Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, July 25, 2011

Camp Bergwald

In the late 1930s, a Berlin socialist labor movement group bought property on Federal Hill in Bloomingdale and started a Bund camp called the Bergwald, which means mountain forest.
When Hitler came into power, the local Klu Klux Klan went up to the entrance of the bund camp and burned a cross in protest. They warned the swastika-wearing Germans to get out of the area. 

During World War II, the government finally cleared them out.  Some remnants remained, and oddly enough, joined up with the KKK.  In the late 1960s, local officials sent the fire department up the hill to burn down the bund cabins, which all sorts of intransigents, including hippies (we saw them on our hikes up there) were occupying.

Last Friday, a man with a machine gun and a manifesto, part of a group he calls The New Knights Templar, declared war on the encroachment of Islamists on European society.  He bombed a government building in the capital of Oslo, and then shot people up in a Labor Youth Movement camp on an island in the nearby suburbs in an effort to trigger an anti-Muslim revolution in Norway.

No maniac is complete without a manifesto:  Anders Behring Breivik’s was 1,500 pages long (about the same length as legislation coming out of Washington), ranting against Muslim immigration and vowing revenge on multicultural, “indigenous Europeans” who had betrayed their culture.  He wrote that they would be punished for their “treasonous acts.”

We should learn a lesson about extremism from the Camp Bergwald episode.  Sometimes extremists cancel one another, usually taking a number of innocent people with them – and sometimes they wind up joining forces.  They become so similar in their rhetoric and violence, that you can no longer tell them apart.

The Progressives have a hard time owning up to their violence.  They’ve rewarded violent anarchists like William Ayers with places of honor in their new structure.  They’ve been waiting a long time for someone like Breivik to come down off his mountain and start shooting.

No one is happy about the Islamic incursion or the politically-correct ideology being forced upon us by the multiculturalists.  But they’re all words.  Not bullets.  If you want to counter them, sponsor your own youth camps to “unbrainwash” your children.  Don’t going shooting up other people’s kids.  Prayer, legal protests, and peaceful activism are the answers to multiculturalism’s Islamic agenda, not massacres.

The campers at Camp Bergwald, and particularly their camp counselors, were foreigners or recent German immigrants who came to America between the World Wars and lived in the city; that’s how the government was able to send the organizers packing.  The largely German and Dutch American residents of Bloomingdale didn’t care for the Nazi politics.  They came to America in the 19th Century to escape Germany’s growing militarism and fascism.  Others came later, to escape World War II.

Federal Hill went through many phases, from its Indian name – Burnt Hill, the happy hunting grounds for beaver and deer – to being a mining area – to being the site (on its western side) of an ill-fated Revolutionary War mutiny – to being a picnic ground – to being a parade ground for goose-stepping Nazis probably spying on the DuPont factory just to the east and the rocket testing site to the south - and cross-burning Klan members.

The current mining company has chewed away quite a bit of the mountain.  The area where the Bund Camp was may be empty air by now.  Would that all extremist organizations could be eliminated that way.  The blasting for the mines drove all the snakes off the mountains and into our suburban gardens.

Evidently, Breivik is one of those snakes.  The antidote to such poison is tea.


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