'My First Hour in Office, Those People Are Gone'
The first, Terezin, was the Red Cross demonstration camp, and so they were on their best behavior, 30,000 died of starvation, and the guards had contests as to who could cut the most throats. The winner, 1,630 throats in one day.
In 1944, he was imprisoned in the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz Birkenau, under the supervision of Josef Mengele, 'The Angel of Death', surviving three selections, when 6,000 naked boys ran before him as the SS officers told him a joke, if the joke was good, Mengele laughed and you ran straight to your death.
If the joke was bad, and he looked up, you were spared, Werner was one of the 89 who survived. They were known as the Birkenau Boys.
When Werner was liberated by the American troops, in 1945, he was 17 and weighed only 47 pounds. He had one possession, the spoon he used to eat, which was later fashioned into a bracelet, a tiny child's bracelet the the gates of Auschwitz etched on it.
So he knows a thing or two about rounding people up and throwing them out.
For three decades, he's lectured to thousands of school children a year, about his experiences in the Holocaust, with the 'intent to recognize bullying and when you see an instance of abuse and intolerance you should not be a bystander, but be one the J.U.S.T. people, and do something about it.'
'He coined the term "J.U.S.T." which is an acronym for Judge Situation, Understand Problem, Solve and Take Action.
When Reich talks to students he points out how some things that were happening then are still happening now.' The inevitable parallels with history and the escalating Trump bigotry, fear and bullying, harken to another time, and is not lost on Werner.
Donald Trump is nothing, if not a bully.
'The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist' ~The Usual Suspects
'The Nazis wrote anonymous letters to the state run papers', Werner tells his students. 'That's the same as cyber-bullying, the cause of 6,000 suicides. The Nazis belonged to gangs and were cowards that enjoyed power and humiliating people.'
Today it's, tweet, retweet...delete.
In the Atlantic's "A Brief Introduction to Pro Holocaust Twitter", some of the more egregious, from his followers, and to whom he has given tacit approval, by his refusal to denounce.
Wallowing in the cowardice of anonymity afforded by the internet, King Baby Trump, wields his 140 characters, spewing hate to his minions... legitimizing and mainstreaming, thinly veiled racism.
Angry tweets on the Android, smiley face tweets on the iPhone. Which would be laughable, were it not so dangerous.
Twice, he retweeted @WhiteGenocideTM, a white nationalist with 457 followers - to all 11.6 million of his.
'Prominent anti-Semites went on radio shows to encourage their supporters to "get out and vote" for Trump, and a man was filmed leaving a Trump rally in Cleveland shouting "Go to fucking Auschwitz."
To the darling of the right, Ann Coulter, who once said, 'the Jews are just imperfect Christians', and former KKK leader David Duke, who suggests, 'Jews are the real problem', Trump is knocking it out of the hate park.
But that immigration speech was more than any of them could have hoped for.
The headline in the Washington Post, enough to send chills through the hearts of any who lost family members in the Holocaust.
Who You Gonna Believe? Me, Or Your Lying Eyes?
Trump is the master of media manipulation and flipping the script. His, blah blah blah, 'I feel strongly both ways' immigration policy, intentionally, left open to interpretation. Basically, you hear what you want to hear.
Teflon Don's history of corruption is epic in New York City, and mind-boggling, in its scope, according to the Washington Post.
But it is his similarity to cult leaders L Ron Hubbard and Rev Jim Jones, which is most alarming.
Chants of, 'Lock her up. Lock her up', and 'Deport her', are what Gustave Le Bon identified as, 'contagion', in which the crowd loses its individual self and personal responsibility. It spreads 'like a disease...primarily drawn from a shared racial unconscious.'
His overwhelmingly white audiences, some call, 'red hats and brown shirts', feed on xenophobic orgies of hate, and often resemble Bund rallies.
Trump is intoxicated by the crowds. And, like a drunk with his bottle, there is never enough to fill up his bottomless need for approval. He doesn't care about them, they're his fix. He whips them into a frenzy and then, bizarrely, thanks them, like a bad borscht belt warm up comic.
Hate is a tuning fork that goes to the place of fear in all of us. And once you're infected, he owns you. It is an insatiable beast, requiring more hate to survive. The endgame is extermination.
Just ask Werner.
'What Was the Turning Point in Germany?'
When I read the GOP nominee's senior foreign policy advisor, Joseph Schmitz, said in 2009, 'The ovens were too small to kill 6 million Jews', I took the train to Smithtown to pay another visit to my old friend.
We'd had this discussion many times over the years, but today it seemed even more prescient.
'In my opinion, the turning point in Germany, was when they stopped looking at minorities as human beings and started looking at them as objects.
People who use the 'all' word, attract a great great number of people. It's one of the easiest ways to attract people.
All Jews are rich, all Jews are crooks, all Jews kill little children and make Matzoh out of them...
Because one solution will apply to 'all'. All Jews must be exterminated.'
Once that solution is acceptable, can a more efficient way of burning bodies in the Auschwitz crematoriums, be far behind?
You've Been Trump'd
There is no such thing as bad publicity to him. So what if his wife plagiarized her speech, or he offends every single person or ethnic group he comes in contact with who threatens him? So what if he insults a Gold Star mother?
My grandmother was a Gold Star mother. She kept a candle and a star in the lace curtained window, for her son, Dude, who was shot down over the English Channel in 1942, when he was 19 years old.
Ousted Roger Aisles, Bannon, False Flags conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and others in his bunker, are sucking the air out of the room 24/7. The media created him, and they're doing the heavy lifting. But people are beginning to sober up at the specter of a Trump dictatorship.
'You've normalized white supremacy' Soledad O'Brien rails at CNN, and an anti-Semitic, racist ideology of an all white, all Christian nation, harkening of a dark time in our history, all too familiar to Werner.
Beware the demagogue, who screams, our country is going to hell in a hand basket, and ... "I alone can fix it".
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie...the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Truth is the enemy of Donald Trump too.
'The Bad Dudes'
When I filmed him at the Pence press conference, he effusively, thanked the evangelicals for winning the nomination for him, and promised a Christian Nation, free of Muslims, Mexicans and Bad Dudes, he's going to change the laws and 'give religion a voice again'. Pence, a heart beat away, introduced himself. 'I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican - in that order'.
He's going to get rid of 'ALL the illegal aliens', 'ALL the criminals', 'ALL the drug dealers', 'ALL the gang leaders', ALL the 'bad dudes' - 'so fast it will make your head spin' - In his, Run Spot Run rhetoric, 'it's going to be good', 'It's going to be great, believe me', 'it's a disaster'.
When Werner was 13 years old, he went into hiding, from another charismatic leader . He was deemed a 'bad dude', simply because, he was a Jew.
But that was 77 years ago, it could never happen again.
The dog whistle, now a deafening roar... like the air raid sirens used to mask the deportation of Jews.
'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' ~George Santayana