Trump asks for a pledge in Hitler’s style – Why that made me think about my Grandpa

old picture hitler gruss r

This is not my Grandfather, just another brave gentleman.

My Grandfather died 1963, just a few months before I was born. We never met, but I know him well. His pictures were everywhere in our home and my Grandmother talked about him a lot. She made sure that he was present, even though he wasn’t around.

She shared many stories and anecdotes with me and I loved listening to them. My Grandfather was a great man and I could feel the love he had for his wife and his family throughout our home. He was a proud man and a devoted Catholic.

I asked once, “What did he die from,” and the answer I got was given quietly. “He never got over it.” That’s all my Grandmother ever said and her face made clear that I wasn’t suppose to ask more questions.

Get over WHAT I wondered, but couldn’t come up with an explanation that made sense. Years later, when I was older, that’s when she talked more about the bad times.

My Grandfather was in prison, twice, that at least was the official statement. He got arrested and was treated as a political enemy. There was no trial, just a hearing and after the hearing he was transported.

The first time was only for a couple of weeks, the second time was more severe and he was sent away for 6 months. His first arrest was in 1940, the second one in 1942 – both times he was arrested for not answering the Hitler greeting with the same salute. The salute was mandatory for civilians, but optional for military personnel. My Grandfather refused the Nazi salute that was always accompanied by a”Heil Hitler” or “Sieg Heil.” He refused to do so, because he was religious and he preferred the original Austrian greeting “Gruess Dich Gott,” (May God greet you).

My Grandfather spent 6 months in the Concentration camp Dachau in the South of Germany, because he refused to salute a dictator and murderer.

My Grandmother said he came back a changed man and I can just imagine what that must have done to him; what he must have seen.

He got drafted shortly after that and was sent to the front in Russia, that was his ultimate punishment. He became a POW in Russia and came back home 1950…years after WWII had ended.

I opened the news today at lunch time and I looked at this picture in absolute disbelieve.

trump and hitler 3

I looked at it and froze.

Donald Trump asks his supporters in Orlando to raise their right hands and swear to vote in the primary. It’s mind-blowing isn’t it? Trump of course denies any resemblance to the Nazi salute, but he denies so many things that one -with a brain- cannot believe anything he says. Last week he didn’t know who his supporter David Duke (former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan) was, this week I assume he will tell us that he never heard of Hitler either.

The Donald seem to be unaware of the fact that we here in the U.S. pledge with the hand over our heart -well, at least the ones that still have one.

trump and Hitler

I always try to understand people and I can see why many are frustrated with politics these days; I feel the same way. I can understand why people are asking for change, even when they overlook that the change that they are looking for, would be the same thing that we tried so hard to get rid of just 8 years ago.

But what I can’t understand is ignorance. How dare you people stay there and lift up your right hand to pledge like that. Even the most poorly educated must know that this is a slap in peoples face. It was a slap in my face that’s for sure. Millions have lost family members during WWII and in the Holocaust.

This is going too far,  it hurts people. It shows a stupidity that I didn’t expect in the 21st century. The Donald looks and sounds more and more like the bizarre leader Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

This CANNOT happen here, we are better than this, aren’t we?

I am deeply ashamed~!

RIP Grandpa – I am proud of you

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Trump asks for a pledge in Hitler’s style – Why that made me think about my Grandpa

  1. I have heard stories from survivors of the camps, and am so sorry that your grandfather had to endure that kind of horror. Trump is frightening. More frightening, still,are the people who believe his lies and support him. I am praying that those with some kind of common sense will prevail and defeat him.

  2. Thank you for sharing this touching story about your Grandfather. What an amazing, brave, and moral man! I, too, have had a fascination with the Holocaust and some distant family in Poland in my father’s family who were Jewish, though almost all my family came to America around 1900. I have always been moved by the Niemoller quotation, and i am stunned trying to understand those who can bring themselves to vote for Trump. Trump also reminds of the big lie propaganda technique. (German: große Lüge). The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister, built on it this way: “The leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness….follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it.” That is Trump…plus like Eichman, his use ofl racism, misogyny, biogtry and blaming minorities for the problems worrying the citizenry. Would more of us were like your Grandfather! I worry for our country.

    • My Grandmother was part Jewish, so am..but not practicing. The Holocaust should never be forgotten. I read “Mein Kampf” in German and although read one of Trumps books. Both books were a torture to read, but showed the character of the person who wrote it. I fear we this already went to far, Trump should have stopped right in his tracks. I think that part of the media was bought or sponsored, because an hour goes by without a new story about him.
      I worry too~!

  3. I have been seeing a resemblance to Hitler in him from the start. He is charismatic, can hold an audience and there are a lot of mad people here in the US. All he needs is a scapegoat and the crowd mentality could take over, among a certain segment of our population. Scary thought, but seeing that picture you posted. It really is a stunner. Sometimes I think he is just entertainment for people, and sometimes I think he poses a real threat, a deadly threat. There is part of America that actually wants a bully. Times are so weird.

    • Thank you for stopping by little blog and thank you for reading this post. Writing and sharing this post meant a lot to me.

