Pg 311 – They Thought They Were Free
“The Germans are great fighters,” said Senator Thomas of Oklahoma in late 1949. “If the United States gets into a war, we shall need fighters.” “It should be enough,” said General Collins of the United States Joint Chief of Staff in 1950, “if we send arms. Our sons must not shed their blood in Europe.”
Only a few years after World War 2 the US government was rattling sabers against Russia, its former ally. The above quote is just an amazing point on how humans (and human states) can flip-flop so fast. The Russians were our allies in the fight against the “evil Germans” and only 5-6 years later the “evil Germans” aren’t so evil anymore and are our allies against the “other great evil” Russia.
That being said, I realize that the quote above is stated in trying to save American lives by risking the Germans. Politically feasible but not necessarily more moral.
Pg 325 – They Thought They Were Free
Americans who saw the love of liberty in the East-West refugee traffic and the East German riots needed to remind themselves that these same East Germans lived under totalitarian slavery for twelve years, 1933-45, and loved it.
The love of Liberty or Slavery is not genetic, it is learned. We are born free and thus remain until we are taught otherwise. Luckily, as many of the refugees showed, once shackled we do not need to remain shackled. We can remove our shackled and life as free men, even in unfree states. Liberty is first a mindset, then action. The free mind is still free in a shackled body (St. Paul can attest to that); but the shackled mind (or the shackled spirit) in a free body self-imposes imprisonment on the body.
To God Firstly!
To Liberty, Freedom and Love through Christ for the rest.
This post is a continuation of a long series of commentary on quotes pulled from They Thought They Were Free, the Germans 1933-45 by Milton Mayer. The book itself is home to a lot of revelations to the nature of people and I do recommend reading it. For additional reading please see the short review of the book itself and a list of other commentary like this post.