Op-Ed by Brandon Turbeville
After Europe’s tragic experience during the second world war at the hands of Nazis, many Europeans have prided themselves as being the tip of the spear of “tolerance,” “anti-racism,” and “liberal” policies. Though the horrors of the Soviets and Communism are rarely mentioned, the horrors of Hitler are repeatedly bashed upon the heads of Europeans with the requisite collective guilt and trained need to atone for the crimes their grandparents and great grandparents were allegedly responsible for. Of course, the older generation was simply cannon fodder for the great powers of their time and it was the same power structures and elitists maintaining their positions today that were responsible for the horrors on all three sides but still the general public is viewed as responsible for the atrocities committed in their name, despite risking their lives for even speaking out in dissent at the time.
For years, the European, particularly German, chant, has been “Never Again!” Unfortunately, as Europeans rehash the horrors of Nazi Germany and scream “Never Again!” they are unaware that what they have pledged never to do again is indeed happening again. This time, the old veneer of nationalism is gone and the “global community,” “tolerance,” and “anti-racism,” has taken its place.
But while nationalism may have died in Europe long ago, totalitarianism is alive and well and the march to the concentration camps and mass slaughter is ramping up yet again, following the same path as it did in the first quarter of the last century.
The familiar progression of disarmament, banning free speech and dissent, and the eugenic-based “euthanasia” of the mentally ill, disabled, and other “undesirables” has reappeared once again on European soil, this time under the guise of “liberalism” and “tolerance.”
Europe has already seen to it that the vast majority of its population has no real method to defend itself against a totalitarian state. The continent has long been a haven of disarmament under the guise of “security,” “safety,” and the constant terrorizing of already frightened people shell-shocked from the horrors imposed upon them by the governments demanding to retain the right to weapons while the potential targets of such weapons remain defenseless. Even now, while virtually all European nations require licenses and permits to possess the bare minimum for self-defense, there are calls for still tougher restrictions, with the UK even moving forward on banning certain knives. It is a fact that any totalitarian government would first want to restrict and remove the right and ability for a target population to resist its agenda when unpopular dictates come down the pike and the blood begins to flow.
The right to free speech and expression has also long been abridged in Europe but, ironically, as Europe continues to crow about “free societies” and superiority to countries across the world who do not allow for free expression, Europe has enacted Orwellian “hate speech laws” that criminalize not only dissent but thought itself.
Once such example of the totalitarian nature of Germany, the nation most heavily involved in the Nazi era, is the case of Ursula Haverbeck, an 88-year-old woman who was recently jailed in Germany simply for denying that the Holocaust took place. Regardless of what one thinks about Haverbeck’s claims, she has a human right to think her own thoughts and to voice them. Unless, of course, she lives in a country that does not respect human rights.
Laughably, the proponents of such laws are jailing old women for thought-crime, banning historical texts, and outlawing symbols in an alleged effort to prevent a totalitarian state from taking place in Germany again. If that is the real reason for the speech laws, that ship sailed the minute they were passed.
An 88-year-old woman dubbed “Nazi Grandma” by the German press has been convicted of Holocaust denial.
Ursula Haverbeck was found guilty by a court after she denied at a Berlin event in 2016 the vast, systematic murder of Jews under Adolf Hitler. She has been sentenced to six months in jail.
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The right-wing activist is also set to face a courtroom once again in Detmold, a town in the west of the country, on November 23, appealing two guilty verdicts of incitement to hatred because of a letter she wrote to the town’s head of government and journalists, questioning the systematic slaughter of Jews between 1941 and 1945
In 2008, authorities banned the right-wing education center Collegium Humanum that Haverbeck set up with her late husband, Werner Georg Haverbeck, who had been active in Hitler’s Nazi party leading up to and during World War II.
The right-wing magazine Stimme des Reiches, which translates to “voice of the empire,” has carried Haverbeck’s writing, also denying the Holocaust’s existence.
