This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

From National Socialism to Nazis

Like all people born after the second half of the twentieth century, all I know about World War II is what I have read in books, seen in movies, heard people talk about. And as a man of peace, I refused to even look at it, until I began to work on my genealogy, and I needed to learn about the world of my father, who was a Marine in World War II, and my grandfather, who fought in World War I.

What Adolph Hitler, and the Nazis did, will live forever as one of the worst horrors ever perpetrated on mankind. Even if you don't know much about World War II, you probably know about Adolph Hitler, and are revolted by the sign of a swastika.

I grew up during the Cold War, that is, the distrust and espionage that went on between the United States and the Soviet Union. And although I don't know anything about Communists, I know that people who have lived under Communism are not happy, and that it was, and is, a system of government whereby the people really have no say. That is, a dictatorship - the opposite of a democracy.

But the terminology is all mixed up. Socialists, and Communists, in name at least, give the power to the people. That's what National Socialism, which came to be called Nazism, was supposed to be, or at least that's what they called it. It certainly never was that.

And that's where it gets really confusing. We all know what a community is, and what being sociable means, and yet Communism and National Socialism (Nazism) are anything but that.

The World War that my grandfather fought, and my father finished, was to make the world safe for democracy. And while the United States of America is far from perfect, it's the closest the world has come to being a place where the power is truly with the people. If you didn't pay close attention in history class, or civics class, don't worry, there are people who did. And whatever you want to call things, there are people who know what oppression, and dictatorship, is.
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