iProtest Arts: Our Art Bus Projects #RESIST Neo-Nazism by accepting #GeorgeSoros’ #OpenSocietyFoundation Invitation because of #Nobelsciencelaureate #Holocaustsurvivor #OttoMeyerhof , #JudgeDonaldPLay, #Billofrights, #Sanctuarycities, #WRC #Washington March and the #OathofBuchenwald!
It has taken me over a month to write this since I first came across Nobel Science Laureate Otto Meyerhof ‘s grandson David in an invite-only private forum. I listened with heavy heart as the thinkers of the USA, mourn the death of reasons and the rise of American Neo-Nazism. Initially, I reasoned that those who voted for racism, bigotry and misogyny deserved the America they get and those who opposed it should have done more in their own country. But something in Otto’s journal, impacted me on a different level.
Excerpts from the Meyerhof journals (shared with thanks via David Meyerhof)
David wrote: The quotation is from a speech by my grandfather, Otto Meyerhof, winner of the 1922 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. He discovered basically how sugar is converted into energy in the human body and the Embden-Meyerhof Pathway, which is part of your digestive system.
He escaped from Germany and survived the Holocaust.
Otto Meyerhof wrote:
“Distinguishing between Germans and Nazis …. is in itself a propaganda lie. I know what all, or 90%, of the professors did in 1933 when their Jewish colleagues, whom they had themselves appointed, were deprived of their rights and made homeless — and the same thing occurred in all academic circles and at all levels in society, except in certain areas of the church: maintained their cowardly silence or even satisfaction, and not even 1% of the professors were party members.
In the same fashion, broad sections of the population, though overall a somewhat smaller percentage, willingly served as slaves and helpers to the tyrants, even helping as torturers and executioners.
It doesn’t help that a powerless minority kept their hands clean, or that hundreds themselves became martyrs through the strength of their convictions, if hundreds of thousands turned into murderers. It would have been physically impossible for five million Jews, 80-90% of all Jews in the countries that Germany occupied — 10 million Russian, Polish, Serbian and other civilians — to be killed by a few Nazi criminals: hundreds of thousands were necessary for this. A people without any sense of morality were behind these mass murders….”
“Hitler came to power in 1933,”
“. . . When a teacher entered the classroom, we had to stand up and give the Nazi salute saying ‘Heil Hitler.’ I just moved my lips and did not say anything.”
Photo (c) David Meyerhof, 2017 All rights reserved
“By the end of 1933, a Hitler Youth Group had formed at the school. One very tall boy, whom I can still recognize from a class photo, was their leader. He asked me why was I at ‘their’ school and said that ‘they’ would beat me in gym class if I persisted in coming. I felt terrorized and turned to my older brother, who was in his last year in the Gymnasium, for protection. He said he could not help me.”
“In music class, I once kept singing my part of a canon at the wrong time. The teacher got so mad that he came up to me and slapped my face so hard that my nose bled. When my parents complained to the principal the next day, he indicated that he was powerless because the music teacher was a member of the Nazi party.”
“I was assigned to an army camp at Chambaran. I remember that a soldier hit me in the face because he thought I did not climb into the bus quickly enough….”
My mother was 17 and living in an apartment in Berlin in 1938. She was studying to be a nursery school teacher. On the night of November 9, the young men living next door to her told her not to go out. That night was Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) when the Nazis attacked every Jewish person walking on the street, threw over 30,000 Jewish people in concentration camps, and smashed every window in every Jewish home, school, business, and synagogue so that the ground was filled with so much glass it looked like crystals.
Within 3 weeks my mother was able to go on the Kindertransport
to England to safety and a new life. During World War II she took care of children in Anna Freud’s Children’s Center in
London. My mother passed away in June 2015 at the age of 94. My Mother said, “As the glass shattered, Lives were scattered…”
To me after reading this, Resisting the Bullying tactic of Trump’s American Neo-Nazis supporters, was a no brainer! I listened to all sorts of atrocious human beings saying vile things about all those on earth who are not Caucasians. I can see that the USA just gave away both its freedom and its competitive advantage in electing a charlatan whose only qualification is his ability to pander to the lowest, most hate filled low-brow common denominator in the land.
