By Berit Kjos
On a cold drizzly day in early 1998 [long before the NSA raised fear of a rising Police State], I took a sobering tour through the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. A picture of a Gestapo officer brought back memories of the Nazi soldiers that guarded our neighborhood in Norway during World War II. Young as I was (I was born in Oslo shortly before Hitler’s invasion of Norway), I will never forget the piercing air raids, the thundering war planes, our hiding place in the basement, and the sounds of exploding bombs and fires around us.
My young father was a leader in “Hjemme Fronten” (the Home Front) — an underground army of loyal Norwegians who would risk death than submit to Nazi tyranny. Caught helping other brave soldiers escape into neutral Sweden, he endured hunger, torment, and the threat of death in Oslo’s main Nazi concentration camp before his release at the end of the war.
The Norwegian people didn’t known such tyranny until the Nazi warships sailed up the Oslofjord on April 9, 1940. Overnight, Hitler’s fascism replaced liberty and trusted friends became foes. Resistance to the new ideology would be costly. But for most Norwegians, the choice was clear. Unlike Hitler’s masses, we hadn’t been weakened by years of ceaseless propaganda, slogans, service, and celebrations dedicated to the triumph of National Socialism.
Decades later, Andy and I visited the Holocaust museum in Auschwitz, Poland. Our journey through dark memories of WW2 began in the section dedicated to Nazi propaganda. Pausing by each display, I was startled by words that could so easily describe America today. The quotes brought stark reminders that, apart from God, human nature doesn’t change with time. Nor do the aims of the spiritual mastermind behind the scenes who has always sought ways to stir hatred toward God’s people. One tactic was simply to provide nice-sounding alternatives to biblical faith and service.
“Individuals were urged to sacrifice themselves for a greater ‘People’s Community,'” announced one of the displays. Such slogans must have sounded good to the masses, for few saw the cruel manipulation behind the noble words.
I thought of President Clinton’s calls for “sacrifice”, “service, “unity”, “common values”, “civil society,” and “safe” communities. How many people today see the ominous meanings behind such noble words? Click here to continue reading.