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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Werthmann on How Totalinarianism Came to Austria

84 year old Kitty Werthmann is the head of the South Dakota chapter of Eagle Forum.

She was born in Austria and lived for seven years under Nazi rule.

She eventually came to the United States in 1950 to become a naturalized citizen in 1962.

Here she dispels some myths about the Nazi annexation of Austria and offers a warning to what remains of the West.

What I'm about to tell you is something you've probably never read, or will ever read in history books. I believe that I'm an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected Hitler by 98% of the vote. I've never read that in any American publication. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria over.

In 1938, Austria was in deep depression. We had nearly one third of our workforce unemployed, 25% inflation, and a 25% interest rate from banks. Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy every day. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work, but there simply wasn't any work. My mother was a very devout woman who believed that you have to help the people in need. I remember she had a big kettle of soup every day, on the stove, and we baked bread to feed those poor hungry people, about thirty each day.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Lenzt, and Grotz were being destroyed. The people became desperate, and petitioned the government to let the people decide what kind of government they wanted. We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime. But they did have a high living standard. There was nothing being said of persecution of anyone, Jewish or otherwise, just that every one was happy. We wanted the same thing for Austria. We were promised that if we would vote for Hitler, everyone would be employed in two or three weeks, and he would help the family. He also said that businesses would be helped. And the farmers would get their farms back.

98% of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany, and have Hitler be our ruler. We were so joyful that for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. They opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed. After the election, everyone was appointed from Germany. Like a miracle, suddenly we had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was being created by the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married women did not work outside of the home. The husband would be looked down (upon) because he couldn't support a family. The teaching profession was overjoyed that women could go back to the jobs they gave up for marriage. Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good school; 98% of the population was Catholic at that time, so we had religion in our schools. the day we elected Hitler, March 13, 1938, I walked into my schoolroom and where we had a cruxifix it was replaced with Hitler's picture and the flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class that we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. We sang Deutshland, Deutshland Uber Alis and had physical education instead. Our parents were not happy about the sudden change.

On Sunday, we had National Youth Day. It was compulsory to attend. We were told if our parents would not send us on Sunday, they would get a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of three hundred dollars, and the third time they would be subject to jail. As time went along, we loved it. The first two hours we had political indoctrination. The rest of the day, we had sports. We all had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and tell our parents, gleefully, what a wonderful time we were having.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that, and she told me that someday when I grew up, I might be grateful. I almost hated my mother. It was a very good curriculum; hardly any fun, no sports and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first, but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while on holidays I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their lifestyle was very alarming to me.

By that time, it was glorified to be an unwed mother; to have a baby for Hitler. They lived a very loose lifestyle, without religion. It seemed strange to me that all of this changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did, so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of philosophy.

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. That meant all food was rationed and you couldn't buy anything without food-stamps. At the same time, the Full Employment Law was passed. Which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have one, you starved to death. The women who stayed home and raised their family for years and didn't have any skills often had to take a job that was for men. Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male or female, to give one year in the Labor Core. During the day, the girls had to work on the farms and then at night, they returned to their barracks and had their military training just like the men. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and in the Signal Core. After the Labor Core, they were not discharged, but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria and visit my friends, most of those women are emotional cripples, because they just were not geared to the same thing that men did in combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air-raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the Labor Core, and into the military service.

Socially, Hitler had to restructure the family. When the mothers had to go out into the work-force, the government immediatiely established child care centers. You could bring your child from age four weeks on up to school age, and leave them there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, under the total absolute care of the state. There were no motherly women there to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. They raised a whole generation by state.

By that time, no one talked about equal rights, we knew we had been had. Before Hitler, we had very good medicine. Many doctors from America came over to train at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, all the health care was socialized; free for everyone. The doctors were all salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at eight O'clock in the morning, forty people were already waiting, and at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two until your turn came. There was no money for research because they poured it all into free medicare for everybody. Work at the medical schools was literally stopped, so the doctors left and went to other countries.

As for welfare, our tax rates went up to 80%. Any young couple who got married immediately received a one thousand dollar loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day-care and education was free. Going to college was subsidized, and high school was taken over by the government. Everyone who was entitled to something, whether it was food-stamps, clothing, or subsidized housing, was given it by the government.

