnt even imposing anything like socialism on anybody at all. it is about protecting the individuals of a social democracy, not socialism.

    (what is it in this country anyways? you just need to shout communism (i think this is what people hear when you say socialism) and everybody jumps to their guns. communism was stupid and didnt work. iz shakey legs buckled with the ussr. communism is dead! move on already. go on vacation to cuba, they love dollars there.)

    the swastikas at the town hall meetings just show that indeed there are people in the united states who do not know what the nazis were about or even worse are happy to miss the point altogether. this is especially sad because this is the people who lost so many loved ones to wwii just three generations ago. it is not unique to the states though. it is sickening but it is happening everywhere, and at all times. people forget. we need to be reminded. ignorance is not bliss but has great potential of danger for abuse.

    barack obama must have expected to be hated, given he applied for the whackiest job about. really, the hitler pictures shouldnt hurt but encourage the administration to get to the next step.

    free education for everybody! (anybody jumping to their guns now? hello, time for reality-check!). i doubt anybody who truly understands both what nazis / hitler were and what the current president of the united states is doing would think of any comparison.

    but who knows? some people are just truly crazy. bad news is they allow guns out here, too. …

  8. n says:

    AKM, thank you for posting my different take on things. The double standard that I see is that now that the right is protesting, they are seen as a ‘wild mob’, and when a few nut jobs use a Hitler/nazi reference, everyone is acting like the left never did it towards Bush. The ‘left’ acts offended yet there was no upset when these references were used against the last president.

    That is what I am wondering…were you appalled back then? Was it okay to use it against Bush, or anyone else besides Obama. And why it is racist NOW? Was it racist THEN? I have to say that as a conservative, any objection to Obama’s policies, even with legitimate concerns, seem to be labeled as racist. How is disagreeing with this president different (racist) than disagreeing with other presidents? That is my question. I don’t ever think using Hitler or nazi is acceptable on either side, just to be clear.

    Thank you again for civil discussion.

  9. arsonist heritage says:

    I come from a line of Czech arsonist. The year was 1938 when the village priest knocked on my maternal great-grandfather’s door and told him the Nazis were pulling people out of their houses and shot in the village my family owned. My great-grandfather got on the train immediately and travelled to the village, where he and the priest set fire to the archive annex next to the church itself – destroying the birth records removed any proof of Jewish heritage. The dead were dragged off to the quarry in the woods. Many decades later, my mother came to own the property where “the Nazis flooded the quarry so it could not be used”. I didn’t know the story and suggested she has the water pumped out. She was appalled, then silent, then she told me it’s in fact a mass grave. She sold it…and the local folks still spread the story and make sure it remains undisturbed. When I was a child, we would travel from Prague to the village of Dublovice to observe some ceremonies and listen to a classical music concert every spring. It was called the “Home Survivors Concert” and I never knew why everyone greeted my grandfather with such grave respect. Now I do.

    On my father’s side, my granfather’s brother was the Arch Bishop of the St. Vit Cathedral in Prague. He was in charge of the historical cathedral and one of the seven guardians of the Czech Crown Jewels.
    Sometime in 1938, the archives of the Cathedral burned. There was no annual memorial where the survivors could remember their loved ones – uncle Antonin Stoy was persecuted not only by the Nazis, but by the Communists who came after them as well.

    We all need to remember these events and call political tendencies what they are. Nazis hold a sad place of distiction in a league of their own. Neither Bush nor Obama administrations, nor their detractors, come close…not even with the sad shadow of Gitmo besmirching our national honor.

    Kate in Pittsburgh

  10. ericmiami says:

    A brilliant piece of expression.
    Thank you very much.

  11. way enough says:

    My dad ( alive and well at 85) flew the B-17s (downed 3 times) at age 19. He later married and raised 10 kids..and finally (2008) let us at his WWII info to copy and give to all the grandkids. My sibs and I grew up relatively protected by the WWII code. Years later, on a Christmas morning, I (along with at least 2 siblings) almost fell down when my dad started talking to my 5 year old nephew about WW II planes and how he fell out of a plane and had to unload his boots. We were sitting in our living room looking around like: Who is this guy??? Gradually my dad has opened up, my brother Paul gets permission to hold my Dad’s WWII stuff and I run off and copy it. My friends tell me to read the Tom Brokaw book…that may be my vacation book (hardware reading) and a beachy book! My son is 3, but I pray my dad lives long enough to share some flashy plane stories with his grandson!!

  12. SouthPaw says:

    AKM I have been reading and re-reading this post all weekend and have sent it to everyone, left right or in between. It has moved me to tears. Like many, I have been following the Mudflats since the day I Googled “What was McCain thinking?” and this site came up. A day hasn’t gone by when I do not check in. This blog has been my touch stone to connect with like thinking com-passionate people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I am a first and second generation descendant of European immigrants who’s family members lived thru and died at the hands of the Nazi’s.

    Members of my Grandfather’s family were imprisoned in death camps in Poland. They were devout Catholics. Some were university teachers, farmers, tradesmen, students, male and female who were part of the resistance. I remember hearing the nightmarish accounts from my aunt of family members who still lived in Poland when I was young.

    During WW2 my uncle Walter was a radio operator on the B-17 Flying Fortress and was shot down on his first mission over Germany. He spent a year and a half in German POW labor camp. Our family did not know if he was alive or dead. Like your Dad, he survived the war and was given a Purple Heart, raised a wonderful family and worked at Monsanto all of his life. He just passed away earlier this year.

    My mother lived on the south coast of Wales during the war, in Penarth. She spent most of her childhood in a bomb shelter with her family trying to survive the deadly and devastating Nazi U-2 fire bombs.

    My Grandmother used to tell us the story of the night as the sirens were blaring, Mother was around 15 yrs old, absolutely refused to go into the cold, damp, dark bomb shelter one more time. They had a very heated mother-daughter ‘discussion’. Grandma literally dragged my Mother down the stairs by her hair into the basement shelter next door to their home. That night the U-2 bomb hit the Buckland family house and caught fire. Afterward going thru the remains and rubble of their home, they saw a piece of my Mother’s mattress with a hole in it. The bomb had gone right thru her bed.

    Thank you again for your Noble Peace prize post…IMO.

  13. Alaskini says:

    thank you for your articulate piece!

  14. Apphouse50 says:

    Thanks for that wonderful homage to your father and my father and all those who served and suffered through WWII and all the awful wars.

    The author Alan Furst writes great historical espionage novels about what WWII and the years leading up to it from the perspective of Europeans, which I highly recommend. I highly recommend Dark Star and The Polish Officer, the latter being largely about resistance movements and the brave, normal folks in Europe who did what they could — the folks we rarely hear about amid all the battle stories. These are not like the formula novels churned out by the Ludlums, not at all, and well worth the read.

  15. HamletsMill says:

    deist Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:34 PM


    My earliest memory in life is from Holland in the Hague, about 40 miles from where Anne Frank’s family was betrayed in Amsterdam. This occurred perhaps 15 years after the Frank family was caught and Ann got exterminated.
    Thank you for your post on your memories of Holland. I went by Anne Frank’s house several times when I lived in Holland but never took the tour. I just left it to my mind. I have other stories of what people told me happened during WWII in Amsterdam and Rotterdam but I will not post any more of them here. Enough has been said. The lesson learned is that humanity must step up to stop a lie while it is still small. Because once a lie becomes entrenched and attains military power the social psycho-pathologies involved are massive.
    BBHounds Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 8:05 PM

    BBHounds, please accept my deepest condolences of the passing of your father. May his soul rest in peace in the worlds beyond this one.

    otrplm Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Thank you for the very kind words. I hope the Representatives and Media links page will be helpful to you when you feel moved to write to someone. Just keep it handy.
    We are all in this together!

  16. Linda -WA says:


  17. K.R. says:

    My sister wrote a similar account about our dad which was originally aired on Memorial Day a few years ago.
    I can barely read it without balling. AKM’s post hit me that way too.
    My sister is a beautiful writer too. If interested, give it a look at her blog, Loose Leaf notes:

  18. Jennifer says:

    This is such high quality writing and such a pertinent issue that it should go to the NYT or Washington Post,, or LA Times. It deserves a wide audience. Go for it–it is another way to serve your country.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Elegant. Essential. Thank you…thank your dad.

  20. boodog – Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

  21. Tina in Tennessee says:

    Watching from New Jersey ~ AMEN!
    boodog ~ Amen to #453!

    And don’t you guys think their particular brand of shenanigans was because they and their respective machines are self-serving “what-boodog-said” type people? Ya know… the kind that would do anything to further their political careers AND line their pockets?

  22. boodog says:


  23. boodog says:

    Watching from New Jersey,
    Because Bush and Cheney weren’t nazis, they were @@@holes…

  24. Tina in Tennessee – We endured 8 years of Bush and I don’t recall liberals getting so hyped-up to totally trash the President. He’s out of office now but we are just learning of the dirty tactics they used, like heightening the terrorist alert, so he could get re-elected (and it worked). Bush and Cheney LIED to us on every level and their ok with that? Not a peep out of them for what Bush and Cheney did.

  25. Lani Formerly Bash Budweiser Palin – Thanks for the hugs. Yep, our parent’s generation went thru alot and survived. I honestly don’t know how they did it.
    No matter what they never lost hope and they didn’t even have anti-depressants back then. My mother never trusted the Republicans. She always said they were for big business and never for the working people.

  26. Tina in Tennessee says:

    Oh, AKM and Snoskred ~

    If you get any new traffic from around Atlanta, that might be my teacher-kid showing your post to his World History and Psychology classes! I emailed him the link, today, and he’s very excited to discuss your post with both classes.

    Thank you all for making a difference.

  27. Tina in Tennessee says:

    @janet Alexander #428

    I borrowed some of your delicious words to wet-trout-slap some folks who really needed it…

    Here’s the link to the story (sorry if it goes to moderation):

    (Don’t get offended that we’ll probably get ripped to shreds on that board for our stance. It made me sick that Ms. McDevitt wore a t-shirt with a clown-faced President Obama on it.)

    …thank you so much and please let me know what i owe you!

  28. Lani Formerly Bash Budweiser Palin says:

    ((((BBHounds)))) So sorry for your loss. Watching, hugs for you as well. Both of my parents are gone, too. They struggled through the Depression and WWII, but enjoyed life during the later, prosperous years. It’s good that these dear people, who survived such difficult times, lived to see a period of security.

  29. BBHounds – I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy to lose someone you love especially a parent. I lost both of and I feel like an orphan now.

  30. Jerome says:

    I’m sorry for what happened to your dad in Germany, but if America don’t wake up and see that Obama is setting into motion for history to repeat itself. He my not be Hitler but he is a pawn directing America towards having its own Holicost. If we as Americans don’t do something to stop it we will experience here on our soils what Germany experinced at the hands of a communist government. The government will strip you of your rights an control everything. Do you want that? If not then pray and take action to stop it.

  31. deist says:


    I’m sorry for your loss.

  32. BBHounds says:

    This story was particularly hard for me to read. It put my feelings into words and great insight into how twisted the political arena has become. I lost my father, a WWII vet last Sunday, August 16, 2009.

    The Nazi’s and what they did should never be applied to anything other than the NAZI’S! Period.

  33. n says:

    “to keep “Hitler” and “Nazi” out of the clutches of those who would make them political buzzwords for people they don’t like, or policies they don’t understand….To strip those words of their power and meaning in order to create political fear for self-gain is inexcusable and needs to be confronted and refuted whenever it arises, by all of us, whether we support the current health care bill and the current president or not.”

    Isn’t the media and the left using these Hitler signs for self gain AGAINST the protestors, making them look crazy and racist. The reality, if you would look closer, you will see that most of the Hitler pics are from the Larouche organization (democrat) and NOT typical of the majority of average ‘protestor’s.

    I also have to wonder where the outrage was when Bush (even while you most likely disagreed with him) was given the same treatment? (If you need, I can post plenty of pics of him as Hitler, being hung, people carrying signs saying “Kill Bush”…)

    It IS outrageous, but it is used in politics of both sides. To hear the left become enraged, now that the shoe is on the other foot, and of course blaming it on race, is interesting. Was it a race issue when Bush was depicted as Hitler, a Nazi or as the Joker? Was it race when people made a movie about Bush being assassinated? One of your posters is using it to suggest Palin reminds her of the time of Hitler even while your article suggests we all need to stop on both sides.

    I hope you don’t erase this post, because I REALLY want to know how you can explain this seemingly double standard. Thank you.

    I don’t think it should be used by anyone frivolously, left or right. I don’t care who is using it. My blog started in May of 2008, so there’s a partial answer. I don’t consider myself “the left becoming enraged.” This was a personal story about what is happening now and how it affects me. I don’t see any double standard. Hope that helps. AKM

  34. otrplm says:

    HamletsMill: Hats off to you, thank you for all the info. you have supplied. Your post on the forum is awesome,and I will try to help,I believe very strongly in this fight, but don’t have your way with words.

  35. Jules says:

    Hey I’m a New Yorker but I read your blog faithfully. I don’t even know who writes for this blog (Is it Shannyn Moore from “Countdown”?) but I am continually impressed and refreshed by your strong perspectives. I have been to town halls near me and I find the Third Reich imagery to be tiring, lazy, irresponsible, and wildly inappropriate. When did “Nazi” become a term that we can toss around so carelessly?
    Thank you for sharing your father’s experience and heroism – although I know he would never consider himself a hero. But I do and I thank him for his service. I appreciate how you highlight that it isn’t the “Germans” in particular who allowed tyranny and fascism and ethnic cleansing to thrive… it is an unchecked impulse that exists in humanity at large.
    I don’t understand how opening access to healthcare for more Americans counts as “Nazism” but I am glad to see people out there that share my views with a strong voice.

  36. deist says:


    My earliest memory in life is from Holland in the Hague, about 40 miles from where Anne Frank’s family was betrayed in Amsterdam. This occurred perhaps 15 years after the Frank family was caught and Ann got exterminated.

    Ironically most of my early memories in life involve anger– in this case, apparently when I was between 1 and 2 years old, around 1959– My mom was in a hurry and she was pulling hard on my arm and rushing me along. What really agitated me was that sometimes both my feet got pulled off the ground and I had no control whatsoever over my short little flailing legs. That made me really, really mad. To this day I recall my humiliated little furious rage.

    I also remember hearing bells in the background, so that must have been the Hague in 1959 when my dad was doing postgraduate study in Rotterdam.

    It is hard to believe this event occurred only 15 years after the nazi occupation and Anne Frank’s extermination.

    I know another lady who would have been Anne Frank, but instead she survived and became a mother and grandmother. In addition to my own mom, I have several “moms”, including her. She’s never said much about what happened, but she survived. She has said that in terrible times like those, they just dealt with it as best as they could. (like AKM’s dad).

    We shouldn’t take our current times for granted.

  37. sekanblogger says:

    I’m doing a whole series about a man who was a POW in the south Pacific. Japs got him. The fellow was from my hometown.
    I love to hear these stories.

    I’ve also got a postcard written from a foxhole in Iwo Jima. Lots of views on that post!

  38. antiAnti says:

    When the Germans announced that 50 of the“great escape” men had been shot, my dad’s prison camp was formed up for roll call. My dad told me about the anger of the prisoners and how the guard tower machine guns were swung around and trained on the rows of men.

    The book, “The Great Escape” touches on many aspects of camp life. It’s well worth the read and much better than the movie which suffers from the Hollywood slant.

  39. Tina in Tennessee says:

    In ‘Night’, by Elie Wiesel, it’s scary how much of the ‘memoir’ talks about peoples’ refusal to pay attention to warnings ~ believing that there was no way a cattle car had been diverted (according to an eye witness) and the people on board murdered.

  40. avahome says:

    Excellent commentary AKM. Brooklyn, Ohio was where I grew up. I had a friend in school whose parents were members of Hitler’s Youth Group. It was a mandatory for German youths. My friends father was a teenage soldier when Hitler decided to attack Russia….and it was a failed campaign…much cold and suffering…and he wound up in a Russian prisoner of war camp.

    My friends mother would speak about incredible hunger and that hunger had driven people to listen and believe in Hitler’s promises. She told me when the Americans came offering gifts of gum…she thought it was small chunks of rubber(tires). And was a very confusing time.

    I am glad to have known my friend and her parents. We Americans sometimes live in bubbles and I do believe some people know not what they speak.

  41. HamletsMill says:

    deist Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:09 PM

    When I lived in Holland I had a friend who was in Dutch intelligence in the 1930’s. He was stationed in Berlin. His job was to go to every Hitler speech in Berlin and write a report of it’s content and his personal impressions. He said that he, too, with the hypnotic pageantry would sometimes forget why he was there and become mesmerized at times. That if he started to accept the ground logic of Hitler’s belief system he would be sucked into the patently absurd ideology for a minute and then have to snap himself out of it and take a breath which he, thankfully, was always able to do. And, remember, the virulent ideology was based upon the mass grievance of the German people coming out of the vicissitudes of WWI and then skillfully expanded using the birth of the technology of mass communication of the outdoor electric light spaces, PA systems, radio, and motion picture taken over by the state. It was based on small “half truths” that simple people believed. Hitler was the great simplifier for people who had never really thought anything out in life. There were dramatic mass psychologies in play. And this is the danger. We all know now that it could happen ANYWHERE in ANY society. The selling of lies to lazy thinkers who are also very angry people is potential madness. Especially in hard economic times. And this is why the current dysfunctional cast of characters in the American corporatist mass media talk radio and American corporatist right wing politics is so dangerous. We MUST stand up to lies thrown before ignorant, lazy thinkers by all peaceful and orderly means. We must fight back with film, video, music, and all the arts plus the written word as AKM has ao skillfully done. And we must NEVER let up. If one gets tired, someone else switch over in their place. The current corporatist mass media is currently down right un-American but this streak IS in our history. I am sure everyone has heard of Father Coughlin who was the Rush Limbaugh of the 1930’s.

    Study the history. It grew virulently. It collapsed rapidly. None of this is anything new in the American psyche. But the danger in these things is when people like this on the receiving end in a society find a mirror in some political figure. Sarah Palin scared the living s**t out of me because she seemed to know nothing about the history of nations or the mass psychologies in play in the 20th Century with the rise of the huge mass rallies, PA systems, radio, and the sound motion picture. She seems to have no personal insight and consequently, no personal fear of herself! GWB had no insight either and he has now personally ruined himself for his utter knee jerk cluelessness. He will be cursed for centuries now in American history. Just watch! Palin should realize that the last person to walk into a sociological-psychological political mirror trap like that on a massive scale with no discernment in his personal life ended up putting a gun into his mouth in a concrete bunker and pulling the trigger. Has she ever though about just exactly how that all happened?

    As I have said here on the Mudflats from the beginning, everyone who lived in the 20th Century MUST READ Robert G.L. Waite’s famous 1977 seminal book as their moral duty on the mirror psychology of Hitler and the German people of the 1920’s and 1930’s: “Adolf Hitler: The Psychopathic God”. It is a MUST READ for any person who wants to understand how it happened and how to prevent it forever in any society on this planet.

    Everyone must understand the mechanics of these mass psychologies: lies+lazy thinkers+social grievance+hard economic times = everyone who understands the play book to be very, very vigilant. This is why the current executives of the right wing corporatist mass media seem to be very poorly educated men as to history.

    We must be smarter. And we will be. The rise of the Internet cannot be stopped by anyone as AKM has proven! Before the potential grass roots vigilance effect of the Internet was just a THEORY. After the Alaskan Bloggers since last year it is FACT! They actually did what the Internet is potentially supposed to be for: take down ignorant pretenders and take them down hard. They have now written the book. The rest is history.

    Enough said.

    Everyone keep posting!

  42. A Fan From Chicago says:

    #390 – Clydedog. “Kind of disturbing to see the swastika at the top of the page for so long. The post would have had the same impact with out it.”

    Dog, I totally agree with you. Like most of us, I sent this on to many people and then checked back in and was jarred by seeing the red symblol still there. I think a couple of things happened.

    Most everyone on this blog sent the link to everyone they could think of. And AKM was traveling back home and didn’t have time to post something new. I think a lot of people worked hard to pass it on.

    Best as I can tell this post energized a whole bunch of peoplefrom a whole bunch of places. And I think it started earlier in the week when the healthcare debate galvanized lots of people and hit it’s peak with this post.

    This discussion has generated a ton of people who may have been here looking and lurking, or new to the Flats, but they have stood up and taken a stand.


  43. teutonic13 says:

    “There is nothing horrible about Germans in particular that caused them to do these things. This is humanity’s dark potential, and something that we all need to remember, whether we were there or not, or whether our family was affected or not, because this is what people can do to each other… ”


    Well said. I was a German boy with a dead beat Dad (from Texas) for a father.

    My step Dad was a Proff at Purdue- so in terms of “That” I was ok…

    My Mom who according to her- had to run through the Black Forrest to avoid being raped as a 15 year old girl- from American soldiers, endured the other end of pre-Iraqi “Shock and Awe” as her’s was the only house left standing on the street.

    She finally got her PhD as well at Wisconsin.

    Where the Germans failed- and what has cost their offspring so much in terms of recrimination and guilt- was delivered as dispassionate “mothering”- and at some later date- their sons and daughters coming to realize that the process of turning away- and living in denial, carries the same sword of retribution as the eventual executioner.

    It sucked growing up at 6 – watching “Combat” and seeing Vic Morrow and squad destroy destroy and vilify the same proud people you thought you were a part of.

    Sucked even worse when getting into fights on the playground.

    Sucks even worse now cuz- my Mom has turned into the “Bomb shelled” hermit” and won’t answer any phone calls or leave her house. The whole basement is filled with food I am sure.

    I hate Swastikas- they are full of hate- and are an insult to the preamble of this particular forum.

    I understand the need for a photo with impact- but why choose that over an image of a black man hanging from a southern noose?

    In my opinion- more people died as a result of Nazi cruelty than ever died at the hands of Jim Crow. But people find it easier to forget the slaughter of 8 million or so- as opposed to dignifying the the misrepresentation au8nd subjugations of a bunch of Eskimo’s and Black people.

    The Swastika has no place- deserves no room in any forum- should never be used as a symbol for effect- unless the person casually displaying it for whatever comment they feel obviates the impact and the insult to 8 million killed- well then I guess that is what you do. Ignore 8 million to make whatever point.

    I hate that image. It has cost me my parents and my relationship with them.

    I guess it’s kinda personal-


    I hate it too. If you feel I am using it to insult 8 million people, then I guess you missed the point of my post. Ignoring things we hate can be dangerous. AKM

  44. pearl89 says:

    #415 My dad very well could have been referring to WWI, all I know is it was something he used to talk about. I was only 11 years old when he died so, I possible might have reconstructed it in my mind as to an actual memory of his. He rarely spoke of the war, so anything he said we kids took to mean he was talking about his experiences when he may actually have been talking about another ancestor.

    I know he was in the military, I have seen pictures of him in uniform. This post and conversation have lead me to renew my efforts to find out more about my dad’s service during the War. Thanks for the kick in the pants I needed to revitalize me search.

  45. boodog says:

    deist, I hate hate, to..

  46. deist says:


    Racism was one of the primary foundations of Nazism. Some of my ancestors were German speaking Prussians– perhaps I would have enjoyed those Nuremberg rallies too.

    I doubt racism is more or less prevalent in any given race. It’s just a toxic human feature. Whites, blacks, native americans, asians– we’ve probably all been exposed to those around us who hate.

    I’m not surprised with what happened to Eddie Barr in Anchorage. This is not new news. Racial hate has always been there, and it will probably always be there. I hate hate.

  47. KayInMaine says:

    Also, let’s not forget President Obama’s great Uncle was one of many who freed the Jews from the Nazis!

  48. Lynne says:

    This made me cry. It also made me even more disgusted at the town hall mobs who have no idea what their signs and symbols mean let alone who they hurt.

  49. HamletsMill says:

    Janet Alexander Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:27 PM
    Indeed. Your point is very well taken. This is the thing I can’t understand and I include the CEO’s of the big health insurance companies too. Why can’t they see that we are at the brink? We are all on the Titanic including them! If the whole system collapses everyone goes under. EVERYONE. Including them! Yet people from top to bottom in the United States now do not seen to grasp the concept of catastrophic systemic failure even after the Wall Street meltdown! What is wrong with the American people? What has happened to us? We took the great natural wealth of North America and bankrupted ourselves and ran everything we touched completely into the ground. Now we absolutely have to figure it all out.

    This is indeed our sorry parable at the moment so far:

  50. KayInMaine says:

    Wow! Amazing piece, Mudflats. It’s infuriating that the neocons are comparing President Obama to Hitler or the Nazis because of health care. Disgusting actually!

  51. HamletsMill says:

    boodog Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Hamlettsmill, you are amazing. Did I say that before? I’ll say it again, You are amazing! And thanks..

