(This Article first appeared in Heroes, Heroines & History:A Story and a By-Word on Sunday, August 16th)
The offspring of the Great Depression, who had peddled papers and sold apples on street corners of the 1930s, awakened to a new era in the 1940s. They gaily glided into the eloquent ballrooms that mirrored the starlight and splendors of the Aztecs. They cashed their first paycheck, kissed their first sweetheart, and bought their first car.
The American dream awakened our youth to education, jobs, and prosperity. But across the ocean, Hitler awakened his youth to the idea of a Master Race.
Germany’s youth were awarded an opportunity to be part of a selected aristocratic ideal. So, instead of looking to jobs, they looked to the swastikas and a special privilege for themselves—that of becoming the Master Race.
Their physical appearance and ancestry were important. A young man had to choose his wife with great care. Oh, the excitement of being included in this special aristocratic majority who would make the world a better place for all.Like a rattler slithers across the ground and stirs up the dust before it strikes, the subtle seduction of Nazism wove its deadly poison into the hearts and minds of the people.
The World War I defeat in 1918 threw the German people into a mind of disillusionment. The monarchy was replaced by a republic and enemies of this new democracy grabbed their chance to blame this new republic for just about everything that went wrong in the struggling postwar Germany.
The enemies of this new democracy grabbed at the chance to play the blame game. Claiming the army wasn’t defeated by the Allies—but forced to surrender because the Jews lacked the will to fight and the patriotism needed to win. Some blamed the socialists in Germany.
Hitler appeared to be the only one who could save them from their skyrocketing economic ruin and—communism. During the 1930s Hitler and his Nazi party grew in popularity.
By a few votes more than his opponent, Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. He quickly made plans to rebuild the military. Germany’s youth was his top priority. He outlawed all rival political parties, arrested their leaders, and shoved them into prison.
In 1935, compulsory military training began and in 1936, he remilitarized the Rhineland. Distorting history for his political gain, truth for a lie, new textbooks were written for Germany’s school-age children.
I doubt anyone has not seen Robers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. This musical depicts the element of Hitler’s military strategy very well. It was in March of 1938, little Austria was brought into this snake’s grasp and indoctrinated into Hitler’s scheme of world domination.
In the spring of 1940, while our youth were dancing to the tunes of Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, Hitler’s youth took Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and The Netherlands.
Germany’s youth swallowed Hitler’s lies. Gleefully they tore down the honored archives of Germany’s forefathers to be part of this ideal race. A new generation was born and the German life, as Germans once knew it, was replaced with a Marxist government.
Why didn’t the German people stop Hitler? Why did they embrace the concept of becoming a Master Race?
Reinhard Spitzy remembers: “I personally was in the SS. ’Selected people shall be the future aristocratic spinebone of the German nation.’ I felt myself very much flattered by being chosen for this. And then the uniform was very beautiful—black. Of course, we like the uniform and boots and all that.”
So it was that during the twilight of August 1941 a changing wind blew against America’s shorelines. Before the autumn moon could chill the summer breezes, you could smell the stench of death.
As the lash of Hitler’s Third Reich fell upon Europe, the world looked to America, looked to our happy and fun-loving boys.
They, too, had faced deprivation, hunger, and the prejudices of the 1930s and 1940s. Yes, they heard the communist parties spout their agendas and Charles Lindbergh’s speeches praising the new German regime, but they were busy.
Busy helping their parents put food on the table for their younger siblings. Then after graduating from high school, they were busy working eight to ten hours a day at jobs and putting themselves through night school.
Then Japan bombed Hawaii and America entered World War II. But many of our youth had been raised on a solid Judeo-Christian diet from their parents and grandparents, and they had trouble—killing their fellow man.
Our government understood. They asked songwriters for inspirational songs and lots of morale boosters. Frank Loesser wrote “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” and Kay Kyser and his orchestra played it all the way to being the Number 2 song in October 1942! Here’s the fifth stanza:
“Shouting Praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission
All aboard, we ain’t a-goin’ fishin’
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
And we’ll all stay free.”
Our American youth of the 1940s understood the plight of sinful man. They believed, thought, prayed, and died on the battlefields of World War II muttering their faith and beliefs with their last breaths.
It took one generation of youths unaware of the repercussions of following a new ideal, a new order like Nazism, to change a country. Its morals, beliefs, and—conscience.
Many Germans turned their heads away from the atrocities their country instigated. After all, it was none of their business.
Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan often cited Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…” they were referring to the sermon of Puritan pilgrim John Winthrop.
In 1630, aboard a ship bound for Massachusetts Bay, Winthrop delivered his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.” In it, he said, “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.”
A story-book romance swirls into a battle for survival—. Ruby’s daughter, Esther, meets her adventuresome match as World War II slams American’s shoreline.
When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. They only knew that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world.
As far as Germany and Japan were concerned, America had produced a carefree generation that couldn’t rescue themselves from a windstorm, let alone the world from a dictatorship.
Guys like Eric Erhardt remember those days vividly. “The outside world all thought Americans were too soft, and not much more than playboys, and we wouldn’t be able to fight—man, did we show them!”
“…I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor…” Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse
Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!” Catherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romances, Wilted Dandelions, and Destiny of Heart. Her popular Destiny series includes: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.
She has written Images of America; The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker Books, Revell, CrossRiver Media, and Bethany House Publishers.She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC).Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.
See https://www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information about her books.
Posted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 12:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest
- Rory LemondAugust 16, 2020 at 2:30 PMIt was a shame what Hitler tried to accomplish your book which I read was really a fantastic read.Reply
- Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldAugust 16, 2020 at 4:54 PMYes, what I believe Hitler did was demonic.
Thank you Rory Lemond! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed Waltz with Destiny! I know I had to really “sell” my war scenes to my editor. She was afraid It might be too much for a Historical Romance audience.ReplyDelete
- Connie R.August 17, 2020 at 8:56 AMThanks for your post!ReplyReplies