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85 Year Old Kitty Werthmann's Story: "Austria 1938"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

America truly is the Greatest Country in the World.
~ By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or
will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him
by a landslide - 98% of the vote. I've never read that in any American
publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our
workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people
were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman
and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of
soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each
other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were
destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them
decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been
in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have 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. Ninety-eight percent of the population
voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and, for three days, we danced in the streets and had
candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and
everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle,
we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was
employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the
Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was
a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An
able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family.
Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain
the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The
population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools.
The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to
find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag.
Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't > pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland,
Uber Alles," and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were
not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if
they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the
first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the
third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of
political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful
time we had..

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of
public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that
and she told me that someday, when I grew up, I would be grateful. 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.

Equal Rights Hits Home:

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was
rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a
full-employment law was passed which meant, if you didn't work, you didn't
get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death.
Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills
and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young
people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the
day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their
barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be
anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor
corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go
back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are
emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of
combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air > raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into
the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government
immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4
weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, > under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation
of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children,
just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked
about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. 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.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. 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.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law
owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he
had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on
the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities.
It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all
the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the
large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially
designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock,
then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

"Mercy Killing" Redefined:

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The
villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed
off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and
offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15
mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.
I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One
day, I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.
I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution
where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and
write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that
they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with
the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a
natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what
was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died
within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps - Gun Laws:

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler
said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by
matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully
marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards,
the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The
authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the
government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943,
to realize full dictatorship in Austria . Had it happened overnight, my
countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping
gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds
almost unbelievable that the state, little by little, eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, > pre-teen 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.

"It's true … 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!

"After America , There is No Place to Go."

The author of this article lives in South Dakota and is very active in
attempting to maintain our freedom. I encourage everybody to read this
article and pass it along. I see so many parallels in this country; are we going
to sit by and watch it happen? Spread the word; also contact your
congressional reps; vote them out if they don't do what they should. If you don't
want to be bothered, then you're part of the problem! Google Kitty Werthmann
and you will see articles and videos.

For those of you who refuse to see the paralel as to what is happening with the current administration, I pity you for your unwillingness to give up your denial system. Sticking your head in the sand to protect yourself from reality will only result in our country being destroyed, and you along with it.

America is in grave danger, folks. It is no longer okay to sit and complain and wait for the next election. We must put our shoulders to the wheel and push back the loss of our beloved country. We must get INVOLVED, and be willing to be HEARD.

Be afraid, America. Be very afraid!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for sharing this. The history is eerily similar to what is happening here. I truly fear for our future. Once this is accomplished, those who support all of these changes will say "What happened?" when they look around and find that they have lost all of the rights their forefathers fought so hard to establish. God have mercy on the United States.
    1789 days ago
    We are destined to repeat the failures of the past if we continue to follow the same path.
    1790 days ago
    Thank you for history from a point of view we have not heard. Quite enlightening.
    1790 days ago
    Yes, America should be afraid. We seem to be going down the same path as old Europe.
    God Bless us!

    I took the Holocaust as a history while at university. Seventeen books had to be read but the one that remains in my memory was called "THE YELLOW STAR."

    When I visited my sister in Berlin, Germany she took me to a concentration camp and it was the eeriest feeling I have ever had while I was there.

    Thanks for sharing this history.

    1790 days ago
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