–William Federer, nationally syndicated pundit, in his article “The Court-Ordered Death of Terri Schiavo”, October, 2003
–Joe Ford, Harvard Student writing an opinion piece in the Harvard Crimson, “FOCUS: Bigotry and the Murder of Terri Schiavo”, March 25, 2005
This was the method used at Auschwitz to murder Father Maximilian Kolbe, the priest who volunteered to take the place of a Polish father of a large family, who was one of 10 the camp commandant had selected for execution in reprisal for the escape of a prisoner…
…One wonders if our young, so many of them cheated of a knowledge of history in schools they are forced to attend, are aware of how closely our elites approximate, in belief and argument, the elites of Weimar and Nazi Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.
–Patrick J. Buchanan, “In the Schiavo Case, Elites Reveal Similarity to Nazi Germany”, March 24, 2005
The latest comparison between the Nazi Party and liberals, Democrats and just plain old ordinary folks who want don’t want Congress and the President presiding over personal family decisions and taking sides in a family feud, is pretty darn interesting. These comparisons are made by pure hacks like Michael Savage, to academics like Dr. John Hunt and a whole lotta folks in between.
Some of the more reasonable people making these arguments – like Dr. Hunt – have some pretty good facts on their side. In order to understand the presentation of these facts, however, you have to understand that euthanasia and abortion are intimately linked in the minds of the pro-life crowd as human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that the Nazis committed.
Briefly, here’s the outline of their argument (distilled from Dr. Hunt’s academic paper, “The Abortion and Eugenics Policies of Nazi Germany”):
2. The Weimar Republic first jump started the drive toward abortion, birth control, and euthanasia. The push to legalize abortion was done under the philosophy of perpetuating “wanted” life. Dr. Hunt states: “…In 1928, ministry officials at the Department of Health held secret sessions with the most prominent racial thinkers in Germany, in which they talked about the possibilities of forced sterilization and killing of the severely mentally disabled, among a number of other measures. The law, uneasiness about public opinion, and a desire for more knowledge about heredity held them back.”
3. Therefore, the mass murders, human rights abuses, torture and drive toward the “master race” was the Nazi Party’s continuation of the same philosphies that drove the Weimar Republic in issues of abortion, birth control and euthanasia. Dr. Hunt sums up this argument as follows: “Whatever the respective motives of Weimar and Hitler, the whole infrastructure for the Nazi sterilization-eugenics program had been laid by the democracy the Nazis had overthrown.”
4. The logical inferences are now clear. To be pro-life is to be against those tools that the Nazis used in their mass murders and genocide. To be pro-choice is to want to continue the same mentality that enabled the Nazis to commit atrocities. As Dr. Hunt sums up: “In looking at the Nazis and abortion, and abortion in general, many…Tend to want to be called “centrists,” “moderates,” “mainstream,” not “extremists.” Prochoice, not pro-life, is closer to fascism. Remember also that democracies can do horrible things.
You know what’s really interesting about these arguments? They’re wrong. The facts are correct, but the conclusions are totally off kilter.
How do I know? The arguments themselves are based on a very selective reading of the history of Nazi Germany. For instance, in my research of the pro-life’s references to Nazi Germany, they never mention that homosexuals were targeted by the Nazis. Not once. I’d actually love for someone to show me an article from a pro-life person that puts this persecution of gay men in Germany in this historical context.
Now, think a moment. Why wouldn’t someone – anyone – on the “pro-life” side mention this? They can’t claim it’s irrelevant. The Nazis themselves saw the imprisonment, sterilization and drive to “cure” gay men in Nazi Germany of their homosexuality as vital to the health of the nation. Indeed, it was so central to their thought processes of eugenics and creating the master race that they even established a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion. Where they encouraged homosexuality and abortion among non-Germans, among “pure” Germans they were considered threats to the health of the State. When talking about sexuality in Germany, then, why wouldn’t even the most reasonable pro-lifer mention the targeting of gay men? (If you want to read up on this subject, check out my last diary, which contains links to both the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the US Holocaust Museum).
Maybe it’s because they don’t want to upset a large segment of their base. Folks like William Regnery, a member of the family that founded Regnery Publishing, who wants to start an all-white dating service “…since the survival of our race depends upon our people marrying, reproducing and parenting.” The Anti-Defamation League has found evidence of anti-semitism in the “pro-life” movement, so maybe this isn’t so far off.
Maybe there’s an inherent fear of homosexuality in the pro-life movement, promoted by the likes of Jerry Falwell, who feel that, “Granting a marriage license to those of the same sex is the country’s stamp of approval on an aberrant, perverted, and broken sexual lifestyle”, which would lead to the eventual destruction of our country.
What’s wrong with this cherry-picked version of the history of Nazi Germany? I mean, leaving gays out doesn’t change anything else, does it?
Well, yes it does.
You see, the Nazis didn’t believe in the existence of a personal life. All issues of life, death and reproductions were matters that directly impacted the State. As Heinrich Himmler said, when delivering his speech on the “Question of Homosexuality”:
Following this to its logical conclusion, one’s race, one’s gender, one’s sexual orientation and the ability of one to live or die is also not the private affair of the individual. It is a matter for the State.
It is this mentality that scares most folks about the involvement of Congress and the President in the Schiavo affair. Most Americans don’t like the State making these decisions for them. I’d offer a fair bet that most Americans would equate such a practice to Communism or Fascism…or Nazism.
Why the pro-life people don’t see this as well is beyond me.