Re: Olaf Henny, the rarest of people...

From: dwayne (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 02:56:50 MST


Just curious, are you actually recommending to us as a story of powerful
inspiration the life of an unreconstructed and defiant nazi?

"wisdom and inner strength at such a young age."



John Grigg wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> This is a very powerful autobiographical story Olaf Henny shared on cryonet. This man as a boy resisted the intense pressures to join the Communist youth organization of his day. I am astonished he could have had such wisdom and inner strength at such a young age. If anyone deserves to be put in biostasis to see the future, it is Olaf Henny. I believe the citizens of the future will be as astonished by him as the people of the present-day.
> sincerely,
> John
> Message #18273
> Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 16:21:24 -0800
> From: Olaf Henny <>
> Subject: Message #18258 from Mike Darwin
> References: <>
> I am responding to Mike Darwin's posting concerning the
> significant achievements of Leni Riefenstahl in cinematic opinion
> forming, without the benefit of having read any of the books
> about her. However I have personally been exposed to the
> euphoric atmosphere her film productions created among the German
> public. Even though I was just a small child at the time, I
> sensed the powerful, uplifting impact they had on the adults in
> my life.
> While the architect Albert Speer designed the monumental setting
> of the parade grounds featured in "Triumph of the Will", he was
> not the founder of the propaganda technique used in her films.
> That was clearly the creation of 'Reichspropagandaminister Dr.
> Joseph Goebbels', an unequalled genius in mass manipulation. His
> technique was later also widely used by the communist leadership.
> I was exposed to it on both sides, as an enthusiastic and willing
> target by the Nazis* and later as a hostile exposed to communist
> propaganda. The power of it is enormous.
> Just a quick introduction to my situation at the time: In 1950 I
> was one of only seven students in my school, who were still
> refusing to join the FDJ, the communist youth organization, and
> found myself under immense pressure to do so. Instead I changed
> schools and ended up in a class, where there were 6 of us still
> on the outside. Only a couple of month thereafter I was again
> the lone resisting student in my class. I was clearly no friend
> of the system.
> On occasion of the May 1st 1951 Workers Day
> parade, we were marching in true totalitarian style, ten or
> fifteen abreast, past a stage occupied the then president of the
> GDR, Wilhelm Pieck, and his entourage. Chanting all around us,
> the loudspeaker proclaimed: "The president of the German
> Democratic Republic salutes the students of the Goethe Schule
> (our school)". Around me everybody was clapping with hands
> raised above their heads. It was mass frenzy and although I
> resented the guy, as I have resented few in my life, my impulse
> at the time was to raise my hands and join in the clapping. I
> resisted and clenched my briefcase instead, but I realized then
> how profound the impact of mass manipulation can be.
> It does not work in our present situation, because the profound
> building of a new world by a new generation concept is missing
> or no longer credible as a mass movement setting. In communism
> it was the new world, where everybody has equal rights and
> shares in the wealth for a better and brighter future. With the
> Nazis it was the prosperous future achieved through healthy
> living and strengthening of body and mind in order to evolve into
> a stronger people .
> Those, who were not there, and know of Nazi atrocities will have
> difficulty understanding the mind set of the German people of the
> time. The 6 or 7 % of the population, who were directly exposed
> to those atrocities mostly disappeared quietly over night and
> faded from the memories of the general population. 99% of the
> rest of us had absolutely no idea, what was happening to them
> afterwards and the fraction of one percent, who were directly
> involved in those atrocities, did well for themselves by not
> talking about it, unless they wanted to share the fate of their
> victims.
> *The rest of us (the then adults anyway) have experienced in the
> years prior to Hitler s election in 1932: 60 to 70% unemployment,
> galloping inflation, during which you started in the morning after
> negotiating a wage, which would feed the family for a day, and in
> the evening, when you got paid, it was barely enough to buy one
> cigarette. Tumults in the streets fist fights between Nazis and
> Communists, the Weimar Republic out of control. Then in just six
> short years Germany rose from being the economically most
> devastated industrialized country to the one with the highest
> living standard with full employment. That was the foundation
> for the fanatic enthusiasm, with which the people supported the
> Nazis, and why their believe in the final victory of Germany was
> unwavering for so long.
> Albert Speer, Hitlers architect, is also credited with bringing
> the German war production into high gear and condemned for using
> slave labour to achieve that. In 1942, when he took over and
> when the bombing of industrial plants in the from Britain easy to
> reach Rhein/Rhur areas by the Allies started in earnest, the monthly
> production of tanks (the smallish P4) was under 100. By 1944 it
> had risen to 400 of the much bigger Koenigstiger, despite the
> relentless bombing.
> Best,
> Olaf
> --
> Click here for your very own create-a-date adventure from MatchMaker
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