Friday, July 3, 2009

"The latent ingredients could be found everywhere." -- Hitler, Pol Pot and Obama.

There is a little-noticed war crimes tribunal going on right now in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I am working on a section of Absolved with a Cambodian character and found this in my research.

I have also been reading Nuremberg by Joseph Persico when I turn in at night. There is an interesting pont, a parallel if you will, between Hitler and Obama that Persico mentions in Chapter 38 about Wilhelm Frick, the Third Reich's Interior Minister.

Frick's proudest achievement had been to make Adolf Hitler a German. Hitler had renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925 to pursue his political star in Germany. His German citizenship application was initially turned down because he had been convicted of treason after the 1923 Munich Putsch, his failed attempt to topple the Bavarian government. Frick tried another tack. Anyone named to an official post in Germany was automatically entitled to citizenship. Frick used his influence as a member of the Reichstag to have Hitler appointed constable of a small town called Hildberghausen. Hitler was offended and tore up the appointment. Other gambits failed, but Frick perservered. In February of 1932, he finally managed to have Hitler named a councilor for the state of Braunschweig. Less than a year later, Hitler became Germany's chancellor. (p. 225)

Obama, as I've said before, is no Hitler. Charismatic like Hitler, mesmerizing like Hitler, manipulative like Hitler, narcissistic like Hitler, but not Hitler. Not yet, anyway. Funny about the citizenship question, though.

Pol Pot, the murdering butcher who ran the Khmer Rouge, however was a native born Cambodian, although of Chinese descent.

But Persico's book, which focuses on US Army psychologist Captain Gustav Gilbert's attempt to understand what factors had combined to make the men and women of the Third Reich the monsters that they were, has another interesting observation. After searching for many months, interviewing top war criminals, he finally put together the pieces to the Nazi puzzle when he interviewed Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess.

For Gilbert, it had all fallen into place at last. The puzzle of "why" was complete. . . Gilbert's knowledge of German history was sufficient to tell him that Hitler had not invented anti-Semitism or the cult of obedience . . . Adolf Hitler had merely sown his seed in receptive earth. . . Today, in room 600, Gilbert had seen it all converge in one insignificant human being. . . "The thought of disobeying an order would simply never occur to anybody," Hoess had said. . . "We took it for granted we had to protect Germany from the Jews," Hoess had told Gilbert.

But these two forces, blind obedience and race hatred, while sufficient to account for the assembly line slaughterers, still did not explain the architects and engineers of the Final Solution, even sophisticated men as Ohlendorf and Hoess. The final piece had been provided to Gilbert by the latter, the man who "never had a friend," who preferred the company of horses to that of people. Gilbert began writing: Rudolf Hoess was "outwardly normal, but lacked something essential to normality, the quality of empathy, the capacity to feel with our fellow man." Hoess had described the millions at Auschwitz not as people, but as "shadows passing before me." Combine unthinking obedience, racism and a disconnection from the kinship of mankind, and you could produce an Auschwitz commandant.

His arriving at a solution that satisfied the mind served only to depress Gilbert's spirits. Every society had its authority-ridden personalities. Bigots exist all over. And schizoids, dead to normal feeling walk the streets every day. The latent ingredients could be found everywhere. (pp. 319-320)

Indeed, when you read the article below, you will find that it is not necessary to have a critical mass of Prussian militarist anti-Semites to achieve governmental butchery on a mass scale.

More from me on the other side.


"Whoever opposed the regime, that's what the Khmer Rouge meant."

Khmer Rouge torture survivor saw "hell on earth"

01 Jul 2009 10:33:37 GMT

By Ek Madra

PHNOM PENH, July 1 (Reuters) - One of the few survivors of the Khmer Rouge's notorious Tuol Sleng prison gave chilling testimony of "hell on earth" when he faced his former torturer at a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal on Wednesday. Like another survivor who testified at the joint United Nations-Cambodian tribunal, Bou Meng said he was alive only because he was an artist and Duch, the torturer, liked his drawings of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.

Meng was accused of spying for the United States in 1977 and was taken along with his wife to the S-21 interrogation centre, once a school and now a museum to the horror of the Khmer Rouge regime.

He was one of only seven people to survive the prison, where more than 14,000 men, women and children died during Pol Pot's 1975-1979 "killing fields" reign of terror.
"I saw about 20 men with long hair, looking very sick and emaciated. The cell was like hell on earth," Meng told the court.

The prisoners were kept in chains with empty bullet boxes and plastic bottles to use as toilets.

