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Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:01 PM

The time Tony Bennett "...saw things no human being should ever have to see."

*It was on Thanksgiving in 1945 that Bennett was famously demoted. His transgression? Inviting a Black friend, Frank Smith, to dine with him at a time when soldiers were still officially segregated. Bennett said a bigoted officer, determined to pull rank on him, cut off Bennett’s corporal stripes with a razor and then spat on them before flinging them to the floor. He was promptly demoted to private, and reassigned to a unit that exhumed mass graves and prepared the bodies of soldiers for shipment back to home.

“This was another unbelievable example of the degree of prejudice that was so widespread in the army during World War II,” Bennett said. “Black Americans have fought in all of America’s wars, yet they have seldom been given credit for their contribution, and segregation and discrimination in civilian life and in the armed forces has been a sad fact of life.”

“It was actually more acceptable to fraternize with the German troops than it was to be friendly with a fellow Black American soldier,” he recalled.

Experiences like this led Bennett to later join Dr. Martin Luther King during the 1965 civil rights march in Alabama. And throughout his long career, Bennett treated his fellow musicians — no matter the color of their skin — with respect and dignity. This included acts such as giving top billing to Black artists like Duke Ellington and Count Basie out of respect.

Luckily, Bennett got a break from “graves registration” after a major heard about the situation and pulled some strings'>>>

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/the-time-tony-bennett-saw-things-no-human-being-should-ever-have-to-see/16847/?

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Reply The time Tony Bennett "...saw things no human being should ever have to see." (Original post)
elleng Feb 28 OP
MyOwnPeace Feb 28 #1
niyad Feb 28 #7
yellowdogintexas Mar 1 #37
NBachers Feb 28 #2
Mr.Bill Feb 28 #3
multigraincracker Feb 28 #5
Mr.Bill Feb 28 #6
joe_stampingbull Feb 28 #4
Dan Feb 28 #11
LenaBaby61 Feb 28 #13
BobTheSubgenius Mar 1 #26
LenaBaby61 Mar 2 #49
CaptainTruth Mar 1 #29
wnylib Mar 1 #43
yellowdogintexas Mar 1 #32
yellowdogintexas Mar 1 #36
Evolve Dammit Mar 1 #34
SCantiGOP Feb 28 #17
marie999 Mar 1 #48
MustLoveBeagles Feb 28 #8
1cheapbeemr Feb 28 #9
dchill Feb 28 #10
TFRD Feb 28 #12
flying_wahini Feb 28 #14
SCantiGOP Feb 28 #15
elleng Feb 28 #19
SCantiGOP Feb 28 #21
Trueblue Texan Feb 28 #16
yellowdogintexas Mar 1 #33
DENVERPOPS Feb 28 #18
elleng Feb 28 #20
Evolve Dammit Mar 1 #31
AdamGG Mar 1 #30
Blue Owl Feb 28 #22
ExTex Mar 1 #23
elleng Mar 1 #24
Jilly_in_VA Mar 1 #25
BobTheSubgenius Mar 1 #27
greblach Mar 1 #28
Evolve Dammit Mar 1 #35
llashram Mar 1 #38
The Jungle 1 Mar 1 #39
Hassler Mar 1 #40
Mosby Mar 1 #41
Aristus Mar 1 #42
Mosby Mar 1 #44
Mosby Mar 1 #47
Martin68 Mar 1 #46
Martin68 Mar 1 #45

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:13 PM

1. Quite timely......

he is now suffering medically - and most worthy of American tributes as a TRUE AMERICAN ICON (not like another recently departed ).

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-02-01/tony-bennetts-struggle-with-alzheimers-revealed

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Response to MyOwnPeace (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:25 PM

7. Thank you for this very sad information.

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Response to MyOwnPeace (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:54 PM

37. Many years ago he wrote an article for Parade magazine about the War

He was also in the Battle of the Bulge and he wrote about how it impacted him.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:50 PM

2. I spent a long time working for a German WW2 vet who had been imprisoned on the Russian front.

He had been so cold that he lost all his hair and it never grew back. He’s been an officer in the German army.

He made a point to always have plenty of African-American workers on our construction crews. He said the only reason he was alive is because the Black service members had smuggled food out of the kitchen and shared it with the German prisoners so they wouldn’t die. He never forgot these acts of kindness.

Multiple edits because these damn iPhones are absolutely the worst text to speech devices I’ve ever seen.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:57 PM

3. When I used to work at the polls in my area

about ten years ago a Black gentleman used to come and vote. He was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was in his 90s. I would have loved to sit down and talk to that man. He lived through the integration of the military. I bet he had some stories to tell.

