The government required people to register their guns, insisting it was for their own protection, a way of tracking down criminals that was supposed to cut down on crime.
In reality, however, it was merely a ruse to track down those patriots who might resist the coming tyranny.
So explains Kitty Werthmann in a speech going viral on the Internet, a story of her life in Austria right before the Nazi occupation of her home country in 1938. As she explains, her nationâ€™s surrender to Nazi tyranny didnâ€™t begin with the Anschluss, but with little steps like acquiescing to gun-control laws:
â€œDictatorship didnâ€™t happen overnight. I took five years, gradually, little by little, to escalate up to a dictatorship,â€ she said. â€œWhen the people fear the government, thatâ€™s tyranny. When the government fears the people, thatâ€™s you, thatâ€™s liberty. Keep your guns, keep your guns and buy more guns!â€
Werthmannâ€™s speech, delivered at the â€œLet Freedom Ringâ€ tea-party rally in Woodstown, N.J., on June 28, 2011, has been frequently circulated via YouTube and other online channels for years, but picked up steam again after the National Rifle Association reposted it recently under the title â€œHitler Survivor Condemns Gun Control.â€
The clear implication in her speech is that modern-day Americans should beware gun-control laws that strip them of their ability to resist an overbearing government.
â€œIn 1938, the media reported that Hitler rolled into Austria with tanks and guns and took us over. Not true at all,â€ she said. â€œThe Austrian people elected Hitler by 98 percent of the vote, by means of the ballot box.
â€œYou might ask, â€˜How could a Christian nation â€¦ elect a monster like Hitler?â€™â€ she concinued. â€œThe truth is, at the beginning Hitler didnâ€™t look like or talk like a monster at all. He talked like an American politician.â€
Heed the warnings of a former Hitler Youth member as well in Hilmar von Campeâ€™s riveting book, â€œDefeating the Totalitarian Lie.â€
Werthmann, who is president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum, opposes national identification cards with the same vehemence she opposes gun control, recalling how Germanyâ€™s National Socialists, known by the abbreviation â€œNazis,â€ used the innocuous-sounding initiatives to crush individual liberties during the World War II era.
â€œI lived in Austria under Adolf Hitlerâ€™s regime for seven years,â€ Werthmann writes on the Eagle Forum website. â€œDictatorship did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process starting with national identification cards, which we had to carry with us at all times.
â€œWe could not board a bus or train without our ID card,â€ she continues. â€œGun registration followed, with a lot of talk about gun safety and hunting accidents. Since the government already knew who owned firearms, confiscation followed under threat of capital punishment.â€
Now, Werthmann laments, â€œThe liberal mindset in America has promoted gun control for a long time and is beginning to advocate national identification cards. Law-abiding American citizens should not have to carry national identification cards. â€¦ We have to protect our civil liberties. While some people need power to secure our freedom, we must be ever-vigilant to maintain a system of checks and balances.â€
Her story of arrival in America in 1950, printed in South Dakotaâ€™s Argus Leader, reveals why the protection of individual liberty still remains so dear to her, now 64 years later.
â€œI was processed in New York. I stayed in a hotel the first night, and the next morning asked the concierge for directions to the nearest police station. I asked if it was in walking distance, and it was,â€ she recalls.
â€œI walked in and told the desk sergeant I wanted to register. He said,â€™What are you talking about?â€™ I said I wanted to register, so theyâ€™d know where I was. How would they find me if I broke the law? He said donâ€™t worry, theyâ€™d find me. And then he said, â€˜Lady, get the hell out of here.â€™
â€œI walked outside and it was a January day with a blue sky,â€ Werthmann recalls. â€œI looked up and said, â€˜What kind of country is this?â€™ All of a sudden it dawned on me. Itâ€™s freedom.â€
See the entirety of Werthmannâ€™s 2011 speech below: