Blogs by Edeltraud F. Fellendorf
HITLER'S RACIAL TRAINING EMBEDDED FOR LIFE
1/22/2010 5:01:01 PM
Have you ever wondered what a German thought of America’s racial issues in the 1950s?
Before I begin, here are the working links to Janelle’s Lamb of Legacy trailers I promised you:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whw65BZwLxc (Lamb of Legacy trailer with music by Within Temptation)
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbfZxSiQOH0 (Lamb of Legacy trailer with music by Schubert)
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfay3xurNKY (About the Author trailer with music by Debussy)
Now, where was I?
Oh yeah, Mom called today and she started telling me about a few confrontations she had when she first came to the U.S. I thought this would be an interesting blog post because it depicts the racial dichotomy between Germans and Americans.
This incident took place about two weeks into her move to the U.S. with my Father. Dad was stationed in New York and Mom lived near his family in Brooklyn. According to Mom, she was riding the bus when a pregnant woman of color stepped onboard. That’s when trouble started.
On a full bus, it’s a German courtesy to give up your seat for the elderly, infirm, or anyone expecting a child. This lady was very pregnant. There were no seats so Mom offered up hers. She couldn’t understand why the lady refused. In the meantime, the conductor came back and said to her point blank, not in a friendly manner either, “What do you think you’re doing? Blacks in the back and whites up front!”
Mom had no idea what he was talking about. She tried to explain the lady was pregnant and she would be more than happy to stand. That’s when the conductor told her, “You either shut up or I’ll throw you off the bus.”
Her second incident happened in a movie theater in Brooklyn. Dad was at work. She was very unhappy in New York and home sick so she would go to the theater a lot. She was waiting for a movie to start when a little boy, around 8-years old, sat next to her. A few moments passed when the usher came by and harshly grabbed the boy by the collar of his shirt, yanking him out of his seat. Mom was startled. She wanted to know what the boy had done. He yelled at her that this section was for whites only! When Mom protested, he threatened to kick her out.
After hearing this, you know what I’m going to ask her, don’t you?
Okay, Mom, I get that you didn’t understand, but what about the Jews in Germany?
That set off a powder keg for sure!
First, she said she knew nothing about what Hitler did to the Jews, which is true. It’s what she said next that again points to a deep-rooted belief instilled in her by the Nazis…”The Jews took away our jobs. They had everything. We had nothing. I don’t think Hitler should have gassed them, but he needed to get rid of them.” She ended her tirade with, the U.S. is no better, “Look at what the South did to the blacks!”
Again, please keep in mind that this is what children were taught about Jews in Germany back then, both in their schools and when they joined the Hitler Youth. It still amazes me that she still spouts off like this after all this time. What’s even stranger is that Mom’s neighbor across the street is Jewish. He lives alone, is in his 60s, and is a little slow. Mom takes such good care of him that he considers her his Mother.
How do you explain that?
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