We had another agency designed to control the businesses. I had a brother-in-law who's restaurant had square tables and chairs. The government told him he had to have round tables because people can bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have more bathroom facilities. It was just a small business; a dairy business with a snack bar. His business couldn't survive with all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses, and not many small businesses existed, they could be in control. We had consumer protection. We were told how we should shop, and what we should buy. Free enterprise was literally abolished. We had a planning agency, espeially designed for farmers and private property owners. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, then tell the farmer what to produce and how to produce it.

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villages were surrounded by mountain passes which in the winter were closed off, with snow causing people to be isolated. So people inter-married. By genetic, the offspring were often retarded. When I got there I was told there were fifteen adult mentally retarded people, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one named Vincent really well. He was the janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior what they were doing. She said it was the state health department, taking him to an institution to teach him a trade, and to read and write. The families had to sign a paper. The paper had a little clause that they could not visit for six months, because it would interfere with their program and they might get homesick. When the six months passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not ignorant. We suspected what was happening. Those people all left in excellent physcial health, and all died within six months. We called this euthanasia.

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler also said that the real way to catch the criminals (and we still had a few) was by the serial numbers of the guns, so we had to register our guns. Most of the people were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station and registered their guns. Not long afterward, they said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. They already knew who had the guns, so you had to turn them in, or they would come and get them.

We knew then that we had a full dictatorship. No more freedom of speech. If you said anything against the government, you were taken away. We knew many people who were taken away, not only Jews, but priests and ministers. It didn't come overnight, it took five years from 1938 until 1943 to graduate into dictatorship. If we (would have) had a dictatorship overnight, we would have fought to our last breath, but we had creeping gradualism.

Now we had nothing except broom-handles. The whole thing was almost unbelievable; that you can feed all this to the masses, little by little and no one would object. It's true, those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty, came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America is the greatest country in the world. Don't let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go.

That's right.

After America, there is no place to go.

If we lose freedom in America, we lose freedom everywhere.

There will be no place to run.


Anonymous Ben said...

That it powerful

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does she have anything to say about identity cards?

4:07 PM  
Blogger TejasKat said...

I believe every man, woman & child must read this -- immediately! Ms/Mrs. Werthmann is incredible.

Thank you Trevor!

4:15 PM  
Blogger appsoftwareonline said...

why are some of the above posts in some Asian language???

First if you study history most of what this woman said is old news. Unwed mothers having a baby for Hitler, The treatment of retarded children - euthanasia. Woman working in the core, I wouldn't be surprised when she mentions of the family that was taken away in a van were instead in a gass van by the early experiments where they hooked a hose from the exhaust pipe to the cabin at the back of the van and the driver just drove around till the people in the back stopped screaming. Later on they found a easier method - The Gas chambers.

All their folks if only people read up about the history of the last two world wars. Teaching our young about Hitler and the Nazis should be top of the list as a warning we never repeat it.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank...all due respect, but I think you've missed the point. Yes, we know about Eugenics, gas chambers, and having babies for the Mutterland.
The process of takeover began as promise of "hope and change" not by tanks and military invasion. Dreams of full employment, healthcare, daycare, etc. lured the Austrians into a pact with the devil. It can happen anywhere, to any group of people, especially when economic structures collapse and people are hungry.
Ms Werthmann is warning us that it could happen here in the USA through seemingly benign means; gun control, journalistic censorship, re-education camps, diminishment of religious symbols and historical/ patriotic holidays,etc.
Germany was not the only country to do this. It has happened throughout history; most recently in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba and Venezuela.
Ms Werthmann shares with us her memories of this world changing event through step-by-step analysis. I appreciate her efforts and will pass along her story.

-Rosi (NorCal)

7:28 AM  
Blogger Steve Withers said...

It certainly is true that people can be easily lead into fascism and dictatorship by people claiming to provide prosperity and stability mixed a bit of fear and uncertainty.

But the article also seems to equate universal health care, regulation of businesses and commerce and control of dangerous weapons with Hitler and dictatorship.

This is nonsense.

Every developed nation today (other than the US) provides universal health care. They aren't dictatorships. Many are now more democratic than the United States where the gerrymandering of federal district boundaries is now so bad that over 98% of House incumbents are re-elected every 2 years since the 1950s (1964 excepted - at 88%).

Regulation of business and commerce isn't necessarily bad, either. While the banks in the UK and US were crashing, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many European countries didn't lose a single bank.

As for guns....there is no point even trying to debate this one. In the US it has been elevated to the level of religion and rational debate isn't possible.