In Germany, a range of actions promoting Nazism or downplaying the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime have been criminalized. According to an article on the website of the Holocaust memorial center Yad Vashem, German law prohibits “incitement, denial, approval of Nazism, trivialization or approval, in public or in an assembly, of actions of the National Socialist regime.”
Until a year ago, the publication of Hitler’s racist autobiographical tract Mein Kampfwas also banned. But when the copyright on the work, which had been owned by the state of Bavaria, ran out, the ban was lifted, and a heavily annotated version of the book designed for academic study was released in 2016.
And Germany isn’t stopping there. In 2017, it passed yet another abrogation of free speech by enlisting the giant social media companies to aid the government in its vast censorship of free thought. As Gizmodo reports,
Germany has strict laws prohibiting content like neo-Nazi propaganda, swastikas, and Holocaust denial, and NetzDG will require the sites in question to investigate user reports of such postings, delete most within 24 hours, and act on more complicated cases within a week. The German parliament originally passed the law in late June 2017 and it went into force in October, but legislators gave sites three months to put together internal systems to remove the banned content—Facebook’s compliance efforts entailed the hiring of several hundred staff, according to the BBC.
Per Deutsche Welle, users can report directly to German federal authorities, though the threat of non-compliance fines of up to $57 million (50 million euros) has apparently spurred companies into action:
Google has also created an online form to report content, while Twitter has added an option to its existing report function that specifies “comes under the NetzDG.” Facebook has set up a more complex system, independent of its reporting options, which requires users to find a special page, take a screenshot of the offending post, and choose one of 20 offenses that the post is allegedly committing. People do not have to be registered users of the network to report content.
This is in addition to literally raiding homes where “hate mongers” live in an effort to stamp out thought and speech that does not match up to the approved message of the State. Sound familiar? Perhaps “hate” has replaced the word “Jew” in Germany but the overall culture is still the same it seems.
It should be noted that denying the Armenian genocide is not only acceptable but encouraged. Denying the Holocaust is a criminal offense. Insulting Christian preachers and Christianity is acceptable but insulting homosexuals is not. It is acceptable to murder millions of Muslims in the Middle East and Africa using European militaries but it is not acceptable for European citizens to criticize the “Islamization” of Europe or the mass invasion of economic immigrants into their countries.
If that doesn’t sound logical, totalitarianism is never supposed to be logical from the standpoint of the common person. It wasn’t logical in Nazi Germany and it wasn’t logical in Soviet Russia. It’s also not logical in today’s Europe. From the standpoint of totalitarians, however, the logic is impeccable – everything that suits the State is encouraged while everything that might not suit the State is banned.
But it is not only Germany and it’s not just the Holocaust. Bob Dylan found this out in 2013 when he gave an interview to Rolling Stone where he stated, “If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.” To any normal person, Dylan’s (who was an outspoken civil rights supporter in the U.S. and himself of Jewish descent) statements, would not cause an eyebrow to be raised. In France, however, Dylan was formally charged with “inciting racism.” French courts even used the term “hate speech,” a new phrase that seems to have been inspired directly from Orwell’s 1984.
Indeed, there’s nothing like silencing critics, jailing citizens for the slightest dissent, banning books, freezing debate, banning symbols, and even using terms derived from a dystopian novel to clearly state to the world you will never engage in totalitarianism ever again.
As the new Soviet European Union solidifies power on all of Europe, it has put its own censorship laws in place. As Jacob Mchangama writes in his article, “Europe’s Freedom Of Speech Fail,”
EU law, which has primacy over national law, is increasingly developing new limitations on speech that apply to all member states. The Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, adopted in 2008, obliges EU states to criminalize hate speech, albeit not in a uniform manner. Lately, the European Commission has signaled that it wants to see the Framework Decision enforced more vigorously. In a speech on Oct. 2, 2015, EU Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Vera Jourova said that “member states must firmly and immediately investigate and prosecute racist hatred.” She added, “I find it disgraceful that Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in only 13 member states.” The commission has even suggested that legal proceedings could be brought against member states that have not fully transposed the Framework Decision — that is, the commission is considering bringing member states before the European Court of Justice for offering freedom of expression protection that is too strong.