    Thanks for the kind words. I think EVERYONE here is amazing! How in the world did we all stumble into this vortex starting last August 29th for most of us? Some before. Some since. AKM was just running her little blog in Alaska for three months with something like 30 hits a month and then THE EXPLOSION to something like six million hits and we are all here! I told her in person last week that I read every post and every comment on the Mudflats until election day! Every single one. Many at AKMudstock commented on how exhausted they were also for days on end in the beginning staying up to the wee hours of the night to read every post that was coming in from the amazing community that was forming from all around the world!

    So now here we all are. We all had to rest a bit after the election and pray for the best while the Administration formed and took over and we got back to neglected daily life tasks. But now we know the battle is joined and we are going to have to form our lines again and try to do something. That is why I made the representative and media list. We have AKM. We have Shannyn. We have the other Alaskan Bloggers. We have each other. This is our unit. I hug each one of you and hold you close as I move up and down the lines! The Mudpups caked in mud must hold! We must hold our ground and stand and fight! Our weapons are our insights and our keyboards and our ability to communicate truth against lies. I salute you in our unit with our torn and ragged coats! I share my canteen with you, boodog! Maybe just water. Maybe gin. But we shall endure to do what me must do.

  52. ooops I meant to type #402.

  53. sky #42 – I read a post written by an Arizona Pastor Steve Henderson (I think) anyway I’m shocked that a “pastor” would pray for Obama’s death. This is what scares me the most, if a pastor is spewing hatred to his congregration about the President than some idiot might try to harm him. In his deranged mind he might think he is doing something good.

  54. jojobo1 says:

    HamletsMills I think you are right now that you bring it up.I believe I watched the documentary years ago and it stayed with me.Why I say that is because of the mustard Gas and I believe that was from the first world war,wasn’t it?
    Janet Alexander you said it all and I believe it has slowly been encroaching for the past 8 or so years..I think some like having others dependent on them and what they say and do.Like the young Paul supporter friend who says he does not want the government to say where his tax dollars go and he does not want any S.S. or medicare taxes to be paid either and to h— with us seniors and Paul is a doctor.

  55. Janet Alexander says:

    We are indeed “in a battle for the soul of our nation” But the battle is not against the racist 5 to 10% fringe screaming “Nazism” and carrying posters of Obama crayoned over to look like Hitler. They are loud and obnoxious but they don’t listen, they don’t think they don’t vote, they just hate and insurance corporations are egging them on, if not paying for their activities. Every society has this 10% loony bin to exploit. They don’t matter. The ‘anti’ people that matter are retired people with Medicare and people with health care through their employer. These people are a big part of the voting, thinking public and many, disappointingly many of them are against reform because they’re afraid their own benefits might change . To advocate denial of health care to 50 million people because you think it might (might, not will) cut into your own care is selfish beyond belief. This is the battle we are losing. When did America throw “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” into the ash heap and adopt. “I’ve got mine, Jack”?

  56. scout says:

    Word smithery at its finest, AKM, thank you. We must never forget.

    Mudpups, thank you for the hope you inspire.
    Peace, Love, and
    Yes WE Can.

  57. Tina in Tennessee says:

    AKM ~ This is the first post of yours that i’ve asked my DH to read for himself (instead of using me as a filter).

    There was no way to ‘gist’ him. You’re like all my favorite writers rolled up into one, and this essay is an emotional masterpiece. I totally get what you’re saying about watering down the meaning of a word.

    Mudpups ~ Thank you all for being my rock. For many years, i’ve just wanted to move to an island and not have to think about the sad state of affairs. This feeling started in the pit of my stomach when Bush stole the election from Gore in 2000. By 2004, i was plotting my escape ~ so i didn’t care about that election. Powerlessness is draining.

    But AKM and the Pups have made me want to stand and fight! I’ve vowed to do at least one politically active thing every day. Even if it’s something small (i’m currently composing a short, heart-felt, handwritten letter to Senator Alexander so i can fax it to all of his offices on Monday afternoon. And then Corker, etc., and so on…).

    DH and i have decided that we’re GDI*s. G–D— Independents. We’re not ‘R’ (although my mother reminds me i was born one), not ‘D’, and not an ‘I’. We’re GDI*. And we’ll flock with like-minds issue-by-issue.

    (i feel closer to the mudpups than two coats of paint)

    (GDI: From DH’s 1989-94 college days at Alabama. He was part of the 3% non-Republican kids on campus, and *never agreed to belong to an organized fraternity.)

  58. HamletsMill says:

    jojobo1 Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    deist I have hear that said before about rallies and being taken in by hitler.
    pearl189 I read about the Christmas Eve truce many years ago and it bought tears to my eyes tan as it does now.Thanks for the reminder That even in war their can be compassion and shared beliefs in our Lord.

    I am not sure of any specific incidents in WWII but it certainly could have happened. Maybe her father was referring to the well know incident from WWI.

    This is a documentary about it:

    And this is the very fine film 2005 Joyeux Noël about it. (I am expanding the links so this won’t go into moderaton. You will have to cut and paste and contract them)
    h t t p : // www. imdb. com/title/tt0424205/
    h t tp : // en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Joyeux_No%C3%ABl

  59. chicago sue says:

    Brilliant. I felt stunned in my throat when I opened your home page and saw that graphically correct swaztika . . . I guess I’ve been a bit jumpy lately from all the nazis references being tossed around . . . Anyhow, since I’ve loved your site since last August, I decided to catch my breath, be brave, and read on beyond the swaztika.

    Thank you for sharing your compelling story. My father wouldn’t talk about his own experiences in the war either, and he would have a fit if he found us watching hogan’s heroes (“there’s nothing funny about nazis!”) I remember once asking him if he had been afraid to die, and he answered, “not really, I was more afraid of being taken prisoner; my dog tags had an ‘H’ on them. . . .” After he died, I found out he was at the battle of the bulge, a medic, a translator.

    Anyhow, thanks again.

  60. Liz K. says:

    This blog posting does a great job of pointing out the absurdity factor present in the Hitler / Obama comparison, but do most Americans realize how incredible life in Europe really is? American though I may be, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel at home in the U.S. again. Mostly because people see the drugs, crime, and poverty around them, yet choose to do nothing about it. It has become a place where children whose parents are not present can afford every conceiveable material thing. Meanwhile, thousands – stocking up on guns before the government makes them too difficult to come by – complain about armed robberies in their own neighborhoods. (And please, don’t tell me that you need a semi-automatic weapons in your home in case of a rogue government takeover. That is so 1866.)

    But perhaps worst of all, the word “consumption” has all but lost its meaning. Judging by the abundance of waste, you’re not actually in a financial crisis at all. Think I’m exaggerating? Just ask any European who’s ever had an American come to stay in their home. Which reminds me, most people that have ever actually lived in a country plagued by the dreaded socialism, or “shared wealth” system, don’t fear it.

    And finally, isn’t it time we let the present-day Germans off the hook? They’re doing things right. Their children can walk to and from school without a fear of being abducted. And they may only get 50% of their paycheck, but isn’t it worth it to feel safe? To know that if you (or your kids) get sick, you’re not going to one day be turned away from a hospital? Yes, there’s a sense of social responsibility. It’s not perfect, but they aren’t foolishly trying to get rich quick. They’re in it for the long-haul, and it works.

    Call them what you may, the Germans may have lost the war, but in doing so they gained the “sparsame” mentality that has now carried them through this tumultuous financial crisis. Their strong values helped them to weather this storm.

    No guns. More time for your family. Less crime. Now that’s something I can stand by. So don’t believe all the hype. Life is very, very good here in “old-Europe”. And the Nazis? Rumor has it they’ve all left for America.

  61. boodog says:

    Hamlettsmill, you are amazing. Did I say that before? I’ll say it again, You are amazing! And thanks..

  62. HamletsMill says:

    To everyone:

    I just put up an improved Representatives and Media Contact page in the Forum. Please use it as you see fit both now for AKM’s superb piece and in the future.,7931.msg79320.html#msg79320

    Going forward please everyone e-mail me over time any links you find and think would be useful to add to the various lists on the page.

    HamletsMillMudFlats (at) gmail (dot) com

    We definitely need more liberal talk radio program e-mail addresses. Perhaps you have a local AM or FM talk radio show in your area we could add to the list and build that list from the grass roots bottom up?

    Also, if anyone has or finds any links on such useful guidance on the best techniques on “How to write a letter to your Senator or Congressman” or “a Talk Radio host” or “a General Manager of a TV Station” or a “Letter To The Editor” or anything of this nature please send those to me to add also. Anything that would help everyone write more effectively to get their point of view across. I will add a section for those kinds of links when we get some. I have not had a chance to Google for these kinds of links yet.

    Also please post examples of your letters and e-mails that you send over time on to an action thread so others can learn from your technique and what you wrote. This way we can all steadily learn and improve over time. For right now, any action you take on advancing AKM’s piece, you can post there under my media list thread.

    As one Mudpup wrote on this thread yesterday “We are in a battle for the soul of our nation.” We all know this in our hearts and we have known it for an entire year now. This is indeed a fierce moment in time after the mind bending stupidity of the last eight years, and in many ways, the last forty years. Evey major crisis that has been neglected in all this time must now be faced by every citizen of the United States.

    This is it. This is the moment of truth about everything. People will live for decades on what our country does now.

    I love each and every one of you on the Mudflats! When I sat beside AKM (she is so intelligent in person!) and with Shannyn (she also!) and six of us talked with them for three hours last week after AKMudstock in Pittsburgh it was very hard for me to adjust that we are all in mortal bodies. So much of this is pure mind and pure spirit. It is light upon light and it is profound how this sacred community has happened and formed. It is a Cosmic Tribal Event and I have not seen anything like this since the 60’s and 70’s where it did indeed happen every other day! But the 80’s and 90’s were a huge disconnect between people. Maybe it was necessary to be hard at work inventing all this computer technology and software during that time (that is what I was doing!) because this is definitely our fire now! But we have it in this hour and this is how we can intimately communicate with each other on the amazing photonic square wave that circumnavigates the entire Earth seven times a second that is called the Internet! So we have this all in place NOW just in time for a Cosmic Tribal phenomenon like the Mudflats to happen out of the Cosmos!

    I hope AKM and Shannyn will rest now after their huge and intense trip! Hit the hot tub! Get a nice bubble bath! I hope we can all rest a little bit now that our skill level has gone up so much here on the Mudflats in that we can do much more with less effort because we are all now on our “A” game as we have all progressed. We have come a long way. Deepest thanks to Snokesred and all the behind the scenes Monitors too! It has been an intense year of development. And thanks to everyone who traveled from eight states and D.C. to the gathering we called Pittsburgh AKMudstock! I hope those that came found it very worthwhile!

    Blessings upon all Mudpuppies everywhere!

  63. clydedog says:

    Sorry, should be: that they (white) are NOT the majority.

  64. clydedog says:

    SecretShopperforHungryChildren Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    The older I get the less it seems I understand people, even my own mother.

    Before the presidential election my mother wondered how the US could elect a president with the name “Hussein”. Worse yet, every time she referred to him it was “Barack Hussein Obama”.


    Many Americans see themselves as the only ones in the world. They have no idea (or don’t want to believe) that they (white) are the majority. Informed people know the vast majority of the people in the world are not white Christians, and Hussein (various other spellings) is probably one of the most common names in the world, weather a first or last name. If one is a follower of the right wing it must really freak them out for our president (usually a WASP) to be black and a middle name Hussein.
    Maybe it is because she heard Cheney say “Hussein and Al Queda” so many times it is imprinted to mean scary and dangerous. Funny though, my mother and grandmother both got more progressive as they got older. It is allot more fun.

  65. jojobo1 says:

    deist I have hear that said before about rallies and being taken in by hitler.
    pearl189 I read about the Christmas Eve truce many years ago and it bought tears to my eyes tan as it does now.Thanks for the reminder That even in war their can be compassion and shared beliefs in our Lord.

  66. Goalie in NM says:

    AKM, your post was a humbling reminder. Thank you for sharing something so very personal to you.

  67. Goddess bless you and your Daddy.

  68. mari says:

    A story that belongs to the nation, today it’s relevent. So many out there protesting are unaware of these unselfish heroes, this is our history. This is for all Americans to feel, not much attention paid to those who paid the price of today’s freedom, but there sure is a lot taken for granted. This is a lesson in history, share it.

  69. SecretShopperforHungryChildren says:

    The older I get the less it seems I understand people, even my own mother.

    Before the presidential election my mother wondered how the US could elect a president with the name “Hussein”. Worse yet, every time she referred to him it was “Barack Hussein Obama”. Okay, we’ve all heard that. But here’s where it gets interesting.

    My mother is Norwegian and her grandfather was named “Adolf”. I’ve heard from my grandmother that he was a devoted husband and father to 11 children. Fortunately he passed before Adolf Hitler made his vain attempt to rule the world. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to have the same name as the worst dictator in recent times.

    My mother would have cried if anyone would have compared her grandfather to Adolf Hitler just because they shared the same name.

    Again, I just don’t understand some people but it’s really sad when it’s your own mother.

    Great post as always, AKM. Just when I think you can’t outdo yourself….

  70. London Bridges says:

    Taylor Pie, formerly known as Susan Taylor of the Pozo Seco Singers, 60’s fame recently wrote a song about her WWII veteran father, called, “So Little Has Changed.” The story she tells introducing it reminds much of what you wrote on your post, AKM.
    You can jhear it on Neil Young’s webpage:
    This week it is #1092, but if it changes on Monday, just do a search on the page using “Taylor Pie,” using your web browser’s search function.

  71. Mac says:

    AKM – when I came to the site yesterday and saw the swastika, I was shocked. Of course I knew that it was there for a good reason and your story of the difference between your 21st birthday and your father’s was amazing, as was the rest of your post. You truly have a gift. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have been coming here every day for almost a year now and I have learned so much – you inspire me. I believe that your father must be very proud of you as he continues to watch over you.

    I absolutely agree that this message needs to be spread and if it’s ok, I will pass your post along.

  72. SKY says:

    #405 CoyoteMarti Says:

    Hope that doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

    CoyoteMarti not at all. I am thick skinned.
    Actually, I appreciated pointing that to me. I know AKM has been on the travel the past week to OK it.
    I am not a great writer, I just speak my mind and try to motivate those who are doing a good job like AKM to give us the insights. Trust me I am learning a lot. I see myself improving my writing day by day. I am a bean counter, and writing was not my thing, I just feel compelled to make a positive contribution to this world I was brought in. AKM inspired me a lot, because she speaks from her heart.
    What I meant with “mean” I was referring to people who go there to comment, some are very Anti- Obama, and Anti-AKM.
    So I was warning to say we may have comments of ridicule.

  73. Loralee says:

    I posted about a luncheon on health care with Valarie Jarrett on my blog yesterday. I am bracing myself because she has stated that she is reading the comments, the President knows about my blog and she wrote and linked to me on and momentum about it is starting to pick up. I was also invited to the White House and that info is being tweeted like mad by my proud friends (and myself) so, I know it will get bigger and I confess I am really worried.

    The thing I am most afraid/sickened/worried about is that people will use this disgusting comparison for the President. (I’m a Republican but I respect the man and am DYING for reform)

    HOWEVER, I have to say that I have had well over 200 comments so far and even more emails and there has not been ONE SINGLE HORRIBLE ATTACK from EITHER SIDE. Not a single one. Can you believe it? I get hate mail for the way I wear a scarf and people are being respectful and kind to each other.


    I realize that this may not last as more attention is paid and more people realize that their words are being read by the administration, but honestly it gives me hope that there are civil people who can talk and debate and work on a solution for change.

    I LOVED this post. LOVED it.

  74. jojobo1 says:

    I also sent a partial of the article with a link as an support document and ask that the whole article along with the posts be read,Sorry about the misspellings on the previous post somehow it was sent before I could spell check,Sometime I type to fast and don’t look at what I type.

  75. Mom101 says:

    Oh thank you. Just thank you.

    I can only hope that those who would use the most heinous of terms to describe our president’s benevolent and well-intentioned policies are reading.

    Hope. Hope.

  76. jojobo1 says:

    I jsut this morning sent part of this article with a link to my represenative ,who is a republican and asked him to read it and go thru the post about those who really know what Hitler was and the meaning of Fasism.I asked him to step forward and denounce tose using the retoric of Hitler in this health insurance refore debate.

  77. A fan from CA says:

    AKM sure hope this gets published at Huff Post.

    I’d also like to send to my local papers. Can persmission be given?

    Also maybe Shannyn or someone could read it and get it posted to YouTube? Your message needs to be heard.

  78. CoyoteMarti says:

    402 skySays: … Warning..there are mean people at Dkos


    Thanks for helping share AKM’s powerful piece!! Yes, it can feel that way on Dkos. They are just incredibly protective of original writing and authorship (as well as linking to original source documentation). It can be tough on some of us seldom-posters to get the hang of it, but on balance I believe it helps the blogging community. Hope that doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

  79. DrChill says:

    Hogan’s Heros was as much about WWI as Gilligan’s Island was about survival.
    My Dad also, a WWII vet in Germany, had more problems with ‘COMBAT” than Hogans Heros. COMBAT’s primary flaw was that it tried to portray itself as realistic. Compare the horrid gritty realism of “Saving Private Ryan” To COMBAT’s phony an sanitized Hollywood casualties. (Dad did give COMBAT a thumbs-up one night when the actors used a Bangalore torpedo correctly.)

    My Dad was quick to spot the fascist tendencies in the Nixon administration, and Erlichman and Halderman in particular. (AKA Hanz und Fritz) Yes, he called them Nazis.

    NAZIs were party members, a requirement for high office and rank in Germany, not the ordinary German soldier.

    The NAZI label fashionably used by the ridiculous right lately is a monkey see monkey do copy of valid comparisons of the real loss of liberties at the hands of the Bush administration, and progressives attempts to point out the movement toward and similarities to fascist governments.

    Naomi Wolf has some chilling accounts of how the Bush Administration came close to a real military take over. No kidding, really. (Army units trained in crowd control, were DEPLOYED on US soil prior to the Presidential election.)

    Our loopy fellow citizens that use the kitchen sink approach of loading up their phony inflammatory rhetoric with everything they can find, is something we need to be mindful of, clear headed and vigilant about.

    The same ordinary evil we’re capable of, the same fear and manipulation we can succumb to, the same complacency to the DIck Cheneys of the world is present now, and we must be vigilant in support of democracy, and vigilant in its defense.

  80. A fan from CA says:

    prisonernubersix at 400. I too am a Marxist who believes in Groucho. His show “You bet your life” is on DVD and one of the very few I have purchased.

    Whenever I need to laugh I pop one in to watch.

    His stuff is well worth renting if you have never seen it.

  81. At this moment, I would like to offer a gentle reminder that AKM is returning today. Forum members are encouraged to join in the welcome home thread on the forum under Action and Alerts. If you are not a forum member, the Open Thread is still available from yesterday – or if you wish, joining the forum is easy and painless.

    OK – thank you and please return to the meaningful comments on this important topic. I believe this post will stand as one of AKM’s best posts and wish to honor continued discussion on this topic.

    (Link to forum thread at,

  82. prisonernumbersix says:

    Someone asked President Obama if he believed in Marxism. His reply was “Yes.” After the crowd recovered, the same person asked a follow-up question, something to the effect of “So you believe in the teachings of Karl Marx?” President Obama’s answer was “No, Groucho!”

    Don’t you love it when he sets the hook that way and leaves them hanging!

    Note: Please forgive any errors in the exact verbiage of the exchange. It was not meant to be verbatim.

  83. Janet Alexander says:

    Sauerkraut: You missed my point. I wasn’t commenting on Obama’s beliefs. I understand the difference between debating an issue and believing in that issue. My point was that all governments and economies no matter how idealistic can be corrupted.

  84. MonaLisa IS MY NAME! says:

    My mother was about two months shy of her 16th birthday when the Americans first entered her home town of Nuremberg. Her first impression, she said, had to do with how amazingly ‘fat’ they all looked to her.

    Everyone had money, she said, there was just nothing to buy. Food had been so scarce for so long, she and her uncle would take the train out to the countryside to beg for scraps from the farms. Though her uncle was often refused, once they saw mom, they’d usually slip her a little potato or a handful of greens.

    Mom said her most-often-recurring dream was of a loaf of warm rye bread and a pot of sweet butter. She hated waking from those dreams.

    One night, she woke up in the middle of the night and snuck next door into her best friend Hilde’s house. She woke her friend up and made her come back with her. A few hours later, the city was bombed. Hilde’s house was hit by one that didn’t explode, though it tore a hole through the house from roof to basement. Hilde’s bedroom was completely demolished.

    She never talked too much about her life during the war, saying it was so long ago that she didn’t remember it anymore. Yet there were plenty of stories from before and afterwards…

    Come to think of it, Mom always only told ‘happy’ stories, ones that had good endings. Maybe that’s why there weren’t many from her pre- and early teen years.

  85. lauramerle says:

    I have been reading and lurking for about a year now. This is the first website I visit each morning. The past year has been a journey and an education and AKM and the good ‘Flatters here have been an oasis of sanity through a challenging time.

    Thank you for this eloquent, moving post.

  86. Carol.Seattle says:

    re: #380 mommom
    Your words expressed beautifully what goes on in this blog with the comments. I learn so much in reading the wide diversity of viewpoints from different orgins and experiences. And, as you said, almost always there is caring and compassion going on. Unfortunately, the respect, intelligence and common courtesy exhibited here is rather rare in many other locations on the web. We can never learn and grow by screaming and shouting at others. All that does is build the walls higher, stronger and thwart efforts to achieve real solutions.

  87. sauerkraut says:

    Obama does not “believe in Marxism.” There is a not-so-subtle difference between debating people on a topic and believing in the subject matter. Stop spreading Limbaugh’s garbage.

  88. Janet Alexander says:

    Dee says that Obama argued that Marxism failed because it wasn’t implemented properly. I would like to add that all economic and political and economic theories have within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. All economies, all governments are run by people……………….. and people have the ability to corrupt every ideal.

  89. prisonernumbersix says:

    Re 389, clydedog:

    My memory is also clouded, but I think it was “Stalag 17.”

  90. clydedog says:

    Yes it was, I should have looked it up but was lazy.

  91. dee says:

    to clydedog:
    was it Stalag 17?

  92. clydedog says:

    Kind of disturbing to see the swastika at the top of the page for so long. The post would have had the same impact with out it.

    The right wingers have always picked demonized groups to associate their foes with. It is all they know how to do. Hopefully the upcomming seniors will be less scared and more informed.

    Hogans heroes was not based on “The Great Escape” but on a late 50s movie with the exact same plot as the sitcom. They sabotaged things around the camp and on work details, and snuck out of camp into town. Just watched it the other day for the first time on TCM, was surprised on how much the same as the series it was (not so sitcomey though). Sorry I can’t remember the name. On the scope of this post though, it is not that important.

  93. karen in OR says:

    I’m thinking about the thinking and or excuses of the right wing leaders who should be speaking out regarding the nazi word being bandied about at rallies.

    I know one justification they will use is…”well, what about they did to George Bush!”

    I do remember a lot of criticism of George Bush. I remember a lot of paradies showing him as buffoon-ish and some as the embodiment of evil, not hot on satanizing anyone myself. But I personally do not remember seeing the **nazi** comparison with Bush. I’ve heard it was and I’ve no reason to doubt it, my point is that I just never saw it myself on the news or in the press, and I watched as much media then as now. So, I’ve reason to believe this current association is MUCH stronger than in the Bush admin.

    And yet, Bush jammed a never-ending war down our throat with evidently NO forethought and discussion. Obama’s attempting to have an earnest discussion about how we can help people afford healthcare. Ironic, isn’t it.

  94. judychicago says:

    I read the post yesterday morning and thought about it all day.

    So here I am to say Thank You for the touching post. I live my busy life, rushing thru the days, trying not to absorb ignorance, and lies I hear and read. But still, the angrer swells up causing my frustration. Yesterday I felt sad and then I remembered the fall of ’08. The signs, the t-shirt in my closet, the optimism I had. If I let others deflate it, I am to blame. So today the lawn sign is being posted in the window (afraid it will be stolen on the lawn). I will wear my t-shirt and I will order another one from Cafe Press along with a bumper sticker.

    Men and women have died so that I can voice my opinion. Somehow, I let others throw me from the train. I gettin’ back on. Again, thanks for the reality check. To all in this community: GO forth and make this a wonderful Saturday.

  95. Linda -WA says:

    wow – you would think I would be able to spell soldiers right … need more coffee.

  96. Mistymaid says:

    Powerful! Simply powerful in words, imagery, sentiment, and meaning. This post needs to be picked up and go viral. It should be read by every single American.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the good work that you do so very well.

