Have you ever heard of Kitty Werthmann? She was a child when Adolf Hitler took control of her beloved country of Austria and stripped away their freedoms, and she is now speaking out about the chillingly similar loss of freedoms that we are currently experiencing in the United States. It is often said that “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. So, perhaps we should listen very carefully to what Kitty Werthmann has to say. She has been there. She has lived through it. The truth is that when you do sit down and compare what happened under the Nazi regime and what is happening in the United States today, the parallels are absolutely shocking. The American Dream is not guaranteed for us or for our children. Freedom must be guarded. If not, it will be taken away. In fact, our freedoms are already being stripped away at blinding speed, and once they are gone they are incredibly difficult to get back.
The quotes from Kitty Werthmann that you will read below come from her excellent article entitled “After America, There is No Place to Go”. We hope that you will take the time to read that entire article after you read this one. Sometimes it is really important to get some historical perspective in order to understand what is happening today. The following are 11 points of comparison between life in the United States and life under Hitler from a woman who has experienced both….
#1) Severe Economic Crisis
We all know about the severe economic downturn that the United States has just been through. Many economists are calling it the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Often, when economic times are really hard, it paves the way for massive “change” to be pushed on a society.
Kitty Werthmann describes the economic conditions just before Hitler took over this way….
In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people, about 30 daily.
#2) Election Of A Wildly Popular Leader
In both the United States today and in Austria back then, a wildly popular leader was elected in the wake of the economic crisis….
I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.
In fact, a lot of promises of “change” were made to Austrians. They were told if Hitler was elected that businesses would be bailed out and everything would be okay again….
We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.
#3) An Obsession With Law & Order
Under the Nazi regime, law and order were quickly restored and there was an extreme emphasis on national security. Does that sound familiar to anyone?….
After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order.
#4) Women Were Taught That Work Was More Important Than Family
Under the Nazi regime in Austria, just as in the United States today, women were taught that work is more important than family. Kitty Werthmann describes the Nazi mentality of the day this way….
Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
#5) Children Raised In Daycare Facilities
So if the mothers were out working, what happened to the children? Well, they were raised in daycare facilities just as is happening with so many children today….
When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
#6) Christianity Drubbed Out Of The Schools
In Austria during those times older children were taught the Nazi way in schools. Christianity was systematically drubbed out of the schools just like it is being drubbed out of American schools today….
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles, and had physical education.
#7) Socialized Healthcare
Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress passed Barack Obama’s health care law that essentially socialized medicine in the United States. The frightening thing is that the Nazis were big into socialized healthcare as well. One of the first things they did in Austria was to take over the healthcare system….
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
#8) Government Handouts Became A Way Of Life
For some reason, people tend to think of the Nazis as capitalists. But they were not. They were socialists. In fact, under the Nazis government handouts became a way of life. Considering the fact that 40 million Americans are now on food stamps, the parallels between then and now are too stunning to ignore….
As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
#9) Oppressive Government Regulations
Everyone knows about the oppressive government regulations that the U.S. government keep spewing out. But most people don’t realize that the Nazis were also really big into government regulation of everything. Kitty Werthmann describes it this way….
We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business.
#10) Gun Restrictions
Today, most people think gun control is such a “liberal” thing to do. But the truth is that totalitarian regimes have always been very much into gun control. In fact, the Nazis couldn’t wait to confiscate the guns from the Austrian population….
Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
#11) Lack Of Respect For Life
One of the things that really marked the Nazis was their lack of respect for life. One of the very first measures that Hitler implemented when he took control of Germany was a law that legalized abortion. His lack of respect for life was very evident during his takeover of Austria as well….
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
The truth is that once you see the truth it is impossible not to see the parallels.
We would be incredibly foolish not to listen to the wisdom of Kitty Werthmann. She saw what kind of horror is created when God is pushed out of public life and the government becomes the new “god”.
But that is what is happening in the United States today. God has been pushed aside. Suddenly the government is the answer to all of our problems, the provider of all of our needs, and the regulator of every single detail of our lives.
We are marching down a very dangerous path. It is a path that many nations have gone down before with absolutely disastrous consequences.
Americans have got to wake up. Please send this information out to as many people as you can. If we will not speak out about the need to protect our freedoms now, we may not have the chance to do it later.
No nation is guaranteed liberty and freedom forever.
Do your part by lighting a candle in the darkness.