I felt justified to do as other Far Eastern strategists suggested, which was to “Just close the door, let them lock themselves behind their wall and let them in-fight to their own death. Say nothing. They chose this for themselves. Let them have some “interesting times”.”
Defending Due Process through his Dissent. Judge Donald.P.Lay
But then I can’t help thinking about the things David shared from his grandfather’s private journals and his speeches. I also thought about my law school teacher Judge Donald.P.Lay and the kind of America men like him wanted to create; a just world that doesn’t prey on the weak and the vulnerable. He was the only law school professor to ever give me Perfect Score 100% for my paper on “American Constitutional Freedom” and in my opinion, its lack of true separation of power in the selection process of judges…” (ironically!). At the time, I actually didn’t know he was appointed by the 36th American President Lyndon.B.Johnson. The American students knew. The Swede might have mentioned it. But well, I was late for the first lecture (because somebody stole my bike in Uppsala) so I missed the bit where he introduced himself. I only found out when I asked him for an academic reference and he wrote back saying he wasn’t allowed to do a general reference but anyone wishing to hear about my work, can just write to him directly and he will do a specific reference for the purpose. Anyway, so we digress….I think of all the hours I argued with him and disagreed with him about racial inequality, affirmative actions and defended the french code civile. The good part was, I had no arguments with him about gender equality. It wasn’t until recently when I was arguing with someone else online that it turned out, Judge Lay’s dissenting judgement in a particular case ended up with the plaintiff Lois Jensen being played by Charlize Theron ( North Country ) in Jensen v. Eveleth Taconite Co.!!! So, no wonder, I never argued with him about Gender….that and he kept questioning my use of “z” instead of “s” in words like “analyze”. He asked if it was an Australian or British thing? Actually I did it to annoy my Grammar School teacher in Australia because I didn’t want to be anglophiled. Lol.
Judge Lay as I remembered him. in Uppsala, Sweden
I cannot forget this small thing because the convention was actually an American printing usage thing and he ended up writing that in the final comments in my paper after giving me perfect score! Lol. I never understood why? Perhaps it exulted a Rebellious spirit?
Anyway, perhaps my education has been more American than I allowed myself to think. That is not always a bad thing but I want to learn from the right bit of America, not the wrong bits from the wrong kind!
I think Judge Lay’s uncompromising liberal position towards the court’s role as a protector of civil and equal rights, was not something I actually noticed until I was done arguing with him everyday for a whole summer law school since at the time I really didn’t know who he was in the USA, it made it easier for me to really challenge the thoughts and not just the “status” of the person. He encouraged that in me. He knew I hadn’t read the american cases that defined his career and redefined American Common Case Law so we ended up in strategic scenario forecasts which some mistook for the reductionism of socratic methods. But it wasn’t as he pointed out, ” It is highly improbable that the founding fathers who wrote the Bill of Rights anticipated the level of complexity in our world, what we can do is consider the fundamental values which they sought to protect at the heart of the instrument and then from there, without emotiveness, ask ourselves: Would this lead to the outcome of protecting this right or wearing it away so future generations might lose it in the long run?”
He actually succeeded in making me respect the Bill of Rights as an instrument of Humanitarian Vision! Believe me when I say that given my Hong Kong and Australian skepticism towards ANY instrument created by ANY Government, he performed an intellectual miracle and I got 100% for challenging his legal ideals in arguing the flaws of its application in real life when weak men with weak minds, can’t handle the responsibility and descend into political populism. Wow, if only I could send my law school paper to Paul Ryan at the GOP! 🙂
Fast forward January 2017, the head of my feminists UN lobby network (VOWW.tv) came to me talking about George Soros, asking why I had not responded to the “Call for project submission by invitation”, I wanted to use the excuse that I had a minor Hate crime incident on a train and was distracted. But that was not totally true as the police was so fantastic about taking the poor drunk/possibly high young man ( ranting in a racist way at me) to court that there was nothing for me to do except for the time to meet up with them and sign all the right papers. The truth was, there was still an Asian part of me that wanted to “Keep myself to myself”; meaning even when my Great Great Grandfather and his team of colleagues built San Francisco Chinatown, they also took on the mentality of “We don’t care what you decide we are, you cross this line and bring your racism into our Chinatown and you will feel the consequences.”
