Thursday, October 11, 2007

Something that sounds very familiar....

Adulation. As in adulation of a tyrant.
In Cuba, by the early sixties, youngsters were "led" to write letters to castro.
There have always been people who write to castro, to express their love, to voice a complain to him, the Supreme Overlord, so he could fix what his subordinates had messed up. Remember, a cult of personality recepient is infalible, so varied messes and mistakes were a thing exclusively produced by his subordinates. There were also people who complain full force, or who sent a declaration of principles, or who broke with his "revolution". There are people who write letters to him calling a spade a spade, like Dr Hilda Molina and a few dissidents, and songwriters like Gorki who aim his literary guns at him in a not so veiled way, even decostructing a song of adulation and transforming it into a song of scorn.

Briefe an Hitler, or Letters to Hitler is a book compiled by German historian Henrik Eberle.
In his book, Mr. Eberle compiles about 300 letters written by ordinary Germans to Adolph Hitler during the period from 1925 to the days before his fall in 1945.
To produce this book, Mr. Eberle went into Russian archives and he read more than 20, 000 letters to Hitler who were taken to Moscow by the Red Army after being seized from the Reich archives at the end of World War II.

"I love you so much. Write me - please. Many greetings. Your Gina."
Far from being a Walkyrie, Gina was a seven year old from a partisan family in Berlin, and her parents wrote that she wanted to marry Hitler.

The letters shows what was going in the minds of regular Germans, Nazi sycophants, political oponents, and persecuted Jews and even war heroes complaining about the diminishing freedoms under the Nazi rule.

In the early period of Hitler's rule his fan mail was usually congratulatory or from people seeking "life advise".
The author points out that there is a letter from one Alfred Barg who signed his 1925 letters between to swastikas, asking about the consumption of alcohol as a moral issue, and wether the party would use the swastika and the red, black and white flag once they conquered power. (coincidentally black, red, and white are the colors favored for castro for his terrorist movimiento veintiseis de julio)

Hitler would not reply directly to those letters, task that was done by his personal attache Rudolf Hess: "Herr Hitler drinks no alcohol aside from a few drops during very special events and he is a nonsmoker, and you should already know how we stand on the colors black-white-red and the swastika."
(castro has given advise in his letters about quitting smoking, and has warned "the revolutionaries" about eating habits and alcohol consumption)

According to the author of the book, the letters were primarily sorted by Hess and Albert Bormann, brother of Hitler's confidant and private secretary Martin Bormann. They were marked with red ink if not shown to Hitler, or green ink if he had been made aware of them, Eberle said. (Celia Sanchez did that in Cuba until her death, with Hayde Santamaria, then by his secretary "Chomi", and lately by his aids at el "grupo de trabajo")

Naturally some of the letters from dissidents and other "dangerous" folks - including a woman who claimed to be Hitler's relative - were forwarded to the Gestapo for investigation. (As was the letter of former party member and now dissident doctor Hilda Molina asking him to let her go to Argentina with her elderly mother to meet her grandchilldren)

The letters between the ascension to power in 1933 and the invasion of Poland in 1939 were mostly supportive of Hitler, as there were when Germany annexed Austria. The writers sent their congratulatory remarks from places around the world, including the USA, Britain, and yes, Austria where Hitler was born. (The same happened during the wars in Angola, Ethiopia, the interventions in Nicaragua, and during Castro's health crisis of these later days)

There were selfhating people who also took the pen to the paper, like a Franz Ippich from Salzlburg who wrote:

"After the first days of jubilation were over, we were aghast to learn that while I am eligible to vote, my wife, being stigmatized and inferior because of her Jewish heritage, must stand aside."
"So I decided ... to ask you: Please erase the dishonorable, Jewish heritage of my wife, which is not her own fault ... (by doing so) my wife's and my offspring will become your loyal and enthusiastic followers who will bless you for all your life."
The letter went unanswered, and Ippich fled with his wife for South America.
(I know of people who wrote to castro denouncing his gusano family members, to then flee the country and seek -and obtain- their pardon and live together in exile)

There were protests early on from abroad about Nazi policies; they got no response to those criticisms.
(Has Castro ever responded to anyone who try to defend the dissidents)

At the end of the war the letters went from wonder weapons proposals to desperate messages from regular Germans who only sent about 100 "happy birthday dear Adolf" postcards in 1945. And I bet that castro is not getting that many love letters lately, either.

Now you know why this is so familiar?
People in Cuba wrote to Castro for the same reasons. I don't think that they are writing to him now....
Future historians won't have to go to Russia to get to the archives, the letters are kept in the Party archives in Havana.
Castro has answered only a few of those letters on his handwriting, and has revealed that he even asked for ten "green American dollars" to President Roosevelt and in exchange he would tell him where the mines of iron and nickel in Cuba were. So much for somebody who sold his country to the Russians and develop a pathological hate for Americans because the response he got didn't contain the ten bucks. Maybe Roosevelt could have invested ten bucks in that psycho and he would have loved America and became a talk show or something.

It's interesting to learn about the international support in places like the USA and the UK that Hitler had. Not unlikely the support that Castro enjoys and the cult of Che.