To the editor:
I grew up during WWII, and as a child, I recall the time that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the president, with the approval of Congress, declared war on Japan and Germany. It was December, and I remember that night, the newspaper boy going through the neighborhood, shouting: Read all about it, the President has declared war on Japan and Germany.” People readily engaged in patriotic activities, even we children. A call went out for scrap metal, tires and other materials that could be used in the war effort. We children went through neighborhoods, collecting scrap, putting it in our wagons and taking it to the neighborhood collection sites. Mr. Tabor, a WWI vet and a neighbor, was in charge of the collection sites.
The weekly news reels in theaters kept us apprised of the unfolding events of the war. Pictures were seared in my childhood head, some of which remain with me to this day. Among the images were that of Hitler and his staff, including his propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Yes, there were the ghastly images of what was happening to Jewish men, women and children.
Hitler needed a scapegoat, which meant that he needed a safe target to complain about, someone who had little power and who could not fight back. The target was Jewish people, who as I understand it, had experienced the horror and pain of discrimination throughout Europe.
This is where Joseph Goebbels enters the picture. Goebbels believed that “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 people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”
The big lie was about Jewish people being at fault for the poor social-economic state of Germany.
Has the concept of the “big lie” been resurrected in our time.
I find it interesting that one of the other five of our senators and representatives chose to protest the results of the presidential election. I wonder if Representative Smith knew that a number of courts, including the Supreme Court, denied the big lie of Rudy Giuliani and President Trump?