Elsa Crumpley: Must learn from events of last century

Opinion: Friday January 21, 2011
Must learn from events of last century
Elsa Crumpley – My Word
RECENT EVENTS in Tucson, Ariz., recall for me some of the most terrifying events in my life.
From 1932 to 1936, as I attended Brooklyn College in New York, students learned current history from the live world developments resulting from World War 1 and the Depression that followed. We watched, and we worried.
Germany, having lost the war suffered demands and restrictions imposed by the loss, which brought a complete breakdown to its economy and the basic needs of the people could not be satisfied. The government was inadequate to find a proper solution
The years that followed saw the rise of the fascist movement brought about by Adolf HItler, who built his power by manipulation unsubstantiated fears, thus generating hatred prevailing in Germany
Acceptance of the lies and misrepresentations enabled Nazi control of thinking and actions of the public to bring about domination of fascist leadership of the country. The big factor in achieving this control lay in active pursuit of anti-Semitism and anti-labor publicity and activity.
Ever-increasing activity and violence in the 1930s by Hitler’s Nationalist Socialist Party destroyed freedom of thought in Germany, and more than 6 million Jews lost their lives. Hitler’s party achieved power, and fascist control and fear led to a loss of democracy and to World War 2.
There is no doubt that the campaign was brought about by a constant repetition of lies and abuse and destructive activity that forced acceptance by the people. Democratic elements who objected were suppressed.
Increasing political activity in our country has become abusive and violently dangerous. It is unacceptable. An atmosphere of hatred and intolerance has led to violence that we do not tolerate.
The longer the lies and insults are allowed to continue, the closer we get to losing democratic control, making way for special interests to increase power.
When active elements and the media concentrate on negative and destructive tactics, a neutral balance is destroyed and we lose sight of truth and democratic power.
Above all, we must maintain an atmosphere of courtesy and respect, a willingness to listen to others, accept different opinions and make joint decisions.
Our strength lies in democratic control and decisions. Let us strengthen the power of the United Nations. Let us assert our will and determination to maintain a strong democracy through individual and joint action.
Let us learn by experience of the world’s people.

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