  97. Linda -WA says:

    Thank you so much for this post. Not just for sharing the extremely moving story of your father but for the point you are making. There are many who witnessed and suffered the atrocities done at the hands of the Nazis, who are appalled at the comparison being thrown around now as a scare tactic. My 87 year old mother is brought to angry tears whenever she reads or hears this stupidity spewed; this gentlewoman referring to those perpetuating these lies as “Ignorant B*st*rds!” You see, she was a young Navy nurse, in the psychiatric ward, treating both the bodies and minds of young solders returning from prisoner of war camps.
    She met a young Marine officer (on a different ward) recovering from wounds he received on the beach at Bougainville. He was a Raider, known for their toughness. Their motto gung-ho was used to mean work together in harmony. My dear late father spent 30 years in the Marine Corps and yet was the most gentle man you would ever meet. He never told war stories and what I know of the horrors he saw came from my mother.
    We dishonor them, their memories and their sacrifices by allowing the current politicizing of this dark and evil time in human history. Speak out against this as if your soul depended on it, because I believe mine does.

  98. sdragon says:

    Whew, I started yesterday with tears, ditto this morning. My dad was a vet from the Korean war. Though he never talked about it, my Grandma always said he was never the same.
    War is ugly & cruel. Cruel beyond belief. I lived outside the gates of Ft. Riley, Kansas in 73. I spent many hours talking 1on1 with many different guys from different states about their experiences in Nam. I should say I listened, they talked. They told me so much. The horror of seeing & living what they did, how can it not affect them for the rest of their lives? I’ve always been thankful that they trusted me enough to share so much information, probably more than I needed to know. I’ll never forget them or their stories.
    Something else that stays with me always & always will is how our ancestors treated the Native Americans when they came here. They are still being lied to & treated less than human by too many. Ever notice how not too many really like to talk about that?

  99. madeinalaska says:

    Extraordinary post, extraordinary comments. Proud to be a Mudpup today.

  100. Grandma Nancy says:

    My mother used to tell me “Birds of a feather flock together.” Thank you AKM for creating this flock, and all of you out there — thank you for being my flock. Young and old, from all walks of life, all ethnic groups, and all of the wonderful diversity that is included, I want you to know how much I appreciate your view of the world and for sharing it. Thank you everybody for the work you are doing to make this a better world for all to live in.

  101. mommom says:

    “Nazi” is term that the leaders of the GOP,like Rush Limbaugh,have coldly calculated to get the most negative impact from on their largest voting block,the seniors,who have the most fear of that word.

    They are now “the party of fear”

  102. mommom says:

    I am reading here and marveling at the diversity of people that come together here.We connect on many levels of sharing,caring for others,making a difference to our country and the world,helping those who need it for whatever reasons. We get our shots in against Palin,but their is always a cameraderies,a kind of joy that comes through,and so much of what is posted seems directed outwardly,at caring about others,helping others,having good words to say for others.

    It has struck me many times how different we seem from those on that “other site”,both “other sites”.They always seem to be worried about themselves,and their selfish leader.Thir rhetoric on their sites seems to be comncerned with “me,what will I lose”.Me,I ,Sarah are the most often used subjects.

    Here it seems there is compassion,care for others,and good feelings.More often it is we,,rather than I.People in this world have been helped physically by the members here,people who never met or knew of 99% of the members here.

    Now I understand.We are inclusive and caring because we are diverse.We as a group have seen the worst that man can do to each other,and the best.Here we come together and try to minimise the worst and make an effort to practice the best. The right wonders why we are still concerned with Palin? We know what those who think like her and gain true believer followers can do. We know we have continue to help protect our countrymen from the likes of her,for the good of the many people who would be hurt.

  103. dee says:

    just a note of clarification. Obama believes in Marxism not Nazism.
    He is known to have debated it with fellow politicians when he was in Illinois and stated that it failed because it wasn’t implemented properly.
    Marxism doesn’t create the horror that Nazism does in the hearts of people in the US.
    And nazism throws in the race card without actually saying that’s what they are doing.
    at least IMHO

  104. Janet Alexander says:

    Let’s be honest: The ugly words being used to describe Obama are simply substitutes for the uglier words these racists really want to scream out. It’s not about health care. They do not understand the health care reform proposals any more than they understand quantum theory. They are tools of insurance corporations out to preserve their golden calf by using the racism of people too filled with hate to know they are being used.

  105. Illinois Gibster says:

    Wow – what a powerful post!!

    That’s all I need to say.

  106. Everybody has been touched by war and violence. We see it now in this outpouring of stories. I´m so grateful for the peace in Europe these last 60 years. My Mum remembers the Americans marching into Rome. She was only nine, but those nine years are etched into her mind. Rome Open City – of course they were bombed anyway and I grew up in Darmstadt which was completey destroyed in a fire storm. The destruction was still visible when I grew up there during the 70ies. My father grew up in the States and was too young to join, but his father was in WWI. We recently received a copy of a letter he wrote during that time and it was heartbreaking to realize that he had seen a lot more action than his son ever knew.
    The witnesses carry the horror in their hearts. They shield it from themselves and those they love to protect. But they have to speak and we have to ask, because it must not be forgotten. We have to have the courage to learn the unbelievable and from that grows the determination never to let it happen again and to stop it where it is happening now.

  107. Marnie says:

    Well said, AKM.

    There are so may harms that come with hatred the self justification that causing harm, verbally or physically, is somehow a good thing.

    Nor did those citizens of the world who died and suffered in WWII, do it for hatred’s sake.

    Those harm’s never heal, not really. Those lives lost, hearts and minds seared with anger, and thoughts and, even, acts of evil never rest, never recover. The the peace of the World is set back in time, yet again.

    We need a great moral leader in this country right now. I just read Smirking Chimps comments on the greatness, and sacrifice of LBJ’s decision to draw a line in the sand over the Voting Rights Act. He knew what it would cost him and what it might cost his party but he went forward regardless.

    Obama isn’t that great leader right now. Pray God he grows quickly into that kind of man.

  108. bubbles says:

    prisoner number six******** you know, you are absolutely right. my family includes people from every race, nationality, ethnic groups, class groups. mudflats peeps are my family. i am part of every racial group here before the civil war. i am, whether by blood or bond, part of england and scotland and africa,and native america. i am christian and jew and muslim. i am america writ large. and i and my family treasure each and every one of you… i don’t want to end my fathers story with sadness. when daddy died. he was given full honors by the alabama state police as they escorted him from the masons’ temple in birmingham to the little church in his home town. when the birmingham group was to have pulled away allowing the jasper county troopers to take over, they refused and so melded together to take daddy the last few miles. i have his battle flag that was given to me by a naval officer at his burial site. today i took it out for the first time since that day when read akm’s call to arms….akm i love you…..your old bubs

  109. So embarrassed, please excuse my typo. I meant descendant and not descent…I’m sleepy, so again good nite.

  110. mlaiuppa says:

    312 psminidivapa Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    BTW: mla iup pa Indiana University of PA in PA????? Just checkin’

    No. But I’m sure a distant relative. Probably a La Iuppa. Possibly descendant of cousin or sibling to my Grandpa. There are quite a few mlaiuppas. One is my brother. One a cousin in law. I know of one that is a doctor and another that works or worked for a major airline. I think there is also one that is an engineer or scientist as I think I came across a scientific paper doing a google.

  111. Pat #349 – Couldn’t sleep so I came back. My family and other refugees were housed in the Japanese American internment camp in NJ till we could get settled. Our group of refugees came over on the USS Hersey. I’m of Kalmyck/Mongolian descent and we were the last group of refugees to be re-settled from Germany. We were almost denied entry because of the Chinese Exclusion Act. We had the World Church Organization, the Quakers, and the Tolstoy Foundation help us. We are not Chinese but we are of Mongolian ancestry from Russia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and France. We were advised to settle in the northeast and not go south, remember this was in 1951. I was just 2 years old when we came here. Congress had to pass a special bill to let us emigrate here, even though we are not Chinese that Chinese Exclusion Act was still in effect.

  112. Bones AK says:

    Well I am back and still not calmed down enough to coherently say what I want to. I have read all the comments so far and all I can say is that I am so honored to know and be able to see and talk with the likes of AKM, Shannyn, Gryphen, Phil, ect…. I am truly honored.

    Will try again tomorrow.

  113. JustPat says:

    AKM–Thank you for a moving and powerful post. I, too, hope this goes viral.

    What is fascinating to me is the level of disconnect this points out. To the right, Obama is villified with these obsene charicatures, yet it was under their leader that the US stooped to truly Hitler-esque concentration camps. Survivors of Guantanamo and other black camps will be telling similar stories in the years to come about the indignities they suffered at the hands of Americans. That makes me truly sad.

  114. Lori in Los Angeles says:

    Been a bit under the weather today, just catching up. AKM, this is an amazing and powerful post. I just got it posted on Democratic Underground.×6367233

    I have no words that have not already been said by the compassionate, intelligent mudpups who have commented. Thank you, AKM – thank you from the depths of my heart.

  115. bucsfan says:

    Strangelet, I am old enough to have watch Hogan’s Heroes when it originally ran. I don’t recall my parents ever watching it though. I never knew until I read his obituary, who played Colonel Klink, was Jewish and had fled Germany with his family in the 1930’s.
    He took the part of Klink after the producers agreed that Klink would never win, otherwise Klemper would walk.

  116. nswfm CA says:

    Isn’t Rush the guy with bucket loads of Oxy? I’d like to see that, too, but he’s probably got a hidden stash. What I’d REALLY like to see is his sorry self in jail.

  117. Sam, Wisconsin says:

    I have two bills from the same dentist. One dated 1999, another dated 2009. The one of 1999 show the price for sedative (a shot in the gum to numb it before drilling) cost $3. The second bill dated 2009, from the same dentist shows the price for a sedative at $78.

    And Rush Bimbo is calling Obama a Nazi, because he wants to kill the organized crime families that took over our health care system.

    I want to see Rush Bimbo get a tooth drilled without sedative. Seriously.

  118. curiouser says:

    Engrossing. Powerful. Wise. Thank you, AKM.

    And thanks, mudpups, for the deeply moving comments.

    While being vigilant against the misuse of the super-charged buzzwords, we must be equally vigilant to see a possible fascist-like agenda of some behind the fear-mongering and lies.

  119. Martha L. says:

    I appreciated your post AKM, I haven’t read through the comments but wanted to tell you that my father too was a P.O.W, only of the Japanese. He was a prisoner for 3.5 years. He used to shake his head and tell us girls (3 of us) that the shows (Hogan’s Heroes, there was another one, I can’t remember the name) were fantasies. That is about all we got out of him regarding the shows. He too revealed little of his time over there, bits and pieces. After he passed away, diaries were discovered with racy poems and MENUS! And, some of the writings were blocked out. He did tell us the story of the day the war ended – I guess that will be for another post, or book or something.

  120. bucsfan says:

    I really enjoy reading Leonard Pitts, who is a columnists for the Miami Herald. His most recent column also dealt with Obama being compared to Hitler and the Nazis. The piece starts out “I hope this column makes you sick”.
    I did not agree with the people who compared George Bush to Hitler. But the same right wing talking heads who called those who compared Bush to Hitler, Unpatriotic and Un-American, don’t have a problem doing that to President Obama. Somebody needs to drag all those people, from Limbaugh to the woman who got verbally smacked down by Barney Franks, into a room, tape their eyes open, and show them the pictures of what our soldiers found when they liberated concentration camps and POW camps. Or maybe they need to be sat down and listen to the stories from those who survived those camps, or liberated those camps, like Obama’s great uncle.

  121. strangelet says:

    @snoskred: Hogan’s Heroes was pure stupid sitcom. (Inspired, if you can believe it, by The Great Escape). A commenter earlier had a story that suggested that it was actually influenced by the govt to try to make Germans (now our allies) seem less threatening. Whether that was true or not, there was a tendency for military-based TV programs in those days to be sitcoms (cf, Sergeant Bilko). I always thought Hogan’s Heroes was stupid — I can hardly imagine what an actual ex-POW would think.

    M*A*S*H the TV program was, of course, based on the movie, which was — despite the Korean War setting — a metaphor for the then-raging war in Vietnam. When they said there was going to be a series, I was afraid it was gonna be Hawkeye’s Heroes. Boy, was I wrong. They obviously couldn’t do a TV series that was quite as frank and insane as the movie, but IMO it’s the best TV series ever.

  122. boodog says:

    AKM, imagine the reaction if you had written about the word they really meant to call the President, the n word. I think I would like to hear those stories too.

  123. Sher says:

    LisanTx Says:
    Like many of you, I’m living in a red area of a red state and this community feeds my soul.

    I’m in the same situation, Lisan. What part of Texas do you live in?

  124. LisanTx says:

    Incredible. Thank you, AKM. You have eloquently stated what so many of us feel, but have not verbalized.

    I’ve sent copies of this post and the link to as many media outlets as I can think of. I hope this post is shared all over the world.

    Like many of you, I’m living in a red area of a red state and this community feeds my soul.

  125. Pat says:

    I had a client for a portrait who had fled Eastern Germany with her Mother & Brother at age 11. She had had to identify her best girlfriend’s body after the Dresden FIrebombing. SHe recognized “THE RING ON HER FINGER,,,,,,,,,,,,that’s all that was left! SHe said he RUssians were much worse than the German Soldiers. WHile running across that noman’s land strip to freedom, a man was shot & killed running next to her. Her Father a reluctant German soldier, survived, they a were reunited after the war and she married an American soldier and came to NJ. She is one of the sweetest most purely good people I have ever had the pleasure to meet!

  126. Snoskred says:

    gruaud – there were two shows that were repeated on weekdays here while I was growing up – Hogans Heroes, and MASH. The difference between the two shows to me was enormous.

    I think the people behind Hogans Heroes missed a massive opportunity because if their show could have been more like MASH, and could have somehow made important points about war, and compassion for others, and life in general, the way MASH managed to..

    Hogans Heroes just seemed like trying to get cheap laughs to me, and I never found it funny. Yet MASH could have you laughing, then crying, then laughing again, and always seemed to make important points that people could take away with them and keep for a lifetime.

    I believe MASH was one of the most important TV shows I ever watched and because it was played over and over here for so many years in Australia, I think it changed the way so many people in this country think about war.

  127. boodog says:

    sauerkraut, you are right. All Germans were not nazis anymore than all whites were racist slave owners. I think we could probably go around the globe and find many cases of human on human violence, race against race. It ALL has to be stopped where ever it is uncovered, and we can’t do that if we keep up a kind of perpetual blaming long after the abuse has stopped. We need to heal each other, and when idiots call OUR President thoughtless, vile names, WE need to stand up to them.

  128. Pat says:

    My second step Father was a Captain in the Army when they invaded
    Normandy Beach, much beloved by his unit. He was shot, tearing his liver into many pieces. Somehow they ,managed to do surgery in those primative conditions, stitched his liver back together and he lived into his mid 80’s very happily married to my Mother.
    I watched Dr Sonjay Gupta’s Documentary on portable field units, extolling the vitrues of “modern health care” the myth. They aren’t doing anything much different than what happened in WWII!

  129. jojobo1 says:

    Jo Good idea about a continues scroll about opinion versus real news
    candy Knight I would not be in the least surprised if a lot of history is left out of each countries text books..My Dad died at 85 years old and still believe that the moon landing was a hoax.That it was filmed out west.I could not convince him otherwise even with the high jumps ect.
    cathy IN Texas you might be surprised at how many are blue in your state .I know of a few at any rate.I kind of think some people watch out for themselves with the gun or rather lack of gun control in Texas.Of course I guess Alaska is the same..I never realised until this year that in my state you can carry a gun as long as it is not concealed,other than LE of course.Who but some one with low self esteem wants to make themself look like a big man by doing that?

  130. gruaud says:

    You know…I despised Hogan’s Heroes, even as a kid.

    I knew even then that it was sick and wrong.

  131. deist says:

    I should correct myself– my neighbors said they and their friends thought it was great.

    I admired my neighbors for admitting how they fell for Hitler hook, line, and sinker.

  132. Pat says:

    I have many stories………….I went to Germany in the summer of 1955, 10 years afer the war through the sister school program by the American’s Friends Service. In my age group there were young men who had been forced into the HItler Junge, & were so grateful to the Americans for wining the war and setting them free. They are the basis for present day Germany’s swift reprisal against any neo nazi activity, & insistance on independant radio TV. ( 4 public stations) I spent a week in the shadow of the Peace Palace in The Hague, with International teens from many countries, We felt it was the hope for the world. Eleanor Roosevelt being the only woman on the committee got to write up most of the charter., Therefore I think John Bolton is a real JERK!
    I lived in NJ the Garden State home of Seabrook Farms, ( Owner was a Quaker)
    2000 of the interned Japanese Americans were hired to work there and there were about 1000, Eastern European refugees there as well. My high school class we was about 1/3 Japanese European, 1/2 wasp, & 1/3 freed and escaped slave families, and undercover Native Americansm, ( including my Gr Grandfather). Our Senior Program was titled “DIversity.” This country of ours today is a flat out tragedy!

  133. Geraldine says:

    Reading your blog over the past year has become part of my daily routine. Today was different – tears and a deep connection. Bless you AKM.

  134. deist says:

    I grew up with German neighbors who had been Hitler’s subjects. They all said the same thing– using 20/20 hindsight, later they realized the nazis had been terrible, but they all emphasized how it had seemed so right at the time. They said it was fun to go to the rallies. There was a huge national surge and euphoria. Everyone (other than the persecuted) thought it was great.

  135. Scott A. Shepler says:

    Painfully, but beautifully said. A posthumous “thank you” to your father for his courage and service to his country. It is a terrible irony to have the moral and ethical victories won by bravery and sacrifice diminished and trivialized by those who choose to cultivate and embrace fear and selfishness.

  136. Jane says:

    AKM – you made me cry. Beautifully written. Right on. Thank you.

  137. I get depressed with all the bs in politics but then I come here and find reassurance from all the “sane”, “normal”, “thinking”, “educated”, “informed” people that we aren’t all “crazy”. Thanks for keeping me sane and good nite to all.

  138. boodog says:

    I came back yet again to read more stories. I am amazed and impressed. What a rainbow of people and their histories. Sometimes we forget that every one of us has something important to bring to the mix; until the bigots and the selfish inspire someone like AKM to write a column that makes our heads explode, remembering histories and experiences and needing to share them. I will be mulling the stories over in my head for a long time..

  139. Bonefish says:

    AKM, thank you.

  140. IsyFleur says:


  141. I’m convinced the GOP is all about their “Party” and not what’s in the best interests of this country. They have lied, cheated and played dirty tricks far
    too long and they continue to do so. I just hope they are exposed for the dirty players they really are. I know Dems can be corrupt too but it seems that when they get caught they pay the consequences.

  142. jojobo1 says:

    AKM words fail me.A beautiful tribute to you father. I was born near he end of the war but because of the cold war and bomb shelters My mom would tell about me waking up screaming about the planes coming to bomb us. I can remember trying to find a safe place where the bombers would not see me as they flew to the nearest big city.
    Actongue I think people forget about all the German people who helped those in trouble escape to safety.They only remember the bad because that is what is put in our text books. How can we learn if the truth is not out there
    I agree It would be a real coup if KO read this article on his show and went on from there.

  143. leenie17 says:

    AKM –
    If you ever had any doubts about what an incredible impact your ‘simple little blog’ is making, just look at the comments written here today.

    I see so many names that I’ve never seen before – some long time lurkers and others who found this wonderful gathering of compassionate and passionate people only today. All 300+ of them were so moved by your words that they just had to share – some with their own stories and others with just a thank you for sharing yours.

    I am so proud to be a part of what an amazing community this mudflats family has become. It also gives me tremendous hope that, together, we can make this world just a little bit better. Thanks AKM, for inspiring us to become stronger, more thoughtful and more caring than we were yesterday.

  144. Mudbug says:

    Zig’s if your pop is stil l with us, tell him ‘thank you’. If he’s left us send my thanks on the winds. If only others knew what they were talking about.

  145. sauerkraut – My father left Russia with the retreating German army. Where he lived in Russia was under German occupation. He had to get out otherwise the Red Army would have hung him as a traitor, that’s how he ended up in Germany. Not all Germans were Nazi’s and not all Germans were bad. I feel sad for your grandfather because the Russians were cruel too. If he was lost in the Eastern Front and got caught as a prisoner of war, you can bet the Russians threw him in a gulag and that was as bad as the concentration camps.

  146. Les Gara says:

    The best column by anyone yet on the idocy of those who can spell Nazi, but aren’t smart enough to understand Nazi’s didn’t help people get medical coverage.

    As always – to inform public debate, learn from great columns like this, post here, and top it off by writing letters to the editor in your newspapers to get your points to the general public – because . . . . informed swing voters are effective swing voters. Les Gara (

  147. Sher says:

    What a touching piece. Thank you AKM. I immediately e-mailed the editor of my local paper to see if he would run it. I live in a very red part of a very red state (West Texas), so we’ll see.

  148. kiksadi50 says:

    Poignant & well said. It really is so disrespectful when people use words like, “fascism, socialism, naziism”, so easily, & with such obvious ignorance of the words context, history & meaning. I am worn out by the viciousness & lack of morals in American politics, & politicians today. I never thought I would live to see a time that we would have an African-American president, but I also never thought that I would live to see a time when people would be allowed to carry loaded guns into a town hall meeting, where the president is speaking. What is the matter with this country? Have we lost our collective minds? Allowing politicians like sara palin to blatantly distort truths & spread lies, to the extent that the president actually has to spend time refuting them is absurd. What a waste of time & energy. The clock is ticking. Obamma needs to ignore the GOP & other opposition & buckle up & get health care with a public option passed. Otherwise, he is not going to get re-elected & think about some of the republicans who are lining up for a presidential run. Sara Palin is a joke to many people, but I don’t think she or newt or limbaugh are funny anymore. I am frightened. Crazies are being allowed to carry guns into public rallies & openly call the president a ‘Nazi’. Think about that kind of behavior under a regime that encourages that kind of thinking & behavior. Did we learn nothing from the Bush yrs?

  149. Deirdre says:

    Brilliant essay.
    I am also tired of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk flaming the fires of stupidity and hatred. I am saddened everyday to have to explain this to my children. Once again, thank you for your eloquence.

  150. Nicki says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. My grandfather was a photographer for the air force at the end of WWII, and I dearly wish I could have known more of his stories. Nothing angers me more than what you described in your last paragraph. It’s not a joke, what Hitler did, and comparing him and his actions to our current situation is nothing less than ludicrous. Thank you for sharing so concisely what so many of us are feeling!

  151. To bubbles:

    My parents taught us to look at a person’s heart and not their skin color or religion. My mother and father always said there is good and bad in all races.

  152. sauerkraut says:

    My mother’s father was a Nazi… she never spoke about him. He disappeared on the Eastern Front. I find the use of “nazi” for political purposes to be particularly distasteful and reprehensible.

    and it is an ouchie when I get bounced from the chat. …

  153. I’m touched by all the personal stories here. I was born in Germany after the war and emigrated with my family in 1951. My mother, a refugee from Bulgaria and my father, a refugee from Russia, felt the United States was the best country in the world to live in. My father despised the communists and Stalin. His father was sent to Siberia twice. The second time he was sent back they never heard from him again. My mother’s family left Russia after the revolution and when the Russians were advancing into Bulgaria they had to flee otherwise they would have been targeted by the Reds. I grew up on stories of the war and the hardships it caused. I’m very much aware of the holocaust and the horrors of the camps. There is no Doctor Mengele in charge of a death panel we have insurance companies doing that. Ignorant people like Sarah Palin are playing with fire when they ignite their base. I’m afraid one of her unbalanced gun-toting fans will do something foolish like what happened to Dr. Tiller. I didn’t realize how many crazies and ignorant people we have living in the good old USA.

  154. Rob in Ca says:

    AKM this is the finest thing you have ever written here.

    Thank you so much.

  155. sauerkraut says:

    For those folks who like to believe that only the Nazis were amazingly cruel… consider the case of the 76-y.o. Baltimore man who was assaulted and carjacked while fishing… his attackers? Well, one liked to think he is a sexy nazi… to the point of calling himself “Hilter.”

    Here in our country, a senior citizen cannot even go fishing without being attacked by nazi-wannabes.

  156. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    And what do all the Jewish folks in this country think about this Nazi name calling that I am also angry about, tired of, and disgusted with?

    Heart rending post, kind of leaves me speechless. Sometimes you have so much to say you just can’t say anything at all.

  157. The Right Reverend says:

    This is deeply, deeply touching and must have taken a great deal of strength to share something so personal. My fondest wishes to you and your family. While it breaks my heart, it strengthens my resolve to stand up to the nonsense from the ignorant opposition. We must not allow that sort of ugliness to gain control here. Thank you, bless you and yours, and thanks to your father for his sacrifice and service. I too hope this goes viral–not to dilute your family’s history and your father’s suffering, but so that all (including those who throw around the term Nazi and Hitler too freely) may learn from it, and be humbled, and show compassion.

  158. prisonernumbersix says:

    Re 211: bubbles,

    I am sad to say that you are absolutely right. This is less about health care reform than about our President, My President! The saddest truth is that the gullible fools that make all the noise are being duped by smarter, but more devious factions that guide these folks to act against their self-interests.

    “Follow the money.”

    I do have one issue with your post, bubbles. WE are your people (we Mudflatters, at the least). Look closely at us and you will see many colors, many nationalities, and, most important, intellect, sensibility, and compassion.

