Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dear Readers and for Ashleen in particular,

Thank you in advance for your time. In these times, given the atrocity at Virginia Tech, much piffle has again been circulating about what its proponents regard as this nation's panacea. If only it could be legislated past the opposition of the Second Amendment's most intrepid adherents. Yes, I am talking about "gun control"-a much tauted solution, great and promissory, that only the criminals will be able to effectively negate it. It would in all likelihood disarm law-abiding citizens as they are not likely to break the law even if they disagree with one of its mandates. Criminals, however, have no such civic compunction. I guess the most reassuring thing about "gun control" is that it would be about as effective as this nation's "War on Poverty" and its cousin the "War on Drugs".

During the Shoah, if only the nazi murderers would have lain their guns down! Wouldn't that have been grand?! Oh, by the way, hitler was a "gun control" proponent too who effectively disarmed the whole of German civil society. But arm the politicized criminals, his most ardent followers, now that he did all too well.

A reminder or revelation (whichever better applies) to those cretins who wonder why it was that the Jews did not "fight back", I'll point out three relevant facts: 1) when asked politely the nazis simply would not give up their machine guns, Luger pistols and Mauser rifles. They just wouldn't! Go figure. 2) It is very difficult for unarmed civilians who have been systematically terrorized to fight organized bands of trained killers. 3) When they managed to arm themselves with a few pistols and molotov cocktails, the Jews-as those in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising-ably demonstrated-and like their forebearers- the Jews of the Hanukkah "al ha nissim" (see any orthodox siddur) they were more than able to redeem their much maligned and misrepresented honor.

I dedicate the following verses to Professor Liviu Librescu, Z'L who chose to die that his students might live.

Remember this tale about which you'll hear
of those fighting Jews who fell without fear,
who chose to die as men rather than cattle,
but fate had determined they first do battle
with the Hun at whom they did courageously fling
all of the might of young David's sling.

Their foe, a Goliath, of a thousand times size
from whom they refused to submit to the lies:
that they were weak and unworthy, unable to rise,
though blinded by hate, they aimed straight for his eyes.
Never before had there been seen such daring
from young women and men all of whom caring
for the dignity of those for whom they fought,
such were the lessons that history had taught
that the Jew stood alone, friendless against foe,
counting his days, tormented by woe.
His task to prove that though troubled by pain,
the odds at Masada had not been in vain.
For three months, the struggle did not cease,
neither side desiring peace.
For that meant 'surrender', an unthinkable word,
from the sewers of Warsaw could there still be heard:
the cries, the anguish, the torture within
ferreting out captives the Nazis whose grin
was evidence they had acted with glee
when stifling the attempt of people to be free.

Cords of log bodies, stacked just the same,
secular and religious none to blame.
For there was NO difference before the Hun,
the Jews for him were decidedly ONE!
whether armed or with prayer,
they met their end,
futile struggle, Kiddush HaShem.

Our duty to those whose fate we survived
is working to keep their memory alive.
I ask ...
Why a people whose destiny has been
to enlighten a world through darkness and din,
whose lives are as many as they have been few,
why so despised has been the Jew?
For what 'good' reason is he chosen to die?
Why gone unnoticed the tear in his eye?
Has he not suffered so while the world stands by,
Why have we not ever heeded his cry?
Is there really a difference that makes him seem strange,
as if the same blood did not course through his veins?
Does he not laugh, cry, and feel just as you?
How such a threat when he numbers so few?
Threatened with death should he adhere to his ways,
terrorized by chimneys above which rose haze,
searchingly hopeful ... in whose starry gaze
reflected faggots whose fires roar ablaze.

Why did none act to stop it once known?
Enough indifference haven't we sown?
Praying to the heavens as they did every day,
that soon they'd see planes flying their way,
so bombardment, please god, might take them
ere the chambers would
but, the Allies, one and all, denied they could
destroy the rails leading straight into Hell,
from which precious few reemerged to tell
of the horrors awaiting them, so hard to believe,
that neither kindness nor life did the arrivals receive.

The children, too, thrust into the pit,
enraged blood lust, its infernal fit
that even the babes whose potential so great
should have felt the steel of this magnificent hate.
Whose cries were heard, but listened to none,
whose heads fell limp with the snap of a gun.
Whose parents, God forbid! They saw as naked as they,
for it was like this they suffered that day.

There are those who challenge what we have to say,
"Does such a retelling remains relevent today?"
"That, somehow, It's past, gone. Let it be!"
"Why do you make us suffer to see:
the killings, the children, the mountains of bone,
the chambers transformed so many to stone!
Who dropped like logs when the doors thrown wide,
there simply had been no place to hide.
Mothers whose skirts offered refuge at least
little ones uncovered thrown to the beast.
"Of what use" it was queried, "could they possibly be
in a stench wherein no one was happy or free?"
Ne'er a glimmer of hope would the murderers give
to those whose sole wish was only to live.
Mothers from children, families asunder,
might others have withstood this fury and thunder?
Slave labor was needed to further the cause,
to build V-2 rockets, to sharpen the claws.
For such, 'noble' men, doctors by fame
were employed to brutalize, murder and maim.
So that science could learn when life was so cheap,
discarded mankind onto the heap.
Great governments had met in order to be
as pious as possible, but deaf to the plea
of the wandering Jew whose torment to see
how unwelcome he was in the Land of the Free.
The ship onto which so many had stormed
could not find refuge for opinion had formed
that the Jew was expendable, a nuisance, a thorn
upon whom fate abandoned its contemptuous scorn.

