Friday, September 1, 2023

Give war a chance

My morning coffee group is a pretty conservative bunch. Or they used to be anyway before we all decided to switch sides ideologically.

One of them likes to needle me by sending me stupid MAGA stuff hoping I get triggered. Once in a while I reply in kind.

The other night he sent me this from his friend in Nevada:

Subject: Great interview with General MacGregor


I sent this back to him and the rest of the people on the email chain:

propaganda from Putin's boy

when did Putin's puppet make general? Last I checked he was a Colonel.

When I saw them next for coffee I got razzed for being a war monger. "We remember when you guys were all about love and peace. What happened?" I asked them if they were down with Russia invading neighboring sovereign states and taking their land over?

The conservative line these days is that a) we shouldn't help the Ukrainians because we need to help secure our southern border first b) Europe should be doing more c) we put Russia in this position and it is all our fault. d) the Ukrainians are evil nazis.

I was doing some genealogy work last night looking at Sommer (my true family surname) relatives. My father changed his name and entered the s at the end when he enrolled at UCLA in the 1940's. 

I had been contacted by a male line descendent and we were trying to put the dots together.  And I found about a hundred or more people with my family surname who died in the holocaust, either in the ghetto or in the camps. There are many more citations than I show but you get the point. 

Now they were not all kin but many of them were and my father's side of his family was almost completely decimated. His mother's side, the Szkarlats, did not fare much better. We have discussed that before. In any case, I have either blood or familial relations with every single one of them and I have proof of that.

Mostly we went to Auschwitz but we got around, Treblinka, Sobibor, we made it into all the camps. But unfortunately we didn't make it out. If you were a Christian or German Sommer who happened to live in Indiana, the records show that you had a lot better chance of survival. The good lord was not nearly so kind to our side of the patronym.

It is sobering for me to look at the pictures and the names and the markers. A missed ship, a different turn at a road and I would not be alive today. Could have been me.

Heck of a lot of people dying between 1941 and 1944.

And do you know why? Because the world largely did nothing. Here in the United States you had the America First crowd, people like Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin and Henry Ford, anti semites who openly backed the Germans and preached isolationism.

The Tucker Carlsons of their time. Six million people, whole family lines wiped out, if my grandfather had not left a few years earlier I would not be alive today.

When you casually say the words Never Again you should think about the reality of allowing people to get wiped out by genocide, whether they are Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, Gays, Gypsies, Native Americans or Ukrainians.

Or do we simply let the wolves and the bullies win?

If we have learned any lesson, and I don't think we have frankly, I would hope that it would be, don't wait until it is too late. Help people who are getting slaughtered.

Next they may be coming for you.

Never forget.
My grandmother printed this in the Yizkor book from Wyszkow, the only survivors.


Liz said...

Bob, I am posthis on my Facebook page. I didn’t know the information, and I want my friends to know. If you tell me to, I will delete it

Blue Heron said...

Go for it.

Finest said...

First they came for the prevaricators
I was not a prevaricator, (I lied)
So I did nothing.

My first romance in first semester at college
told me her mother still had the numerical tattoo
on her wrist. Then I knew there were bigger and
more traumatic fears to be carried then those in

Ken and Barbie