Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why the World Almost Lost the Vizsla

Story sent to me by a friend.  Great explanation of why the Hungarian Pointer almost was wiped out.  History can repeat itself if we are not aware of what really happened and why.

Mrs. Werthmann is not a Jew.  The two "nn's" at the end of these names indicate that they are German not Jews. 
Kitty Werthmann is 85 years old.

This is a SCARY piece of HISTORY. Read and perhaps learn something new from HISTORY and "CHANGE".
By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide - 98% of the vote. I've never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and, for three days, we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. W hen the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday, w hen I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first, but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
Equal Rights Hits Home:

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant, if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. W hen I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

W hen the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. W hen the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, 
then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
"Mercy Killing" Redefined:

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. W hen I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day, I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
The Final Steps - Gun Laws:

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria.  Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little, eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, pre-teen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eye witness account.

"It's true...those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away!

"After America , There is No Place to Go."

Comments were made that the post did not involve the Vizsla.  My response:

Actually the basics of the story does deal with the Vizsla. The starvation and destruction and oppression  that occurred in Austria was happening in Hungary during the same time period. There would not be many healthy Vizslas left because there were not many healthy Hungarians left by the early 50's. 

The conditions of central Europe were not favorable to a royal hunting dog when other food sources became very scarce. A staving person doesn't care where the source of protein comes from.  

Knowing the history of Central Europe, it was tough once the Russians took over for anything Germanic. 

Records were destroyed in an attempt to wipe out the long history of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. 


Anonymous said...

Very Political.......OBAMA 2012

Ashley Qualls said...

Anonymous: "OBAMA 2012"? Someone hasn't learned what history has to teach us. *rolls eyes*. Just these past 4 years have been horrific - you want 4 more just like it (or worse)?

Excellent blog post, Rod. Ever since Obama took office gun sales have been steadily climbing... wonder why?

Rod Michaelson said...

Anonymous: Have a question? Where in this post did you see Democrat or Obama? This IS HISTORY in the first person. Wasn't the name "Anonymous" best known during the "Occupy" activity last year?

I am the grandson of Dachau concentration camp prisoner #2417. A German citizen who died 1938 of "heart failure." He was 32.

Tyranny with any fancy name, call itl it republic, socialist, liberation, communist, people's is still tyranny.


Unknown said...

Rod, great blog entry.
I did not see the word Vizsla, never heard Vs were allowed to cross borders into Austria, either. Smelly, peasant dogs...

More likely why Vs had a hard time ;-) ...
and then, repeated during the WWs.
As for the Russians, don't think they were after the dogs, or whatever was left of them.
Interesting, had it not been for the GSP, we would not have a Vizsla today.
History confuses me...


The Greenneck said...

I like you blog but not related to viszlas. Btw I believe in 2amend but there should be limits. People walking into movie theaters with semi autos is not what the framers could have imagined.

Rod Michaelson said...

Actually the basics of the story does deal with the Vizsla. The starvation and destruction that occurred in Austria was happening in Hungary during the same time period. There would not be many healthy Vizslas left because there were not many healthy Hungarians left by late 1946. The conditions of central Europe was not favorable to a royal hunting dog when other food sources became very scarce. A staving person doesn't care.

Knowing history of Central Europe is tough once the Russians took over. Records were destroyed in an attempt to wipe out the long history of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.


Martin Hainright said...

ASHLEY, More appropriate would be to review recent history and what it tells us ... wars and letting rich do whatever they please leaves us in debt and recession. But go ahead and blame Obama for not cleaning up the crud fast enough. Last 4 years horrific? Please. And gun sales up? Its an IQ issue. Obama relaxed gun controls. Anyway, I suppose you support all the gubmint spying Bush put in place. And all the female probing the new crop of crazies want. And dont you think these oil men want to get their hands on your precious hunting grounds? I wanna know do you actually think about this stuff or just regurg Fox and Rush?

Rod Michaelson said...

You really believe we, as a country, are heading in the correct direction? You can e-mail me directly at:
to continue this off line discussion.

Civility is the all we have left.
Once we lose that, all bets are off.

This was a political post (since politics is history in present time) but not directed against folks with a (D) or an (R) after their name. Sorry but couldn't help myself.
This was warning signs from history on what to look for when a government is no longer answerable to the people. The definition of Fascism.
Mitt Romney is a good person. Paul Ryan is a good person. I never felt that about the current Chicago-based leader of our country.
All other politics can be done via e-mail please. I like the discussions but the Vizsla is what this blog really is all about.


Martin said...

I think Romney and Ryan are good people as well, to the 53 pct of the population they approve of. You have absolutely no basis to claim Obama is not good people, none. I can surmise some reason behind it, but frankly its irrelevant. Absolutely I support Obamas direction, if we got rid of the obstructionist, racist, gender biased, wealthy lackey, homophobic, relgio-fascist, climate change denying Congress holding back progress then yes we would be on the right track. As it stands, obama is moving us forward best he can. What you want never even existed, and certainly never will.

The Greenneck said...

Rod I'll leave the political stuff aside and go for something really hot-- can you recommend a viszla breeder in Nor Cal? I need a dog that can handle the field and the wilds of our home with two young wild boys. Not too jumpy.

Rod Michaelson said...


Send me a e-mail. I think I can help put you in the right direction as long as you don't sell the dog to Martin (ha-ha).

Martin, I love your passion. You're just wrong that's all.

"Who is John Galt?"

No more politics on redbirddog.

Martin said...

Q. "Who is John Galt?"

A. A fictional character.

My last post elections over.

BTW I treat dogs great.

Rod Michaelson said...

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful, good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious." –
[Marcus Tullius Cicero]

Martin, personal invite to a SF Bay Area hill hike with my two dogs anytime. Glad you treat dogs great. In that we can completely agree.

Martin said...

Hmm Cicero Romney?

Romney told top donors in the call that Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant.

“The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said in a call to donors on Wednesday.


John Galt? Rome? Should I expect next some of Glenn Beck's greatest contortions of the history of our founding fathers! I certainly appreciate the offer to partake of the gift of public lands around the bay, though!


Rod Michaelson said...


...partake of the gift of public lands around the bay...

Ready when you are for that hike. It would be fun.