Choosing Morality

It’s easy to be moral when someone else is wrong. It’s easy to condemn them, ostracize them, suggest that in the same situation, you would be better and choose the right path. I get that, I really do.

What’s hard is standing up and saying that someone you love was immoral, wrong, inhumane. I understand that too. I sit and look at the pictures on my wall. Three young men dressed in the uniform of Israel smile at me. Three combat soldiers. All three have faced the enemy. One was sent to war twice. One stands on Israel’s border at this moment. My sons. Two with the names of my husband’s uncles. One died in Auschwitz just weeks after he was married; one died in the forest, starved and weakened by the Nazis. And the third carries the name of his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor who picked himself up, married, brought children into this world and answered the decimation done to his family by creating a life that has brought him grandchildren and even great-grandchildren that I know he watches from above.

My sons came home from the army, before and now, and they talk. I listen. I ask questions. I need to know; they need to explain. One found a bullet in the Arab’s car and both knew what that meant. The Arab was taken to the side and offered cold water while the soldiers, quite literally, took his car apart to ensure that the stray bullet was just that and not a hidden cache. One son was accused of deliberately tripping a young Palestinian girl leaving her hurt and bloodied by the spikes meant to stop a car from ramming through the checkpoint. Only the rope that he would have used to pull the spike was buried by a week’s worth of dried mud, tire tracks and footprints. A lie told to the media, a commanding officer who came to the checkpoint to check the accusation of barbarity made against the commander, my son. It was an accusation that was easily and quickly proven to be a lie.

“Were you worried?” I asked my son.

His response was typical, almost a snort of disgust. “I didn’t do anything wrong. There wasn’t even a little girl there in the morning. It was this one Arab who came with no permit and demanded I let him in. He got angry so he lied.”

The moral choice is to be humane, even in a situation that is inhumane. Even in war, we have choices. Israeli soldiers have proven themselves in the battlefield and at the checkpoints. Time and time again, they choose morality, decency. They help those who need it; they protect. They stand in pride for what they have done and what they do.

Himmler-HeinrichHeinrich Himmler did one thing right in his entire life – he killed himself. He was Hitler’s right hand man, one of the masterminds for the final solution. I believe that utter and extreme evil can be made to appear as humane. A rotten egg can look normal until you crack it open and smell and see the inside. Himmler was rotten from the inside. Sick. Demented. And that sickness was passed on to his children. Without question, he did the world a favor by killing himself, coward that he was. I won’t detail what he did; history and Wikipedia can tell you all you need to know.

What I will say is that his daughter, Gudrun Burwitz, was given a choice in life. She could choose morality, which would mean denouncing her father for the monster he was. She could choose silence and allow history to judge him. It would be the coward’s way out, but at least it would have left her some shadow of integrity. Or, she could attempt, as she has since the day she found out her daddy killed himself to escape the imprisonment/execution he so richly deserved, to blur the truth. Burwitz is clearly as much of a coward as her father was.

History has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt, that her father was a mass murderer, a killer with no humanity, a man of great evil. In defending him and Hitler and the entire Nazi movement, his daughter continues to prove how closely the rotten apple fell to the miserable tree that grew it. At this point, there is no hope that Burwitz will suddenly grow a conscience, a heart, a mind. It is time for Germany to do something. She should be arrested, even if she is 85 years old. Arrested for incitement, for supporting Nazism in their midst.

People in the street should stand opposite her home with signs that shame her; Germany should withdraw all social benefits. The greatest shame belongs not just to a nation that birthed one of the greatest evils in history, but to any nation that refuses to disclaim those who still worship the evil star that hovers above them. Gudrun Himmler Burwitz will soon meet her father in the eternal hell that is crowded with those who planned, supported, and perpetrated the Holocaust. There is already a nice warm place waiting for Burwitz and I can only wish her to fill that place as soon as possible.

I have no hope that she’ll suddenly grow a conscience, a sense of decency that has escaped her for the last 70 years. Morality was never something her father had, nor did it ever enter her soul. Hoping for different, being shocked at the evil that runs in this woman as it did in her father, is a waste of time.

I will, however, continue to pray that Germans of today will flock to denounce her, isolate her, imprison her in walls of disdain. And I hope too, that the mere existence of my children – two named for Jews her father murdered; two named for Jews who survived her father’s evil plans, and my grandchildren, who all carry names of proud and strong Jews that came before them, all this will forever stand against the hatred Himmler-Burwitz has lived with all of her worthless, hate-filled life.

She struggles to keep her father’s memory alive and that’s fine with me. Let her struggle, knowing deep down that the very existence of my children is proof that she’ll fail. The more she speaks, the more she shows the world that evil doesn’t really die but it can be survived. And more, there is such triumph in Israel having one of the strongest economies, strongest armies and a growing population. Her father helped murder six million Jews. How ironic that the Jewish population of Israel today is over six million – something I hope Burwitz will remember to share with her father when she meets him in hell. Coming from inferior stock, Burwitz never had only the remotest chance of turning into a humane and decent person. But the option to choose morality remains for Germany. Choose to be a moral society; denounce Burwitz. Isolate her; label her father the monster he truly was.

Today, Burwitz is a shriveled up, old woman still attempting to spout her hatred. She is withered and wrinkled, broken down by the weight of yesterday; and Israel, look at us! We are 69 years young, a vibrant democracy standing tall and proud and strong on the edge of all our tomorrows. Our sons are so beautiful, our daughters such a blessing. Our deserts are blooming, out buildings climbing high into the skies.

Yo, Gudrun, this might just kill you but you should know – Am Yisrael Chai – the nation of Israel lives! Tell that to your father when you see him. Am. Yisrael. Chai!


Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern is the CEO of WritePoint Ltd, a leading technical writing company in Israel. She is also a popular blogger with her work appearing on her own sites, A Soldier's Mother and PaulaSays, as well as IsraellyCool and a number of other Jewish and Israeli sites.

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