The crimes of the Nazi regime in Germany have been repeatedly denounced for decades. People are familiar with the anti-semitism that was rife in Germany before Hitler came to power and its intensification during his government.
However, it has always puzzled thoughtful observers why a reasonably well-educated, liberal people could, within a few short years, accept, then actively and enthusiasitcally participate in calls by the state to murder people who were sometimes family members, often neighbours and who had even fought alongside Germans as Germans in the First World War.
There were many themes, motifs and narratives utilised by Goebbels, all long-standing but given a contemporary twist, to persuade Germans of the ‘Jewish threat’: Jewish people as usurpers of national culture, as international conspirators and as murderous communists. However, one of the most powerful slogans was to claim that Jewish people carried a bacilus, a bacteria, that threatened Germans literally and metaphorically, as part of the body politic.
Elimination had could be the only answer. A little bit like Zero-Covid, but with focused only on one section of the populace.
People who are frightened will do terrible things. Although there was plenty of hunger for ‘revenge’ against Jewish people combined with a high degree of social pressue to be an anti-semite, nothing quite so easily explains the almost complete cooperation of ‘humane’ Germans in death squads, death camps and death marches that continued, openly, for years.
Why say ‘humane’? Because ordinary Germans, in many instances, were not brain-washed murderers; they retained their ethical abilities separate from government propaganda for a prolonged period well into the Third Reich regime. In the late 30s, under the Nazi Euthanasia program which saw German doctors take the lives of 70 000 people whom they deemed to have a ‘life unworthy of living’, Germans protested to such a degree, the state backed down. These were not the actions of captured-minds of a docile, terrified citizenry. The majority only finally became co-conspirators in genocide, due simply to pressure and panic by the threat of disease; with prejudices sharpened and a perceived insidious threat, their humanity did not stretch to encircle Jewish friends and neighbours whose mere presence might take the lives of their loved ones.
People are terrified of bacteria, viruses, undetectable organisms that may kill them. It is a fear that is unrelenting; a fearful person can, by their own estimation, never know when they are safe. Simple obsessions begin to govern all actions: Kill the virus! Destroy the means of transmission! Eliminate the carrier – whether its actions, animals or people.
How easy can it be to take the latent feelings and ideas of any group, dealing with life’s stresses and strains, increase their fear and then direct it towards others? Goebbels, Goering and Hitler found it to be almost ridiculously easy, and boasted about it, even at Nuremburg.
The reason why this is relevant today, aside from the use of medical threats to cover a politcal agenda, is that the BBC’s tone is becoming decidedly nastier. And it’s being directed towards a particular category of people: dissenters from the COVID-medical-fear-complex.
Last week Radio 5 Live interviewed a professor working in an intensive care unit, Hugh Montgomery, who claimed that people ‘not washing hands’ and ‘not wearing masks’ had ‘blood on their hands’. – Slightly interesting, in the light of the previously mentioned Nazis, Montgomery’s a research professor at University College London, a university that has a long engagement with Eugenics, even allowed Francis Galton, ‘the Father of Eugenics’, to pioneer his work there. Recently, the univeristy has been called to apologise for this association, a recommendation part of a report inquiring into UCL’s eugenicist past. The majority of committee members of this investigation, nine out of sixteen, refused to sign the report and the findings were further criticised when it was revealed that a secret Eugenics meeting was run at the university but did not feature in the inquiry. It should also be noted that Professor Montgomery researches within the field of human performance which includes examining genetic impacts in certain areas. No implication that he is a Eugenicist or a Nazi should be inferred or that he was motivated to increase hysteria about the current situation and assist a political agenda, of course.
This was followed-up in the same week by the BBC with an interview on the same station, Radio 5 Live, where Laura Duffel, a Matron from an unnamed London hospital (King’s College Hospital apparently), claimed that children are being affected by Covid in this second wave, as well as people in their twenties and thirties. A message that clearly implied that now children were at risk, despite there being a mass of evidence, up to this point, that they are not. (An interesting point about Ms Duffel is that she also lends her name and position to a private company, Qmatic, who are hoping to lead solutions of implementation to organisations administering the COVID-19 vaccination, along with other shots. No doubt they stand to profit from delivering mass vaccinations within the NHS. Again, no implication that Ms Duffel has any financial interest in Qmatic or will receive any renumeration for the interview she gave to Radio 5 Live should be inferred.)
It’s clear to see an unpleasant narrative, with a more pointed threat to lives and obvious guilty parties to blame, is building. The more the fear is increased, the more people will look search for scapegoats. If the intensification of panic about a ‘second wave’ continues, or a third or a fourth, then the embryonic signs are that the finger will be pointed at those who are using common sense and science to approach this situation, and are thus choosing to dissent as ethical individuals, grounded on a moral platform.
When it becomes more overt than it is now, when dissenters are decried daily from the bully-pulpit media and the government benches, then we’ll know we’ve gone Full-Nazi. Well, everyone will know but those pointing the fingers…