Did you know, that during the Holocaust, 90% of Germans supported the Nazis?
Thats a scary high percentage rate.
And it’s easy to shrug it off as them all being brainwashed or ignorant to what was really going on.
But the fat of the matter is, they were more than aware of what was going on around them. You can’t miss neighborhoods turning into ghost towns, long time aquaintenances up and vanishing, shops going out of business, soldiers marching down your streets……. They knew.
So, what explanation is there that so many Germans supported the Nazis? Were they all just evil and cruel?
No, the answer is a simple one.
They were AFRAID.
The Germans were people just like you and I.
Imagine for a minute that the people in authority in YOUR country (politicians, police force, military) all made it very clear to you that you were to now betray any one (ANY ONE) who was not your specific race. And if you chose to disobey these orders, your family could be at risk. Your business could be destroyed, meaning no way to support your family, no way to provide for their needs. You could risk your children being taken away, you being killed and your children being orphaned, your spouse being hurt or killed as well.
What would you do?
Would you risk your families security and safety and choose to protect or defend those you were forbidden to protect and defend? Would you put a stranger before those you love the most?
Interesting fact #2:
The Nazi party/army numbered approximately 27,800,000.
There were approximately 67 million German citizens during that time. .75% were Jews. Minus the Jewish population, the number of Germans versus Nazis during that time period shows how vastly outnumbered the Nazis were.
This begs the question: WHY did the Holocaust even HAPPEN? Why didn’t the Germans rebel?
Simple really. FEAR.
Fear, brought on quietly, small step by small step, ca control the masses quite nicely. The Nazis took one tiny sliver of rights and independence and justice away from the Jewish population at a time. Not all at once. It was subtle. On top of it, the convincing of the Germans that they had security based on loyalty to their nation was also brought on in subtle tones and ways. We can look at the stories and facts and statistics NOW and wonder how in the world such inhumanity and evil was allowed to occur. But back then, in the very midst of it, it was not so obvious.
Think something like the Holocaust could never happen again?
You are dead wrong.
I believe 100% that something like it could very potentially occur again.
But even on a smaller scale…..it happens every single day.When we allow fear to win.
The boy at school who is teased and tormented mercilessly and no one speaks up to defend him and no one befriends him for fear of being a target as well and he goes home and puts his fathers gun to his temple and pulls the trigger. And that’s a holocaust of one.
The man on the street corner with the cardboard sign in the wheelchair. Looks like a bum. Maybe you don’t know he is a veteran. Maybe you don’t know he has a son he hasn’t seen in 6 years because PTSD is a bitch and he hit the bottle pretty hard when he came back from deployment and his wife couldn’t handle it so she left him and took his son and maybe if someone would just notice him and reach out in kindness….but instead the city starts arresting anyone homeless and duping them outside of city lines and he is a shadow at best. A holocaust of one.
The young woman who is raped at a college party and we pay more attention to how many drinks she had and how short her skirt was and she carries that shame for years because no one is brave enough to say “Rape culture” out loud. Holocaust of One.
The black man who works hard every day to support his family and on the weekend and takes off his suit and puts on casual clothes and goes to a store and gets trailed by a shop owner who accuses him of stealing and all of the other patrons watch but not one yells out “Racial profiling is wrong!” and its another holocaust of one.
The woman in the library who was born with male genitalia but knows 100% she is a woman in the depth of her soul and lives as such and she hears the group of older ladies over by the fiction section whisper words like “abomination” and “nasty” and “sin” and it hurts like a knife through her heart that to be true to herself she has to stand all alone. Holocaust of one.
We allow these things to happen. Every single day. We turn a blind eye. We make excuses. Just like the Germans rationalized away their reason for standing idly by while millions of Jews were brutally murdered.
You can reason that this is different. But other than the numbers, its the same. It’s people with a voice becoming voiceless.
As Jiddu Krishnamurti once said “It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And our society IS sick. Profoundly. We lack empathy, compassion, decency, love, integrity.
It only takes one small ripple in a pond to send the waves in the ocean crashing to a shore.
Be the pebble. Be the ripple. Be the goddamned wave.
Be a voice for the voiceless. Strength for the battered. Love for the orphaned and widowed and lonely. Get up on your soapbox. Be loud. If they won’t listen to you, MAKE them. Bang on pots and pans. Scream your speech. Until your throat is hoarse. Write it out and publish it and mail it to a million senators. Find a platform. Take a hand. Give a hug. Share a smile. Be kind. Tell someone that they matter. Spit in the face of injustice. Stand in the doorway. Burn a figurative bridge. Build a figurative bridge. Shout and defend and weep and make noise until the stars fall from the sky if that’s the change that needs to take place to make this world a better place for our children.
We can stop this holocaust of starving souls, one at a time.
And it only begins with ONE. ❤
"All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." (Edward Burke)