Poland has taken the opposite tack, proposing a law that would make it illegal to suggest that the State had anything to do with the Holocaust. While coming from the opposite angle of the guilt-ridden German law, Poland is nevertheless stomping on the human right to freedom of speech and expression. It doesn’t matter if Poland had anything to do with the Holocaust or not, Polish people have the right to say whether they think it did or didn’t. Anything less is a violation of human rights.
Lastly, Europe’s steady move forward in euthanasia that began as a policy for individuals in extreme pain who wanted the right to die with dignity has now turned into a trash dump for people who are old, disabled, mentally ill, depressed, or simply unwanted. Even the Washington Post seems shocked at the scale of “botched” cases of euthanasia.
Charles Lane writes the following in his article, “How Many Botched Cases Would It Take To End Euthanasia Of The Vulnerable?,”
The euthanasia of mentally ill or cognitively impaired patients is inherently controversial. Given the risk of fatal error, how many botched cases would it take to discredit the practice completely?
If you said “any number greater than zero,” you would be interested in the physician-assisted death of a 74-year-old woman with dementia in the Netherlands in 2016. The circumstances were so disturbing, even the Dutch regulatory body that retrospectively reviews, and usually rubber-stamps, euthanasias could not countenance it.
The patient, referred to in official documents only as “2016-85,” had made an advance directive requesting euthanasia in case of dementia. But the directive was ambiguously worded, and she was no longer able to clarify her wishes by the time she was placed in a nursing home — though her husband did request euthanasia for her.
Despite the lack of a clear expression from the patient, a physician concluded her suffering was unbearable and incurable — though there was no terminal physical illness — and prepared a lethal injection.
To ensure the patient’s compliance, the doctor gave her coffee spiked with a sedative, and, when the woman still recoiled from the needle, asked family members to hold her down. After 15 minutes were spent by the doctor trying to find a vein, the lethal infusion flowed.
Neither voluntary, painless nor dignified, this physician-assisted death has become the first ever referred to prosecutors by the Dutch regulatory commission — with, so far, unknown consequences.
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Nevertheless, a 29-year-old woman, “Sarah,” whose sole medical complaint is serious, nearly lifelong depression and self-harming behavior, has received permission for euthanasia, to take place Friday, according to the RTL Nieuws, a Dutch media outlet.
She was released from prison in December 2016 after serving 2½ years for arson. She received no therapy while incarcerated and, 12 months later, she persuaded doctors her psychological suffering was unbearable and untreatable.
“It was a long and difficult road before she finally got permission,” RTL Nieuws observed. “And that is why Sarah wants attention for her story. Not for herself, but for others who also find life psychologically too heavy, have no chance of healing and want to die in a dignified way.”
In Belgium, meanwhile, reports of hasty and otherwise questionable euthanasias of people with mental illness have triggered a rare debate over physician-assisted death. Belgium legalized it in 2002, and the practice enjoys wide support.
Anyone else reading this summary while also thinking about the German eugenics program that began taking off in earnest (inspired by the one in the United States and UK) that saw mentally ill, disabled, and undesirable people being “euthanized” would be exactly correct. That program eventually saw the extermination of many others but, by then, it was too late stop the eating machine that had begun chomping down on the German people and spreading throughout Europe.
Once again, Europe holds its head up high and advertises its perceived superiority to the rest of the world while repeating its history yet again. It is time for Europeans and everyone else in the world to finally admit the truth – Europe is not a bastion of democracy, it is a cradle of tyranny. Having only been at peace within its own borders for less than twenty years, slaughter is by no means alien to Europe. Having marched right behind the U.S. in its global War Of Terror, Europe is engaging in slaughter right this minute. Europe is a police state at home and an empire abroad.
Europe can chant “Never Again!” all it wants but the evidence stands to the contrary.
Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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