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JOHN EGGERS COLUMN: Hitler is dead. Hatred still lives

As we honor the soldiers who died on the field of battle and served our country so honorably like my father, uncle and father-in-law, we need to look around and ask ourselves, "Is Hitler dead?"

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John Eggers
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I have a copy of May 1, 1945, St. Paul Dispatch in my stash of collectibles. The two-inch headlines read in block letters, "HITLER IS DEAD."

Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945. When the Dispatch printed the article, there was no mention that he committed suicide.

He was born in 1889, so that would make him 133 years old if he were still living. Since his death, there have always been rumors floating around about him not dying and that he escaped to Argentina or Brazil with a bunch of his Nazi cronies.

I think we can safely say he is no longer with us. Unfortunately, rabid hatred towards others still exists.

There have been scores of books written about Hitler, and, no doubt, they discussed how he spewed hatred. He made every effort to perpetuate an Aryan society.

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Hitler promoted the idea that Aryans were racially and culturally superior to other groups of people. If you were not a member of the Aryan race, you were someone insignificant. Hitler didn't like the idea of different races mixing with the Aryan race, so he tried to exterminate them.

When allied soldiers liberated the concentration camps in Germany and Poland, they were shocked at what they saw. They questioned how anyone could be so hateful against other races.

After World War II, our soldiers who liberated death camps in Germany, the Philippines and Japan vividly remembered what they saw. I am sure they thought that such cruelty committed against a race could never happen again. No one could ever again be so hateful.

As we honor the soldiers who died on the field of battle and served our country so honorably like my father, uncle and father-in-law, we need to look around and ask ourselves, "Is Hitler dead?"

Hatred toward others is alive and well in our country and worldwide. It's hard for us to imagine how Russia could invade a peaceful country, kill people indiscriminately, and destroy homes and places of business, schools, hospitals and someone's dreams.

In the first four months of this year, we have had 202 mass shootings, killing 241 people and wounding hundreds of others.

How many more will be killed by the end of the year? These mass killings bode the question, "How can anyone have that much hatred in their heart?"

I wonder what those soldiers who died in WWII would say to us, knowing that so much hatred still exists.

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Many would say, "How can this be? Didn't we learn our lesson? What does hatred achieve? Are we a better world because we kill one another with guns? What's wrong with you people? I died believing my death would result in a more peaceful world. What do I see? I see shootings and killings and people talking hatred towards others. I am humiliated."

How do we learn to hate? Indeed, young children don't hate. One minute a child can pull someone's hair, and the next minute that same person is giving a person a kiss or hug. Hatred is learned, and hate is learned from us.

As we grow older, we begin hearing things and reading things, and seeing things that cause one person to think badly toward someone else.

If we continue to hear and read and see the same thing, our brain begins to form patterns, and if that's all we hear, that's what we believe. We brainwash our brains to hate, think differently towards others, and believe that people are a threat to our lifestyle. The only way to get rid of the danger is to get rid of them.

Hitler was a master of propaganda and disinformation, as is Putin. In reality, Hitler was the world's greatest liar because millions of people began to believe him. Putin is a close second. However, people will eventually discover who Putin is, and the Russian people will begin to know the truth.

German people were scared for their lives, as are the Russians. Hitler ran the world's biggest scam and almost got away with it. What would have happened if the United States didn't enter the war? What would happen in Ukraine if NATO did not support Ukraine?

How do you deal with hatred? You deal with the truth and keep telling the truth until the truth wins. "Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away." Our good friend Elvis Presley said that. It also helps when we love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Happy Memorial Day.

Riddle: Can you solve this word puzzle: Die Die 4? (Answer: To die for.) Our soldiers died so the living could create a peaceful world. We should never stop trying.

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100%

Thanks to the Bemidji City Council and Mayor Prince for signing a proclamation in support of high school graduates and our goal of a 100% graduation rate.

John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.

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