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Profuse Pontificator

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Story out of WW2

Following was written by Frank Fluckiger, an acquaintance of a few years now.

Because my Grandfather did not agree with what Hitler was doing and subsequently spoke out against the government, he lost his job as Clerk of the Court of Kiel. More than once the secret police attended his church and even came to his home with the intent of arresting him. How he evaded being arrested is no less than a miracle. In the end the only thing that saved him from being arrested was a member of the secret police who was the fiancé of my mother's close girl friend.  He agreed to meet with my grandfather and upon hearing his about his situation; he destroyed my grandfather's file. Subsequently he succeeded in getting employment in a factory.  He was more fortunate than most.

They lived in a large apartment complex and at night he and some very trusted close friends would put a radio on the dinning table, then put a blanket over their heads to muffle the sound and listen to the radio broadcasts from Great Britain to find out what was really going on in the outside world.  Listening to foreign broadcasts was forbidden. To even be in possession of a radio that was capable of receiving foreign broadcasts was illegal. They were fearful of sharing their political opinions with anyone that they did not explicitly trust and never ever expressed their political feelings to strangers.  Furthermore, parents with children in school were fearful to share their political opinions with their children since they knew their children were under great pressure to divulge their parents' opposition to the government to their teachers at school. Their children were required to become members of Hitler's youth groups.  Because of their fear of sharing their political feelings, children often sensed that their parents did not love them.  Nothing was further from the truth, but their children were aware that their parents were very guarded in what they shared with their children. This resulted in life-long mental scares of insecurity in the minds of many children who were not yet old enough to understand the political realities of the German government

Church meetings were monitored by the state police.  My grandfather was a leader in his local church and was told at one point by a German government official that once the Jews were eliminated from the German society, the members of his American sect would then be the focus of elimination. What made his assignment especially difficult was that at least half of the local church members supported what Hitler was doing, even after a convert to the LDS Church of Jewish decent was forbidden to attend public meetings which of course included his church meeting.  Church members who supported Hitler simply turned a blind eye to such action, or even worse, they found reason to excuse the action taken by the government. Further complicating his life, was news that three young Later Day Saint youths were arrested for typing and then distributing flyers critical of what Hitler was doing. The trial and subsequent execution of Helmet Hubner, one of those youth, tore at my grandfather's heartstrings.  He was infuriated that the youth was excommunicated from his Church membership by his branch president, and yet he knew also that such action was needed to protect the rest of the church members from further government scrutiny and harassment. Such were the conditions of fear and distrust that Germans who opposed the Hitler Regime lived under day and night.

One may ask why I share with you these things. They are freedoms that we Americans take for granted on a daily basis, but they are freedoms that we can and will lose just as did the Germans, unless we insure that the Constitution remains enforce in our nation.  My parents immigrated to America prior to the outbreak of WWII, so me and all of my siblings were born and reared here in the States. However, my grandparents were not able to immigrate until after the war so they experienced the full ravages of the war including loss of their home and their belongings to the bombing raids. As terrible as World War I was, the Second World War was worse for the German people.

During the years following their arrival to the USA, my grandmother shared with me over and over again the ravages of war and tyranny that they suffered in Germany under Hitler. She shared with me the various steps that Hitler followed to gain power and how he methodically eliminated his opposition. He did so by creating one crisis after another and then proposed legislation to solve the crisis, but always at the expense of yet another of their freedoms.  Little by little, the Germans traded their freedom for security, just as we Americans are now doing.  I see these same steps being taken here in the United States, under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The only thing that changes is the speed at which the steps are being taken. Steadily and stealthily our great Constitution is being undermined and once destroyed by those in power, our freedoms and liberties will also disappear. 

The Founding Fathers fully understood from their study of history how government became corrupt, and how in this process, the freedoms and liberties of their citizens were undermined and ultimately taken away.  They fully understood human nature, which is the same throughout history.  And how leaders, once they are in power, become intent upon securing more and more power over those that they govern. It was with this in mind that they wrote the Constitution, to guard against that power of government to encroach upon the lives of its citizens.  Even upon its completion and signing off on the Constitution by the framers, the colonial legislatures passed it only upon the assurance that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution.  Had it not been for that promise, the Constitution would not have been ratified.

In summary, it is the personal freedoms that the Constitution gives me that have fostered my love for the Constitution. I have enjoyed those freedoms here in America since my birth. Because of what my grandmother and parents have shared with me from their life under Hitler, I have not taken those freedoms for granted. My parents and grandparents lost those freedoms and regained them only when they immigrated to this country where freedom and liberty were guaranteed to them by our Constitution.  These freedoms are real and precious. But, as in Germany, they can and could be lost even here in America.  It is by eternal vigilance and involvement on the part of her citizens, in becoming actively involved in their government, that the United States will ensure that these freedoms remain protected and secured for generations to come.

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