He was very feeble and couldn't walk very well. I asked his wife why he didn't get an absentee ballot. She said he insists on voting in person because he fought for that right and remembered a time and place when he couldn't.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:14 PM

5. My father was a vet of WWII and KW.

He gave Eleanor Roosevelt a lot of credit for integrating the military.

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Response to multigraincracker (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:20 PM

6. I seem to remember a story about

her going for an airplane ride with one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

My dad flew in a B-24 in Europe in WWII. Fifty Missions. They were escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen on some of those missions.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:58 PM

4. Nazi soldiers allowed to go into stores in the South

that Black American soldiers were prohibited from entering. Some Nazi officers were given black aides! These were of course Nazi prisoners brought over the sea and placed in prison camps where they did labor for local farmers and the like.

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Response to joe_stampingbull (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:43 PM

11. This I was told by my Uncle...about the stores...

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Response to joe_stampingbull (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:26 PM

13. Yep, African Americans were treated worse than Nazi soldiers down south and .....

Even Nazi prisoners of war in Texas were shocked at how black people were treated in the South.

In Texas, some of the Germans actually befriended Americans of all colors.

Heather Gilligan
Follow
Oct 26, 2017


Prisoners forced to watch news reels of Nazi atrocities expressed surprise at the realization that they had been instruments in the perpetration of genocide.

One morning in the spring of 1943, years before the end of World War II, Huntsville, Texas woke up to a startling sound: the clip-clapping boots of Nazi soldiers in formation, singing German marching songs as they made their way through the dusty streets of the small town.

Those soldiers were among the first prisoners of war sent to POW camps in the United States. The townspeople watched as barracks went up, surrounded by barbed wire and chain link fences, and wondered what, exactly, they were in for. Americans had only been in the war for a year when POW camps were being built, and residents of Huntsville had little time to prepare for the reality of thousands of Nazi prisoners taking up residence just eight miles from the town limits.

In fact, the United States entered the prisoner of war business very reluctantly in 1941, and then only at the insistence of the British. The Allies were winning the North African front of the war, and capturing soldiers they could not house. The British wore down the United States after months of efforts and a few frosty notes from Whitehall. “It is very hard to understand on this side why…it should prove so difficult even to get an agreement in principle,” complained one frustrated writer. The U.S. begrudgingly accepted their share of POWs in 1942, starting with 50,000 soldiers from the African front.
POW camps would spread out across the country in subsequent years, throughout the South, Southwest and Midwest, cropping up in California, New Jersey, West Virginia, and North Carolina. By the time the war ended, about 500,000 captured soldiers were housed in the United States, and 380,000 of those were German prisoners of war.


German POWs sit for mealtime at a camp in Hearne, Texas. (Arkansas National Guard Museum)
Huntsville was the first camp to open, built from scratch and fully outfitted to comply with Geneva Convention requirements for warm and hygienic living quarters, access to medical treatment, provisions for libraries and other intellectual activities, and open spaces that encouraged physical activities. Prisoners also had to be housed in a climate similar to where they were captured, which was why so many captured in North Africa ended up in Texas.

By the time they arrived at Camp Huntsville, the German POWs were thrilled. They’d already been dazzled by traveling to the prison in luxurious Pullman cars. Both the cityscapes and the rural beauty of the United States amazed them. “From New York to Texas, you saw the whole countryside. Cars driving. Buildings lit up….I came to wonder — how did we ever think we would beat the U.S. at this war?” former

POW Heino Erichsen mused decades after the war ended.
Men like Rudolf Thill, who was transported to Huntsville in 1943, found sparkling facilities behind the chain link fences and rows of barbed wire. Enlisted men lived in bunk rooms. Officers had their own quarters. They ate food that the townspeople could only dream of during rationing, with items like milk, meat, and butter appearing on their daily menus. Angry local residents dubbed the camps “The Fritz Ritz.”

https://timeline.com/nazi-prisoners-war-texas-f4a0794458ea

I believe I read a story about the Nazi soldiers feeling so embarrassed, that many got up and moved to the back of the train so that African-American soldiers could sit up front. I'm trying to find that story. I think Jesse Jackson told this story. I haven't found the link, but undoubtedly that story was more than likely true. SMDH @ this country. We've improved some things as far as racism is concerned, but we're woefully WAYYYY behind still in improvement in race/racial relations et al., as some police are still murdering African-Americans, for merely jay-walking, and the guy wasn't even jay-walking. To have to still be scared of policemen when you drive is horrifying. I'm talking about myself being a woman, African-American and Native-American.


Deputies argued over whether to stop Black man for jaywalking before fatally shooting him.

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - New video shows two Orange County Sheriff's deputies assigned to the department's homeless outreach program arguing about whether or not a Black man had jaywalked and if it was necessary to stop him prior to a confrontation that ultimately ended the man's life.