    When these people look at color first, it is an implied license to look no further. This is not right! We have a duty to bring the truth to light.

    Think, then act!

  159. Professor Geezer says:

    Great essay. When will there be a collection of your essays in a book? I hope it’s soon.

  160. Nina Trick says:

    AKM, you have struck a powerful chord. And it is a chord that should not have to be strung. I hope this post goes viral. You make so much sense every single day and that is why you have so many devotees.

  161. walker says:

    Brilliant. Thanks.

  162. Donna says:

    I am an observant Jew. The past presidential election was the first time that I felt personally threatened. Sarah Palin, her rhetoric, and the reaction of the crowds at the McCain/Palin rallies, touched something primal in me–and I truly was afraid.

    While I was (am) very happy that our current president was elected, the fact that people will casually invoke the Nazi name and symbol is almost as terrifying. I understand and revere the First Amendment. But I would like to shut down the people like Limbaugh, who so casually manipulate the racist and anti-Semitic feelings of their supporters. I know it can’t and won’t happen–but I wish it could.

  163. Grassrooter says:

    Thank you for the reminders: 1) what it’s like to be free, and 2) why I love this blog.

  164. OrphanAnnie says:

    Thank you for reminding us what fascism is really about and for sharing this story of your father. My heart breaks for the inhumanity of man.

  165. justafarmer says:

    thank you AKM and the other mudpups for the personal stories.

  166. txindygirl says:

    AKM, thank you for posting this. an ugly subject, beautifully written.

    the other liberal at work (actually there are about 5 of us in a department of 25 – an embarrassment of riches here in texas!) and i were talking about this issue a few days ago. we are dumbstruck at how “mainstream” right wing types are letting the fringe talk for them. hardly anyone speaks up against them. makes me wonder if the fringe is really a fringe any more. fox news is wildly popular and so is limbaugh. it ain’t just the fringe boosting those ratings. as a result, i also wonder if my right-leaning friends/acquaintences are people i can respect. i have a very heavy heart about that.

    i was a middle schooler who took a minorities class as a history elective. i still remember having read bury my heart at wounded knee. and for our final grade we each had to write our own “i have a dream speech.” education matters. beware: that’s another front on which the crazy fringe is attacking. polite silence will not win the day.

    and zyggy @ 270, you are absolutely right. “nazi” is only a substitute for the n-word. at the bottom of it all, racism, when not overt, has gone into the closet.

  167. Physicsmom says:

    Powerful. Amazing. Heartbreaking.

    Thank you, AKM, for the much-needed reminder of our humanity and the danger of sinking into the unfathomable depths of inhumanity into which we are all too capable of slipping.

    A masterpiece.

  168. psminidivapa says:

    yes, made the connections to SP/last election, which creeped me out. The wrong people are shouting “Nazi,” in my opinion. (Not that I WOULD EVER, EVER, EVER STOOP SO LOW)

    BTW: mla iup pa Indiana University of PA in PA????? Just checkin’

  169. sandra in oregon says:

    Not much to add. I am humbled by the number of remembrances posted. I have always been fascinated by the Hitler movement and how it took hold. This has given me the impetus to write on blogs and to try to counter misunderstandings.

    I have visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the WWII Museum in New Orleans. These are important to carry on the knowledge to children not yet born.

    We must never forget and we should remember that ordinary humans can make the world better or worse.

  170. BuffaloGal says:

    OT but wanted to say that chat room is open and alive and well

  171. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Mag the Mick Says:
    I know I speak for many Mudpuppies when I say “good for you”!

    Send those letters and report back if you will because we’ll be waiting to hear.

  172. Deni says:

    I am angry every time I see one of these stupid fools parroting the wingnut nonsense. These people have NO CONCEPT of what our greatest generation survived. It is up to us, the children of that generation, to NEVER let the wingnuts turn their sacrifice into political props. And that is exactly what the rightwing noise machine is doing. They are demeaning those Americans that survived what they are now using for political buzzwords. It is a national disgrace.

  173. Mag the Mick says:

    Howdy, all you fabulous mudpuppies. I am sending my “Letter to McCain” to the Tucson Daily Star and the Arizona Republic. (Wish me luck with that one!)

    I want to add that before my dad retired for the last time, he was a curator at a museum in Mesa AZ that exhibited fighter and bomber planes from around the world. One day, over the Messerschmidt, he met “Gerhardt”, an old Luftwaffe pilot. They became close friends, and “Gerhardt” came to dad’s funeral years later, and read a beautiful poem by the English poet Stephen Spender. Decency and honor DID survive that war. Let’s all hope it survives this current conflict.

    My thanks and very best wishes to everyone who has posted here.

  174. the problem child says:

    My grandfather was at the Normandy Beach landings, but never spoke of it. I don’t know if that is just because we rarely saw him, or some other reason.

    I do believe that he felt he was fighting for both the US and France though; he was born in the US but his parents emigrated from France. He was fortunate enough to visit his ancestral home, though in the saddest of circumstances, and meet some of his distant relatives. That is what he spoke of — how grateful they were to see the Allied Forces, and to have a family member among their liberators.

  175. Maureen says:

    I thought Barney Frank summed it up well, but your post got to the core of my feelings. I often can’t explain why I believe what I do. You expressed it. And this is the first time real tears came while reading your post. Thank you for all the hard work you do.

  176. Anneta says:

    Thank you.

  177. mlaiuppa says:

    psminidivapa. Have you noticed any other similarities between your studies and say….Sarah Palin?

    You know. I noticed some of the same characteristics in the last election and before. But I hesitated to make any connections to Fascism or WWII because it’s not “polite” and would be called by those on the receiving end as incendiary, name calling, sour grapes, etc.

    But I wonder if our very politeness and discomfort in the subject would allow it to….happen again.

    We are supposed to “never forget”. But I wonder if we will because remembering is so painful.

    Is it why we seemed so doomed to repeat and repeat?

  178. Women Who Run With The Wolves says:

    AKM….thank you for your father’s story. Amazing how far we have come, and yet how far backwards we have stepped. Thank you.

  179. emrysa says:

    excellent post.

    I enjoy reading your blog; you really do have great writing talent.


  180. Blooper says:

    Oh My. That is the first post that has ever brought tears to my eyes.

    Powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  181. seattlefan says:

    opps…should read “to the “less informed” people by those who…..”

  182. seattlefan says:

    AKM, thank you for sharing this beautifully written, heart wrenching story. I agree with many others here that this should go viral. I’m tired of all the mis-informed hate speech and name calling like everyone else here. What angers me most is that some of it is spread to the “less informed” people by who actually know better but want to stir the pot. Something needs to change. If everyone could read your diary here it just might might make a difference.

    Thanks again for sharing such a personal account and making it pertinent to what is happening right now. I’m sure your dad is proudly smiling down on you.

    Please keep on doing what you do. Your writing is exquisite.

  183. zyggy says:

    They are using the word “nazi” in place of the other word that starts with “n”. This under current of racism disgusts me.

  184. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    My plea to all, please dont use a capital “n” with that word. Use lower case.

    Thanks for helping to make sure that word gets as little respect as possible!

  185. Jeanette says:

    I visited Dachau prison camp back in 1998 while to Germany during the Bosnia campaign. When I walked inside the gates, looked inside the barracks with the rows upon rows of stacked bunk beds, saw the stockpiles of items taken from the Jews who had been interred and murdered, and finally walked around inside the crematoriums I was surprised by the images that entered my head. I didn’t see goose stepping Nazis screaming Hail Hitler. I didn’t see SS troops with their skull emblems. In my mind I saw ordinary faces contorted with fear and hatred. What I felt emanating from every weathered plank, each strand of barbed wire and charred fire brick was fear, anger, distrust, hatred, and sadness.

    For years after my mother explained to me what was the holocaust, I wracked my brain trying to understand what could have compelled the German people to follow along with the Nazis. I gained a glimpse of understanding when I counter protested at a skin head rally in Georgia, and I vaguely comprehended the answer whenever I heard white people malign black people.

    My search for understanding ended when I visited Dachau. I felt rather than saw the enemy in the horrible desolation contained within its barbed wire confines. The symbol the enemy chooses to wear is insignificant. They change through the ages, but the emotions they manipulate in others do not: fear, jealousy, anger, greed.
    We should be vigilante to spot those who would manipulate those emotions, and never discount their efforts. We must not take lightly any attempt by any person or group of persons to dehumanize another.

    My my most heartfelt thanks to all of the older commentators who have responded to Mudflats excellent piece. Your stories are precious and deeply appreciated.

  186. Lee323 says:

    Excellent post, AKM.

    The dark theme of “Nazis” used by the right-wing to describe President Obama and his administration says more about them than it does about the President…..their fear, anger, cynicism, selfishness, frustration at thwarted political dominance, and willful ignorance.

    Normal civil debate serves neither their purposes nor expresses their emotional underpinnings.. They have to resort to dark comparisons and violent metaphors to express themselves….”socialist, communist, fascist, anti-Christ, racist, Nazi, ‘watering the tree of liberty,’ ‘death panels’ ” etc….. instead of honestly debating the issues and policies.

    One of the problems with this type of language (beyond the obvious) is that each outrageous comparison soon loses the ability to satisfy the psychological and neurochemical emotional demands of rage etc. In effect, these people become desensitized and have to ratchet up the rhetoric to achieve the same effect.

    The Nazi-pushers are actually pushing the envelope. When they eventually run out of symbolic rhetoric that adequately expresses their emotions or achieves the desired shock effect, the door to physical violence opens wider.

  187. sjk from the belly of the plane says:

    Awesome article. My uncle was in the Battle of the Bulge and he never spoke of
    nor were we allowed to ask.

    I wont even capitalize the “n” in nazi. It doesnt deserve that level of respect.

  188. not that sarah says:

    Always on point, AKM. Necessary reading. So well written.

    My Grandpa fought in WWII, lost his hearing there.

    He doesn’t speak about it very much.

    But I know it breaks his heart to hear this President so causally referred to as a Nazi, as it does mine.

    I won’t bother saying what he thought about the Bush administration, but suffice it to say that I bought him a calendar of the countdown until Bush was out of office:-)

    We should never forget, and we must not let this kind of casual slur pass by, especially when our elected officials are participating in it.

    You inspired me to write my republican senators and urge them to denounce this.

    Thank you….

  189. Irishgirl says:

    Nite all, it has been an emotional day.

  190. Pete Kreitchet says:

    The message of this great post applies to both sides of the political debate. Have we forgotten so quickly the Hitler mustaches drawn on images of Bush? Was it so long ago that swastikas adorned signs in protest to Guantanamo? Us liberals are just as guilty (if not more so!) as these conservatives are now of using such deplorable words and tactics. But I’m glad you shed light on how wrong and hateful these words and images are.

  191. irina says:

    My father in law dropped bombs on Japanese battleships in World War Two
    (how come we never stop to think how our historical timelines are always defined by wars ?) and napalm on Korean civilians in the Korean War. His brother flew gliders (yes, gliders), behind German lines as part of intelligence recon missions. The children of that generation are the ones who were mind-swiped by The Bomb. We were the ones hiding under our desks from The End of Everything. One friend of mine says that every child in his school was issued dog tags ‘for identifying their bodies after the nuclear attack’.

    I was seven during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Children know so much more on an elemental level than adults give them credit for. At recess that rainy October, the boys built fallout shelters out of legos and the girls made clothespin doll families to hide in the shelters. Younger generations do not have that same imprinting. I do believe that we chose to be imprinted with that information at that age for a reason. What that reason is, is still unclear
    (interesting that only swapping two letters results in ‘nuclear’) to me.

    I have been reading up on syphilis since my daughter won (!) a book on the Pox from the pathology department at her medical school. It is a controversial book because it discusses many historical figures who very likely suffered from both syphilis and the toxic ‘cures’ (mercury, arsenic, etc.) used to quell it in the preantibiotic era. It is astounding to me how fast the very idea of syphilitic infection fell off the radar after World War Two.
    In retrospect, I do believe that my father in law was suffering from tertiary syphilis, which causes many physical and mental disorders, by the time I met him. The book, called POX, closes with a long chapter on Adolf Hitler and the evidence that he was syphilitic. Something to think about . . .

  192. Vickie Wells says:

    Beautifully said and written. I am tired of it too! Please post this on Huffington Post so all can read.

  193. tlgeiger62 says:

    Thank you AKM. That was just so moving I am short of words. Thank you for sharing that. I hope you’ll post it on HuffPost. More need to read it.

  194. Joanna says:

    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

  195. russellsq says:

    Last year my wife and I walked thru the front gates of Auschwitz in a cold january rain. 6 hours later we sat in a warm cafe in Krackow and wept like lost children. AKM, in a very small way I understand. When I left the camp, I asked my beautiful Polish guide, Pauletta, who lost her grandparents in the camps, what I should do now that I had come to Poland and walked in to this death factory. Her answer was so simple, “you are a teacher, go back and teach them”, and so I do. Every student who takes my acting classes is asked to experience the plays and diarys from that time. WE MUST NEVER FORGET!

  196. bpilgrim says:

    Well said.

  197. ENOUGHwiththetrainwreck says:

    why is it that the crowd that misuses the term nazi is not the same crowd that mourns the deaths in darfur and the use of rape as a weapon of war today?

    because they are not connected to reality – just hateful talk. quick jabs of powerful words that cause extreme discomfort in others.

    i remember only ghostly whispers of war. the older women in the family worried about their men. not knowing how to help them be at peace.

    like Uncle Louie who lived in a low-lit room playing his mandolin and cried uncontrollably when he heard loud noises…..from the time he came home from war until the day he died in his 80’s.

    i would hide in the hall to hear him play because he would just go blank when people were around.

    i cry for the women who suffer this very minute raped as an act of war even by their own soldiers and then shunned and forgotten by a culture that is in tatters.

    and here, while planning on how to reduce medical costs and how to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care, a very human conversation that should be at the kitchen table of america – this is where the words of War are used to diminish? to rally dissent?

    the souls of those who died do not deserve to be so disrespected.

    nor do the ones that survived.

    health care reform – who would think that those three words would cause such hateful imagery and mindless namecalling?

    three words that should mean compassion and forethought to everyone.

  198. Diane from Arkansas says:

    Bravo AKM!
    I haven’t read all of the posts, but feel compelled to point out that what we are seeing now in this country- the attempt to divide Americans and stoke hatred and push the “need” to “take our country back” in those unable to think and see for themselves is directly out of the playbook of those political and corporate industry giants who are members or practicioners of the agenda of “THE FAMILY”. “The Family” has been infamously unmasked by the scandals associated with C Street sexual icons; Ensign and Sanford most recently.

    PLEASE, all of you…read “The Family” by Jeff Scarlet. Watch Rachel when you can. These two societal heroes have shone the spotlight on these dangerous fools. In the first 30 pages I discovered one of my own Senators Mark Pryor is associated with them. I am sickened and heartbroken. Mark’s dad, David Pryor is well known for his advocacy for seniors and dedicated years in government. He is a kind and gentle man. Mark, however, is hard to warm up to…now I know one reason why. AND, he’s a Democrat. Hypocrisy knows no party, apparently.

    The Family proclaims themselves “chosen by God”. They glorify power and hold in high esteem and study historical figures who gained inordinate amounts of power and terrorized millions: Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini to see how they gathered that power. These aholes take frequent trips abroad as US Senators and Congressmen (women aren’t worthy of inclusion in their club) and negotiate with tyrants, using their titles as representitives of America to push their Family agenda and recruit these despots. But, before they will negotiate they make the recruit listen to an hour’s worth of indoctrination about their cult. There are hundreds of these guys in government, the oil industry, health care, etc.

    They are also the sponsors and coordinators of the National Prayer Breakfast that Obama famously refused to attend. GOOD ON HIM!

    This “take my country back” schtick is THEIRS. They are using the example of Hitler’s agenda for power. Worked then, should work now. Right?

    This connection has not been made between these freaks and the current healthcare debate (I use the term very loosley) as far as I know and I’m now starting to see it foment up in the Climate Bill conversation.

    AKM’s post on getting virally involved is prescient. We must make our voices heard and flood the emails of anyone in media who will listen.

  199. Maris_38 says:

    As others have already said – I think this is your finest piece of work yet. You are an amazing writer – and just keep getting better and better.

    You have given voice to so much of what I feel, with far better words than I possess. The axiom in debating used to be that if you had to make your point by comparing your subject to Hitler or the Nazis – you automatically lost. Too bad it doesn’t seem to have that same automatic “fail” in relation to getting media coverage.

  200. hrhsofiaeq says:

    AKM, thank you for writing these words. Sadly, this crazyness has been slipping into our world for awhile now. I was first angered by all the comparison of the Iraq War with World War II. I felt it diminished our memories of a truly rightous war, a time when our country came together to fight the Nazis.

    It seems to me that some people are just in love with the idea of being heros. Some people today want to be just like John Wayne, sashying in to save just about everyone. The movies, of course, are fictions and don’t really portray the reality of what went on.

    I only hope that reason will prevail. I believe that thinking people are becoming tired of “news” shows that just present theater instead of facts.
    The first step would be for the media to stop giving the crazys air time. If they want a few minutes of fame, there are other venues.

    I have hope that the internet and people like AKM who blog about truth just might get us past this era also.

  201. K.B. says:


    Thank you for writing this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  202. Star says:

    Thanks AKM…Great post…I agree this needs to go viral..

  203. honestyinGov says:

    I posted this on the Open thread but it is relevant as it relates to the words and the speech that the right continue to speak in the way of ‘death panels ‘ to try to paint our President in a negative way.

    Betsy McCaughey, who was on John Stewart just last night, has resigned from the Medical Company she was on the Board with. As reported in Salon.

    “A release put out Friday afternoon by Cantel Medical says that the company received McCaughey’s letter of resignation on Thursday. The letter, Cantel Medical says, “stated that she was resigning to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest during the national debate over healthcare reform.”

  204. psminidivapa says:

    AKM, I can only ditto what everyone else has said about this moving piece of writing. I agree that this story needs to be shared by millions.

    I’m a student of the Holocaust. I have been studying the Holocaust, the political events leading up to the Holocaust, and the rise of Nazi Germany and Hitler for a few years. My husband, a colleague and I have even traveled to Krakow, Poland, and made a video at Auschwitz which we show at diversity conferences at local schools. One of my “missions in life” is to educate as many young people as possible about the events leading up to the Holocaust so that this never happens again.

    Hearing people yell “Nazi” and “Heil Hitler” at meetings and seeing my President’s picture being defaced to resemble Hitler has actually reminded me of what I have learned about how the Nazi party was able to convince an entire nation to follow their horrible agenda – by intimidation, by appealing to “patriotism,” by using political “buzz words,” by spreading lies as facts, by convincing Germans that they should get “their country back,” by appealing to prejudice and racism, but mostly, by spreading fear. Any student of the time period can make the same connections.

    In my lessons, I urge young people to be aware when ANYONE begins to use these tactics to push forth an agenda – they need to make sure their “crap detectors” are up and running. I believe that education and awareness are the keys to preventing history repeating itself.

    Having said all of that, I believe that those people with the “Nazi shouting” are the most ignorant and uneducated of our society. It is up to the rest of us – INCLUDING OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS – to assure these people that their ignorant and insulting ramblings will not be tolerated in our society. We can have a civil debate about the direction our country is moving in without calling each other names and without referring to a horrible time in human history.

    We need to keep on this!

    (Forgive my paraphrasing I don’t have the exact quote in front of me)

    First they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak up because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak up because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was noone left to speak for me.

    Anyway, on a sort of different note, re Hogan’s Heroes: I had a professor at college who was actually a writer for the series. He worked for the “propaganda” department of the CIA at the time and was charged with writing a TV comedy series that would put the Germans in a “good light” (lovable, zany, not cruel) and would put the Russians in a “bad light” (where did the Germans’ fear being sent? The Russian front!!!) It was a Cold War thing. He also wrote for “Rocky and Bullwinkle” (hence, Boris and Natasha being the bad guys) It was all about convincing the American people that our “friends” in WW2 were now our “enemies,” and vice versa. Just some timely Cold War trivia for ya!

  205. bubbles says:

    my father told me this story when i was a teen. he said when he came to new york on leave in december in 1945, he was on his to see his baby for the first time. he and a buddy stopped at a bar on w34st in manhattan for a drink before they parted, he on his way on the ‘a’ train to harlem. the bartender served them. they had their drink. they paid. on their way out they heard the sound of breaking glass. they turned around and saw the white patrons grinning. he and his buddy left. my father wanted to see his daughter. it was more important to him than killing every one of them. right then and right there. but i tell you, my brothers and sister pups that was the last time a white man laughed at him and lived to tell the story….b

  206. phoebe says:

    “Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.” Kurt Vonnegut.
    The racist wingnuts are looking crazier & crazier to the rest of the world…..let’s just be patient. Easy does it with gun talk etc.



  207. JS in Chicago says:

    AKM – I was so moved by this story of your father’s experience in the war, and the insight it has given you into one of the darkest chapters in modern history. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    I am a child of holocaust survivors. My parents survived three different concentration camps between them, including Auschwitz, while almost all of their immediate and extended family were murdered by the Nazis. My mother watched as her own parents were thrown into the line of people to be disintected in the “showers”, otherwise known as gas chambers. I grew up in a family of ghosts, mourning the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who’s love I would never know.

    As I watch what is happening now in this country that my parents were so proud to call their new home, I realize just how little it takes to ‘hypnotize’ people into believing just about anything. The combination of fear and ignorance is a very powerful force. It is nothing new, but in a healthy society these people remain in the fringes, where they are tolerated as long as they do not pose a threat to the community at large. My parents were not particularly concerned about the controversy in the late 70’s when the neo-Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, because they saw that group as nothing more than a few “punks” who had no standing whatsoever in society.

    What is most disconcerting about the current situation is the affirmation and legitimacy being given to today’s punks by established elements of society. When a major political party and mainstream news outlets regard their activities as a “point of view” to be considered in the debate, it is not longer just about freedom of speech. While I hope we will be able to look back on this time as a learning experience, we should never underestimate the effect that money and power can have on propelling fringe groups and “useful idiots’ into the mainstream of society.

    Unfortunately, history does have a way of repeating itself, often disguised in a different package, by those desperate for something to cling to or someone to blame. The real Nazis did not start out with real power, but as rabble-rousers with a false message that made weak people feel strong. Let’s make sure today’s rabble-rousers are not emboldened any further by a false sense of legitimacy.

  208. Suchanut says:

    AKM – wow. you’ve rendered me speechless. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with the world.

  209. pearl89 says:

    What a beautifully written article. I am sitting here with tears in my eye and goose bumps on my arms. My dad went through some of the same experiences during WWII. He rarely talked about the war and the horrors he saw. He, too, was at the Battle of the Bulge but was not captured. I remember when I was a child how he would wake up screaming in the night. I was too little then to understand that he was relieving his war night after night in his dreams.

    Till this day we are still trying to find why he received a Purple Heart and a bronze star. He only ever mentioned a few things about the war. One thing he mentioned about the war was a truce called between the Americans and the Germans one Christmas Eve. How the soldiers on both sides laid down their weapons for a few hours and Christmas carols could be heard across the battlefield…some in English and some in German. He also mentoned spending days in a foxhole with soldies who had been killed. I cannot imagine the horrors he must have seen.

    The right is so free and downright cavalier in their use of terms that represented the very worst that human nature can offer, if we are not ever vigilant. It is a shame that they chose to use this form of rhetoric, reducing it to a slogan on a sign. Shame, on them.

    Unfortunately, my dad died before I was old enough to realize the significance of writing down the stories he told…but in my heart he is still one of the greatest generation.

  210. antiAnti says:

    my comment at August 21st, 2009 at 12:43 PM – went to moderation – can’t figure out why!

    ANYWAY, I tried to talk a little about my dad’s POW experiences. I totally agree with AKM’s post.

  211. Thank you for sharing your father’s story with us. I can’t stop thinking of the young soldier (who lost his mind) and was shot when he climbed to the very top of the fence. The cruelity…

  212. amabo08 says:

    On July 5th my second granddaughter was born and was named after a Battleship that was sunk by a Uboat during WWII- Rowan’s greatgrandfather was scheduled to be aboard the USS Rowan = mother nature intervened and he was given a special leave so that he could be with his wife for the birth of his son. AKM this may not be a story laced with the same saddness as what so many brave American men and women lived through but as I read your post I kept seeing Rowan and her chubby cheeks and legs and hearing her crys. I know how important it is to remember those who suffered because of Hitler such an evil man. In today’s world I see the religious rights wing of the Republican Party crossing the line day after day with such hurtful and incitieful words. They have crossed many gates to achieve their form of evil but I know that they will not cross the gate of St Peter for they are vile lying and hateful. The gates of Hell will be ready for each and everyone of them

  213. CO almost native says:

    Thank you, AKM, for honoring your father and sharing his ordinary-person-doing-extraordinary-deeds with us.