But most democratic countries do just fine without a gun in every house...and they aren't dictatorships.

So the story of Austria is instructive.....Desperate people certainly will adopt desperate solutions, but weaving these other American bogeymen into the narrative isn't correct or..... honest. It misrepresents all these things. Apparently deliberately so.

BTW> The Chinese characters translate (Tks Google Translate) as:

Save marriage, marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save marriage save , extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs problems, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, extramarital affairs issues, derailed, derailment derailment derailment derailment derailment derailment derailment

3:28 PM  
Blogger Steve Withers said...

Here's another way of putting it. I can sufocate you with an apple pie by shoving it in your face until you can't breathe and you die.

That doesn't make pastry a bad thing.

This article does the equivalent of making pastry a bad thing by associating it with Nazis lies and abuse of power.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks for translation steve.

Nationalized health care does not guarantee Nazism, but it does lead to evermore socialism, statism, corruption waste, death and social decline.

It ain't good.

Giving away other peoples money is always a road to tyranny-only the direction and the speed vary.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous tubby said...

Truth Seeker-

What you fail to see is that any time you give the government more power the less power the individual has. The framework is also in place for an a power-hungry regime to seize control of a country.

You might want to change your name because you have clearly made up your mind and will not see the truth.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Steve Withers said...

I absolutely understand Americans feeling their government isn't accountable to them and is a source of risk and some danger.....because it IS.

What Americans fail to understand is that this is largely an AMERICAN problem...and other countries and people in the democratic world do NOT feel that way about their government. They do not feel that way because their governments ARE more accountable and responsible (in the sense being held to be responsible by voters).

The problem in all this is Americans having swallowed the propaganda that their system of government is the best even while being overwhelmed by the very many and very large flaws in their supposedly perfect system.

When people like myself try to point out that it DOES NOT NEED TO BE THAT WAY....the conditioning kicks in and American rush to defend the same system that results in them feeling frustrated, exploited and disenfranchised.

It's a peculiar madness...and it is a very American madness.

My "truth" is that the US is fixable....but Americans insist on blaming the symptoms and refusing to see the actual problem: the failure of representative democracy in the United States due to progressive corruption of the electoral process.

That every developed country on Earth - excpet the US - has universal health care is ignored by Americans. That voters in ALL those countries would throw out in a heartbeat any government that tried to do away with universal healthcare is ignored by Americans.

Duped by Big Pharma and Big Insurance propaganda.....Americans ignore reality.

That's the simple truth.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth Seeker....the point of this story is to warn our country of the gradual changes imposed by our government that in the end could result in an outcome similar with Austria. It's an American problem as you say because we americans have become too lax and have allowed our government to slowly take over. As the Austrians did, we have lost religion, we have both parents who work outside the home so our children are governed by daycares or run wild without supervision. We have been taught that we can get a free ride from the government instead of working hard like our parents or grandparents had to. Everyone wants something for free and they think their government owes it to them. WRONG!!! Everyone should get off their rears and work for everything. Their should be no hand outs! Even my 12 year old daughter came home one day calling the US "the land of the hand out!" Other countries laugh and mock us because they know we're spoiled, but apparently we don't know it or we refuse to admit it. I do not agree that voters in other countries would throw out their government if they did away with Universal Health Care. I have many friends in Canada and they do not like their universal health care. They have to wait months even years sometimes to see a doctor or get a health condition treated. If it's so great then why do they come here and pay cash so they can get the treatments they need? I think what needs fixing in the Health Care system is the drug companies and insurance companies. That's where the attack should start. Americans need to work for their insurance just like everything else. Free Enterprise is what keeps us thriving. Take that away and we're just like every other country, ordinary. America should be and once was anything but ordinary.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Some fact-checking is in order on part of this this blog entry. I forwarded the Werthmann story to my brother-in-law who is a retired history professor and librarian. His response:
Austria tried to hold a general citizen referendum in March, 1938, but was prevented from doing so by a Nazi coup. Austria's Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg tried to hold the
referendum to ask the Austrian people whether they wished to remain independent or merge with Nazi Germany. Although Schuschnigg expected Austria to vote in favour of maintaining autonomy, a well-planned coup d'├ętat by the Austrian Nazi Party struck Vienna (and) took place on 11 March, prior to the referendum, which was then canceled. Then the Nazi army marched in the same day. Austrians NEVER had a chance to vote on merging with Nazi Germany!

12:18 PM  

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