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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Bambi and Hitlerjunge Quex

I was pondering the anti-human undercurrent in many environmentalists' world view, and wondering where it comes from. What leads people to view their own group as the enemy? One answer is: propaganda. Bambi is perhaps the clearest, but far from the only story anthropomorphizing animals and omitting any humanity from the human portrait.

I happen to know from family history that this sort of storytelling can have the effect I speak of. My father grew up a Jew in Nazi Germany (in Berlin). At age 12 or 13, he, like all Berlin's schoolchildren his age, were taken to see the Nazi propaganda movie Hitlerjunge Quex. This was the story of a young German boy with Communist parents, martyred because of his loyalty to Hitler and National Socialism. My father found himself profoundly moved by the film, identifying with the boy, and -- briefly -- hating those villianous Jews....

My husband, the Hoosier Gadfly, notes that religions preaching self-abnegation have had an appeal for centuries, with Medieval Christianity an important example.

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