Anna’s Book Afternoon – A Warning From History, Then and Now.

Welcome to this little item about my Books, I hope you will enjoy the choice I show you, if you have missed any well there are here on the Blog to see, I appreciate those of you that have taken the time to look in, many thanks.

Today I have chosen a book that was based on a BBC Series, when the BBC excelled in some areas  and with such good Documentaries they would follow up with a book based on that series, which I could never resist purchasing.

I have always  loved History from the first History Lesson I had at School, I remember that first History Teacher.  His name was Mr Holmes, he was young I think new to Teaching, shy/nervous but had a great love for History.  On the weekends he would make things like model Villages when he taught us about the Vikings and the Saxons, he would make the Villages of both, their boats all sorts of things and this fascinated me as young as I was.

Mr Holmes gave me my love for History, he was a wonderful Teacher certainly cut out to be a Teacher.  Even today in  some schools, its hard to find a genuine Teacher who has the love for the subject or subjects he or she teaches.,  So many do it because its a job and its good money and a damn good pension if you stick it out, like the Police.  I was fortunate, to have a wonderful caring Teacher in Mr Holmes, there were three Teachers in total who had an influence on me, but Mr Holmes in History and Miss Toome in English Literature and Language where the main two that made a difference to me.

The BBC series that my book is based upon was caled “The Nazis.  A Warning from History” written by Laurence Rees, with a Foreword by Professor Ian Kershaw.  I don’t like it when people get it wrong and say the Germans caused the Second World War, the Nazis caused it.  Not all Germans were Nazis, in fact so many fought against what was going on in Germany and paid for this with their Life.

The Following is the Foreword by Professor Ian Kershaw.

A Warning from History.  The subtitle of Laurence Rees’s book is a fitting one.  It may be that in the eyes of God all historical epochs are of equal importance but, in the eyes of mortals, the Nazi era has a unique place.  Nazism cannot be regarded with detachment or seen as simply the arena for scholarly debates.  Its history belongs to all of us.  Its lessons should be heeded by all of us.

What happened under the Nazis took place in Europe and not very long ago.  In a modern, highly cultured society, the German people voted out a democracy that had failed.  Only then could a backstairs intrigue bring Adolf Hitler to power.  Once in control of the state, the Nazis were able to dismantle – with widespread popular support – all safeguards of human rights and to bring about a collapse of civilized values more rapid than any seen in history.  Exploiting nationalist aims, with massive backing, they could prepare for war in pursuit of racist, imperialist goals.  Their quest for ethnic purity, once more with general approval, would lead ultimately to the gas chambers of Treblinka and Auschwitz.  History does not directly repeat itself.  But “ethnic cleansing” and racist-nationalist war in the former Yugoslavia, and the potential for catastrophe in the unstable remnants of the one-time Soviet Union, give scant grounds for comfort in today’s Europe.

Only in knowledge, as the philosopher Karl Jaspers declared, can the recurrence of the evils which Nazism embodied be prevented.  Perhaps we ought to add; together with the readiness, coming from knowledge, to defend inroads into freedom and to reject nationalist and racist intolerance before it is too late.

This book and the television series on which it is based, make an important contribution to this aim.  They make a crucial period of history highly accessible.  The testimony of contemporaries and eyewitnesses that Laurence Rees has assembled is important for an understanding of the mentalities which Nazism exploited.  These mentalities in turn help to explain how the terrible events perpetrated by the Nazis could come about.  Such mentalities have, regrettably, by no means altogether died out.  The book deserves, therefore, to have a wide impact, not least on the younger generation – the hope of the future – for whom it is particularly important to heed the “Warning from History”.  I welcome the book most warmly and wish it every success.

Ian Kershaw, Professor of Modern History, University of Sheffield, England.

 

For me the first few lines of the book sum it all up.

“Last summer I sat in an army fort in Lithuania and listened as a mass killer explained how he had murdered defenceless men and women for the Nazis.  Only now, with the fall of Communism and the democratization of his Country, was he free to tell his story.  What this man said (and he was just one of the many, many interviewees we filmed over the last three years) was repugnant, but it was important.  We must listen to what such people say in an attempt to understand how Nazism was possible.  In the words of the German-born philosopher Karl Jaspers:  “That which has happened is a warning.  To forget it is guilt.  It must be continually remembered.  It was possible for this to happen, and it remains possible for it to happen again at any minute.  Only in  knowledge can it be prevented.”