San Francisco China Town 1800s
I don’t think anyone who has ever seen Chinatown in San franciso or New York will fail to “get” that underlying feeling of willingness to “self-defend” if racism ever crossed our paths in segregated America. That was the way history was made and members of my family can attested to the fact that my Great Great grandfather’s conversion to Christianity from his time in San Francisco, earned him the nickname “Jesus YU” back in his own home village in Southern China! My Great Great aunt told me,”If you go now and say the name in our village in China, they will still laugh and know what you mean! The joke kept going even after he moved to Hong kong! He came back and refused to stop talking about some jewish guy called Jesus whom no one has ever heard of, so the nickname helped him to stop annoying everybody! He calmed down after a while!”
*** My ancestor, jokingly nicknamed “Jesus” Yu, was part of the co-creators of the Sanctuary City that you now know as San Francisco, he called it “Gold Mountain” in Cantonese Chinese!
So, there you have it, I read George Soros‘ Open Society Foundation and it is only because of men like Otto Meyerhof, Donald.P.Lay and Jesus Yu that I am willing to “try”.
It is very easy to close the door and let America make bad choices and make jokes about the madness. But let us not forget, my ancestor’s blood, sweat and tears also co-created that bit of America that has the highest real estate price aka San Francisco! I cannot in all conscience, after all the education I’ve had and all the great men, women and Nobel laureates I’ve had the honor to meet, to just sit silent while good people are harmed daily by the rise of American neo-nazism.
I think of all those who fought, all our lives in their lifetimes to “Make things better” and I think of all the women in Women’s Rights China who joined the Washington D.C Women’s March for Equality. I think of my mentor Eva Monley who though she lived in Britain, was a Holocaust survivor who gave the world the “Golden age of Hollywood” and helped birth Nazi fighting films like Casablanca, African Queen and of course, “that scene” in The Highlanders.
Then moving to more recent history, I think of the Puerto-Rican American graffiti artist Kels1st whom I have been in near weekly contacts with for the last years and I think of the stories he told of “growing up poor in New York City”.
I cannot say I understand why he has been silent about Trump’s election even though he is living in a Sanctuary city. But I think of the oppression that creates “voicelessness” in the children my projects rescue from slums all over the world. I think of DEFIANCE it must have taken him and his friends as little boys and girls to put their messages on trains so they can’t be ignored by men like Trump and his hordes of racist cretins.
I think of the Water Protectors in Dakota, a few of the First Nation Eco Warriors are my social media friends and won accolades at the UN for their musical work! One of them got punched in the face by a horrible racist at a restaurant in Dakota because the man hated protestors and was racist against native Americans. The proprietor didn’t call the police on the Hate Criminal! I know some of the people who are bringing them supplies to fight for our climate protection, climate justice and the simple right to clean water. I think of the many many hours of work my friends at Spiralmuse (the first prototype of what is now known as “co-working spaces” in the world) in San Francisco and how they contributed as white and Hispanic american women to help preserve native indigenous cultures. I think of Suzette the ex-Mormon women’s right lobbyist in Seattle and the work she did her whole life at city council to make Seattle the Sanctuary city that it is today with its respect for human dignity.
These decent Americans, they don’t deserve a family like the The Trump! The Trumps are as they stand now, an icon of the American neo-nazi movement and they are trans-generational supporters of the KKK!
So when all those Trump supporters who sent me those reports about how biologically Asians and Black people are lower IQ-ed in the USA than White people, you picked a fight, not just with me, but in the process of condemning all future generations of non-whites to your Nazi rhetoric, you picked a fight with all that is fierce about the History of Human Resistance against Tyrants!
