We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Austrian Adolf Hitler spent a few years just over the border in Passau in youth before his parents moved back to Linz, but there are no signs there bragging about it. He spoke the Southern Bavarian dialect which is used in north Austria and southern Bavaria (there are apparently many German dialects).
I got onto that topic because, having recently returned from that part of the world, I was checking out the Anschluss, the 1938 "joining" of the short-lived Republic of Austria (short-lived since the Hapsburg's Austria-Hungary fell apart after WW1) with Germany. From what I have read, this event was welcomed by many Austrians - but what do I know? It was certainly not welcomed by the Jews of Vienna.
The Anschluss is part of the story of European - and American - appeasement of aggressive expansion and control. Not a shot was fired and a vote, of sorts, provided some legitimacy. Today, the EU is trying to do it, but with paper not armies.
The history of Europe, since Roman times, is one of things being pulled together, then coming apart. It will be the same with the EU. Anschluss.
We watched "The Sound of Music" on the telly over the weekend, and it brought back many memories to us of the run-up to the Second World War, when the Anschluss was a very real and brutal prelude to the American participation in the coming conflict. There were ugly promises in those months, presented by the Nazis, of the brutal realities that were to come -- Kristallnacht for one.
It's almost impossible for most young Americans who were not even alive then to realize how ominous things were then. I was brought up by a family which was dedicatedly pro-British for many generations, since we were Brit in background ourselves. We feared for the lives of our British brethren, and were stunned by the bravery of the small but valiant RAF, whose Spitfires and bombers were the thin line that protected the rest of the civilized Western world. This present generation has never been taught about their courage -- not in high school, where students no longer are taught world history, nor in college where such courses are no longer required.
The movie reminded us again of just how dangerous a war the Second World War was. It's worth revisiting, if you haven't seen it in awhile -- or ever.