On Wednesday, the Orange County Sheriff's Department released "critical release incident videos" of the Sept. 23 shooting of Kurt Reinhold, a 42-year-old father of two.

https://www.foxla.com/news/deputies-argued-over-whether-to-stop-black-man-for-jaywalking-before-fatally-shooting-him


But I'm not surprised one bit, especially because I've mentioned several times here that my late parents (Mom would be 96 and my late father 103) KNEW slaves, and both knew different slaves, and the stories they told them that they told me & my siblings still make me nearing 60 want to sob to this very day, and sometimes those stories haunt me in my dreams.









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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 12:26 PM

26. Many years ago, I met a man whose parents weren't born into slavery, but...

...his father was a sharecropper, and M was born in a cabin with a dirt floor in 1938. When I met him, he was very well-educated and had lived on every continent except Antarctica. He once marched with MLK, and seemed to hold no bitterness about his past.

He once lived here, and I'm not sure why he left, but he did say that our smallish city was the best place to live he'd ever been. I can't but agree.

A remarkable man.

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #26)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:50 PM

49. A remarkable man.

A beautiful remembrance. Thank you

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 01:02 PM

29. I had no idea. Thanks for posting!

Now I have to do some research to find out what happened to all the Nazi POWs who were brought to the US.

Did they stay & settle? Could their descendants be contributing to the rise of white supremacy & fascism in America?

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #29)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 06:40 PM

43. Do you think that political views

are genetically inherited?

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:46 PM

32. my grandfather had a few German POWs on his farm in KY

My uncle was home on leave in 1944 and had a great time with them honing his German language skills. I think there were probably one or two decent cottages on the farm for housing. I know there were when I was a kid, but he may have had more during the war.

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Response to yellowdogintexas (Reply #32)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:51 PM

36. I think my uncle kept in touch with at least one of those POWs. When he was

posted back to Germany after the war, he located one of them.
He told us the men were very grateful for their treatment by our family

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:48 PM

34. Thanks for that insight. It really hasn't been that long.

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Response to joe_stampingbull (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:55 PM

17. joe, see my post #15 below

A story about this that I heard directly from a Senator.

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Response to joe_stampingbull (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 09:08 PM

48. Were they Nazis or just German soldiers?

I'm not saying that they weren't treated better than Black American soldiers but just because they were soldiers did not make them Nazis.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:27 PM

8. I didn't know this

Thanks for posting this.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:29 PM

9. Great read, thanks for sharing

His experiences of bigotry against even ethnic whites reminds how rose colored the glasses given us have been.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 08:34 PM

10. K&R.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:06 PM

12. What about Frank Smith?

I find it unfortunate that Tony Bennett had to go through this and appreciate his later activities concerning racism, but what about Frank Smith?

I mean, Tony Bennett didn't get busted for dining, correct? Yes, Tony got busted because Frank is black; I don't believe that this would have happened if Frank was white.

How to you think Frank felt?

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:34 PM

14. I've been lucky enough to see him perform twice, he a really a true gentleman.


He has an incredible voice that still makes my heart swell.
Always wonderful to see he is still in the spotlight for being a really swell guy.
He is a pretty good painter as well.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:51 PM

15. A similar story changed the life of a Senator

SC’s long time Dem Senator Fritz Hollings was on leave in the state near the end of the war. The state had several large German POW camps.
He went to a restaurant one day, and a soldier came in and announced that they were bringing a German work crew in for lunch, and they would seat them all at several tables in the back corner.
He said about 20 POW’s came in, guarded by a white officer and 3 black privates. (there was obviously no real chance of them escaping).
He said that as soon as they were seated, the three black soldiers walked out. He knew where they were going, and later saw them ordering through a window in the back of the restaurant, and then eating at picnic tables in the back yard.
He said the fact that these soldiers who were fighting for their country were not given the same basic human dignity and respect as the Nazis who had fought to kill Americans, and that everyone in the restaurant accepted this as just and necessary, caused him to see a truth that altered the rest of his life.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 10:00 PM

19. THANKS for reminding me of Fritz Hollings,

and sharing the dear (and sad) story. I do recall he was a good guy.

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Response to elleng (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 10:15 PM

21. A true good guy

He was born in 1922, and said he could remember hearing Civil War veterans talk when he was a kid. So he grew up in a very racist era.
But he overcame that, even though he had his moments (like “joking” about African heads of State possibly practicing cannibalism) and was a stalwart friend and supporter of the Kennedys and was as liberal on race issues as he could get by with.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:55 PM

16. I'm a fan of his music...

My most thrilling moment came when I visited a memory care unit after lunch and played "Stranger in Paradise"...those beautiful, old faces, lost their confusion and became filled with wonder and joy. They still couldn't actually verbalize what they were feeling, but they were really feeling! Glad to know this wonderful artist has a heart and conscience as big as his voice.