    The political use of Hitler, Nazi, and other related words is not new; however, it does have a darker tone when used to refer to Obama. The lobbyists and politicians who encourage the fear and hatred that is spilling over at town hall meetings and rallies do a grave disservice; we need to have an honest conversation about health care reform and the other difficult problems facing our country.

  214. Freakout in Kansas says:

    153 anadventurer Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    Here is my question:
    If I bring one of my guns and wear armor to the next local rally (standing on the progressive side of course) with the word PROGRESSIVE where my name tag would go…Will that hurt the “cause” or send a message?

    I was thinking about dressing up as a clown at my congresswoman’s townhall on the 25th and wearing my guns. My plan was to notify the local TV stations so I could hopefully get interviewed and say “I have no thoughts or ideas, I’m just another clown with a gun.” My point being, of course, how ridiculous these people are.

    I’ve checked with the police and they said it was OK, but I wouldn’t be able to go inside the building because they have “no firearms” posted on the door where the event is going to be held.

    My other thought is to just go dressed as a clown and then ask her some really tough questions…can you imagine hordes of clowns descending on Rethuglican townhalls across the nation? It’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re arguing with a clown!

    Where I used to work the partners were all huge Rethugs and they brought her (Lynn Jenkins) to town to for a fund raising dinner during the election. Nobody RSVP’d so they bribed everyone at work with dinner if they would attend (about 60 people). There was a Q&A after her speech and I was the only one who asked any questions. She didn’t expect any and got quite flustered. It also exposed my liberal tendencies and surprise! I was “let go” shortly thereafter.

  215. Todd Palin says:

    153 anadventurer Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    Here is my question:
    If I bring one of my guns and wear armor to the next local rally (standing on the progressive side of course) with the word PROGRESSIVE where my name tag would go…Will that hurt the “cause” or send a message?

    I was thinking about dressing up as a clown at my congresswoman’s townhall on the 25th and wearing my guns. My plan was to notify the local TV stations so I could hopefully get interviewed and say “I have no thoughts or ideas, I’m just another clown with a gun.” My point being, of course, how ridiculous these people are.

    I’ve checked with the police and they said it was OK, but I wouldn’t be able to go inside the building because they have “no firearms” posted on the door where the event is going to be held.

    My other thought is to just go dressed as a clown and then ask her some really tough questions…can you imagine hordes of clowns descending on Rethuglican townhalls across the nation? It’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re arguing with a clown!

    Where I used to work the partners were all huge Rethugs and they brought her (Lynn Jenkins) to town to for a fund raising dinner during the election. Nobody RSVP’d so they bribed everyone at work with dinner if they would attend (about 60 people). There was a Q&A after her speech and I was the only one who asked any questions. She didn’t expect any and got quite flustered. It also exposed my liberal tendencies and surprise! I was “let go” shortly thereafter.

  216. Cathy in Texas says:

    180 Hamlet Mills
    Re You Tube
    I have ideas and thoughts but no technical experience although my husband and I have done 2 family videos with still photos and music. Both were touching but not professional.
    It takes so little to start with an idea and then let others run with it. I can envision Steven Spielberg, Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman or many other celebrities reading both the post and the letter to McCain. You can “dream big” when ideas are being created. You have to start with ideas and go from there. Maybe Shannon Moore has some connections for resources? Again, if funding is a problem, we just need to “ask and ye shall receive”. I for one would make a contribution to get this important message out.
    Many have mentioned sending it to the White House. I don’t trust my ability to copy it but there is a way to send emails as I have sent them before.
    If I keep thinking about this post, I may just have to enlist the spouses help and put something together. Just wondering if permission is needed? Spouse is both computer and video capable. My skills only come in the ideas and production.

  217. pdx mb says:

    @ #52 laurie: I sent your mayor an email. As an Oregonian, I think handing the keys to Blowhard Beck reflects poorly on all PNWers. I told the mayor that–very respectfully. Thanks for pointing it out.

  218. Forty Watt says:

    This may have already been said as it will take me a while to read through all the thoughtful, moving posts that deserve to be read slowly. I just want to say, AKM you are a daughter very worthy of such a father.

  219. Ennealogic says:

    I do not know how you will top this post, AKM.

    Like so many others I am stunned by the impact of your words on my computer screen, and like so many others, my own family’s stories are brought back into focus. It is simply inadequate to thank you for sharing your history. You have managed to say so much with so few words about the insanity that swirls around us, bubbling up from some ugly foul depths in the human psyche. The willingness to call someone Hitlerian is born of a shameful obliviousness to history and an embarrassing lack of acknowledgment that there can be true, willful evil made manifest, and that our current administration’s plans for health care/insurance reform is nowhere near that threshold.

    I’ve become jaded over the last few years, jaded and blunted and dulled by the obscene rhetoric of those who scream words intended only to incite. I see the people carrying pictures and signs and yet while I shake my head, I don’t let it touch me deeply. I could not stand to let it into me.

    My real father returned from WWII disabled with a crippled hand. One of my earliest recollections is that my mother eagerly looked for the monthly disability check in my name, because I was his daughter. I never learned the whole story because he became an alcoholic and in spite of my mother’s belief that she could change him, it became apparent she could not, and so she divorced him when I was only one year old, and we never spoke of him.

    My adopted Dad also served during WWII, only he was stationed in Alaska! I have a picture of him and his buddies atop a very snow-covered crest. Both my dads are now gone, and at this moment I fully regret never having had the ability (in my real father’s case) or the interest (in my adopted Dad’s case) to find out more about what they did and what it did to them.

    One more thing – the comments here, today on this post, are incredible. AKM, not only have you demonstrated beyond any doubt how worthy you are of the Blogger’s Choice award and the scholarship to Netroots Nation, you have enabled and nurtured a community of thoughtful, caring, intelligent and extraordinary people. I am more proud than ever to be a mudpuppy.

  220. Irishgirl says:

    I meant Colibrimoon.

  221. Bones AK says:

    Don’t know what to say, hard to see the keyboard thru the tears. (I have to look to type). Going to take a break for awhile, drive around, get some coffee see a friend settle my thoughts will be back later.

    AKM you are a treasure.

  222. Irishgirl says:


    Yes, InJuneau, I really think it best to just ignore her idiotic and whored statements on FB. She has done enough damage.

  223. bubbles says:

    ******injuneau***** you are absolutely right. every time we click on a story about that sorry excuse for a human being, we give her power.

  224. boodog says:

    Bubbles! Put down your lead pipe!!!
    I think we all know exactly what they would call him if they could get away with it. I hope you are wrong about a race war, but I have not lived a lifetime in your shoes. I can imagine that I would be very angry. I know it will get very scary before it gets better. Sounds like all us peace lovers are being driven to do what is not natural for us, fight. Lets keep the weapon of choice our words. Words, as you can see from everybody’s stories here, are pretty powerful.
    Now, I really need to get back to work!! remember…!!

  225. InJuneau says:

    BooBooBear (@201)–I don’t think she was the first to use it (it may have been Betsy McCaughey who was just on The Daily Show), but she certainly spun it, didn’t she? Now, if everyone would just stop listening and passing on what the crazy woman (or her minions/ghostwriters/whatever) write, we’ll all be a lot better off!

  226. lynnrockets says:

    That was a very moving post.

  227. Colibrimoon says:

    I am in tears, thank you for this powerful piece. Once again, you are able to put into words what so many of us of thinking. I can tell that the conference was a good experience.

  228. CRFlats says:

    We must NEVER forget. Nor trivialize history’s horrors. It is how we honor the legacy of those who died, and those who fought to protect what we now enjoy. Thank you, AKM, for a timely reminder.

  229. AntiAnti says:

    My dad was captured by the Germans on his 22nd birthday. Much of AKM’s post is so like my own childhood, tears are running down my face.

    Although we celebrated Liberation Day (my dad’s) yearly, very little was said about prison camp(s). An articulate man and gifted writer, my dad seemed to just occasionally permit a memory to rise to the surface. Once he told us that during the battle for the camp, he and his tent mates hugged the ground, commenting that bullets went phutt coming into the tent and whined on their way out the other side.

    Although liberated, the jubilant ex-POWs stayed a few days until it was safe to begin evacuation. My dad met up with some soldiers saying they were finding terrible things just down the road. He hitched a ride and ended up walking in the Dachau concentration camp. The horror was such that it was 40 years before he told my mother about that day.

  230. HamletsMill says:

    bubbles Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    hamlets mill. thank you. i will wait. also since i type with two fingers i will be sitting here for a few decades, if not more. armeggeddon will have come and gone and i will be sitting here tippy tapping away. you are the best.

    Good bubbles that you got my message! I just didn’t want you to wear yourself out! If anyone wants to use the list as it is they can go ahead. I also see that several people have already used their own links to forward AKM’s tremendous post today to various media.

    But you have brought up a good point. I will continuously refine the list to make it easier and easier to use for both mass forwarding and personal e-mails by anyone who wants to use the e-mail list information.

    I’ll try to do some further refinements tonight on it to make it easier to use.,7931.msg79320.html#msg79320


  231. Janet in DC says:

    Extraordinary. Thank you, AKM.

  232. phoebe says:

    Thanks again AKM you really bring out the best in people. The posts today have been amazing. All the vignettes will stay with me for a long time. We will win!!

  233. Ed Zactly says:

    Be the change you want to see in the world. — Gandhi

  234. strangelet says:

    @Fran: What a thing to find. Those of us whose families were not directly affected by the Holocaust really have no way to fully appreciate its devastating evil.

  235. strangelet says:

    “pelf” == moolah, with an overtone of illicitly gained

    Even more anachronistic than I.

  236. FW says:

    Thank you AKM…

  237. Fran says:

    Thank you for your piece. Like many American of Jewish decent, I lost 90% of my family to Hitler’s Final Solution. Recently I was going though some very old photos and found a very old family portrait of a branch of the family I was not familiar with. There were two adults and 8 children ranging in age from infant to teen all dressed in their best cloths for the portrait. On the back of the photo my grandmother had written their names and noted that they had all died in Auschwitz. I have tears in my eyes just typing this. The people with their free use of the ugly term Nazi don’t have a clue who the real Nazi’ were and how hurtful their comments. But considering how truely mean this people, they probably don’t care who they hurt or what damage they do.

  238. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    i submitted this blog to the la times this morning.
    if they have any sense at all…they’ll publish it.

  239. GlobalVillage says:

    If the use of the word “nazi” is a cover for the word I think you mean bubbles, then this obviously spells trouble. If only they knew how proud we were of the American people when they elected Obama.

  240. Irishgirl says:

    I should have said comment for bubbles at @191.

  241. BooBooBear says:

    Was GINO the first to use the words”death panels?” If so….look what this has spun into. Just unbelievable. Divisive, inflamatory, and downright evil.

  242. kris says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’m grateful that I don’t have people sending me those types of e-mails, but with your permission I would definitely share this post. Hopefully, people would be willing to read it and cut the crap.

  243. Irishgirl says:

    LOL, bubbles.

    On a serious note, I was probably one of the first to read the post this morning (an advantage of being hours ahead of most of the mudpups) and I have had a lump in my throat all day. AKM’s words have haunted me throughout the day. Every time, I come back to read the comments, and I have done so often, I get a little choked up. This post was truly inspirational and powerful and so were the comments that followed.

    Thank you AKM and the mudpups.

  244. mlaiuppa says:


  245. Kimosabe says:

    I just sent the following letter for publication in the Washington Post. Let’s see if they print it.

    There is a special place in Hell for those who profit from the misery of others. Yet that is the very essence of our current health care “system”: insurance companies don’t make money by paying for health care, they profit by not paying for health care. Every time a person is excluded, an investor gains a dividend; every time a claim is denied, an executive reaps a bonus. Some of this pelf is paid out to the companies’ hucksters on K Street and in turn to their shills in Congress, where no deceit is too low to protect the 7-figure salaries and 8-figure bonuses of their benefactors. There cannot be real reform in our system until there is no profit in denying care to our sick and injured. For now, the insurance executives and investors can hide behind their facade of “free market”, but we know that someday we will find them in their very own special place.

  246. bubbles says:

    they are calling him a nazi because they don’t dare call him what they really want to call him. the race war they been gearing up for will be upon them. they really think my people are afraid and can’t fight back. i say to them today” bring it.” we been waiting a long time for these folks to stop talking and come on with it…b

  247. GlobalVillage says:

    Thank you AKM. Your story is truly touching. I had a brother who was a veteran of the Vietnam conflict who, because he too was a child – a peaceful young man who was conscripted, suffered and still today suffers dreadfully with war neurosis and other health problems.

    Let me just comment on the use of “buzz” words by the uneducated. For example the use of the word “nazi” and then in the same sentence they use the word “socialist” What??????

    How infuriating are the uneducated manipulators, who take their right to speak freely, to spread lies and untruths to their fellow ignoramuses. Downright dangerous mixture.

  248. strangelet says:

    @AKM — like others here, my Dad was in the European theater. He was relatively old (33), so he wasn’t shipped over until about a month after D-Day. I have very little idea what his experiences were, because he never talked about them. One of his brothers was killed (an uncle I never met). It was noticeable that he didn’t talk much, because on average he was a very gregarious, outgoing sort of guy.

    He was still overseas for several months after V-E Day, and he did talk about that period of time (a little). He saw some of the devastation that the latter stages of the war had wrought on the German populace. He was always clear that “German” did not equal “Nazi”, but he also pointed out that Germans in general allowed the Nazis to take power. (Interestingly enough, most of the Germans I know — who are generally children of the war generation — are very aware of this. That’s why Germany has some very specific laws that limit certain types of speech).

    Thank you for sharing your father’s story so eloquently. This is indeed one of your finest pieces, both emotionally and technically. It goes in the book, for sure. ;>)

  249. Curtis E. Mayle says:

    Wonderfully written and poignant. Thank you.

    I second CoyoteMarti’s post.

  250. Grandma Nancy says:

    Anadventurer: I sent copies to all of AKM’s post to all of my friends and relatives, (on both sides of the aisle) and my brother sent back a message that he agreed with me that we should all be civil — and then added “on both sides.” Anne Kilkenny’s email re Palin last year was passed on by people everywhere. The power of words is immense so let’s use civil, truthful words, without inciting hate and unrest. It is powerful enough to just quietly stand up to be counted.

    Please don’t sink to their level….. or be the spark that ignites whatever it is that the bullies are looking for.

    Every night my granddaughter ends her prayers with “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with US.” I second that…..

  251. bubbles says:

    hamlets mill. thank you. i will wait. also since i type with two fingers i will be sitting here for a few decades, if not more. armeggeddon will have come and gone and i will be sitting here tippy tapping away. you are the best.

  252. bubbles says:

    akjah yes!! we will hit them with words,then music,THEN we hit them upside their stupid heads with a lead pipe..bubs

  253. Village Reader says:

    Thank you AKM for the post. I am also fed up with ignorant people referring to our President as a Nazi. I LOVE history and have studied it for years and it is frustrating to me to watch others belittle something so horrible.

  254. Katie in Wasilla says:

    My family has a similar story only it was a Japanese prison camp. I am glad your back.
    Amen sister Amen.

  255. mlaiuppa says:

    Yes, I did mean The Pianist. typo.

  256. nswfm CA says:

    # 184 AKjah Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Anadveturer. We will hit them with words. We will hit them with music. But we will not stoop to their idiosy.
    AKjah, they say great art comes about from bad times…music and words.

  257. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Thank you, AKM, once again for so succinct and astute an observation.

    You are so very right, we cannot afford, as the human race, to “soften” or make light of what we are all capable of becoming.

  258. nswfm CA says:

    [#149 mlaiuppa, I think you meant The Pianist (Poland WWII, Adrien Brody), not The Piano (NZ 1890s, Holly Hunter).]

  259. AKjah says:

    Anadveturer. We will hit them with words. We will hit them with music. But we will not stoop to their idiosy.

  260. Susie Snowflake says:

    Wow! What a great and moving piece. This needs to be posted in some places where Progressives and Conservatives actually both read things, like as a Compass Piece in the ADN. Huffington Post is a good site, but is somewhat like preaching to the choir because most of its readership is Progressive or Independent. It would be good to be posted on HP, but not limited to just that.

  261. strangelet says:

    @anadventurer: It sounds like you’re already persuaded not to armor up for a town hall, and I think that’s a good decision. Let me add one more reason why.

    If you were to show up as an armed progressive, you would actually be aiding one of the goals of the armed wingnuts: diverting media attention from the intended topic of the meeting — health care.

  262. BS says:

    AKM – Thankyou for putting into words what I have been feeling for a long time. I’ve been trying to make sense out of how being a liberal was purported to be all touchy-feely, tree-hugging, wimpy – to now being death panel, evil, Nazis. And all in a so short amount of time. Where and how did this profound disconnect come from? It is deeply disturbing.

  263. HamletsMill says:

    bubbles Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    my child is on her way to indiana. when she gets there she will read my fb post and call me back. i have asked her to spend a few minutes to walk me through copy and paste so i can started going down hamlets’ list one by one. when i am through i Will be able to do it in my sleep there are so many contacts there…b


    Hold off a bit on making that individual effort! I am off work today and am going to take some time right now to improve how we can use the Representative and Media list for each person who feels so motivated to take a piece to e-mail. I will make it easier for you to copy and paste an e-mail list (which it is best to send “bcc” so the list is concealed to the receivers from each other for both security for all and that they do not see it like they are being group spammed or anything like that). i will also have a way to co-ordinate what e-mail sections have been done by someone already. I’ll try to have a new system something like this up there tonight.

    Meanwhile, anyone that wants to contact their state’s Republican and Democratic representatives or any Media outlet about AKM’s excellent and very powerful piece can just go ahead for sure and do so NOW using the list as it is. I certainly do not want to hold anyone back! Use the list NOW as it is. I am just saying that I will have it a little easier to use by some time tonight or tomorrow. This might be easier for you to use then.

    If anyone does send anything using the list, just leave a short post on the thread telling something of what you did and where you sent it.

    We should try as an experiment broadcasting AKM’s excellent post to, as some one said, to the “unconverted”. Especially the members of the Republican Party condoning this kind of speech which could incite unthinkable violence as we all know and fear could happen. So we must speak out!

    So this is indeed a first test case for the list if anyone wants to try using it to reach, at least, the representatives in their own state.

    Also, we have some time here. We have at least three days here to let this find it’s way on it’s own. First, let’s see if HP picks up AKM’s essay. If we then send it to a Democrat we can reference that. This will help it go viral on that end as they can just link to it in their spread of it across the internet.

    Regarding the suggestion about a Youtube video reading against footage and still photos from WWII, does anyone on the Mudflats know any professional or amateur actors or any video editing people that they can forward this idea too? Someone could do a breakthrough piece with this? Are there any such Mudpups out there with these skills?

    Right now I am seeing you, bubbles, in your Union hat with crossed rifles and dusty blue coat at Gettysburg. Your face is streaked in mud. Your hair is a mess. Our uniforms are torn. But we shall hold our position even if we have to go to fixed bayonets. I salute you and i will share the water in my canteen with you and we will all go down together fighting to save this country from these idiots.

    Remember our fathers. Remember AKM’s father today in his honor. Remember everyone’s stories on the thread today. Remember what they all endured.

    But, yet, WWII should have never happened if the human race had been awake and prevented the perpetuation of a lie.

  264. amy says:

    Thank you. On behalf of my Father and Uncle who served in WW ll and also never spoke of it. Just thank you. It has needed to be said for a long time.

  265. lemonfair says:

    The best thing you’ve ever written, and maybe the most from the heart. You did your father’s memory a deep service. I wept when I read this, and I’ll pass it on and on.

  266. Dee says:

    Amen! Perfectly stated, as always.

  267. Gasman says:

    This post should be required reading for all Americans right now. I quit frequenting a blog a few months back because one of the trolling conservative hacks hurled the “Nazi” bomb at me. I have devoted a fair portion of my adult professional life to commemorating the victims of the Holocaust through original works of art, especially the experiences of the children of the camps. For some moron to hurl that insult at me was beyond the pale. I should have seen that it was merely a prelude to what was coming for President Obama.

    These moronic troglodytes who hurl these pornographically obscene allegations are denigrating the memories of those who suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Nazis and those who died in pain, squalor, as emaciated skeletons. As to the modern members of the GOP that would callously and recklessly hurl the “Nazi” epithet”: damn you all and go to hell.

    This conduct is unbecoming ANY American and should be shouted down as cowardly and as unpatriotic as any action could possibly be. Until Democrats actually start rounding people up and gassing them, nobody gets to use the “Nazi” moniker. Oddly enough, doesn’t it fit the very definition of Fascism to hurl the charge of “Nazi” when you know it to be untrue?

    If this is the best that the Republicans can do, then the sooner the party dissolves into oblivion, the better for all Americans.

  268. Marie in NH says:

    This an awesome and powerful post. I am so sick of the “Death Panels”, people calling President Obama a Nazi, people defaced President Obama’s likeness to resemble Hitler and people openly wearing sidearms to these debates, I just want to scream.

    Thank you very much for this post.

    Marie in NH

    PS: I also love the letter to John McCain!

  269. bubbles says:

    how can we send it directly to the president?

  270. marksmyword says:

    That was so powerful. I agree with previous posters: this needs to be widely disseminated. Comparing Obama to a Nazi is beyond the pale.

  271. honestyinGov says:

    { Message for Mag the Mick }

    # 117 CoyoteMarti Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:34 AM
    Mag the Mick Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:25 AM
    I just sent this to Senator McCain’s office. Thanks for inspiring me.
    Mag the Mick: Would you consider sending this as “an open letter to the Sen” to one of your major papers?
    I have to agree with CoyoteMarti with those thoughts. Seconded. You and ALL the voters in Arizona should know where John McCain stands on this issue. He is up for re-election and if he fails to live up to his responsibilities as a Leader in his Party the voters should be aware of it at election time.
    I am sure some of your Right – leaning Pro McCain papers might be reluctant to publish your Open Letter. ( like $arah’s ADN ) Therefore I would like to see you ask all the Papers to post it. Big ones may back away but a small or local one would love to have such a well written thoughtful message to add to their pages. It might even embarrass the larger papers into printing it if they get some heat. After all…the AK blogs embarrass the ADN everyday in the way they are able to cover stories with Facts better than the ADN.

    Find the most Progressive Blue blog in your state and ask for them to post your letter. They would do it in a heartbeat.
    Since your state borders some more Progressive Blue States like Colorado do not rule out sending your letter to them as well.

    Please submit your poignant heart-felt letter to whoever the person it is who will be John McCains Democratic challenger in the next election. If this person is currently holding office it would be nice to add to a constituent email the next time one goes out. John’s ‘ silence ‘ is deafening at the moment.

    Your letter is also something that Andrew Sullivan ( Daily Dish )I believe would love to post just as it is. No explanation or commentary needed.He has a lot of respect for the Mudflats website and has acknowledged comments made here in the past.

    I would also like to ‘ ask ‘ or have permission on behalf of myself and the rest of the MudFlatters here to use ( cut and paste your letter ) your thoughts, opinions and personal story as we email some of our Elected officials. I am sure it has touched others in the same way it has myself.

    My own Father during the War was one of those’ ball turrent gunners ‘ tucked away under the belly of those B-21 bombers. The large majority of his missions were flown on bombing runs over Germany to places like the ball bearing factories and the rail-yards. Thankfully him and his crew were never hurt. He never really told us the ‘ stories ‘ about the War and the details. Just glad they all came back I guess. His bomber ‘ Crew ‘ did get together for Reunions over the years and stayed in touch though. Truly a bonding experience for all of them.

    To my last point… Barney Frank. I had asked your permission to use your thoughts and feeling to send a note to some elected officials. One of those would be someone like Barney Frank who stood up and told the Truth this week…. not backing down.
    I could do that… But it would so much more meaningful if it came directly from you…. the individual who wrote it. Just a little note of Appreciation for what he did this past week in standing up to these ‘ crazy people ‘.
    He is one of our Voices as well and he did one heck of a job this week. He was standing there taking it until he said ” Stop it… enough of this nonsense “. I will be emailing him just to say ‘ Thank You’ for standing up for us.
    I’m sure he would love to read your letter in support . He might even copy it and have it hand delivered to the desk of each one of his fellow Congressmen.{ Maybe two copies for the GOP guys } Some are not listening.

  272. laurie says:

    Thank you
    61 say no to sp
    72 Phoebe
    79 History Goddess
    For your comments.
    116 Mag Great letter. Have you thought about getting your letter published in a local paper? Or send it to the LA Times. The Republicans are condoning violence by their inaction. We all remember Henry the 2nd and Beckett… Do you think our Congress critters know that story.

    AKM your words have touched so many hearts. What I loved about Obama campaign events was that all Americans were present and respected. The vision I have of America is not fact challenged people spewing hate but all of us together facing the economic challenges of a new century.

  273. Juneau says:

    Well said. Thank you for adding a drop of intelligence into a pool of ignorance.

  274. Bill Hess says:

    Thanks for the story. My father also fought the Nazi’s, he was never taken prisoner but he was shot down once, and another time knocked unconscious by a bullet that pierced the fuselage of his B-24, struck him in the forehead and turned his flight helmet around.

