Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The stereotypical Nazi...

...Name of the Day belongs to Brunhilde Pomsel, who died at age 106.

According to her obit in the Times, Fräulein Pomsel was:

...the personal stenographer of the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels during the last three years of World War II and one of the last surviving members of Hitler’s retinue in his final days in a Berlin bunker.

(I wonder who is Kellyanne Conway's personal stenographer.)

Two observations. First, her boss was said to be "a fanatic diarist, dictating up to 85 pages a day." (My emphasis.) I am forever amazed at how much everyone else seems to cram into a 24-hour day.

Second (again, my emphasis):

Like Hitler’s last private secretary, Traudl Junge, Ms. Pomsel insisted that she had been ignorant of Nazi atrocities during the war. She said it was not until after her return home from imprisonment that she learned of the Holocaust, which she called “the matter of the Jews.”

But she said she never had access to information about Nazi war crimes.

“We knew that Buchenwald existed,” she told The Times. “We knew it as a camp. We knew Jews went there. I witnessed the deportation of Jews from Berlin.” But she said the staff was told that deported Jews would repopulate lands to the east that were being abandoned by refugees.

As for gas chambers and crematories, she told The Guardian: “I know no one ever believes us nowadays — everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing. It was all a well-kept secret. We believed it. We swallowed it. It seemed entirely plausible.”

Baloney sausage. I read a book recently about Nazi Germany that dispelled the myth that the general population didn't know what was going on in the camps. Think about it: hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals worked for the railroads, the companies that supplied the gas, etc. In addition, all of the camp guards, workers, etc. had families and friends and the word just got out. How could you keep something like that a secret? People talk -- it's human nature. Have you ever tried to keep a secret? It's really hard. True, many Germans didn't believe the "rumors," but it strains credulity to claim that they didn't know anything about it.

P. S. That's why I sometimes believe Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy. Somebody in the "conspiracy" would have talked.

P. P. S. I said sometimes. If there's a heaven -- and if I get there -- one of my first questions will be, who killed Kennedy? Another will be, are the markets really efficient?

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