Bottomline: Because of all the reasons above, Kel1st & Yu and FBMF (From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation) will be happy to take up the invitation to propose our strategies to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation in the near future, and to any other foundations set up to Overcome the negative impact of the rise of American neo-Nazism during the Trump administration! Sorry we missed the deadline in December 2016. Thank you for the invitation via the Founder of Voww.tv when she, Vinanti Sarker, filmed at the UN headoffice and had the occasion to meet individuals from your organisation at an official United Nations event.
For any information about George Soros or his Open Society Foundation, for an external source from Inside Philanthropy , click on the links!
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.
We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
We believe in fundamental human rights, dignity, and the rule of law.
We believe in a society where all people are free to participate fully in civic, economic, and cultural life.
We believe in addressing inequalities that cut across multiple lines, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and citizenship.
We believe in holding those in power accountable for their actions and in increasing the power of historically excluded groups.
We believe in helping people and communities press for change on their own behalf.
We believe in responding quickly and flexibly to the most critical threats to open society.
We believe in taking on controversial issues and supporting bold, innovative solutions that address root causes and advance systemic change.
We believe in encouraging critical debate and respecting diverse opinions.
As a special mention: I am so proud of the Women’s Right China who marched on Washington D.C. Thank you for being there Ms. Jing Zhang when the rest of us can’t travel to the USA because of expense and life commitments! I know how much our traditional culture prefers to protest quietly and invisibly; with our wallets, with our quieter networks and deeply rooted power that stretches the globe. But I believe it is also very important to occasionally “Be visible” just so those who choose to oppress us as Asians and/or Women and/or Gay and/or Muslims/Buddhist/Christian/Hindus whatever…..do not forget….”OUR quiet Resistance is your ultimate demise!”
*** I am aware of the kind of anti-semitic allegations against Open Society Foundation. I don’t know the details but I can tell you for sure, they did not fund the Women’ Rights China ‘s Protest in Washington D.C. That is a ludicrous deflection of the real issue. If you want to find out the reasons why these women protested, why don’t you ask your “Pussy groping” POTUS Donald.J. Trump!
While I have my own opinions about human rights violation and Chinese Communism, I understand that often in Nazi conditions, like in the USA 2017 where all oppositions are labelled as “Socialist”, certain individuals managed to RESIST. Once again I am humbled by this story of The Oath of Buchenwald, researched by Otto Meyherhof’s descendent, Dvaid:
The Nazis knew that the communists were the most organized, determined and effective opposition. In 1933-34, they threw over 50,000 communists into concentration camps and murdered many of them.
In most of the ghettos, the resistance groups and the concentration camps, the communists were in the leadership. The amazing history of the Buchenwald concentration camp is not known. Communists led the uprising which liberated 21,000 prisoners just before the American troops entered the camp.
We must do all we can to fight fascism. Let’s take this oath to heart:
The common experience of resistance-fight inside the camp was focused in the “Oath of Buchenwald” which all liberated prisoners spoke on April 19, 1945 at the last “liberation appeal”. There the former prisoners promised:
“Our cause is just – Victory shall be ours! We performed in many languages the same hard, merciless, so many sacrifices life and this fight is not over yet. Still blow Hitler flags! Still living the murderers of our comrades! Even our sadistic tormentors roam free! We therefore swear the whole world on this appeal court, in this place of fascist terror: We will finish our fight only when the last culprit stands before the judges of the peoples! The destruction of Nazism with its roots is our slogan. Building up a new world of peace and freedom is our goal.”
This “Oath of Buchenwald” is still the common legacy of all antifascists in various countries until today. And to remember this legacy underlines the value of our commemorative work for the today’s generations. It is not only a historical perspective, but it is a promise for a better future for all.
***** I believe each time, each one of us, in whatever situation we are in, stand up to bullies who oppress others because of their race, gender, sexuality and religion, we are honoring all those who, in the face of great oppression, became The Buchenwald Resistence!
To/From Cecilia Messages: