Monday, September 14, 2009

The "Fuehrer" promises protection of conscience. Transcript and translation of previous post.

That only took a minute. Grandpa Willy speaks nicely and slowly.

"Und ich hab' mir immer diesen Vorhalt gehabt--'aus Glaubens--und Gewissensgruenden' --denn der Fuehrer hat ja immer betont, es soll keiner darunter leiden, dass er 'aus Glaubens--und Gewissensgruenden' nicht die Satzungen der Partei einhalten konnte."

"Da bist du also..." " Wir mussten das immer unserer Personalbehoerde bei der Oberfinanzdirektion begruenden warum wir nicht in der Hitlerbewegung mitarbeiten."

in English

"... I always used the provision-- 'for reasons of faith and conscience'-- because the Fuehrer always stressed that nobody should suffer because of the fact that he could not keep the statutes of the party due to 'reasons of faith and conscience'".

"Therefore you did..?" "Hang on (slowly)... Now... We always (repeatedly) had to give account to human resources at the Higher Finance Directorship why it was that we were not actively contributing to the Hitler-movement."

Interesting here is the way that he finagled his way through quoting the "Fuehrer" himself. I should translate the rest of this section. There are another 20 sentences in this part of the story.

What really blows my mind, however, how Hitler coaxed co-operation by giving this proviso when everyone was expected/forced to become a member of the party--that "none should suffer consequences because of issues due to faith or conscience".-- Wasn't that nice. We should trust the bastard even though we are being forced to join his party in this one-party state.

At least it helped Grandpa get through it. He had stated at the outset that he was a Christian and intended to remain one. He thus became a member of the party (required in his line of work in the finance department, 1938) but steadfastly refused to help advance the "movement" citing "reasons of faith and conscience", which he had given at the outset. We can see from the rest of the story, (not yet translated) that he suffered some repercussions from this, but nothing overly traumatic. Some became his enemies and some his friends. Maybe the finance department was a good place to be, since there were mostly just numbers to deal with, I would expect.

Whether he should have refused to become a member and lose his job instead, I don't want to analyze here. If he should have gone out and carried placards and had himself killed, or whatever people could have done and what would have happened, I don't know.--I can only imagine the anguish. He did not have the best nerves, was kind and soft(and short and chubby),(the polar opposite of a hard, nasty man), was conscientious(he was a bureaucrat after all), not to mention he did take his faith seriously. He also had four little children. My mother was two years old.

What strikes me here--this is what I am trying to get at--is the propaganda machine of the Nazi's who try to look good via promises of protection of the conscience. How very trustworthy of those pushing you around. There is some deep irony to this.

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