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to: Jerry Hejka-Ekins, re: yours of 10-16

Oct 27, 1994 08:04 PM
by Liesel F. Deutsch

Hi, Jerry,

You're right, for sure.  I wasn't thinking.  "If I respond with
anger, then I'm off center and vulnerable to repercussions." I
tried to think back to what I had been taught, because I didn't
have a teacher who'd give me a bum steer.  It wasn't anger.  It
was firmness.  That would work, for instance, against a bully, if
you put your foot down.  Does that make more sense?

If you've been able to respond "to a person or situation of an
evil nature ....  out of being very centered, with complete
understanding of the situation,...  be(ing) very
compassionate....  & be(ing) very detached", you're a better man
than I'm a woman.  I tend to get angry & rattled.  My hat's off
to you.  Let's me see if I can do better,even if it's not easy.

I don't want to comment on all your examples, because I agree
with them, & that would be repetitious.  I just want to cite one
prime example of evil I find hard to deal with, as do many other
people.  Maybe you, or someone of our group has found a good way
of dealing with the personnage of Hitler, to me the epitome
(accent on pits) of an evil man.  I was born an American, but in
Germany, & all my ancestors were German Jews.  Being Americans,
my family left early on, before most of the unpleasantness began,
but I heard & read a lot about incidents during the holocaust.
The word "forgiveness" wasn't in my vocabulary until Harry Van
Gelder taught me what it was about 10 years ago.  So I can
understand by now that, except for a small core of crazies &
ne'er to do wells, most Germans were bullied into joining the
Nazi Party.  I know of several individual cases of adults as well
as children who had to become Nazis, or else get beaten up,
austracized, interrogated endlessly, loose their jobs, get
dragged to concentration camps, tortured, killed.  The whole
works ...  I've forgiven them long ago.  Some of them did heroic
deeds underground, which only threatened to be dangerous, whereas
open defiance meant certain disaster without accomplishing
anything.  Once the Nazis got a strangle hold on Germany, it was
very dificult for a German to dislodge them.  And while they were
getting the stranglehold, most people didn't quite realize what
was happening, or didn't care.

The only excuse for forgiveness towards Hitler that I've come up
with so far, is that he was mentally ill.  I usually have
sympathy for mentally ill people, but I still believe that
psychopathic killers should be locked up where they can't do any
harm.  This psychopath managed to decimate 2 whole ethnic groups
the Jews & the Gypsies, plus cause a lot of other havoc around
Europe.  It's 50, 60 years ago and I still can't believe that one
human being can do that to another, even though it's still being
done today on a smaller scale in various parts of the world.  How
does one handle this constructively?

Come to think of it.  I have another ethical question concerning
the Nazi regime, and other unjust governments (in my eyes).  When
is it ethical not to obey the law? Or is it ever? Even if your
life is at stake.  For instance I have a Jewish cusin, who was
still a German citizen just before WWII, living in New York City,
when he got a draft notice to report to the German Army.  And
again, there was a German law that said that anyone emigrating
could take all his possessions, but only $10.- in cash.  My
people emigrated during the Great Depression ...  no jobs to be
had, especially if you didn't speak English very well.  What to
do.  They were inventive.  One of my cusins hollowed out an old
broom's handle, & stuffed money in large denominations into it.
It got over here with the rest of his household goods.  One of my
uncles built a secet compartment into his car to smuggle money
into Switzerland.  He just missed getting summarily shot at the
border.  But he crossed over safely & stored his money away in a
Swiss safe deposit box.  Very illegal, but he & his family lived
on that money for years, after they emigrated.  I understand that
illegal acts like that were also the rule in Iron curtain
countries.  I suppose wherever laws are so oppressive that people
live in discomfort & fear.  Probably in China too.  Well, when is
it ethical to disobey unjust laws, & who's to decide what's

Do you, or anyone have any theosophical answers to these
questions? I'd sure like to know them, even if they're only

Thanks for listening, & writing

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