    He was proud of his military service although he never boasted about it. He was conservative, but he despised demagoguery and stupidity, and especially hated to see the lives of military men and women spent in vain. He voted for George W, but after the man started the war in Iraq, he despised him and frequently lamented the unnecessary stupidity and waste of that war.

    At the end, he held on until Memorial Day, and then died in the wee hours of the next morning. The son was hot when we buried him with full military honors, and I had a feeling that I had never had before. What a great sacrifice he and all the others who fought for us had made.

    I know what he would think of our current demagogues, from Sarah Palin to Glenn Beck.

  275. nswfm CA says:

    AKM, SKY, and others, thank you.

    (I should have also mentioned the innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in my #99 post. There was a very moving compilation of stories in the LA Times a couple of Sundays back about their stories of war as well. My family’s murders were in the WW1, and frankly, we humans never seem to learn. Feed the good wolf.)

  276. Stevie says:

    I’m moved to tears by your post.

    Thank you for sharing that with all of us and I hope your words fly out into the Universe and bring the Nazi talk to a screeching halt. What is that expression? “From your Gods ears?”

    On behalf of all the lurkers like myself, that are too shy to comment, I’d like to say Thank you. Thank you for all that you write and all you do. For me, personally, you’ve changed my world with this powerful little blog. A change for the better. I’m more aware, more empowered and less afraid to speak out.

    Big Hugs to you,

  277. anadventurer says:

    I am ok with being in harms way for all of you, but so many of you do not deserve to face that kind of intimidation alone. I know it worked for Gandhi and his followers but not in the vain of this discussion and this is VERY different. I own armor (the battlefield kind) and I want to protect to “you” who for whatever reason (usually common sense) choose to go unarmed to health-care and townhall meetings.
    *point taken, I sure don’t want to be the spark “they” need. AND that is why I crowed sourced the question! – Thank you.

  278. mlaiuppa says:

    Those that fear and hate Obama and the administration are simply substituting one “N” word for another. They cannot use the black “N” word so instead they are using the Fascist “N” word. They are both hot button words designed to incite. It’s easier for them to defend saying Nazi than using the other.

  279. mmboucher (Florida) says:

    162 SKY Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:33 AM
    #92 nswfm CA Says:
    “Could we use Hamlets Mills compiled list of contacts to get this post out EVERYWHERE?

    Could someone make sure the Whitehouse sees this post?

  280. boodog says:

    anadventurer, NO.. You are not one of them, don’t behave like them. Remember, don’t feed the bad wolf!

  281. Maggie says:

    Beautifully eloquent, but I would expect nothing less from you.

  282. UK Lady says:

    ‘Anadventurer’ – Please, please don’t do that. You would be putting yourself in harms way. That is all some of these people are looking for, an excuse. From here it looks as if the US is a tinderbox just waiting for a spark. Don’t let it be you.

  283. trisha says:

    Mag the mick, Wow….beautiful letter to McCain. Thank you for sharing.

    I do think it’s time that people started standing tall and denouncing this kind of hate language. It’s disgusting that no one in the GOP has been willing to stand up and say, ENOUGH.

    Veteran’s groups, Jewish organizations, and all Americans need to start speaking up to stop this hate language. I think there has been a lot of quiet simmering outrage, but it’s time to make our voices heard.

  284. mommom says:

    My grandmother had a number tatooed on her arm.She lost her parents when she was sent to the camps,never to see them again,never to know if the dies,but she was sure they did.Thats all I know.She could never talk about it,she just said “shush,don’t” if she was asked. When she died we found some books,I think they were Time Life coffee tabel books,with photos of the camps and of many,many prisoners who were photographed by soldiers the day they were relesed.There were notes in the margins ,question marks.It was obvious she was looking for her parents,but no one could have been recognised in those skeletal,walking bags of bones in the pictures.

    Anyone who calls someone a Nazi should at least have to look at those pictures.

  285. K8KZ says:

    I will print this out and use as talking points. I have had a similar discussion with my husband recently after hearing and seeing the Nazi BS on the net and TV and I said how dare they? How dare they use such a vulgar term and I am sure most of those using it have no idea what it means. My Mother grew up in London during WWII and I remember the horror stories she told us as children about the Nazi’s and it makes me want to scream out loud at these people but as uneducated as many of them are, I am not sure anyone can get through to them, but I won’t stop trying!

  286. boodog says:

    I have lived in Germany also, and you are right, all Germans were NOT Nazis. No more than all Americans are Cheneys, Bushes, Limbaughs or $Ps. This site proves that. Thank god…

  287. InJuneau says:

    My mother lost her father before she was born to that war, so we never knew what his stories would have been. And, like CR46’s father, my grandfather-in-law helped liberate camps. He didn’t talk about it until very late in life, when my spouse was too far away to record his stories, and so, we’ve lost a lot of knowing about his experience too. I know, however, that both of them, and every other relative on both sides of our family who fought in that war would be appalled at the current state of this discussion.

    Thank you, AKM, for putting this so well.

  288. bubbles says:

    ***anaventurer*** dear heart, please don’t do that. you might have to use it. what would we do without you? also when i am better and have made muscles who will take me on a gentle hike and kayaking when i come to alaska?

  289. bubbles says:

    my child is on her way to indiana. when she gets there she will read my fb post and call me back. i have asked her to spend a few minutes to walk me through copy and paste so i can started going down hamlets’ list one by one. when i am through i Will be able to do it in my sleep there are so many contacts there…b

  290. Peggy says:

    I’ve been waiting for someone to write what has been in my heart this week. Thank you! You are a blessing to all of us.

  291. anadventurer says:

    I have an question for fellow (but not “hive” minded) progressives and this topic fits really well. All these neo-cons (or teabagers, whatever they are called now) are carrying guns to rally’s. That’s a given.

    Here is my question:
    If I bring one of my guns and wear armor to the next local rally (standing on the progressive side of course) with the word PROGRESSIVE where my name tag would go…Will that hurt the “cause” or send a message? I am really not looking to debate the necessity or legality of private gun ownership. (but please chime in anyway), Thanks…..

  292. tigerwine says:

    Mag the Mick – Wow! what a letter to McCain! I have several friends who are Repugs, and they keep sending me this awful stuff, which I never acknowledge. I get back by sending them things like your wonderful epistle. Forwarded it to to several Progressives, too! Thanks for sending it, and sharing it, too!

  293. Cathy in Texas says:

    My mind is fixated on sharing this post. It is such a powerful message. Are there any technically proficient folks out there that could read this and put it on You Tube? If the singer on Brittain’s Got Talent( Susan Boyle I think is her name) can get millions of You Tube views, I would hope that this could too.
    The key might be in the title. Just an idea for those who are capable and willing to consider. I can even think of background music for a video production that shows various photos with the reader’s voice in the background.
    Donations if needed for such a production would be easy to obtain.
    Again, just a thought as I cannot get AKM’s story out of my mind.

  294. mlaiuppa says:

    Michael Seitzman handles the ownership of the Nazi meme best in this article:

  295. mlaiuppa says:

    My Mother and my Uncle were born in the U.S. when they were 9 and 11 the family went to Germany to help with family problems. While there, my Grandmother got sick and they had to delay their return. Then the war broke out and they couldn’t get out.

    My Mother didn’t talk much about her youth in Germany. She returned to the U.S. at age 17 and talks about that time on, but not her childhood. Recently she took a trip back with my Dad and this time, she visited all of the places she had stayed as a child during the war. After that, she did start to talk about it more.

    My Uncle has written a book about what he remembers. It’s short, only 87 pages. He was drafted into the Germany Army at age 16 and went to the Russian front. He survived and with my Mother returned to the U.S. after the war so as not to lose their citizenship. He joined the U.S. Army reserves and eventually served in the Korean War. If you’d like to read his book you can find it on Amazon; Two shades of war by Edward Weiss.

    The majority of Germans were not Nazis. In fact my Uncle talks about how he feared for his Father’s safety because he was so outspoken against Hitler. He talks about the food shortages. My Mother has told me stories about bombings and illnesses. Little anecdotes.

    My Mother used to watch Hogan’s Heroes. She was able to divorce the reality from TV entertainment. The only comments were on how bad or grammatically incorrect the German was. What she can’t take is any sort of drama involving Germany. She’ll never see Schindler’s List or The Piano.

    Those accusing Obama and his administration of being Nazi’s are just displaying their ignorance. They have no idea what they are talking about. The comparisons just aren’t there. They also call him a Socialist. Well, the Nazi’s may have called themselves the German Socialist Republic but they weren’t Socialists. They were Fascists. And it’s funny, but that word is never used by the right. It could be because if you really research exactly what Fascism is you can recognize which party is closer to be Fascists. And it’s not the Democrats.

    Socialists then? Well, then read this HuffPo editorial on Stalin and healthcare:

  296. bubbles says:

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{mag the mick and hamlets mill and everybody}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

  297. Marilyn Wheeless says:

    All that is left to say is ‘Hear Hear’ – let’s pray those who need to hear the message do.

  298. Cathy in Texas says:

    110 Mag the Mick
    Your letter to McCain is a great companion for AKM’s post. I hope your letter can be copied and pasted and mailed to Congressmen throughout the country. In addition, it is worthy of HUFFPO or other media attention.
    Those of us without adequate words rely on those who have the experience and mastery to be a solid voice. Bless you.

  299. teri says:

    Thank you, thank you,thank you, thank you, a million times over….every single one of you….

  300. UK Lady says:

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. You have moved me, and I’m sure anyone else who has read this thread, to tears many, many times today.

    You are speaking out for the ones who can no longer speak for themselves, you honour them all.

  301. Firecracker says:

    Thank you for this post. I am also tired of the people using this comparison. It is historically false and is nothing more than propaganda. Propaganda was something Hitler was very good at using. I had uncles (one of which also was at the Battle of the Bulge), a grandfather and a stepfather that served in WWII. Only my stepfather ever spoke of his experiences. His experience impacted the rest of his life. He had learned to sleep with his eyes open and never completely gave up the habit. It is a completely shame that these people are using this as a symbol.

  302. Ripley says:

    I tried to leave a *hug* way up in the first bunch of posts, but it went into moderation… I should really check how I spell my e-mail address before I hit “enter”.

    So here… *HUG*

  303. Maria says:

    Tell me you posted this piece of excellence on Huffington Post and elsewhere! People have got to read this.

  304. lexky says:

    thank you for writing such an amazing piece

  305. SameOld says:

    Please sign Kathy’s petition and send it to everyone you know. Ga Peach’s parable is right. Let’s feed to good wolf!

  306. KaJo says:

    HamletsMill, in your story @ #123, you’re every bit as eloquent as AKM — both of you, and all of the rest of you who’ve shared your stories of your families’ suffering in WWII despite the pain of remembrance, thank you for that.

    This ENTIRE THREAD should be read by as many people as possible. Bloggers go where the mainstream media fear to tread….

  307. boodog says:

    OK, now I have to wipe my eyes and go get some work done. The past few days I have been mesmerized by the emotion at mudflats. AKM, you are a national treasure, it is just that the rest of the world doesn’t know it yet. Mudpups included.

  308. SameOld says:

    Yesterday I got this email from my Congressperson, Kathy Dahlkemper who has been able to hold civil meetings in my very Republican Co.

    “If there is one thing that the current debate over health insurance reform needs right now, it’s a strong dose of good old fashioned civility.

    As a new Member of Congress, I’m working to bring meaningful reform. Our broken health insurance system discriminates against those that that need it the most, the sick, the elderly, the unemployed and puts our businesses at a competitive disadvantage. We need reform. But the only way that we are going to prevail is for everyone to stop yelling at each other, stop spreading fear and start talking to each other.

    Please Sign My Petition Calling for Civility in the Health Care Debate – then Forward to Five of your Friends and Family Members.

    Something happened at recent town halls that I’ve held across the district which proves the power of civility. Unlike the shouting matches at other town halls, people at my events asked their questions and told their stories and a respectful discussion prevailed. People left feeling empowered by facts, rather than more confused and upset by all the screaming. Its critical that we spread this message.

    There is too much at stake in this fight for Pennsylvanians and for all Americans to let meaningful reform get blocked by those who simply scream the loudest.

    Thank you. Sign the pledge, speak out, donate now. By working together we can build a stronger, healthier America.
    Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper

  309. lexky says:

    i was lucky enough to live in germany for three years. having that experience gives you a little idea of the things that went on over there. the germans and there feelings of that time, seeing the crumbling concentration camps. when you see these things it changes you. you never forget. those images. so to see and hear americans, my people, comparing our leader to that devil makes me sick and it is unforgivable. most of the people doing it have no idea the way it makes us look to the rest of the world and i guess they dont care.

  310. karen in OR says:

    Mag the Mick, that is a most EXCELLENT letter to John McCain.

    I also hope you are able to make this an open letter in Arizona newspapers.

  311. Clynn says:

    Excellent post. This is my first time here – I saw the link on a friend’s facebook page. This has the potential to reach a lot of people. Someone mentioned HuffPo in the comments – I’ve just sent a link to this page through their “news tip” address. Maybe if others do the same we’ll get it up there!

  312. lovemydogs says:

    To the moderator: What did I say that got me tossed?

  313. Unicorn Mom in Idaho says:

    AKM: Thank you for this beautiful essay. I agree with CoyoteMarti, this should be submitted as an OpEd piece to NYT or WaPo.

    This piece has touched me in a very personal way and I am typing here with tears streaming down my face. My father was also taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He turned 100 this last May and to this day, he has not really spoken about his experiences during the war.

    Continued thanks for your voice of reason during this “summer of hate.”

  314. Wow, reading the comments as they come on is like watching a hug expanding and expanding and expanding as we share the knowledge and the emotion. I repeat what I have said on the forum in the past:

    This in Germany over 20 years ago
    We were lucky enough to attend a discussion with a german resistance fighter and a former german soldier. German kids sometimes suffer from WWII overload, because it is discussed frequently, but something made them all wake up and speaking to people who actually were willing to share their experience was the big exception. I asked the gentlemen if they thought there was a chance “IT” could ever happen again. They both said that it ALWAYS can happen again and in ANY country of the world. They were truly concerned and they wanted us to remember that ordinary persons can be misled and brainwashed. Let it not happen to any of us or our friends.

  315. Lee says:

    AKM, thank you.
    This is the story of the men of world war II. It is the outobiograhy of my father and his brothers. I am tired of this socialism/nazi propaganda spewing group as well, and wish they would just go away. They will not, and so we need to get this diary to go viral. In that way a voice of reason will at least be out there. Thank you again for a great diary.

  316. Grainne says:

    thank you akm!!! every time i hear an ignorant reference to nazism these days, my stomach is turned and i am so angry i don’t even know how to respond. i would love to hear elie weisel tell all those disparaging the president by calling him hitler and a nazi, “for shame!!! do you realize how many people suffered and died under the nazis, and how many more did so in defeating them?!?” elie weisel does not deserve, though, to be bothered by this base ignorance that we americans seem to forever carry like a heavy bag of bricks on our collective backs. this ugliness needs to be tamped out with some firm responses from our leadership. i can’t believe it has gone on this long!

  317. charlotte says:

    Amen to that post! I’ve been posting about this, as well. Being a “real” German first-generation immigrant, I find it utterly hard to cope with this political rhetoric out here.

  318. Wendy says:

    This should be required reading for all Republicans.

  319. boodog says:

    Mag the Mick, your letter should be sent everywhere. I can’t believe all the wonderful history in everyone’s lives!

  320. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    thank you, hamlet mills

  321. AKjah says:

    Rise up rise up rise up rise up. Take your pitch fork and march in the street. The corporate interests have stolen democracy. you have no voice. But here. Grab your keyboard and march against those who would derail all that “we” had “hope” for. They may have guns and they may own all the military. but we have the word. And the pen is mightier than the sword. Truelly the keyboard is the weapon of choice. Keep on keepin on.
    My dad told his story just before he died. I wont go into it but he lived through it. And i learned alot from it.

  322. Ann K. says:

    Eloquently put and very moving—thank you. I would love to see this post get wider distribution—HuffPo?

  323. leenie17 says:

    Mag the Mick –

    Wow…what a fantastic letter! I love that you were able to make a personal connection between your father and McCain. I can’t imagine that anyone reading your letter cannot help but be moved.

  324. phoebe says:

    #102 Big Stick

    Nice post Big Stick.

    “The lies of the right are the biggest challenge to freedom this country has faced in Modern Era.”
    On top of that MSM has sold its’ soul to the devil or at least to the highest bidder. It’s up to us to set the record straight.

  325. HamletsMill says:

    AKM. This is one of the best posts you have ever written to date. This powerful piece MUST go to The Huffington Post for tens of thousands of people to read it. In my mind as I read it I could hear Keith Olberman reading it into the camera on your behalf.

    I once worked as a teenager in the 50’s with two men who landed on D-Day in Normandy. They were 23 and 24 years old on that day. They told me they were scared “s**tless.” But that was only the beginning of the experience of war. I also knew a man who was an infantry replacement in the Battle of the Bulge who rode in a box car completely alone up to the front! Whenever I had to face anything really tough in life, I thought of him. My father was involved in the battle of Tarawa in WWII. When I was in the service I became friends with several Germans who served on their side in WWII and had to come to terms with the utter horror of what their country had done in their own private and silent penance in the 1950’s. One man spent two years alone in a cabin in the woods trying to find life again from the horrors he had witnessed. He had been on the Russian front. He said to me “There were so many dead. There were great heaps of dead. Great mounds of dead. We tried to bury them but the ground was frozen so hard our picks and shovels broke. We had to burn them. Even the Earth would not take them back.”

    My beloved woman who passed away in 2000 was Dutch. When her father and mother were married and returned from their honeymoon in 1940 their home had been bombed in the invasion of Rotterdam and totally destroyed in a direct hit. The Dutch Army quickly fell. Her father joined the Dutch resistance and at one point was hunted for two years. He lived under the floor boards in a farm house at times. Both her parents lived through the “turnip winter” at the end of WWII when the Dutch starved. As the Germans pulled back to Germany her father re-united with her mother. That entire corner of Holland was starving. One day an American B-17’s flew over and dropped food packages. They followed one tiny parachute down from the sky and found it. They ate the food in a haystack and could not move. That night she was conceived from the strength that came to them from that small bit of sustenance. Soon Canadian and American troops liberated that part of Holland. She had photographs her father had taken that day with the one roll of film he had been able to get. When I saw the photographs of the people in the streets surrounding the Canadian troops the reality of what these people had been through came through in black and white still photographs of the spring of 1945. Never again war. yet we all know what we have lived through since.

    This is what happened. Just some stories along with the experience of your beloved father (bless his soul) and the others recounted here. So how the “N” ideology word is so loosely and thoughtlessly bandied around by these profoundly ignorant people who are our “fellow Americans” brings ice water up my back. These people know nothing of history and I do not think they know anything about war. Look at the recent Neocon theorist class mind set where people send other people to war who themselves have never served a day in the Armed Forces of the United States. They know nothing of war and the experience of war. This is what has happened to our country. Now the entrenched corporatist forces are using these incredibly ignorant people to try to preserve their current death grip economic positions. It is beyond shameful and it must be challenged. It is an insult to the sacrifice of our fathers. Your piece, AKM, is superb and is a great honor to the memory of your father and I am going to send it to every member of my family to send to everyone they know.

    The “N” ideology was, above all things, a belief system based upon a skillfully sold lie. There is no “master race” and to believe so is to believe a lie. Believing a lie is the root and core of all human evil. The lie was only stopped at the price of great human suffering and sacrifice. Never again must the human race ever allow such a thing to happen. That ideology rose with the first rise of the technology of mass communication in the 1920’s and 1930’s of film and radio taken over by the state. We now have the Internet. We have AKM and people like AKM and Shannyn. And we have each other. We are all here on the Mudflats to stand up to lies. This is our unit in this battle since a year ago this month. And we will. Our country is in deep, deep trouble. As was said in a post here today “I believe that we are in en epic struggle for the soul of our nation.” We are. We are all now all on the right flank with Joshua Chamberlain at Little Round Top and we must hold. We have been in this a year now in our little unit. We must fight and hold this line. I love every one of you here and I hold you close. I greatly honor AKM’s father. He survived WWII to father such a daughter as this! It is a testimony to his own strength of spirit. We all honor his soul here today.

    As we stand in this fight please use the Mudflats representatives and media contact list I posted yesterday. Our fathers fought for the right for us to speak and now we must.,7931.msg79320.html#msg79320

    Bless every one of you.

    And bless you AKM as always. Words fail me at this point.

  326. leenie17 says:

    Beautifully written post. Anyone who reads this and is not moved needs to do some serious soul searching.

    My father fought in WWII in Europe and N Africa and, like yours, never talked about it. My uncle was killed in the Battle of the Bulge and, because of a communication mixup, my grandmother was not officially notified until AFTER a letter she had written to him came back with the word “DECEASED” stamped on the envelope.

    When I was a teenager, I found a box of medals and other military items in the basement. When I asked my father about it, he told me they were my uncle’s and to put the box back where I found it. We never discussed it again.

    Unfortunately, many of the terms that are being thrown about these days are being used merely because they sound scary. All too often, the people who are are using those terms don’t really understand what they mean and how the circumstances that surrounded them profoundly changed the lives of millions of people around the world. It is a sad commentary on how little Americans really understand about world history that they can use these words so callously merely to insult a politician they don’t happen to agree with.

    Thank you for sharing your family’s story with us and for reminding us how the words we use can either cause great pain or inspire others.

  327. Jamie says:

    I am moved to tears by your father’s story. I have relatives that were lined up, 3 generations deep, in front of a trench they had built, were then shot and pushed in the trench. Because they were Jews. I have older French friends who lost aunts and uncles and parents for the same reason. I burn whenever someone compares Obama to Hitler or the government to Nazis. No one could have put it better than you did “I am tired of people saying that a health care plan designed to uplift millions of Americans to give them dignity, and choice and the ability to care for their families, is like Naziism.” This is truth itself and someone must find a way to get this through to THEM.

  328. Eileen in Juneau says:

    As a child I sat with my Dad on Saturday evenings as he watched “Victory at Sea”. He joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor and most of his service was in the South Pacific. Tears were frequently in his eyes as the memories and images were relived every week but it certainly left an impression on us kids(four girls) and we all grew up with respect and awe of the “Finest Generation;” My Dad would be horrified today of the despicable tactics, name calling, and lies being perpetuated by those who like to instill fear and dread in this country; anything to oppose Pres. Obama and those who support his agenda for a better world. I will continue to speak up, speak out, and refute the wild and nasty claims being tossed about.
    Finally, I’m pretty pleased with the economic boycott and withdrawal of sponsorship of Glen Beck’s program by about 20 advertisers. Keep up the pressure of on those sponsors who still are a part of the whole Fox nutwork.

  329. lovemydogs says:

    This whole ordeal reminds me of the stories that I have read about Jackie Robinson and other African-American “firsts”. All of those men and women faced intense racial hatred (including death threats) with silent dignity. Ultimately, they were begrudgingly judged on their merits. Perhaps that is the model that President Obama is following. He needs us to have his back on this. He needs to know that we support his efforts (whether we completely agree with him or not).

    I am so tired of hearing people complain about their own health care (or lack thereof) and when I suggest that they write to their representatives to speak about it they say “But I just don’t like Obama”. I then explain that this really doesn’t have anything to do with liking President Obama or not, Congress writes the laws. What do I get? Profoundly stupid looks and a shrug of the shoulders. Racism and anger seems to rule the day. But, on the bright side, look at what all of the African-American “firsts” achieved in spite of all of the hate slung at them. Of course they paid a huge price in terms of stress.

    Some of us are not completely guilt free on the “Nazi” name-slinging front. The same things were often said about GWB and his cadre in the White House. Posters weren’t displayed and perhaps it was less public, but it was said nevertheless. I think that, in that case, the comparison was more an aspect of a relative incompetant who surrounded himself with very smart but very dangerous people…just sayin’

    AKM’s post is a good reminder to everyone to be careful what comparisons we make, particularly if we don’t really know of what we speak.

    In the meantime, we shall keep walking the walk and sending our opinions to our representatives because it is our government (even if most of my representatives were not elected by my vote). Taking the high road is not always easy. I get angry with these people as well and I am appalled that no one in power seems to be speaking out to stop this kind of talk. I have to say that I am not terribly surprised though. At least the small minded people that “just don’t like Obama” are not making any real concerted effort to speak with civility to their representatives. They just sit and stew. We can be more proactive and hopefully that will elicit a more open response from our representatives.

    I have to keep hope alive.

  330. boodog says:

    oops, hit send before i was done. @114 I meant that we are a country of many peoples, no one can say ‘my America’ without including us all.

  331. And while I was typing, Mag the Mick posted, and I’m now in tears from two powerful reminders of just what it meant to our parents to be Americans who served the country they loved. Thank you both.

  332. Bear Woman says:

    BRAVO at #110! THANK YOU!!!!