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Response to Trueblue Texan (Reply #16)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:48 PM

33. I went to one of his concerts here in Fort Worth maybe 10 years ago.

It was wonderful.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 09:58 PM

18. The atrocities

that have been committed in the past, and now are increasing make me irate and sickened at the same time.
It is like we have gone backwards a hundred years...

This group is creating a nation that the majority doesn't want......

And the worst part? Is that one of the nation's two political parties is 100% behind them..........

My father was a REAL Republican, and he and his fellow Republicans would have been leading the charge against all these insurrectionists.....

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Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 10:12 PM

20. I'm VERY angry, and sad, and fearful

for my grandchildren's lives.

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Response to elleng (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:42 PM

31. Me too...

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Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 01:28 PM

30. Hopefully, the Trumpist neanderthals will become a small footnote in history

as their toxic presence locks their party into minority status and it is forced to evolve to survive. I think in a truly fair system, that would happen, but am concerned that their states are so gerrymandered, their disinforming media is so entrenched, and they have so much power to distort the voting process, that they may persist for far longer than they should.

Hopefully, they'll at least be an albatross holding back the success of the national Republican party.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 10:19 PM

22. K&R

Love Tony!

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 01:49 AM

23. My negligible story on race.

It was in the early 1950s. I was about five years old, sitting quietly on our front porch in one of the Austin, Texas neighborhoods on the edge of the University of Texas campus. It was a hot and sunny summer day and also trash day and a shiny metal can sat in front of every house. The street was empty and remained so until I noticed a young black man, dressed in khaki, wearing a khaki hat, moving quietly from can to can, lifting the lid, then quickly studying the top layer of can contents, sometimes placing items in a khaki knapsack before quietly replacing the lid then gliding to the next can. He didn't see me when he reached our house. He lifted the lid, and studied the top layer of trash before extracting the remains of a tomato which he stuffed and held in his mouth, replaced the lid, then moved on to the next house. I was horrified. My child's mind saw the tomato that I had flippantly rejected at supper the night before. And now this black man was hungrily consuming it. That day has haunted me for more than six decades.

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Response to ExTex (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 01:52 AM

24. ;-(

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 11:39 AM

25. When I was a kid

I got confused between Tony Bennett and Tony Martin. My dad, a WWII vet, soon straightened me out. He had a lot of respect for Tony Bennett and told me some stories about him, including some mentioned above. He had none for Tony Martin, who he called a "draft dodger".

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 12:28 PM

27. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

America is still treating fascists better than AAs. Deplorable, just as Hillary said.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 12:40 PM

28. Tony Bennett history

What a great post, this may be a bit off topic, my alma mater is Washington State University. For several years we had a great basketball coach named Tony Bennett (and his dad) back in the Klay Thompson years. He would have post game wrap ups at a restaurant at the entry to Pullman called the Hilltop. The reader board seen from the entry highway read "Tonight - Tony Bennett in the Lounge". I always thought that was great. And I will never forgive Virginia for stealing him away.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 02:51 PM

35. Saw Tony two years ago. Sounded great and truly enjoyed himself. The audience was very loving.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 04:01 PM

38. thanks for this post

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 04:09 PM

39. Black veterans were lynched in the south after WWII.

It is important we all understand and always remember what a lynching was.
A prolong period of torture followed by murder.
Collecting body parts was a fun pastime. Guess which body parts the filthy pigs liked the most.
They always got away with it because (most of) America did not care. It was not just the south.

The filthy pigs who pulled off the treasonous, terrorist insurrection were also positive they would get away with it.
I want everyone of the scum put in jail for decades.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 04:18 PM

40. He's a great singer, and a beautiful soul, as this story shows

Sorry to learn he's dealing with Alzheimer's.

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Response to elleng (Original post)


Response to Mosby (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 06:30 PM

42. I think that's highly uncharitable to Mr. Bennett.

He's not saying we were insane for fighting against Hitler. He was saying Hitler was insane for starting it.

Pacifism and appeasement aren't the same thing.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #42)


Response to Aristus (Reply #42)


Response to Mosby (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 07:17 PM

46. Mosby, I don't think you fully understand what Bennett was saying. He is decrying the fact that the

most depraved aspects of human nature are what make wars happen. Hitler started the war in Europe. Hitler was a depraved human being. If you think that we would probably negotiate with Hitler today, then I guess you haven't been watching what happened when Putin tried to invade Ukraine. No one negotiated with Putin. He and his country are under severe economic sanctions, and US troops have bolstered NATO defenses in the countries bordering Ukraine in the region.

Tony Bennett fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He is not a coward.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 07:08 PM

45. Tony Bennett is a real mensch.

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