When good people do bad things to good people
Circa 1935: Two Jewish pupils are humiliated at their school and before their classmates. The inscription on the blackboard for the class to remember reads, "The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew!" (From St. John's Preparatory School, Danves, Mass., Class of '97 Final Project; original picture source: The Pictorial History of the Holocaust, Edited by Yitzhak Arad, Macmillan Publishing Company, NY, 1990, p.37.)
"When good people do bad things to good people," by James Kraemer, First published by 2safeschools, Copyright ©2001, All Rights Reserved. (Can be reprinted with permission.) The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and are not necessarily the views of the 2safeschools membership
Bad things have happened to
good people throughout the century's and will continue to be the main course
for some. Here's a greater concern (if that's possible) and one we ought to
give serious thought to. It is when good people do bad things to good people.
This anomaly can eventually destroy a marriage, a business, our schools and
our community - even one's own nation if given the opportunity and time.
To understand how good people can do bad things to good people it's necessary for
adults to look at the scary side of mankind. A good place to go for a frightening
look is Germany's past.
Germany was abundant with good people doing good things, including demonstrating a
concern for their people's good health. "German scientists discovered
a conclusive link between smoking and lung cancer in 1941, 21 years before it was
acknowledged by Britain and America," according to Victoria MacDonald, Health Corespondent,
from her article, Nazis proved smoking link to cancer, in the January, 1988 issue of the International News:
"German scientists discovered a conclusive link between smoking and lung cancer in 1941, 21 years before it was acknowledged by Britain and America." - Victoria MacDonald, "Nazis proved smoking link to cancer"
Germany's "Jena," was one of the most aggressive anti-tobacco institutes ever founded It
was also one of the best funded in the world at the time because of the German Chancellor's, (Adolf Hilter, the ultimate master at establishing political correctness agendas in those days), rabid anti-smoking stance. "Smoking was considered decadent; not smoking was a step on the road
to racial superiority. In some cities a ban was placed on smoking on trams and in many
public places. Policemen were forbidden from lighting up while on duty and pregnant
women were not allowed to smoke at all."
In those days the German goverment also demonstrated concerns for Germany's children. Kids were enrolled in the Germany's public education system as early as three years of age and before.
Germany experienced more than its share of difficult times. The price of one egg increased
30 million times within a ten year period. To help solve those difficult times some
adults began promoting the dark side of mankind, a side so inhumane that eventually
predictions concerning the end of the world became common place around the world.
The German people were lovers of the law, much like our nation's people love the law.
Eventually the German bureaucracy began acting out above the law, making excuses
to the people of Germany for those bad things they were doing. A diligent
and good people accepted the politicians excuses for their government's
misbehavior. Acceptance sometimes came with somewhat complimentary excuses for
the bad things some of their favorite politicians were doing.
The German people loved (and some feared) the law, eventually at the expense of
justice for all, including overlooking that a person is innocent until proven guilty. And
not long after that, when facts could prove the guilt of a politician not worthy of office,
the German people overlooked that, too.
It wasn't a sign of the times or a sign of the end of the world, but a sign of a corrupt,
spoiled and revisionist bureaucracy getting its way. It's unlikely that could have
happened without acceptance from a majority of good, law abiding adults submitting to
that bureaucracy under that bureaucracy's corrupted laws.
Good solders and other adults, loving the law, helped lead millions to their eventual death.
Other good solders and adults, fearing the law, likewise helped lead millions to their
eventual death. It didn't stop there. Before long more than a few German kids began
acting out the violence adults were acting out against each other --
dishonoring, harassing, torturing and eventually killing adults.
"In those days kids had a lot of adults helping them along the way to their
government's historic and disgraceful conclusion." - James Kraemer
In those days kids had a lot of adults helping them along the way to their
government's historic and disgraceful conclusion. Violence from many of
the kids often included permission from adults dishonoring adults. Some
of the kids didn't have a chance to learn about common sense, decency and
honor because the adults involved were just too occupied with issues felt
more important or convenient at the time.
Granted, this story doesn't dwell on all that was going on in Germany and around
the world in those days. Like some from their ships, I've broken a piece off an
iceberg, in the hope of grasping some understanding about what's under the
When doing so, yourself (first, slow down when approaching an icberg), you might also agree the German people in those
days didn't really forget the law. Most loved or feared the law and desired to honor the law.
What they, the adults involved, ignored was the possibility that when a nation's people
conveniently forgets something so simple as common sense, decency and honor toward one
another, they risk eventually opening their nation's doors to something as terrible as
what Nazi Germany became in those days. A nation of good people doing bad
things to good people.
2safeschools Note: January, 1933. Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor, the most powerful
position in the German government. His "1,000 Year Reich" barely lasted 12 years. He died on
April 30, 1945, leaving behind a nation in ruin. Soon the Americans arrived,
with their chewing gum, silk stockings and 93,000 tons of tobacco to be dispersed.
The Holocaust -- A Guide For Teachers
Your comments about this story; Subject: Good People
James Kraemer & 2safeschools
2safeschools is a volunteer information source, independent of government or school bus industry funding, established for the purpose and benefit of parents, school staff and the press involved in the effort to help save one child's life. James Kraemer helps manage the five 2safeschools related Web sites. Kraemer is also a veteran school bus driver and advocate for childerns' safety at school and on the school buses. He believes, "Children depend on and trust the adults in their lives to keep them safe. When that trust is violated all the good things that adulthood represents to children is violated." Kraemer keeps this 'guiding belief' at the core of every issue he presents.
Your Comments on this article - Subject: Good People, Rev. Jan. 01 ATA)|
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(When good people do bad things to good people -, Rev. 01-27-01)