Thursday, March 25, 2010

After America, There Is No Place To Go

This is an incredible article about a woman's experience in Nazi Austria.

Only in America are the people too lazy to be free, 1938 Austria

The following story was sent to me in an e-mail:

"After America, There is No Place to Go"

The author of this article lives in South Dakota and appears to be very active in attempting to maintain our freedom. I encourage everybody to read this article and pass it along. I see so many parallels in this country– are we going to sit by and watch it happen? Spread the word; also contact your congressional reps; vote them out if they don’t do what they should. If you don’t want to be bothered, then you’re part of the problem! Google Kitty Werthmann and you will see articles and videos.

America truly is the greatest country in the world.

Don't Let Freedom Slip Away By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

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 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.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. 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.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service. 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.

Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
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. Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had. My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:
In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men. Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:
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.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
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. 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.

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. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control. We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

"Mercy Killing" Redefined:
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 Final Steps - Gun Laws:
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. No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom. After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria . Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eye witness account. "It's true...those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away

"After America , There is No Place to Go"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Review: The Hows and Whys of Science Kit

Well, we finally opened our box, almost a week after we got it. And a busy week it has been, but I won't go into that right now.

I ended up working on the kit with my 3 year old and 5 year old, as the others were outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we were having. They loved it! There is a neat little telescope, a hand-crank flashlight (they loved that one), and some magnets, among other things. There are a lot of activities in the book as well that really look like a lot of fun, and once the weather warms back up a bit, we are going to go do some of them.

I really wish I had been able to take some pictures, but my camera decided it didn't feel like cooperating this week, so I will have to wait for a bit to get some pictures. I am very much looking forward to trying many of the experiments out though, and will be adding some activities to my kids' work boxes for school. I'm sure they'll love that idea.

My overall opinion of the kit is that it's fairly straightforward and very simply covers a wide range of topics. There were bits about magnets, soil, bugs, rocks, and a few other things. We haven't gone through everything in the book, but most of it seems very easy to do without a lot of extra work.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And the winner is.....

Marcie! Marcie you have won the Hows and Whys of Science kit! Please contact me by email and we can work out the details :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Worth Checking Out

I was recently contacted by someone from the Promotions Team of a rather interesting site for kids furniture, among other things. I was allowed the option of choosing something for myself to review and tell all of you about, or to host a giveaway. After spending two days looking through their site, and finding not only a ton of great furniture, I also found lots of games and activities that I know my children would absolutely love.

I found all sorts of really neat science kits, which was fun for me because I love science. I love getting into the whys and hows of how things work. Take this Genetics Kit for example.
Seriously? How cool is that? And it's only $24.99 on the website.

There are tons of other kits like it too. Physics, Chemistry, Solar Systems, not to mention some really nice furniture. But for the giveaway, I think we will be going with this little number.
Again, because I love science, and it's the one area we haven't gotten into as much with the kids schooling. I would love to be able to share this with one of you lucky readers :) So here are the rules. Because of course, there are always rules.

1. Go to the website and poke around. Take a few hours, or days, or however long it takes to look through all the really cool stuff.

2. Come back here when you're good and ready, and tell me what you liked most.

3. Do it by March 10th, which is my oldest child's 10th birthday. He's quite excited since it's his golden birthday this year. Deadline for signing up will be March 10th, 2010 at 10:10 AM central time.

So I guess it's not when you're good and ready, but I'm giving you plenty of time to look through the site at least. For extra entries, share the link back to this contest with your friends, and post again telling me you did so in the comments section.

So again, you are entering for the Hows and Whys of Science, you're entering by March 10, 2010, 10:10 AM, and you're telling your friends :)

Wow, it's been a while

So yeah, it's been busy here lately. Not much time for blog updates, and since I really hate how my pictures turn out with the lack of appropriate lighting, I've not wanted to do much food blogging.

So quick update, we've been working on using workboxes for the kids for homeschool, which has been working out quite nicely. They are getting tons of work done in less time than before. Using a timer helps tremendously as well. I am hoping to upgrade from paper covered cereal boxes to nice little drawers before long, but those cost money, so it might be a while :) They do work nice though, so that's a good thing.

Zachary, our youngest, turned 2 on Sunday. Well, technically not quite, as his birthday is officially the 29th of February, which only comes every 4 years. But we use the 28th for his alternate birthday, since we have plenty of March birthdays already, and that fits in with our goal of having one baby in every month.

Our oldest, Ben, will be TEN YEARS OLD!!! Oh Lordy, where has the time gone? He's gotten so big, and grown so much since he was just the tiny little squirt I held so long ago. I know in a few years he will be driving, and then getting all grown up and moving away.

I do hope to start updating again before long. At least a little more often than once every 4 months, hopefully.