The Beijing Olympics and the 1936 Berlin Olympics - Similarities and Differences (Part 2)
Hitler created an "economic miracle" in Germany, much as the CCP has created what appears to be an "economic miracle" in China.
From 1929 to 1933, the world grappled with the Great Depression, and Germany was no exception. After Hitler came to power, however, Nazi economic policy resulted in a decline in unemployment from thirty percent to almost zero. Germany greatly reduced its reliance on the world economy, and wages and prices became stable. The well-known Volkswagen automobile was developed for the working classes at Hitler's request. Despite of all this, Hitler's racist policies eventually ruined Germany.
Hitler wanted to rule the world. He wanted Berlin to stage the Olympics. With Nazi Germany's tremendous economic strength and Hitler's unprecedented propaganda campaign, the 1936 Berlin Olympics were seen as a success at the time. U.S. correspondent Shirer wrote in his Berlin Diary, "First, the Nazis have run the Games on a lavish scale never before experienced, and this has appealed to the athletes. Second, the Nazis have put up a very good front for the general visitors, especially the big businessmen." (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/olympics.html) Indeed, the whole world had become numb, and the Holocaust was allowed to play out. By the time Hitler had spread the fires of war all over Europe, the genocide was well underway.
The political motives that underlie the CCP's desire to host the Olympics, the brutal repression of certain classes of people in the name of "preparing" for the Olympics, and the CCP's relentless propaganda surrounding the Games, are indeed very similar to what happened in Nazi Germany.
Using Olympic Games to promote ones' own country is, in itself, very reasonable. The problem lies in the underlying political motives. Nazi and CCP political motives are completely unrelated to sports and the true "Olympic Spirit." The CCP wants people both inside and outside China to believe that CCP rule is good for China and its people; that China wouldn't be in the forefront without the CCP. The CCP wants to use the Olympics to eulogize itself and legitimize its rule.
Like Hitler, the CCP wants to make the Beijing Olympics the biggest ever, and is willing to achieve this at any cost. It wants world government leaders to come and cheer for the Olympics.
The CCP says that the Chinese people need to "take the Olympics as a political task that is above all." This despite the many difficulties Chinese people face with housing, getting medical treatment, schooling their children and many other problems; despite the social crises hidden everywhere; despite the fact that the CCP persecutes people from all walks of society, including religious believers, human rights lawyers, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, farmers whose lands have been taken away, homeowners whose houses have been torn down.
The regime has issued orders listing eleven categories and forty-three types of people forbidden from attending Olympics-related activities. They enacted laws and policies requiring millions of peasant workers who came to Beijing to help build Olympic facilities to be "persuaded to return home," that beggars are to be "helped" (arrested and relocated), that waste-collection stations and low-tier businesses are to be driven out of Beijing, that those who need to travel to Beijing show approval letters from their counties or higher governments, and so on. The Beijing Olympics are not the people's Olympics; they are the Communist Party's Olympics, just like the Berlin Olympics were the Nazi's Olympics.
The Nazis had to scale down their evildoings during the Olympics. However, the CCP continues its crimes even when it is under the limelight. The CCP uses "the Olympics" as an excuse to relentlessly arrest and sentence human right activists and Falun Gong practitioners.
Many Western countries cannot stand up strong because of their economic interests. China is just like a cow. The CCP lets all the Western countries go to China to milk the cow as much as they can. Knowing full well the thinking of the Western countries, the CCP can continue to persecute the Chinese people behind closed doors. This is the big difference between the "Beijing Olympics" and the "Berlin Olympics," despite the many similarities between the two.
Yet there are increasing calls for justice; increasing calls for the CCP to clean up its act, and this is encouraging.
But the CCP does not have the capability to do good. It has spared no energy in persecuting the Chinese people. As cheers arise from the Olympic stadium, prisoners of conscience will still groan painfully. If the Games are a great success, they will be used to "justify" the CCP's continued despotic rule, and make it even harder to stop its relentless persecution of the very people it claims to rule.
The mistakes the world's people made in condoning the Berlin Olympics of 1936 taught the world a valuable lesson. The similarities to the situation today in China are alarming. How can the human rights atrocities that occur in China today be celebrated as part of the "Olympic Spirit?"
April 4, 2008