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Makate Rapulana
 
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Lessons from the past to learn from

05 April 2014, 09:48

As the war in Europe tilted heavily against Germany, some elements within the OKW, the supreme command of the armed forces, became increasingly disillusioned with the leadership of Adolf Hitler and the morality of the war. In the past three years Germany has been waging a war that has plunged the whole of Europe and other parts of the world into anarchy. However voicing such subversive thoughts was enough to earn one a date with the firing squard. Men chose to remain silent as their country edged alarmingly close to the precipice.

It was to take one man to goad the cowed dissidents into action. A suicidal plot, which was later to be known as the July 20 plot, from the date on it was carried out, was hatched to assassinate Hitler. Like most dictators, Hitler surrounded himself with an army of loyal fanatics recruited from the political brainwashing academy. The Waffen SS was Hitler's own praetorian guard and it was their rabid devotion to the Fuhrer, as Hitler demanded he be addressed, more than their cruelty, that struck fear into the hearts of men.

The plotters were well aware that theirs was a suicidal cause and willingly put on the shirt of Nessus to save their country from a warmongering despot. Henning von Tresckow, a general in the German army stationed in the Eastern Front and one who drafted the plot, made this entry into his journal: "A man's moral worth is established only at the point where he is ready to give his life in defense of his convictions". He was to later committ suicide upon the plot's failure. More than 5000 people were executed for their part or of having relations with those who took part in the failed plot.

Less than a year later with the Red Army encroaching on Berlin from the east, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker taking Germany down with him to a fiery grave.
Allied forces approaching from the west liberated a number of concentration camps, were Jews and other 'undesirables' were allegedly gassed to death and incinerated in ovens. They were greeted by emaciated skeletal figures robotically roaming the perimeter, and scores of dead bodies piled into heaps.

German civilians from nearby villages were forcefully brought into the camps to see what has been done 'in their name'. It was however too late for them to change the course of history.

If only had they been wise enough not to have elected him Chancellor in 1933.

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