Kitty Werthmann, 85, is the president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum.
Werthmann was born in Austria, lived for 7 years under the Nazi regime (the word Nazi is an abbreviation of National Socialism), followed by 3 years under Soviet occupation. So she knows very well what socialism, oppression, and the loss of liberty are.
In the essay below, Werthmann describes how Hitler came to power and the steps taken by the Nazi regime which incrementally took away the people’s freedom.
First, the government took control of the schools and got rid of religious instruction. Then, the family was undermined. Next came the socialization of health care, followed by the “mercy killing” of those the regime deemed worthless and burdens on society. Finally, the Nazis went after privately-owned guns.
~Eowyn & Joan
America: Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away
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. 98% of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
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 humanistic philosophy.
By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
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 other countries.
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.
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.
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. For after America, there is no place to go.