      I saw the resemblance right from the start, posted about it a few months back. As I said, I understand peoples frustration, but I don’t understand the anger and the hate.

      Everbody tells me that he will just go away…but The Donald is still there. It frightens me.

  4. Reblogged this on Impromptu Promptlings and commented:
    I have stayed away from political issues on this blog because I just wanted it to be fun, but it’s getting increasingly difficult for me to keep my opinions to myself. But no matter what I would write, it could never be as eloquent as Bridget’s personal history and comments on The happy Quitter! PLEASE do take the time to read her grandfather’s story and her commentary. And here is the actual quote that is parodied in the little cartoon in the picture of Trump. If this madness continues, any one of us might find ourselves saying the same thing…

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    — Martin Niemoller, a prominent protestant pastor in Germany who refused to sanction Hitler’s actions. He spent the last seven years of the war in a concentration camp.

    Please go read Bridget’s blog…

    • Thank you for the reblog. I am glad you decided to take a stand in politics as well.
      I feel that many of us -me including- should have spoken out earlier. We do have a voice and together we can reach many.

  5. It just made me sick inside when I saw that on the news. What the hell is the matter with us??? The poem that is paraphrased in the little cartoon window in Trump’s picture is actually a quote of Martin Niemoller, a prominent protestant pastor in Germany who refused to sanction Hitler. He spent seven years in a concentration camp. That quote is inscribed in the room at the end of the floors in the Holocaust Museum in DC. It says:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    I am so afraid we are falling down some weird alternative rabbit hole here…

      • No. I haven’t heard of that one. Just went and ordered it on Amazon. Have one on deck called “Hitler’s Willing Executioners.” Thanks for the recommend.

      • Oh, I am so glad. I have a feeling you will like it a lot. There are so many books on this subject, but somehow this one stood out for me. Let me know how you liked it please, 🙂

      • Yep. Will do. Have you read “Those Who Save Us” by Jenna Blum? It’s fiction but it’s really good. She has worked with The Shoah Foundation.

      • I don’t read fiction about that time, I just can’t. I translated many -too many- real stories. If I read fiction I want to be entertained, that’s when I fight dragons and capture a unicorns. 🙂

    • I know Martin Niemöller since I was a kid. Everybody in Europe does. Funny that you think you have to introduce a German to me. 🙂 He was held captive in the Alpenfestung (Sued Tirol) that’s where I am from. Funny is that many people here aren’t aware of his past, he was a Hitler supporter first and foremost. As so many priests then, he decided to go with Hitler for his own good. This guy has a few skeleton in his closet. His real name is Friedrich Gustav Martin Niemöller (not Niemoeller).

      • Yeah, I knew you’d know who he was. I just thought the quote was very significant for what we’re going through. Might have been more poignant if I had pointed out how he fence hopped, but didn’t want to hijack your post. Perhaps you could do one about him? After all, he did learn the hard way… Seems like we’re in the same boat here.

  6. Words fail me. He just makes me sick to my stomach and I cannot believe that people can actually vote for this despicable man. [shakes head…]

  7. What a beautiful tribute in the telling of the heart rending story of all your Grandpa had to go through during that terrible time.. You have every reason to be proud…

    I can only say from an outsider looking in to the USA and Donald Trump.. Many here are against this man’s arrogant and prejudicial ways.. And a petition was raised here many signing it to not allow him in the UK..
    I Hope for the Worlds sake he fails to reach his goal.. For I feel it will spell disaster as many will not be raising their hands in agreement but in anger..

    Sending you my thoughts for a wonderful rest of the week.. Hugs Sue xxx

  8. Your Grandfather sounds like an amazing man. Such strong convictions about what is right and wrong and what a steep price he paid for them. That photo is terrifying- Trump is terrifying. People in America are fools if they think what happened with Hitler can’t happen here. The sad truth is the ugliness in America is coming out and being given a platform to do so with Trump. Sickening

    • My Grandmother was part Jewish, but they could hide it because she was a refugee after WWI. She fled a city called Breslau then, and the city was brutally bombed during WWII. I think nobody ever knew.

      My Grandfather lived in this small village in Italy (later Austria). He just did the right thing. My Grandmother told me ones that he knew every hidden street and back road that he could take, so that he didn’t have to face soldiers and wasn’t forced to greet.

      “The ugliness of America is coming out,” well said, but it saddens me.

  9. Your grandfather gives me goosebumps. He is and was a hero. The stories of the European resistance are so incredibly moving and impressive. I went to Dachau and Struthof where many of the resistance were imprisoned and tortured. I too see the connection between Trump and his right wing supporters and the rise of National Socialism in Germany and Austria prior to WWII and it is so appalling I don’t know what to say about it. It is hard to believe that so many Americans could be so ignorant and so cruel, but res ipso loquitor.
    Thank you for this post. Your grandfather would be proud of you, as I am of both of you.

    • I froze when I saw the picture of Americans pledging to Trump. I would have never thought this would be possible here. What a slap in the face of so many who have lost family members in the Holocaust.

      I visited Dachau and years later Auschwitz…it changed me. It shocked me then, I can’t even imagine what it must have done to people and prisoners back then.

      Thank you for your kind words about my Grandpa.

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