headstones

Removal of headstones and other monuments impresses me as being similar to book-burning. I am disappointed that your organization had a hand in the removal of headstones. This amounts to desecration and is the opposite of the intended purpose of your organization. Shame on you. 

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France

Dear Mr (name withheld) in response to you note, I’d like to forward a response I sent on behalf of the MRFF to another writer. I think your points are similar and hope my response is appropriate as well. Cheers, Marty

_________

Dear (name withheld), I occasionally answer emails for Mikey as part of my role on the MRFF’s Advisory Board.  Let me take a crack at yours.

First, let me guess that when you flew the flags of Germany and Italy, that you flew the CURRENT flags of those nations and not the Fascist flags of each from WWII.  Is that true?

The MRFF has no desire to erase history or deny that German soldiers fighting for a Fascist regime are buried in the US—and the same is true for any Italians and old Civil War Era graves from CSA soldiers.

We don’t see a problem with, for example, having CSA marked on Confederate soldier’s grave any more than “Germany” or “Deutschland” on a German soldier’s grave.  What we do object to is having (and thereby glorifying, memorializing, and honoring) the SYMBOLS from those hateful, racist regimes.  Did you know, for example, that the Swastika is illegal in Germany except for when it’s displayed in an historical, curated sense in a museum?  Those grave markers are to be replaced with something that doesn’t have a Swastika.  CSA graves shouldn’t have the Stars and Bars—especially not at a government-funded cemetery because that flag is a symbol of racism and rebellion, while merely noting “CSA” is not IMHO.

I don’t want to recognize what they fought for.  I do want to respectfully mark their graves and note their birth, death, and country of origin.  Others can draw whatever conclusion they’d like from those data.

Sincerely,

Marty France

Brig Gen, USAF (Retired)


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Dec 27, 2020, at 12:18 PM, John Compere  wrote:

(name withheld),
 
Since you took the liberty of self-righteously scorning this organization, please allow me the liberty of providing enlightenment which you obviously do not presently posses on this matter.
 
For your information, many patriotic Americans of different races & religions, patriotic members of the US Congress & other patriotic organizations similar to ours objected to the offensive Nazi Swastika symbols on gravestones in American military cemeteries & requested their removal & replacement by the US Department of Veteran Affairs. The Department’s official list of approved emblems for military graves in federal cemeteries does not include nor has ever included Nazi Swastikas. Consequently, they are being removed & replaced with regular headstones appropriately identifying the deceased – which is not in any way “similar to book-burning”.
For your information, the Prussian iron cross was “desecrated” with the Nazi Swastika after it was co-opted by Nazis. Nazi Swastikas are sordid symbols of hatred & holocaust by the psychopath Hitler & his Nazi henchmen who maliciously murdered 6 million innocent children, women & men. Swastikas are also rallying signs for neo-Nazis in this country whose stated goal is to kill all Jewish-Americans. National data documents hate crimes against Jewish people have increased since 2016. Germany even bans the public display of Swastikas & makes it a crime.
 
For your information, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation proudly & patriotically supports the removal & replacement of the Nazi Swastika contaminated gravestones because they have no place in American military cemeteries with Americans who fought (over 400,000 sacrificed their lives) to defeat the evil Third Reich whose leader was the fascist Fuhrer, symbol the Nazi Swastika & hideous ideology the extermination of all human beings born of Jewish mothers (like Jesus, his disciples & the biblical authors).
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Dec 27, 2020, at 8:17 PM, Mike  wrote:

Dear Mr. (name withheld),
We have no problem with German soldiers being interred in our military cemeteries, nor are we concerned with their having headstones that so identify them. We do not, however, agree that the
Swastika, a symbol of hatred and mass murder that represents one of the world’s most egregious human rights violations, deserves to be proudly displayed, honored and shown respect.
Whether you are aware of it or not, please know the German Government feels the same way and does now allow such symbology to be displayed in their government-maintained cemeteries.
“Desecration,” sir? Really? There is something sacred about the Swastika? Something holy? Something to be revered? If that is your belief, you may fly the flag at your home but not in U.S. Government facilities.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Fellows, I understand your point of view and I understand why you feel compelled to destroy monuments memorializing your enemies. I just disagree. I ‘ve communicated similarly to persons who are engaged in removing memorials to the Confederacy or persons who served in the Confederate army (even if they were conscripts). I am an anthropologist and a historian and I don’t approve of efforts to sanitize recent history whether it involves destruction or defacing of monuments, book-burning or similar attempts to destroy records of the past. I think a better approach is to learn to live with our past, rather than to change it. However, thanks for your respectful reply. Usually I get no reply at all. The fact that you replied reflects well on your organization. Regards and please receive my wishes for a Happy New Year for you and your organization. 
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On Dec 28, 2020, at 4:40 PM, John Compere  wrote:


(name withheld),
 
They were not “monuments” – they were gravestones. They were not “destroyed” – they were removed & replaced with gravestones conforming with military graves in federal cemeteries. They were not objectionable for “memorializing” our “enemies” – they were objectionable because they glorified nefarious Nazi Swastikas in American military cemeteries & were not US Department of Veteran Affairs approved emblems for military graves.
 
Best wishes for the New Year to you also.
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Dec 28, 2020, at 5:55 PM, Mike  wrote:
Thanks for clarifying, sir. We apparently will continue to disagree.
While we appreciate your concern as an academic, we believe there is a difference between removing
hateful artifacts that champion human degradation from the implied respect given by their presence on government-sponsored and maintained grounds and “sanitiz(ing) recent history.” As with statues honoring Confederates, I personally believe it would be more appropriate to place these artifacts of
hatred in a museum of some kind where they would be available for people to see, learn about and hopefully learn from them what our history contains. That way those who are personally impacted by their public presence and the respect it implies will be spared, but they will still be available for those who might want to study and/or understand them.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)

    They were not “monuments” – they were gravestones. They were not “destroyed” – they were removed & replaced with gravestones conforming with military graves in federal cemeteries. They were not objectionable for “memorializing” our “enemies” – they were objectionable because they glorified nefarious Nazi Swastikas in American military cemeteries & were not US Department of Veteran Affairs approved emblems for military graves.

  2. Sage on the Hudson

    “Removal of headstones and other monuments impresses me as being similar to book-burning. I am disappointed that your organization had a hand in the removal of headstones. This amounts to desecration and is the opposite of the intended purpose of your organization. Shame on you.”

    “Desecration”?

    Shall we discuss the countless headstones in Jewish cemeteries all across Europe that were knocked down and repurposed as paving stones around the monuments that Nazi Germany erected to glorify its own murderous ideology?

    You profess to weep over the symbols of the the most genocidal regime in history. Of course, your concern isn’t really the Nazis, but your own sense of superiority. If the Nazis can translate their conviction that they are the herrenvolk of Teutonic legend into tangible, exploitable reality, then why can’t you? Heaven forbid that you should ever be disabused of such a notion.

  3. G

    Could have replaced the Iron Crosses with the 1957 Iron Cross. Just saying.

    “Shall we discuss the countless headstones in Jewish cemeteries all across Europe that were knocked down and repurposed as paving stones around the monuments that Nazi Germany erected to glorify its own murderous ideology?”

    Well, we can say that about Israel when paving or planting over all the Arab villages that the Jews had destroyed after the 1948 War if you read the book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine after forcing the Arabs to flee by various means including mass murder.

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