Hitler's love of the Wild West may have inspired concentration camps, author claims - CVIEW NEWS

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Hitler's love of the Wild West may have inspired concentration camps, author claims

Adolf Hitler admired camps where Indigenous Americans were contained in the hope of erasing their identity, an author has claimed.
The author admits it is unclear whether fascist leader Adolf Hitler drew direct inspiration from the Canadian camps
The author admits it is unclear whether fascist leader Adolf Hitler drew direct inspiration from the Canadian camps
The fuhrer's fascination with the conflict between cowboys and so-called Indians in North America was fuelled by his reading of Wild West adventure stories.
He was particularly interested in how camps in America aimed to changed the Indigenous people.
A group of students and parents from the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta en route to the Methodist-operated Red Deer Indian Industrial School, Alberta
A group of students and parents from the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta en route to the Methodist-operated Red Deer Indian Industrial School, Alberta
An author claims Hitler was fascinated by camps used to contain Indigenous Americans before he set up Nazi concentration camps
An author claims Hitler was fascinated by camps used to contain Indigenous Americans before he set up Nazi concentration camps
Author Baron Alexander Deschauer, writing for the Mirror Online, said his new book Concentration Camps of Canada exposes the similarities between Hitler's Nazi camps and Indian reserves. 
'It is this idea, of containing people, scrubbing away their identities by replacing their names with numbers and breaking their spirit with beatings if they veered from the rules that can be seen in the horrific concentration camps later created under the Nazi regime,' he writes.
'Is it possible that a regime known for its clinical barbarianism could have been inspired by a country like Canada - better known for its wheat fields, Rocky Mountains, and limitless opportunities?' 
He claims Hitler merged his vision of the Third Reich with the 'cowboy and Indian' conflict to which he was drawn. 
Like millions of other Germans, he enjoyed Karl May's adventure stories, keeping his entire collection of works in his bedroom.
The containment of Indigenous Americans in camps was supposed to erase their identity, with numbers sometimes replacing names. Pictured: The Sioux Council of New York
The containment of Indigenous Americans in camps was supposed to erase their identity, with numbers sometimes replacing names. Pictured: The Sioux Council of New York
May’s books have now sold more than 200 million copies to date and Mr Deschauer says they sparked Hitler's interest in the notion of cowboys taming the Wild West.
He was especially interested in camps, which in the United States were known as Indian reservations and in Canada were called Indian reserves.
Mr Deschauer writes: 'It is difficult for us to imagine a world without the harrowing images of the Nazi concentration camps. 
Adolf Hitler was fascinated by WIld West stories depicting the fight between cowboys and so-called Indians
Adolf Hitler was fascinated by WIld West stories depicting the fight between cowboys and so-called Indians
'Broken bodies, walking dead, and sallow eyes in striped prison outfits fill our mind’s eye. 
'Forced labour, strict discipline, and winnowing rations kept the prison population in check. 
'Names were replaced with numbers. Identities all but ceased in the camps.'
The methodology used at concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau (pictured) was strikingly similar to that used to contain people Indigenous to Canada, according to Baron Alexander Deschauer
The methodology used at concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau (pictured) was strikingly similar to that used to contain people Indigenous to Canada, according to Baron Alexander Deschauer
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Though he admits it is unclear whether Hitler drew direct inspiration from the Canadian system, his methodology was strikingly similar.   
'The United States government had created concentration camps as early as 1838, the use of this method became prevalent from the 1860s as the borders of the United States moved westwards,' he writes. 
'The US government referred to these concentration camps as "Indian reservations" - referring to land that the government had to set aside to house the "Indians".
He claims Canada differed in its approach, attempting to force the assimilation of Indigenous people contained in its reserves by basic education and physical training. 
This included boys being taught agriculture and girls being instructed in domestic chores.
'The colonial government decided to try and assimilate the Indigenous people into society, by "taking the Indian out of the Indian",' he writes. 
Hundreds of women and children were packed into one room at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany
Hundreds of women and children were packed into one room at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany
'A boarding school system called residential schools was thought to be the most effective way of washing away the unwanted cultures, languages, and customs. 
'Children were taken from their families and placed in these residential schools. 
'They were not allowed to speak their language, act "like Indians" or even wear their familiar clothing.'
Pupils were even stripped of their names and assigned a number or a Christian name. 
Speaking languages other than French of English risked beatings, as did failing to confirming to the curriculum, which was created by the Church.
Pope John Paul II laying flowers as he visits Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration camp in Poland on June 7, 1979
Pope John Paul II laying flowers as he visits Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration camp in Poland on June 7, 1979
'Eighty thousand survivors of this system are still alive today,' he writes. 
'Broken from reliving memories, many testified of the horrors to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 
'Where the Nazi camps lasted a little more than a decade, Canada’s continued for almost 150 years.'
Campbell Papequash told Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission how he was forced to attend a residential school in 1946.
'After I was taken there they took off my clothes and then they deloused me,' he said.
'I didn’t know what was happening but I later learned about it, that they were delousing me; "the dirty, no-good-for-nothing savages, lousy."'
And Murray Crowe told how his clothes were burned at the school he attended in Ontario.
Gilles Petiquay, said every pupil of the Pointe Bleus School he attended was assigned a number.
Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau at the camp on the day of its liberation by the Red Army
Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau at the camp on the day of its liberation by the Red Army
'I remember that the first number that I had at the residential school was 95,' he said.
'I had that number—95—for a year. The second number was number 4. I had it for a longer period of time. The third number was 56. I also kept it for a long time. We walked with the number on us.’
Others claimed children were chained together, with one boy being flogged by a teacher while chained to a bed. 
About 3,500 children died under the care care of the schools, according to official figures.
But unofficial figures say the number of children buried in unmarked graves could be in the tens of thousands. 
In 2004 the Royal Mounted Police apologised its role in the residential schools. 
Four years later, prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper formally apologised both for the creation of the schools and the abuses inflicted on children.
British troops liberate Belsen Nazi death camp in 1945
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December 1890: Bodies of Sioux Indians are piled into a mass grave hacked into the frozen Dakota soil after the tragedy at Wounded Knee
December 1890: Bodies of Sioux Indians are piled into a mass grave hacked into the frozen Dakota soil after the tragedy at Wounded Knee
Mr Deschauer's book, based on a true story, is the tale of an Indigenous boy who undergoes forced assimilation in schools and reserves.
'Nazis understood the role of their camps. On the surface, it provided a source of free labour, available subjects for their medical experiments, and a place to put dissidents without killing them outright - initially at least,' he said. 
'Nazi camps ensured that all able bodies were put to work - making toys, shoes, counterfeiting foreign currency, as well as munitions.
'The reality is that it formed a key component of Hitler’s strategy. His war was total - cultural, physical, and emotional. His objective was to cleanse Germany and the world of unwanted people (from Jews to Gypsies) and unwanted cultures. 
'The camps have become synonymous with death but there were things worse than death - people being reduced to the living dead.'
The book is available in hardback, paper and e-edition formats on Amazon, where it is also on sale in audio form.

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