She was the mayor
Chief of the cops
And sometimes ran
The sewer plant
Owned the bar
The grocery store
Although the berg was small
It always seemed larger
When the yes-men
Those yes-men she served
Those little people
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Fascinating photo, Jules. I’m guessing it’s from Nazi Germany or Austria, obviously 1945 or earlier.
I sometimes look at photos like this, with the rock star adulation of a criminal regime, and wonder what happened to these everyday people and when and if they ever came to the realization of what and who they were agog over. And how they were able to live with themselves afterward.
Hi Kevin. It’s Czech, 1938, when German forces entered the country. The pic came from Wiki, link shows when you run the cursor over the pic.
Yeh, I expect they had some awakenings over the next few years, haven’t we all? Gracias, Jules
There are yes men and women all over the world. They give themselves up to survive.
Livvy1234, yes there are. They give themselves up for that and a lot of other reasons. Some less compelling than survival. Jules
Jules, those in the photo may well be Sudeten Germans, who were likely excited after the the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia had been turned over to the Germans in October 1938, following the Munich Agreement.
If I remember right, hundreds of thousands of Sudeten Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia following the war, in retaliation for what the Nazis had wrought upon the country and Europe.
In retrospect, those Czechs that survived World War II probably wished Hitler had never turned his attetion to their country. Once again, the old adage be careful what you wish for rears its head.
Hi Kevin: I think you correctly identified the folks in the pic. I wonder where they expelled them to after the war. Considering what went on in the Eastern Bloc, Hungary, 1956, Prague Spring 1968, being expelled to the right place might have been a blessing. Thanks for the interest. Jules
Hi Livvy, Hi Jules,
Yes, some – as did my mother and my father – simply acquiesced to the Nazi regime, simply trying to survive in that environment. They never made their policies theirs, but they didn’t join the resistance movement either. And I – not knowing what I would have done in these circumstances – don’t blame them for their attitude. In private, he and my mother used to make fun of the regime, but – for fear if their lives – never openly.
I sometimes suspect – they never talked about that even after the war – that they must at least have guessed what atrocities were perpetraged by that regime late, but I think they tried not to really know. It’s easy for human beings to repress things we don’t like (to know), isn’t it? Don’t we do that all the time? Again, I’m not the one to criticize them for their attitude/behaviour, even if I know that – had more people in Germany behaved differently – maybe the regime would never had a chance become that destructive to world peace.
So, maybe we can draw a lesson from that for the present times.
Best regards from a German native,
Hi Pit. Thanks for coming by. Yeah, the ‘holier-than-thou’ and ‘here’s-what-I’d-have-done’ approaches to the past is seductive. I honestly don’t know what I’d have done under those circumstances. My guess is that US citizens would have generally behaved in ways that rhymed with, were identical on the whole, with what the German citizenry did. If there’s a lesson for modern times in that I suspect it isn’t the one you’re suggesting, though. Gracias, Jules
Unfortunately, Jules, I think your assessment is correct. We’d all like to think we’d stand up to evil given the chance, but so few actually do when the opportunity presents itself.
Some acquiese out of self-preservation, some because they see a chance to make good, even if it’s at the expense of others. We need to remember that before we get up on our high horse and say what took place in Europe in the 1930s and ’40s could never happen here.
It’s a tough gig, Keven, even making accurate, honest assessments about whether we’re a piece of the wrong direction and the right direction’s swimming against the current. Especially where ambitions, comforts and wealth or affluence reside on the wrong direction side of things.
I’m not all that inclined to believe there’s a high horse available for us to get on, except those ghost riders in the sky type high horses that don’t leave much of a residue on the bottom when they’re boiled down. Thanks for the visit. Jules