    I copy and pasted this post to the Alaska legislature (all of them) and to Sen. Murkowski and Begich with a note at the top requesting civil discourse and to stand up to those who would use the term “Nazi” and stating it is wrong to be thrown at any president.

    Les Gara already responded back with an “agreed”

    We can each do our part to promote civility in disagreement. As shown with the election of President Obama one joining with others does make a difference!

  333. summerdaze says:

    Thank you for the post. People use terms that do not have a clue the true meaning that they hold. The term Nazi is being used in flippant and caviler manner and shows the ignorance of those who choice to use it.

  334. CoyoteMarti says:

    Mag the Mick Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:25 AM
    I just sent this to Senator McCain’s office. Thanks for inspiring me.
    Mag the Mick: Would you consider sending this as “an open letter to the Sen” to one of your major papers?

  335. Hans Hulswit says:

    Impressive. My parents lived through the Occupation here in The Netherlands and I’ve heard quite a few stories. I’ve visited Anne Frank’s House a number of times as well as Auschwitz: that’s what Nazis did!!
    Comparing Obama’s policies to that is pure scare-mongering… As one of your correspondents says: someone is trying to build a case for assassination. Let us hope that will never happen.

  336. AKM, thank you so much for putting the reality back into words that have been so carelessly, and wrongly, used of late. I hope that this message of yours go far beyond the reaches of the Mudflats. Perhaps the story of a veteran is what some of the right wingnuts need to hear to make them snap back to reality.

    GA Peach, thanks for the Native American legend. What a wonderfully succinct way to describe the battle within each person.

  337. Brian aka Snooker Hinge Palin says:

    As many others have said, this is truly brilliant and deeply moving. Makes everything else on today’s agenda seem trivial by comparison.

    I hope it’s widely read and thoughtfully contemplated.

  338. boodog says:

    SoCalWolfGal, can you imagine a Native American or Alaskan sitting at their tv and hearing people at the town halls, hands on head, crying “I want MY America back”…

  339. the Stranger says:

    I visit this site to be enlightened, but also to watch AKM grow and flourish as a writer. If not the best post yet, certainly this was the most poignant. Thank you, AKM!

  340. Gramiam says:

    AKM, I have no words. If this is what comes out of your heart after Netroots, then what little I contributed to that trip was the best investment I ever made. This WILL go viral. I’ll do my part to make that happen.

  341. boodog says:

    Wow. There are some powerful and moving stories here today. To all of you, thank you. To try to equate President Obama and his administration to the Nazis is incredible. But the fear of Hitler and a world takeover and millions murdered are real to the elderly that lived it, or their children who heard first hand about it. To them it is real. It happened and they are being convinced it could happen again..

    ps bubbles, my dad was a pilot in the war and had great respect for the Tuskeegee guys.

  342. Mag the Mick says:

    I just sent this to Senator McCain’s office. Thanks for inspiring me.

    Dear Senator McCain,

    I am requesting your help in the health care debate. I have been shocked and dismayed to hear oppoonents of our President’s plan label him a “Nazi”. Regardless of one’s views on health care, using this epithet removes the topic from the realm of reasonable discourse and puts it in the arena of hate speech.

    My uncle John Brown, who was a citrus farmer in Chandler for most of his life, lied about his age and joined the 101st Paratropers when he was 16. He jumped out of a plane over the fields of Normandy early on D-Day and went on to jump again at Arnhem and at the Bulge. He was a lifetime Republican, and he would’ve punched anyone who dared to call a United States President a “Nazi”.

    My father, James “J.R.” McQuaid begain his distinguished career in the Air Force as a navigator with the 8th Air Force in England in 1943. He flew 50 missions over Nazi Germany. He would never allow us as kids to call anyone a “Nazi”. He too was a Republican, and although he wouldn’t have been pleased with the election of a Black man as President, he would have had nothing but contempt for anyone who used the term “Nazi” to describe the President.

    Senator McCain, you might remember my father’s name. He was your personal pilot when you made your first campaign run for Arizona senator back in the early 80’s. My father thought you were an honorable man. Prove him right, sir. Step up to the plate and tell the country that calling our elected President a “Nazi” is beyond the pale of decency. Allowing this term to be used is a disgrace to good men like my Dad and my Uncle John Brown who fought against it, and to the millions of people who died under the Nazi regime. It is an insult to the flag you fought to protect. Be an honorable man, Senator McCain, and tell people to knock it off.


    Maggie McQuaid
    Bisbee, Arizona

  343. manxmamma says:

    AKM, this was a beautiful tribute to your father and a succinct observation of what is happening today. I sincerely doubt that one of the rabid, gun-toting protestors would survive a week in a war camp. Our fathers were true heroes. And to bandy about words like Nazi, death panels, etc. is both dangerous and incendiary. People doing so should be punished. And slightly OT, I’d like to praise Barney Franks response to a woman in his town hall meeting who glibly used the term Nazi. We need more responses like this.
    Thanks for your writing…it’s always enjoyed.

  344. AF says:

    What a superb post! That’s the point, though, isn’t it? Whether you agree or disagree, some of these people don’t have a CLUE what they’re talking about and just spout spiteful bile at everyone. I just had a brief argument with one of these guys on my blog and, if he actually paid attention to what I was saying (even a little bit of attention), I am in a way (well, sort of) on his side. I agree entirely with the principle that a reasonable level of good quality healthcare should be available to all citizens in a civilised and relatively wealthy country like the USA, but I don’t think that what I’ve heard (I’m not American) of Obama’s proposals will work out as currently hoped.

    My criticism of the anti-healthcare movement is that they seem to me to have allowed their point of view to be hijacked by the gun toting hoodlums of the looniest elements of far right. That does their cause no good at all and prevents them from putting forward their arguments in a logical and understandable manner. Even in the short term, that is seriously damaging the credibility of responsible Republicans and the Republican Party itself.

    In short, they are labelling the the whole of the Republican Party as the political party of bigotry, hatred and greed and that, whatever your politics, can’t be good for democracy.

    Something similar happened in the UK and that gave Gordon Brown the power to wreck our country, which in my opinion he has done, for the sake of his own daft ideology and dreams of social engineering.

    You’re so right, though. From the footage I’ve seen of this issue, the closest thing to Nazism in America at the moment is the bigoted behaviour of the far right – they just don’t LISTEN! But even they (so far) don’t even come close to the horror of the way that regime was in WW2. But we should all beware, because it COULD happen anywhere and mindlessly following half truths and lies is where it starts.

  345. GA Peach a/k/a Lance the Boil aka Crust Scramble says:

    Reminds me of this story.

    One day an old Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson. He said, “There are two wolves fighting inside all of us – the wolf of fear and hate, and the wolf of love and peace.”

    The grandson listened, then looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Which one will win?”

    The grandfather replied, “The one we feed.”

  346. SoCalWolfGal says:

    AKM thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. Your father was obviously a wonderful person, father and citizen of the country he loved. It is indeed an insult to him and the many thousands like him who gave so much to ensure our freedom to have the word Nazi used today to incite hatred and fear.

    I am tired of hearing people scream they want “their America back”. What does that mean? Do they want to return to the days of segregation and Jim Crow? That is certainly how it comes across to me. I grew up in the segregated South and have the memory of people in my own family use the N word. I was embarrassed and sad then; I am angry now. I am angry because these ignorant close minded people refuse to try and understand anything or anyone who isn’t “like them”. They are completely incapable of accepting the fact that an intelligent, articulate, compassionate African American has been elected President of this country.

    For the so called leaders of the Republican Party to condone this action is reprehensible. To conduct town hall meetings and make jokes about lynching is not funny; it is ignorant and stupid and it is stoking fires that are going to erupt. Forty years ago we celebrated Woodstock and the Summer of Love, we are now watching the Summer of Hate hosted by the GOP and the people like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh who speak for them. And certainly the ex governor of Alaska, with her ludicrous “death panel” Facebook posting has done her part to instill fear and confusion. But then I am sure that none of us who frequent the Alaska Blogs are surprised about that.

    Also, too I didn’t mean to infer that only ignorant, bigoted people live in the South. Unfortunately they are everywhere.

  347. gwen wangler says:

    This was your finest post.

  348. BodieP says:

    My family is German. I had relatives in the camps. Some were prisoners. Some were guards. Some fought in the Resistance. Some were SS. My grandfather, the first of his family to be born in America, not Germany, refused to talk about World War II–ever.

    When I was in college I had to watch a documentary on Auschwitz for a film literature class. I sat in that darkened auditorium, watching those horrific images, and I realized that the blood of both monsters and victims flows in my veins. My first response was sorrow. My second was shame.

    Your post reminds us all that the unlimited potential–for good and evil–lie within all of us. We are all heirs to that terrible history, as well as heirs to the heroism of those who opposed it.

    The real power of those images lies in our willingness to acknowledge their reality, and to choose how we will exercise our own limitless potential. To trivialize either the horror or the heroism by turning them into political buzzwords is obscene. It is also incredibly dangerous. Words have power. To apply such freighted words to a person, political party, or piece of legislation is to justify violence against them.

    The “death panel” argument gave me mental whiplash. It shouldn’t have. It grows directly out of the imagery being used to oppose President Obama, health care coverage reform, and the Democratic Party. It’s a short step from calling someone a Nazi to claiming that they are planning to do the things that Nazis did in the past. The extreme conservative right is rapidly building a case for assassination.

  349. prisonernumbersix says:

    Well done! This is exceptional – even for you!
    We have come to expect an extremely high standard from you, and, having met and talked with you recently, I know why.

    Thank you, AKM
    And “Thank you” from my father – a WWII vet, long gone (1985), and remembered every day.

  350. Jan Arnold says:

    From my heart, I salute your father.
    In Junior High School, I read Anne Frank with sadness and despair. I read Leon Uris books in high school and the horror of the descriptions of the life in the ghettos in Warsaw broke my heart.
    I, too, am angry and tired of the phony analogies between the Nazi’s and our very good hearted president. Thank you for today’s blog. I will share it with others.

  351. GA Peach a/k/a Lance the Boil aka Crust Scramble says:

    Thanks, AKM.

  352. CoyoteMarti says:

    Another gift from AKM to the world. Please submit to NYT or WaPo as an OP Ed. Then it will go world-wide.

  353. BigSlick says:


    Thank you for sharing.

    I’d like to add that the Conservative Far Right has engaged in a pattern of accusing others of the crimes they are actively engaged in themselves.

    The problems with our government that are coming to light today are legacies of the Bush Administration yet the same Conservative Right that voted Bush in is blaming the Obama administration for the national debt, the deficit, the problems at the VA, and will probably find some way of passing blame onto President Obama for the CIA contracting Blackwater to provide privatized hit-squads.

    Death Panels in Health Care? The Bushies contracted Blackwater in the aftermath of Katrina…perhaps Rush and XGINO would like to contract Blackwater for Health Care as well?

    The lies from the Right are the greatest challenge to freedom that this country has ever faced in the Modern Era. The sheer absurdity of these Right-Wing accusations of the Left of fomenting Nazism (an extreme right-wing ideology itself) simply amazes and boggles the mind.

    If the Far Right is accusing others of Nazism, then I say Nazism is exactly what they, the Far Right, have in their own plans for the country should they ever get back into power.

    Indeed, we must already beware the Death Panels of the Republicans, because they will not wait until an end-of-life consultation for the elderly — the chatter on the Far Right blogs is that there should be summary executions of those who oppose their Far Right lunatic ideology. Some of these Freeper traitors even say Blackwater should be the contractor of choice for that “job”.

  354. Former R in FL says:

    Here’s something to think about. I forwarded the NAZI link to over 100 people in my email list to people on both the right and left side of the political aisle. I suppose I should not be surprised that I received this in reply:

    …I highly doubt many conservatives would feel that this article is anything less than a liberal push to try to undermine the real issues of many Americans by masking their concerns with remarks by a few individuals from the far right and ignoring the legitimate concerns of most that our country is quickly headed towards unsustainable debt, socialism and the loss of individual freedom. ”

    It boggles the mind that he could twist AKM’s words into such a response.

  355. the problem child says:

    yes, nswfm CA @ 99, that would be good to remember, too.

  356. bubbles says:

    ***nswfm****baby, you are in my thoughts this morning. yes. hamlets mills extensive list is just great. i bet that twenty pups who know how to copy and paste each taking a section of the list could do this in no time. hamlets’ list is amazing.

  357. nswfm CA says:

    In addition to my requested call to action on #92 in honor of the Netroots learning, could we also keep in mind we’ve killed numerous innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan? In addition to our troops and the “evil doers”? There is the blood of innocents on our hands, too.

  358. MinNJ says:

    Absolutely one of the best pieces I’ve read recently; tough, strong, true. Thank you.

  359. Oswego Eileen says:

    excellent post.

  360. bubbles says:

    dear AKM….you have outdone yourself this morning. i have just posted your essay to my friends and family on facebook including a young friend of mine who is an editor at the ny daily news. my father served on a battleship and was at guadalcanal. all of my uncles served as well:one of them as a tuskeegee airman. all of them came back from this war and faced the same hatred, the same racist turds whose disgusting progeny have managed to stay alive and breed other nasty turd-like creatures till this day. enough is enough.MUDPUPS THIS IS WAR!!!!!!! FIRED UP and READY TO FIGHT!! forget olbermann. he is not serious enough. send this essay to rachel maddow she may not read it on air but it will be used in some way to back up her arguments…b

  361. Ebbtide says:

    Truly moving. As a writer by trade, I express professional jealousy of your amazing talent.

    I sent it to Eugene Robinson at the WAPO, believing a Pulitzer Prize winner should recognize similar brilliance.

  362. yukonark says:

    AKM, thank you. What an incredibly powerful story.

  363. Sharon says:

    Thank you for clarifying and sharing what has been on my mind as I watch these town hall fiascos. The tossing about of such virulent words is dangerous. Forgetting their true meaning is even more dangerous. Beautifully written.

  364. ValleyIndependent says:

    Oh, Cathy in Texas, I feel for you. I have a friend from Texas up here who sends me emails from her friends that I bet are the same hateful and ignorant ones you’re getting. When I can find time, I reply by posting the links to snopes, fact check, articles, or even parts of documents (like HR 3200) that show how wrong they are. I suspect that Texas is like Alaska, though, with plenty of closet mudpups who just aren’t sure it’s safe to speak out.

    On that note, has anybody seen austinTX lately?

  365. Former R in FL says:

    AKM, I can’t find words praiseworthy enough for what you wrote and how well you wrote it. I can’t help but think that when you wrote a few days ago that you had spent time in Cambridge and environs in the past that somehow you remember what they taught there. And since you might have had a chance the other day to meet Mr. Olbermann in passing, perhaps there is a good chance that he’ll read this on air. I hope he will.

    Many thanks for ALL you’re doing

  366. nswfm CA says:

    Well said, AKM. Thank you for this perspective.

    Could we use Hamlets Mills compiled list of contacts to get this post out EVERYWHERE?

    Huff Po, KO and DKos would just be talking to ourselves. People who have R representatives should send it to them so they realize their constituents have had it with this misuse of free speech. They need to be called on supporting the use of Nazi/Hitler rhetoric.

    Look at what advertisers’ reaction was to people writing about that fool Glen Beck. Many have jerked their ad buys. It CAN be done.

    Please, take the time to get this powerful writing out among the REST of the country, not just the already converted.

  367. BlancheMadison says:

    Thank you, AKM, for this stunning editorial. I lurk on the Flats several times a day, and don’t often have the time to comment as I should, but I’m dropping everything here to respond.

    I suspect my dad was also a POW in the Philipines at the end of WWII. He NEVER spoke about it, but you could see mild traces of PTSD every now and again. Of course, when I was a kid (mid-60’s) no one knew what this was, or how it affected veterans and their families. He became a rocket scientist (really!) and helped design the LEM spacecraft at Grumman on LI, burying himself in his work to get men on the moon. I’m very proud of him. I encourage anyone in the New Orleans area to visit the new WWII Museum as my husband and I did on a visit to NOLA this summer. It’s an amazing tribute to those who served–told from a human standpoint. It’s VERY powerful, and we left exhausted and in tears. My dad passed away eight years ago, but I know he was watching over our shoulders while we were there.

    As for the Nazi references, this raises my BP to the boiling point on a daily basis. Those who are spouting this evil are completely uninformed, and IMHO, are very comfortable and smug in their ignorance. From my own experience, I collect and have done a book on Shirley Temple. If this seems incongruous to the conversation, let me go on. One of my pen-pals (before email!) was a woman who grew up in Holland in the 1930s. She was a huge fan of Shirley, whose studio promoted a fan club of which my friend was a member. There were thousands of kids enrolled in the club during 1936-37, and most got together for club parties during school vacations. She told me this was the happiest time of her life–her family was fairly well-to-do and she and her siblings were fortunate to have whatever they wanted. She had many friends thanks to the Shirley club. By 1938-39, the club printed a mimeographed list in the Dutch language. She translated it for me: Where were these children and their families? They couldn’t find them to send them their newsletters. There were HUNDREDS of names. She sent me the list with the comment: “Most of my friends and their families gone, taken to the horrible concentration camps. They were never seen again. This ended my happy childhood, although no one really told us children what happened until we were a bit older. After this list came out, the club ended. THIS MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!” I was floored. I still have the list and get a bone-rattling chill every time I hold it.

    I remember that in third grade, we were shown the film “Night and Fog,” the first (?) documentary on the Holocaust. It was quite graphic for the time, but the school felt that we were old enough for it to make an impression–and it DID. I will never blithely compare anyone or anything to a Nazi, or to Nazism.

    After repeatedly banging my head against the table this week, I designed some oval Euro-style stickers “NHC” (National Health Care) and “HCR” (Health Care Reform). It was all I can do right now (hubs is busy writing letters and wrote a whopper to Grassley). I’m putting one on my car before we go to our house in PA. I can’t wait to see the reaction in my reddish area, and am prepared for a few possible “Socialist” comments. If I hear the “N” word, I’ll go ballistic. I hope I can educate at least some of them if this happens.

    Sorry this is so long–thanks again to all Mudflatters for my slice of sanity!

  368. Mari says:

    Beautifully written. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for sharing your father with us.

  369. Cynamen Winter says:

    Amen to that AKM~

    And I would add….that it is incumbent upon us as bloggers, as well as for the MSM to not further promulgate the wretched cause of the Rabid Reich Wing by posting links to their heinous sites; copying their hatred and bitter vitriol to other sane sites; nor promote their vile ads and viral videos for others to view. By doing so, WE inadvertently advance the cause of the evil within our own borders, which resides deeply in the souls of some men (and women)…

    Hope that you all have a peaceful weekend.

  370. ValleyIndependent says:

    The woman in the Barney Frank video with the “…picture of the President defaced to look like Hitler….” looked far too young to have even remembered the Vietnam war, let alone WWII, as did the young man at a local meeting a couple of years ago who called the commissioners “Nazis.” That young man received a quick correction when an immigrant on the commission politely, but firmly, in her authentic German accent, told him she doubted he had any idea what that word meant, but that she most certainly understood its meaning, and that while he was welcome to share his views in a civil manner, he was not to use that word again. The wind went out of his sails instantly, and the look on his face was priceless.

    We need to follow that example and politely, but firmly, let people know that while they are welcome to share their views and suggestions for improvement, such offensive behavior will not be tolerated.

    They apparently don’t realize that when they start ranting it diminishes their message, because whoever they’re ranting at tunes them out.

  371. mo says:

    After skimming the latest rant in the letters section of the Juneau Empire from our resident Townhall regurgitator in Haines, this essay was the perfect antidote. The obscenity of comparing our president and administration to Nazis is beyond belief.

    Y’know, I felt the same way about Hogan’s Heroes. Didn’t have a parent who’d been in a prison camp, but I’d read King Rat somewhere along the line, and found the reconstructionist fairy tale of Hogan’s Heroes painful to watch.

    Thank you.

  372. augiegram says:

    This was so beautiful that I had to share it on my facebook page. In a short time I have had numerous comments from my friends. thank you for your well thought out and well written piece today.

  373. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    AKM, I can not imagine how difficult this was to write.
    But I thank you so much for writing it.
    This is one of the most powerful things I have read in a long time.
    I am also disgusted when these words are thrown around and thrown at our president and administration.
    Thank You for this AKM.

  374. Tealwomin says:

    Funny (not really) that they call Obama a Nazi, yet it is ‘they’ who most often pratice along those line with their color/sexual orientation/gender HATE…

  375. karen in OR says:

    I really like the idea about contacting Republican leaders and demanding that they speak out about the Nazi references. They could and should use every effort to expose the wrong-headedness and danger of at least this specific aspect of the rallies.

    ESPECIALLY….John McCain. Some hero.

  376. I just had an idea – What if people whose family members survived the Nazis wore shirts or signs at the rallies to indicate that true survivors of such horrific circumstances stood against using those terms to dilute current debate? That is a clumsy suggestion, but perhaps someone with a better grasp of the concept can be more specific. If not at rallies, certainly more writing and conversation about the misuse of this term would be a great positive contribution.

  377. VoteNov4 says:

    Thank you AKM for again putting words to all of our feelings.

  378. Silvermoon says:

    Thanks for sharing—so powerful.

  379. HistoryGoddess says:

    Laurie@52 RE: Beck and Key to the city
    Perhaps the good mayor Bud of Mt Vernon, WA needs to read this post and reconsider a bit his honoring of Mr. Beck. mymayor at ci dot mount-vernon dot wa dot us
    Perhaps he would like to take, instead, the time to honor town/county residents like AKM’s dad who fought and/or survived the REAL Nazis. One doesn’t have to wait until Veteran’s Day…

    Link to short Skagit Valley, WA article on Beck Day. Full article not free online.

  380. skip from Asheville, NC says:

    AKM..a beautiful post and my father’s experience in WW2 was simliar and he rarely talked it. The fear and hate driven GOP is a sick group who deserve no less than our scorn and comtempt as they do not represent American values or beliefs. They will be a special place in hell for them when they scare our elderly with “death panels” and depict Obama with Hitler.

  381. CR46 says:

    thank you for sharing your fathers heart wrenching story. My father was an american soldier that helped free a concentration camp and he can still barely talk about it at age 87 without getting physically ill. Thank you for putting this into perspective all of all.

  382. UK Lady says:

    AKM, thank you.

    I agree with Ocliberal – ENOUGH!

    All these hate filled people need to be asked “have you no decency?”.

    Please try and get this post out to as many outlets as possible. It is very powerful writing.

  383. mae lewis says:

    To AKM, what a powerful post, and so well expressed. As someone who is Jewish, I think that there is another chapter, equally powerful and compelling, that we need to be reminded of: The Nazis chose to kill Jews, Gypsies, many others in their crazed vision of becoming a “master race.” It is an insult to call Obama a Nazi, since under Hitler, anyone with dark skin would have been eliminated. The Nazis did have a Death Panel at concentration camps, where sickly people where chosen for immediate elimination while healthy ones might survive a little longer. There is no comparison, and those who are trying to thwart the Health Care Proposal are using some of the worst kind of language to achieve that goal. There were many other terrible dictators who also launched mass extermination programs: Stalin, Pol Pot for example. But, the health-care-opponents have leaders who focus-group the worst words to use that prevent any reasoned conversation. Thank you for reminding people about the true nature of the Nazis. Your father was a real hero!

  384. Cathy in Texas says:

    I often receive nasty anti Obama emails from friends and even family. Texas is a lonely place for those who are Blue minded. They are the ridiculous emails that get circulated throughout the net. I routinely delete them as I realize there are some minds that just won’t be open to any factual responses from me.
    By linking this post, I think it will be a great way for me to finally get to send my Red friends and family an email with some semblance of universal humanity. Finally I can be “just sayin” to my friends without a word from me.
    Thanks again for such a human perspective. I am still in awe.

  385. phoebe says:

    #52 laurie

    So well said & all the same questions that have been running through my mind in my disbelief of the things that have happend since Obama won. These are Americans I just didn’t know existed or didn’t realize there were so many misguided & hatefilled Americans being led by rich, cynical & greedy repubs. Yes, these are the same people who would say what concentration camps.

  386. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    my husbands’s father was a victim of the holocost.
    he was liberated by the americans after losing his entire family in the camps.

    the nazi’s represent evil and the shadows that lie in men’s souls. ignorance and the devaluing of what makes us human creates the perfect storm for these shadows to emerge.

    we can stop this seepage. we must stop this seepage.

  387. Brilliant and perfectly stated. This is a wonderful and meaningful piece that goes beyond the divisions on this issue.

  388. Peter Schweich says:

    Chilling. I regret that I can not thank your father, and so many others who endured such horror, for their courage that resulted in giving me, literally, a life to live.

  389. Tara Bradford says:

    Your piece is touching and real; raw and honest. Thank you for writing truths so many need to hear.

  390. SameOld says:

    Thank you AKM!