They made it to America these tired and poor
to discover Liberty's spark shone little more
that, for them, there was not room enough to remain,
what hopes they had cherished were all now in vain!
Dejectedly they limped back to the place
which had expelled them at first for the same lack of space.
Stripped naked and paraded for the world to see,
what sickness had afflicted modern Germany?
Once active and vigorous this citizenry
now wandering about quite aimlessly.
It didn't take the nazis long to see
the world could care less for these Jews to be free.
A 'final solution' would quicken the pace
guarenteed mastery to the Aryan race.
No longer at issue either sufferance or claim,
onto Jewry was placed the burden and blame.

To repair the world, there first must needs be
a point at which we accept responsibility
for right against wrong, fiction from fact,
a basis upon which we can responsibly act.
But why even bother, so distant from then,
what more do we gain, what message we send?
For the sake of' the children, if not then our own

Alan D. Busch
copyright 2007

1 comment:

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Hitler was not for gun control.

By N. A. Browne

A commonly heard argument against gun control is that the National Socialists of Germany (the Nazis) used it in their ascent to and maintenance of power. A corollary argument is sometimes made that had the Jews (and presumably the other targeted groups) been armed, they could have fought off Nazi tyranny. This tract seeks to counter these misassumptions about Nazi gun control.

Gun control, the Law on Firearms and Ammunition, was introduced to Germany in 1928 under the Weimar regime (there was no Right to Arms in the Constitution of 1919) in large part to disarm the nascent private armies, e.g. the Nazi SA (aka "the brownshirts"). The Weimar government was attempting to bring some stability to German society and politics (a classic "law and order" position). Violent extremist movements (of both the Left and Right) were actively attacking the young, and very fragile, democratic state. A government that cannot maintain some degree of public order cannot sustain its legitimacy. Nor was the German citizenry well grounded in Constitutional, republican government (as was evidenced in their choices at the ballot box). Gun control was not initiated at the behest or on behalf of the Nazis - it was in fact designed to keep them, or others of the same ilk, from executing a revolution against the lawful government. In the strictest sense, the law succeeded - the Nazis did not stage an armed coup.

The 1928 law was subsequently extended in 1938 under the Third Reich (this action being the principal point in support of the contention that the Nazis were advocates of gun control). However, the Nazis were firmly in control of Germany at the time the Weapons Law of 1938 was created. Further, this law was not passed by a legislative body, but was promulgated under the dictatorial power granted Hitler in 1933. Obviously, the Nazis did not need gun control to attain power as they already (in 1938) possessed supreme and unlimited power in Germany. The only feasible argument that gun control favored the Nazis would be that the 1928 law deprived private armies of a means to defeat them. The basic flaw with this argument is that the Nazis did not seize power by force of arms, but through their success at the ballot box (and the political cunning of Hitler himself). Secondary considerations that arise are that gun ownership was not that widespread to begin with, and, even imagining such ubiquity the German people, Jews in particular, were not predisposed to violent resistance to their government.

The Third Reich did not need gun control (in 1938 or at any time thereafter) to maintain their power. The success of Nazi programs (restoring the economy, dispelling socio-political chaos) and the misappropriation of justice by the apparatus of terror (the Gestapo) assured the compliance of the German people. Arguing otherwise assumes a resistance to Nazi rule that did not exist. Further, supposing the existance of an armed resistance also requires the acceptance that the German people would have rallied to the rebellion. This argument requires a total suspension of disbelief given everything we know about 1930s Germany. Why then did the Nazis introduce this program? As with most of their actions (including the formation of the Third Reich itself), they desired to effect a facade of legalism around the exercise of naked power. It is unreasonable to treat this as a normal part of lawful governance, as the rule of law had been entirely demolished in the Third Reich. Any direct quotations, of which there are several, that pronounce some beneficence to the Weapons Law should be considered in the same manner as all other Nazi pronouncements - absolute lies. (See Bogus Gun Control Quotes and endnote [1].)

A more farfetched question is the hypothetical proposition of armed Jewish resistance. First, they were not commonly armed even prior to the 1928 Law. Second, Jews had seen pogroms before and had survived them, though not without suffering. They would expect that this one would, as had the past ones, eventually subside and permit a return to normalcy. Many considered themselves "patriotic Germans" for their service in the first World War. These simply were not people prepared to stage violent resistance. Nor were they alone in this mode of appeasement. The defiance of "never again" is not so much a warning to potential oppressors as it is a challenge to Jews to reject the passive response to pogrom. Third, it hardly seems conceivable that armed resistance by Jews (or any other target group) would have led to any weakening of Nazi rule, let alone a full scale popular rebellion; on the contrary, it seems more likely it would have strengthened the support the Nazis already had. Their foul lies about Jewish perfidy would have been given a grain of substance. To project backward and speculate thus is to fail to learn the lesson history has so painfully provided.

The simple conclusion is that there are no lessons about the efficacy of gun control to be learned from the Germany of the first half of this century. It is all too easy to forget the seductive allure that fascism presented to all the West, bogged down in economic and social morass. What must be remembered is that the Nazis were master manipulators of popular emotion and sentiment, and were disdainful of people thinking for themselves. There is the danger to which we should pay great heed. Not fanciful stories about Nazi's seizing guns