It was a hot August day, in 1969, as I sat at my uncles hospital bedside. I listened to him talk, and took in his beautiful smile for the last time that day. He touched my hand, looked into my young eyes, and told me to be careful. Smiling back, I told him not to worry, “I’m always careful”. Smiling back at me, he extended his arm toward me, and I saw them. What a sight to see. The ugly numbers branded into his arm by a government that had enslaved it’s own peoples. He had been careful for decades, always covering his arms from everyone’s sight, until that day, as he lay dying.
He said “no, be careful here, in this country”. Looking at him puzzled, at my young age of 17, I told him, “it’s all good here”. He shook his head and said “no, it’s not going to be good for long, remember that always”. We smiled and I hugged him as his cancer took him away. Away from all the pain in this world he had suffered.
It took me decades to fully understand the words he said that day, but I never forgot them. His life flooded before my eyes and I started, after that day, to study world history in earnest, and I haven’t stopped yet.
My Uncle was a gentle soul, a true child of God. This gentle soul had been made forced labor by Hitler during WWII. His arm was branded with numbers, as he and my aunt were given orders on where they were to live and exactly what work this sweet prince would be doing for the duration of the Third Reicht. He was a master carpenter, and his skills were needed by the war machine that planned to rule the world. No questions could be asked, for none would be answered, as he became the property now of an insane dictator and its government. I think of it as slavery.
Just like that, his life was forever changed, and not for the better at all. Six or seven years were spent living across from the large plant my uncle worked in. Living conditions were minimal, no frills here, just survival. He worked long hours and the work wasn’t easy. Daily, my aunts job was to find food, and she walked the country roads to nearby farms to do just that. They weren’t given much to eat, what slave does, and surely this life now felt like one of slavery to them both. A life so hard that they postponed even starting a family until almost 1942. Surely this insanity would end soon, they and millions of others thought. One thing they never wanted, for a child of theirs, was to be born under these evil times wearing a brown shirt as soon as he or she was ready.
When liberation came for them, in 1945 , my uncles goal was to leave Germany and get to America where they could work hard and be free. It was another five long years of struggle after the WWII ended to get out of the country and reach freedom. He never gave up, and he never complained.
The 1950’s and 1960’s showed my uncle that the country that held the worlds freedom, America, was slowly changing. Changing into a land that was gaining control of it’s people by handing out government help in the form of more and more social welfare projects for we the people. With almost each new president came more. People were asleep. My uncle stayed quiet, until that day in August when he held my hand and gave me strength for what was to come. Until that day no one had ever seen his arms uncovered either. It was time that day to show those numbers to me, though he quickly hid them from anyone other than family. I remember, who could forget that sight.
I understand his words now. Do you? Or are you still asleep as America slides. WWII was practice for the leaders of today and their quiet enslavement of the middle and lower classes, by those that were wealthy and really do rule the world.
Wake up America. Do it for the children and grandchildren we love. Their lives will be ruled by a government that could care less for their needs.
I still miss my Uncle everyday. I hope his words and what he had to endure will never be lost. We cannot and should never forget.
Atlas has shrugged. No need to worry over numbers branded on ones arm anymore, they now have chips to implant.
A tearful hug and a big smile writing this, remembering a great man I still love very much, for all he endured and all he gave to his family with love and kindness. America please don’t forget.
A big thank you to all of the US Military that helped to liberate good people from evil during WWII! Rip those fallen heroes that gave their lives for us all during WWII, especially for my family. Thank you, God Bless you all.
Uncle, I miss you , you were the wisest man I have ever known.
God Bless, and God be with America, we can get her back on track if we all work at it, we have to. Freedom is worth fighting for my friends.
Several books I recommend highly on this topic of “change” and changing governments and how the people are affected:
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Overton Window by Glenn Beck