    Both my parents were in WWII …. my mother a nurse in the Pacific, my father in the North Africa to Anzio campaign. My father was Jewish and numerous members of the family in Rumania were murdered by the Nazis. They just put them in box cars and left them to die. During the McCarthy era my father was hounded because what relatives he had living in Eastern Europe and the US were socialist or communists. It was the sensible option.

    I am in despair at the crassness of my fellow country men and at a President who pretends it isn ‘t happening.

  391. Bear Woman says:

    Per my post at 65;

    A link is not enough! Those who most need to read this would not come to this post.

    If this is not appropriate, I am sorry, but I am cutting and pasting this article into an e-mail to Alaska congressional delegation and legislators.

  392. C.Rock says:

    Masterful post AKM . Hits straight to the heart.

  393. A Hired Gun says:

    AKM, this may be one of the best posts you have even written.

  394. Bear Woman says:

    Thank you for such a powerful story.

    You have moved me to take action and I am copying this piece and sending to Alaskan congressional delegation and all Alaskan republican legislators.

    I hope that other mudpups will take similar action and copy this story and send to their Congressional delegates and state legislators.

    This should make them think, even if just for a moment.

  395. HistoryGoddess says:

    Extremely powerful post, AKM. You are a real tribute to your father’s memory. Thank you.

  396. Polly says:

    1.) Please get this published somewhere.
    2.) Many untold stories died with my father who was a veteran of the war.
    3.) I never watch movies that are “holocaust” or “slavery” related.
    4.) Thank you AKM for writing new posts for us while you are “away.”
    5.) We NEED to stop these ugly people from spreading their poison.

  397. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    And, speaking of symbols, I have a question: why does the non-Republican majority of America continue to allow the minority to make the US flag a symbol of them?

    My father fought under this flag. My father was a Democrat.

    My husband fought under this flag, My husband is a Democrat.

    Whose flag is it?

  398. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Laurie, we keep sane by speaking up and taking non violent action instead of ignoring what is going on around us or thinking nothing will change. Change takes action. Hang in there and do what you can to help.

    Your call to the mayor was an excellent example of what should be done. We just need more voices, more organization, more action. Set an example for those around you, encourage them to do something, invite them along. If there is one thing that bugs me, it’s listening to someone gripe about something but do nothing, I always want to say ‘well what do you want to do about it?’

  399. temptxan says:

    I needed to come over here and express just how deeply this moved me when I read it at the great orange satan, thank you. Many of us have family members that have been personally touched by the evil of the Nazis, to see their image invoked for political propaganda is to me, beyond the pale.

  400. Ayana says:

    That was the best story I have ever read. I’ve been lurking this site for a while and had to post. Thank you for sharing….more people need to read this.

  401. rebekkah says:

    So insightful and true, AKM. I find that an individual’s true character is exposed by how that individual reacts when they’re angry. A good character is going to find solutions, ways, and respectful treatment of others during discourse.

    A nasty hateful character throws tantrums, uses terms like “N-a-z-i” – to get the most negative reactions in their argument. It shows the true deep nasty heart of a person who throws accusations of the H word to true leaders who are only trying to improve people’s lives.

    I think there’s a lot of “anger management” needies out there, and it should start with people like Rush, and his ilk; they are the evil trumpeteers of defeat, and mean-spiritidness, they are incontinent, love to rile the public into hate-filled zombies like themselves.

    Wow, I need another coffee!

  402. Lainey says:

    oh what a heart-wrenching story 🙁
    …I’m also sick of all the hate and comparisons coming from the Right…they are lower than low, saying any lie for the sake of winning. Imagine these very offenders breaking bread with you? …sneaky and conniving in their skewed minds.

  403. Cori says:

    Thank you for sharing your father’s story AKM. I am an immigrant from the Netherlands. My Mom and Dad lived through the Nazi occupation. My father was put in a labor camp because he would not work in the coal mines for the Nazis on Sunday. He was not a particularly religious Catholic, but he took a stand on working for those butchers for free on Sunday and it cost him his freedom. My mother worked for the underground in the Netherlands. I also heard the terrible stories of hunger and madness in the camps and I am deeply offended when people use Nazi symbolism to attack Obama.

    My parents decided that if they lived through the ordeal they would immigrate to the USA to give their children a better life. They loved the American soldiers and my mother would look for ads in the newspaper from Americans that were looking for the graves of their sons. When my mother would find one she would put flowers on them every Sunday and write to the family.

    These people that are injecting these Nazi symbols into our national conversation are ignorant. They have no clue as to what they are talking about and they should stop and stop now. I could write on this subject forever I feel so strongly about it. I wish these people would take the time to educate themselves even a little bit so that they know how wrong and evil what they are doing is. Sorry, that last sentence sounds like word salad!!

    Again, thank you for writing about this.

    North Carolina mountains (yes, I actually DO hike the Appalachian trail, not the Argentinian trail)

  404. aussiegal77 says:

    Bravo AKM, well said.

    May your father rest in peace.

  405. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Very well said AKM! please put this up on huffpo.

    I suggest we contact John McCain and every other Repub senator and ask that they publicly ask people to not do this. Before it gets worse. It’s not funny and it’s something that should be discouraged.

  406. laingirl says:

    AKM, I don’t like to cry the first thing in the morning, but your post was so thought-provoking and beautifully written, I couldn’t help my self. I have a great big spot in my heart for vets. All three of my brothers spent years in the service (one lost both legs in Vietnam) and are very special because of it. I hope your post receives the dissemination it deserves.

  407. Candy Knight says:

    First they called Obama a socialist and a communist. Now suddenly he’s a Nazi. I am tired of the ignorance of and misuse of history.

    Your father’s heroism (survival is heroism) is truly inspiring. But as an historian, in the interest of history I would like to point out that at the end of the war the German people as well as their prisoners were starving because the Allies were not letting food (or medicine–many prisoners and civilians died of typhoid) get through. And that after the war, tens of thousands of German soldiers were deliberately and cruelly starved to death in Russian, French and, American-run prisoner of war camps, as were some 1.5 million ethnic German women and children “cleansed” from Eastern Europe. Yes, Nazism was horrible. But unfortunately it wasn’t the complete aberration we like to see it as.

  408. Paula says:

    Wonderful post, I sure hope this one makes HP.

    These right wingers are screaming things like Nazi, Stalin -whatever. They have no idea what they are talking about. They should stop for just a moment and realize how blessed they are to live in a country where they can go to town hall meetings with opposition signs and loud chants and not be sent to hard labor camps or shot in the head. On the spot. No jury of their peers. No trial.

    Yeah, they’re getting on all of our last nerves. That’s their point isn’t it? Not trying to make positive changes, just disrupting everything around them.

  409. laurie says:

    Thank you for your pure and beautiful words from the heart. This month has been education for me in how much hate and cowardice and fear there is in our airways. I have a been somewhat shocked to see the darkness seep into every part of our “civil discourse” . My thoughts have been where are churches, Jesus said heal the sick? Where are the grown up Reppublicans who understand that a country divided against itself can not stand. Do they hate the thought of black man as President so much that they are willing to burn down the country? Hate is a policy that breeds death not growth and prosperity.

    I believe that we are in en epic struggle for the soul of our nation. I hope that does not sound melodramatic. But when I see people standing up at meetings spouting nonsense about the President being a Nazi, socialist communist it make my blood boil.

    Yesterday on the DIALY kOS someone posted that Glenn Beck was getting the key to city of MOunt Vernon, Washington. We are a blue state!!!!! I called the mayor and left a message about the travesty of Edward R
    Murrow’s home town honoring a faux journailist.

    Fellow mudpuppies, I am an infrequent poster but daily reader. How do we keep ourselves sane? How do we keep the moral outrage from turning us into them?

    So thank AKM for your honest voice. There are so few journalists left we need to honor those who still expose the lies.

  410. sharon in canada says:

    I have tears running down my face….beautiful and profound writing

  411. jo says:

    I think with all the hate and lies spewed 24/7 on cluster fox news, it’s time that a continuous scroll that they are not a factual news station, the views expressed are opinions. The FCC needs to do something like this no matter what channel. Any time they are discussing things, rather than reporting the news. After all CNN has Lou Dobbs, and MSNBC has Pat Buchanan, Morning Joe and they both invite liars without calling them out. This hate and misinformation is tearing this country apart. The all mighty dollar is more important to these people than mankind.

  412. ocliberal says:

    Thank you AKM. As always you express beautifully what so many of us feel.

    I too am tired – sick and tired of the discourse. I’m tired of the the obscene hatred towards a man who worse sin is in trying to restore dignity to our country and give a basic quality of life to everyone, not just the fortunate. I tired of those who think it’s just a political game to barter with the future of this country.

    I remember during the campaign it was expressed in one word so eloquently exactly how I feel.

    The word…


  413. GreatGranny2B says:

    So moving – thank you for sharing with us. I agree with others that this needs to go EVERYWHERE and just maybe, it will make a few of the wingnuts stop and think. Hope you don’t mind, I sent it in an e-mail to some of my family and friends.

  414. Gryphen says:

    I am not at all surprised that such a strong man fathered my friend, who possesses oceans of internal fortitude herself.

    That was a great story AKM.

    I wish I could have met your Dad.

  415. overthemoon says:


    Post to HuffPo?

  416. Seagull Junker Palin says:

    This is a very strong, succinct diary AKM. Thank you.

    Never forget………..the capabilities of the human race are such that if the past is forgotten or trivialized, it can happen again. We hear this, but it must be repeated.

    To diminish the history of the Nazi’s by casually throwing it out and actually making it part of the health care conversation is very dangerous indeed. I blame the money makers of Fox – Rush Limbaugh started this in his preaching. Yes, I’m calling it preaching now.

    For further reading, here is a sobering diary from Citsven on the Daily Kos:

    Written by a German who’s Grandfather was a Nazi.

  417. ayerishgrl says:

    Excellent, excellent post AKM. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, and allowing all of us to see the reasons behind why you feel as strongly as you do, thereby making your valid point even more so.

    This is a must read for anyone who deems to use the term Nazi for any type of political advantage. I chide myself constantly for my continued amazement and dismay at the depths the Repbulican party will go to in their never ending quest for political relativity and dominance. I worry for this country…

  418. benlomond2 says:

    Thank you. My Uncle was also at the Battle of the Bulge (17th Airbourne) Only recently has he talked about his experiences. As a teenager, the neighbor down the street was on the USS Arizonia on Dec 7th, his brother is still there. I regularly went duck hunting with a friend’s dad who was a fighter pilot in Korea; he flew the actual mission over Toko-Ri ( William Holden movie), another friend’s dad was a POW in Japan, another’s dad was on Guadalcanal in the first wave ashore, my wife’s uncle survived the Battaan Death March, I have visited the Singapore British POW Camp, been to Battaan and hope to someday visit Normandy. I had relatives in Greece who were killed by the Nazis, and an old girl friend’s Dad was in the French Resistance- he told me events that his own daughter had never heard. THESE men were quiet spoken, reflective and gentle, but had witnessed and participated in some of the most horrific events the World has ever seen. It wasn’t some trumped up movie with special effects ( the troops BOO’ed John Wayne!) or some video game that could be played over and over. It was close up and personal… My own daughters have been told about these men, so they can pass on to their future children the sacrifices given so they can live in a free country. My thanks , AKM , for sharing about your father.

  419. Amanda says:

    Very powerful. Thank you!

    I posted this link on facebook and have already seen several friends post it as well. I’m hoping many many people read it.

  420. kareninTexas says:

    Wow, what a powerful post. It is a shame that people are throwing this term around without knowing the reality of its meaning. We all need to support our president and work toward making a better America.
    Thanks for all you do.

  421. nubiannut says:

    Thanks to your Father and the thousands of un-sung heroes of that awful war! Yours is one of the best pieces of writing I have ever seen on-line or anywhere else! It rips my soul to hear and see the “ignorants” who spout these ‘N’ comparisons and to know they do it with such relish and conviction. Is this an indictment on the educational system in America that they never learned the facts, or is this the true character of her citizens? I am not sure which is worse. Please try to get national exposure for your piece!

  422. Grandma Nancy says:

    I too read your words with emotion. Two days ago we visited my uncle at the VA Hospital and he too was in the Battle of the Bulge, and he too was awarded a Purple Heart. He was shot in the leg, and froze his feet and has had problems with his feet ever since. My granddaughter kept asking questions, and since she is so young all he would say is “We were all scared. And those that said they weren’t scared were lying.” He too came home, married, raised a wonderful family, and said very little about the war — keeping his memories to himself. They did what they had to do as young men, and came home to be true Americans. He too has been a man of peace. To compare Obama, the peace loving community organizer who wants health reform to cut medical costs and health coverage for all Americans, to Hitler is atrocious. Rush Limbaugh loves to call people nazis — I can remember the last time I listened to one of his programs years ago when he called women like Hillary femmi-nazis. He is a pathetic bigot.

  423. Scorpie says:

    Bless you AKM for sharing your fathers’ memories. Your post really needs to be put where everyone can read it.

  424. terry says:

    Beautiful post.

    thank you for wording it so perfectly.


  425. Bonnie says:

    Perhaps this well written piece should be sent to some of those folks like Rush.

  426. no farms-no food says:

    thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! i have read your blog for almost a year and have never posted….but with this piece, you have summed up my feelings and thoughts on the recent events 100%. what a sad, sad commentary on our society that we compare anyone to the horrors that were nazi germany without any true merit. as barney frank said, it IS a true testament to the 1st amendment that “we” are allowed to spew such disgusting displays of hate and bigotry.

  427. momcat4obama says:

    I am in awe. This is the most beautiful and horrifying post you have ever done – in my opinion. And it is so true. It must be sent out to everyone. I agree with aview999 that it needs to go viral. And if KO would read it on Countdown, even better. Can Shannyn help with that?

    Bless you, and your family.

    Thank you.

  428. Kim says:

    WOW Thank you.

  429. Actongue says:

    I made a post in the forums but will mention it here

    President Eisenhower saw how effective the Autobahn was in Germany and how quickly troops were moved.

    He then implemented the Interstate hiway system in the States for the same reason.

    So when people call Obama a nazi and comparing him to hitler they are effectively saying the same about Eisenhower.

  430. Leota2 says:

    Beautifully said . . . . .

  431. SK in PR says:

    Speechless. THANK YOU.

  432. aview999 says:

    This post needs to go VIRAL. And like another poster suggested…a reading of it by KO on Countdown. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with your Dad. It means so much to all of us…really, it does.

  433. Molly says:

    I think those that throw “Nazi” around so freely do not truly understand the full horror of the atrocities, and even if they do, think that it could never happen again, or that it wouldn’t have happened to THEM. They think of it as ancient history, and the people from the time as mere actors in a drama.

    I’d encourage people to open a book, to read, to look at the pictures, to hear the stories of the survivors, the stories of the ‘lucky’ ones whose blood was deemed pure enough to remain alive–who witnessed such horrors as babies being pulled from their beds and……no–because my own mind snaps when I think of it and how horrible man can be to man.

    These idiots need to be educated and put themselves in the shoes of others, and SEE that the Nazi comparisons of Pres. Obama’s healthcare proposals are nothing but propaganda of the first order, and THAT you CAN compare to historical propaganda.

    Here’s hoping AKM’s article gets widely disseminated.

  434. possum says:

    WOW! This needs to be on the front page of every paper in the USA!

    Sadly, we live in times when certain words get tossed around in every sentence and have no meaning to the ignorant who spew them out of their mouths. But one would expect more of those who speak in the public arena.
    I guess if you can’t control the masses with logic and reason, you have to resort to fear and hatred.
    We had a local politician a couple of years ago who was interviewing a woman for a judgeship. He asked her if she was one of those “feminazis.” That fired up those of us who were not all that politically active to do what we could to defeat him. And we did. We must not, as a people, allow the ignorant and the nasty to insult us and our fathers.

    Thank you AKM. This is one of your best.

  435. nats says:

    A Great post!!!

  436. kraftytess says:

    Wow – thanks AKM for sharing this. It is a very powerful piece of writing and I agree that many, many people need to read it and pass it on.

  437. Actongue says:

    thank you for posting this and sharing the experiences of your father

    My story of my family is quite Similiar but on my moms side.

    My mom and her family is 100 percent german and grew up in World War 2 in Germany.

    My Omi (grandmother) was anti-hitler like most germans were at the time but she went a step further and refused to hail hitler.

    The reason may stem from the fact that my great grandfather was high up in a Union in germany and also had the ear of the people. He spoke out agaisnt hitler and then hitler had him killed by injecting cyanide I believe it was into him ………..

    She was almost taken away to Concentration camp along with my Mom and her sister due to my grandmother not Hailing hitler.

    Fortunately the Gestapo agent was a frind of my grandmothers husband and let her off the hook that time but warned her that next time he would have to take them away.

    The atrocities of hitler and the nazis did not just happen to the jews and non germans but also to germans that opposed hitler.

  438. Sirenoftitan says:

    Wonderful post AKM.


  439. Forty Watt says:

    Thank you. That’s all I can say. You’ve said it all. From the depths of my being, thank you.

  440. Angela says:

    AMEN! I wonder if you can get that posted on some of the major sites?

  441. kettletop says:


  442. Team Alaska says:

    Awake….., wide eyed awake in the early morn.

    AKM….., I shiver and tremble with morn.

    Your words cut me to the core, wash my eyes with tears, and bring hope……

  443. aeroentropy says:

    Thank you, AKM.

  444. SunSweet says:

    My husbands grandparents were Russian Jews who immigrated to the U.S. when they were young adults. Their older siblings chose to stay in Russia. Out of 12 children 5 died in concentration camps along with their families. In our family, as I suspect is the case in most Jewish families, you NEVER compare anyone to Hitler, even in jest. I’m shocked that people are throwing these words around so freely.

  445. Jana says:

    Very well said. Thank you for such a powerful piece.

  446. Kathi in NJ says:


  447. michigander says:

    Dear AKM,

    I have a feeling this was difficult for you to share. Thank you for honoring so many souls by writing this post. It was heartfelt and powerful and IMHO, necessary.

    I can’t type more, I am getting too emotional. I will be passing this on – this needs to be told – thank you

  448. MissSunshine says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories. When I was younger, we were not allowed to watch “M.A.S.H.” because my father believed it to be “anti-American”. My world view has changed quite a bit since those days.

  449. Fantastic and true.

  450. phoebe says:

    One of your most powerful posts. It is our responsibility to make sure that their suffering was not in vain. We need to continue to fight the good fight. I just read on Huff that the states with the most uninsured are the ones with the most people who believe the health care myths. What can be done about the crazy indoctrination of these people?

  451. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    Thank you so very much. Powerful words, powerful thoughts. Thank you for the reminder that using those “other” words so cavalierly diminishes their meaning and their impact. And dismisses those who lived through the real thing.

    I wish that everyone could read these words. Thank you.

  452. the problem child says:

    Thank you for this powerful message. I agree it needs to be shared widely, as I suspect there are many, many children of vets who would agree but not be as articulate as you are.

  453. Cathy in Texas says:

    OK, after my second cup of coffee, this hesitant Texan sent an email to Countdown and asked that they read your post and consider it for commentary. Don’t know any legalities but still, MSNBC needs to hear your voice and hopefully they could echo it to the parts of the world that are not yet fortunate enough to find your blog.
    This posting touches the soul.
    Bless you and bless your amazing father.

  454. greatgrammy1 says:

    AKM, I am constantly in awe of your choice of words and the way you put them together. I agree with everyone. This is powerful. Please send it to Huffpo and Keith. Thank you for shedding some light on this terrible accusation of the hard right fools.

  455. Doreen says:

    Please Please Please cross post this at Huff Po and Daily Kos … This is powerful, succinct, and TRUE.

    I am sure the rethugs will find a way to twist it, just as they jeer real sick people that are brave enough to tell their stories at a town hall meeting!!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  456. Ripley says:


  457. Eyes Wide Open in Pgh, PA says:

    Well said!

  458. Cathy in Texas says:

    I awakened early to find this powerful post. The clarity of the message is magnifying. I have no words other than thank you for this posting.
    I can almost hear Keith Olberman reading this…..and sure wish you would send it to him for his consideration as a special commentary.

  459. sdragon says:

    Thanks AKM, well said. I’ve always, since I was a little girl, had a special place in my heart for the vets. You are so right, this crap needs to stop, NOW!

  460. Snoskred says:

    Amen, AKM.

    I have a real problem when people mis-use the N word. I believe that Seinfeld has a part to play in the fact that people do it so often. As much as I enjoyed the show, I will never forgive them for taking a word which has so much meaning and turning it into a “joke” for generations who do not really understand the deeper meaning of it and now just throw it around like any other word.

    I also agree with you that this is what people can do to each other – humans all, whether we like to admit it or not – have the capability within us to do horrible things.

    Many humans would never do them – some humans would do them only if placed in what they consider to be mortal danger – some humans would happily do them if they did not believe they would be caught and punished for doing them – some humans would do horrible things to others just because they feel like it and would not care if they were caught.

    There are no monsters, despite what the news media often tries to tell us. There are only humans.

  461. mhrt says:

    My father in law was in WW 2also, another one of those silent giants. I also do not like the Hitler, Nazis stuff. President Obama is just the opposite. Now that other party ..kinda the same. Good Post AKM.

  462. Martha says:

    I could not agree more. My father survived the 2nd world war too.

    As an 8th grade social studies project we were to do an, “up to100 page” essay on this subject. We were given 3 months. I lived in a community of 3,000 people at that time.

    I had an idea.

    I went down to the local Legion and spoke with the manager there he spoke to the various veterans……………so I interviewed as many who were willing.

    There was even a German man in town who found out, that a one of the local veterans had bombed the town where he lived while he lived there!

    They drank beer together on a regular basis, in the Legion!

    They told me enough, but I was 13 years old and they would never tell me their MOST horrifying experiences.

    The basics were bad enough.

    I gave my essay to the Legion after it was graded and returned to me.

    It actually caused a little uproar, as there stories contradicted my history book in many instances.

    These displays of swastikas and Nazi comparisons make me heartsick and physically sick.

    I wish the FCC could do something about Rash Limburp and FOX news constant vile comparisons.

    I would love to send them all back in time to a POW camp.

  463. jwa says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…….

  464. Thankyou. I´m sure I´m not the only one in whose head this subject has been spinning in the last day and you had the same vibes, picked them up and spun them into these powerful words.

    I was really shocked seeing the swastika, because it is absolutely totally forbidden to show it in Germany unless you do it for arts sake or are using it for anti-nazi purposes. Having grown up in Germany I am not amused when I see people in other countries getting into Nazi costumes for a costume party. Every few years the discussion flares up about the sense and logic of prohibiting the symbols, but there are still real Nazis out there and the least we can do is to keep their symbols under wraps is the conclusion every time. Comparing anybody else to a Nazi is ignorant and ridiculing the real threat Nazis present today and ridiculing the terrible sacrifices that were made to beat them and the continuing struggle to keep them wreaking their havoc again (yes it can happen again if we don´t remember how it happened).

    Thankyou Mr. Papa-AKM, for all you have done. You sacrificed your 21st birthday and much more so that I could celebrate mine in freedom. Thankyou.

  465. Cherryann says:

    Thank you for writing this down. People need to believe these words. Take them into their hearts. History will teach us, if we are willing to learn.

  466. Bonsai-Jay says:

    Well said, and so very True. This article needs to go National.

  467. trisha says:

    Wow. I am in tears. Thank you for this powerful piece. THIS is the message that needs to be heard by ALL American’s.

    Thank you.

  468. Irishgirl says:

    Thank you for bringing the reality of this situation to the fore. The people calling President Obama a Nazi are absolutely clueless, sad and dangerous. I hope you will consider posting this at the Huffington post as well. It is something that needs to be heard.

  469. ChiCat says:

    I’m almost speechless. This is an amazing post, a powerful heartfelt reminder of what is really means to call someone a Nazi. That word is so beyond inappropriate to use when discussing our health care reform. Thank you for sharing your father’s story.

  470. Mimi says:

    Wow, this is a powerful piece. My father, who is now deaf and blind, also fought in WWII, and won’t talk about it, but is the most ardent anti-war pacifist (redundant) that I know. This is some of your best writing. Thanks for it.

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  1. Sunday Reading ver. 4…

    It’s Sunday, and that means I’m going to share a few articles for your reading pleasure….

  2. […] the “Nazi” comments and signs (written about by AKM on the Mudflats in what is probably the best blog post I’ve ever read). And, locally, we saw it, unforgettably, as it permeated our Anchorage city […]

  3. […] by ninjanurse under health care | Tags: health care town hall, nazis | Leave a Comment  This writer from Mudflats had conversations with her father, who knew what he was talking about when he used the word, […]

  4. […] in life” is to educate as many young people as possible about the … Read the original:  The Mudflats » Nazis. Share and […]

  5. […] has a personal story to illustrate the mendacity of Republicans bent on stopping healthcare reform through […]

  6. […] I read the post in Mudflats from today. Hurray! Beautiful […]

  7. […] AKM at The Mudflats: I remember as a child I was not allowed to watch Hogan’s Heroes. It wasn’t a joke in my house. […]

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