"I saw a lizard and hoped it would drop on me so I could catch it and eat it," Meng said. "They kept whipping me and asked me when I joined the CIA."

For the first time in three decades, Meng had the chance to question Duch, the first of five Pol Pot cadres indicted by the tribunal.

He never saw his wife again after they entered S-21 and he asked his torturer what had happened to her.

"I expect she was killed by my subordinates," Duch replied.

With no death penalty in Cambodia, Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and homicide.

He has admitted his part in the deaths but maintains he was only following orders.

On Monday another artist Vann Nath said his life was spared only because Duch liked his paintings of Pol Pot.


Another S-21 survivor, Chum Mey, 79, told the judges on Tuesday his toenails were torn off and that he, too, was held in a dark cell, his legs shackled. He received hardly any food and expected to die at any moment.

"I will never forget my suffering at S-21, as long as I live," he said, his voice breaking, tears rolling down his face.

"When I entered the room, I didn't expect to survive. I just laid on my back, waiting to be killed."

Mey's wife and four children were among the 1.7 million Cambodian's who died under Pol Pot's ultra-Maoist revolution, which ended in the 1979 invasion by Vietnam.
He too was accused of being a spy for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

"Who is the CIA? What did the Khmer Rouge mean by CIA," he shouted at his torturer.

Duch, listening attentively as usual, responded calmly: "Whoever opposed the regime, that's what the Khmer Rouge meant."

Also indicted are Khmer Rouge second-in-command, Nuon Chea, former President Khieu Samphan, and ex-foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife, all of whom have denied knowledge of the atrocities.

Pol Pot, who was known by the regime as "Brother Number One", died in 1998 near the Thai-Cambodia border.

So you see, it is not necessary for killers to believe in "The Eternal Jew" to achieve massacre. It is only necessary, in the words of the Khmer Rouge butcher Duch, to believe that it is necessary to kill "Whoever opposed the regime."

Food for thought as we plunge into the undisovered country of our future with Barack Hussein Obama, the mesmerizing narcissist without a birth certificate.


j3maccabee said...

One of the interesting, but chilling, facts about sociopaths - like Obong, Hitler, even smaller monsters like Gacy and Bundy - is that they have a keen instinct which enables them to affect whatever expression, tone, body language or mannerism, is needed at a specific moment, to make them appear human. Study Bundy's interviews.

A pure sociopath can manage to choke up with emotion while recounting to an eager interviewer, the likelihood that his poor grandmother may not be long for this world... even hours after giving the order to a subordinate to put the pillow over granny's face as soon as the speaker is safely visible in another location.
When one combines the utter lack of morality of the socipath with the solipsistic and narcissistic mental disorders, then one has a man whose murderous capacity is no different than any of the others of that ilk throughout history. It is merely a matter of degree, and time.

Brock Townsend said...

Kerry And His Mystical Khmer Dau (Rouge)
" Go to the Tuol Sleng Museum in Phnom Penh. You won't go back."

Sean said...

One of the biggest reasons people are flung into these places and tortured and murdered is because they cannot believe that other human beings would be so monstrous. Believe it, and live.

Toastrider said...

Who would want to believe it, though?

I'm not arguing your point, Sean, but such a step requires that you look at a person and realize they are not human -- that they are an aberration against nature, God, what have you.

It would be as if you walked up to a man and gave his nose a light tug, only to have the whole face slide off, revealing the bare, grinning skull underneath.

Sean said...

Not a question of "wanting" to believe it, but a question of believing it, or not. If one cannot see, and accept, reality as it is, then one will soon will die as a result of that. For most people, they would rather live in comfortable ignorance of the evil that exists around them. Show it to them, and they recoil, and deny. It's why they're referred to as "Eloi".

Tangalor said...

'Not human' is such a terrible term. They ARE human, and our willingness to 'dehumanize' such a person makes them that much more powerful.

The fact is, each of us has an underlying monster inside itching, gnawing, waiting for a chance to get out. Even the most pious person has the innate ability to let slip forth said underlying demon.. i.e. child molesting preachers.

Being human is the ability to choose to let it slide through unhindered, or fight it and let your conscience be the victor. Choice is what it comes down to.

On the battlefield, that monster might save your life... or it might drown you in shame ever after... but it's still a choice you might have to make.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you mention the eligibility controversy in these terms "funny about the citizenship question" Because it's *not* about
the birth certificate, it's about dual citizenship at birth. One good
discussion of this was at the Citizen Well blog about December 7th 2008. "Born a Brit"