This article was
classified by Truth or Fiction as commentary.
Truth or Fiction also stated:
This is a forwarded email
with an article by Kitty Werthmann who lived in Austria in
1938. Her article recalls 1938 Austrian economic
conditions and how Nazis gained control. Werthmann warns
Americans not to let freedom slip away.
Kitty Werthmann is a native Austrian who remembers
well the Third Reich reign of terror in Europe.
her 80's Werthmann is a leader of the South Dakota branch of the Eagle Forum, a
conservative organization headed up by talk radio personality and
political activist Phyllis Schlafly.
Werthmann spends her time speaking on socialism
and how Hitler took power.
America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let
Freedom Slip Away
By: Kitty Werthmann
What I am about to
tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read
in history books.
I believe that I am
an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria
by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a
landslide - 98% of the vote.. I've never read that in any American
publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his
tanks and took Austria by force.
In 1938, Austria was
in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was
unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business
people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from
house to house begging for food.. Not that they didn't want to work;
there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and
believed in helping people in need.. Every day we cooked a big
kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people -
about 30 daily.
The Communist Party
and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks
and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed.
The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let
them decide what kind of government they wanted.
We looked to our
neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power
since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or
crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said
about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led
to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life
in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the
end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that
businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms
back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria
to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
We were overjoyed,
and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight
parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and
everyone was fed.
After the election,
German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had
law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The
government made sure that a lot of work was created through the
Public Work Service.
Hitler decided we
should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom
that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An
able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support
his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that
they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give
up for marriage.
Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
Our education was
nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population
was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The
day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom
to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a
Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the
class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang
"Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education.
National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not
pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that
if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of
warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the
equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to
jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The
rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it.. Oh,
we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go
home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
My mother was very
unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public
school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and
she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There
was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no
political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could
tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I
would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what
they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They
lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified
for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our
society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a
great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of
Equal Rights Hits
In 1939, the war
started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and
could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a
full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you
didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved
to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have
any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for
Soon after this, the
draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and
female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the
girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their
barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained
to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps.
After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the
front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and
friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they
just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months
before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I
nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the
labor corps and into military service.
the Family Through Daycare:
When the mothers had
to go out into the work force, the government immediately
established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4
weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a
week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a
whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take
care of the children, just people highly trained in child
psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew
we had been had.
Health Care and Small
Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had
very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the
University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized,
free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The
problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors
for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8
a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the
hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait
a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it
was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools
literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to
As for healthcare,
our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately
received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household.
We had big programs for families. All day care and education were
free. High schools were taken over by the government and college
tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such
as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
We had another agency
designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant
that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to
replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves
on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom
facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He
couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the
government owned the large businesses and not many small ones
existed, it could be in control.
We had consumer
protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free
enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency
specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms,
count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how
to produce it.
In 1944, I was a
student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were
surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off
with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and
offspring were sometimes retarded.
When I arrived, I was
told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all
useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very
well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the
window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my
superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the
State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and
write. The families were required to sign papers with a little
clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits
would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed,
letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural,
merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was
happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all
died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
The Final Steps - Gun
Next came gun
registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that
the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching
serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully
marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long
after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn
in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was
futile not to comply voluntarily.
No more freedom of
speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken
away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also
priests and ministers who spoke up.
didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to
realize full dictatorship in Austria .Had it happened overnight, my
countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had
creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The
whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by
little eroded our freedom.
After World War II,
Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to
elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets
left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling
whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of
fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The
Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their
houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops
mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument
in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the
Russians. This is an eye witness account.
"It's true..those of
us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of
unbelievable freedom and opportunity.
America Truly is the
Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away
"After America ,
There is No Place to Go"
From the KFMB
(San Diego) blog:
are many and we must understand if we do not fight we will become
the new Jew in our own land.
Teddy Roosevelt said about
ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
'In the first
place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here
in good faith becomes
an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be
treated on an exact
equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to
any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or
origin. But this is
predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an
American, and nothing
but an American....There can be no divided allegiance
here. Any man who
says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an
American at all. We
have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have
room for but one
language here, and that is the English language.. And
have room for but one
sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American
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