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I am not by any means an expert, all I would say is  there has been Warnings in Europe that its people, a great majority of its people were not happy.  The Politicians would not listen, still do not listen.  Angela Merkel of Germany chose not to listen dismissed the majority of her people and what they had to say as nonsense.  Against the wishes and advice of the majority of not only her people but other Countries peoples, she went ahead and opened up the Gates, dare I say what others call it “The Floodgates” to Immigrants and Migrants and they have and still do flood into Europe, here in the UK we cannot keep on accepting the amount of Immigrants AND Migrants that we do.  Financially we cannot afford it.  Our Hospitals are at breaking point, and its not just Conservative Policies as some would have us believe its the money being spent on Immigrants and Migrants.  Our own people are suffering at their expense and that is so wrong.    Greece paid the price, they could not manage they still cannot manage.  Italy is struggling to cope, the list goes on.

France for the first time ever when it holds its Election has two choices to win The Centre Right or The Far Right.  The very first time in the History of France and this is what will happen to France.

In my Country, there are to put it politely, “idiots” who say “Brexit” is Far L, those that voted to come out of Europe are Racists – Brexit is Racist.  Only a complete moron would say or believe that to be the case.  I personally voted to come Out of Europe, I am not a Racist and object most strongly to being called one or inferred I am one.

Politicians do not listen, the people will look elsewhere.  Does not always mean it will end badly.

On Friday America will watch, or at least they should watch the First Ever Non Politician being Inaugurated as President of the United States, the 45th, or is it the 44th President there is confusion because some say Donald Trump should be the 44th President, because President Grover Cleveland was Sworn in Twice.  Well, all the media from America are saying it has to be the 45th  –  so the 45th President it is.  That will be President Elect Donald Trump and there are those that dislike him, those that hate him, those that wish him, well lets not say.  Those people like many so called well known people are boycotting the event, there are those very well connected who have indulged in threatening those that want to attend the Inauguration even Perform, those that are threatening this in any way are utterly despicable.

To quote Hillary Clinton in  referring to the People of the United States “her people” as she called them, she called American People “Deplorables”, well those “deplorables” made sure she Lost.

People were desperate to have their voices heard and like him or not, one man came along and he listened and the rest as they say is History.  For Eight long years those hard working people of the United States who felt they were being ignored were indeed ignored.  The President they had, Obama, is the most ineffectual President I can ever recall, and I have followed American Politics since the early 1960s.  There are those that I have heard say, or read, they have compared or even called Donald Trump Hitler.  Are these people who have said this completely stupid, for goodness sake get a grip.  You don’t like the man, thats your choice, but at least give him a chance.  I always believed the Americans were Respectful to their President, I find those so called famous people like Meryl Streep and the rest of the Sheep so disrespectful, so pathetic, so dangerous.

I have been told more or less the President does not affect us here in the UK.  WRONG, the choice of President is very, very important not just to the UK but Europe.  When there is a Strong President, a Powerful President and we can see America is strong it helps us immensely.  America has always had, as we have had with them, a very Close Relationship.   A deep Respect for Each Other.  Unfortunately, under Obama, he made it perfectly clear to us he did not want that Relationship that he had no intention of being friends with the UK.  To us looking in, America was feeble, where had their Power gone to, in those long pointless Eight Years.

Now tomorrow there will be a New President, and President Elect Donald Trump has made it clear the UK Does have that Special Bond that Special Friendship with the United States,  That we will work together.  For us to see there will be a Strong President in the White House is so terribly important.  To those who do not understand this Friendship the two Countries have well what can I say.  It exists and the UK can look to America and see that America is “Great Again”.  I must add though that our Prime Minister and Boris Johnson and others in the Cabinet, owe apologies to the President Elect and if they are not forthcoming now I trust they will be after tomorrow,  I should not let off the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, he certainly should make apologies for all the dreadful things he has said about Donald Trump.  Unfortunately, these days I don’t hold out much hope for the apologies.  People are never wrong these days, they are “right, right, right” all the time, and even bully people into believing that, or so they believe.

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To quote the book I have above Have they learned nothing from History  There is a serious Warning out there right now in Europe and the rest of the World as to what is going on.  When will these people LISTEN.  The Enemy is within, it is not the President Elect.  People like Angela Merkel refuse to Listen the People will decide what will happen in the end, there is only so much that people will take until they take action.

If you get the chance when the BBC repeat, or the series is shown on History Channel’s, do have a look at the BBC Series “The Nazis.  A Warning from History”.  You will not forget it.

 

Take care, and Keep Safe.  May Your God Go With You.    Anna.

 

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