Valley News -

By Harold Pease Ph D
Special to Anza Valley Outlook 

We could vote for socialism, Austria did


Last updated 8/16/2019 at 1:50am

With all Democratic Party 2020 presidential candidates seemingly embracing socialism, we could vote for socialism; Austria did. In the 20th century at least a fourth of the world became socialist. Austria was the only country that acquired it by ballot rather than revolution. Once fully in place, there are never again free elections with options other than socialists. Austria chose it because it promised to end dire economic conditions, and the country died as a free nation for so doing. Kitty Werthmann, whose account is herein summarized, was an eyewitness to the vote and resultant suffocation of all freedom in Austria in 1938.

With unemployment and interest rates at 25%, the country was in deep depression and “people were going from house to house begging for food.” Kitty said she remembers her mother cooking a big kettle of soup and baking bread to feed her starving neighbors, about “30 daily.” The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party, two conflicting varieties of socialism, were fighting each other. The Germans, under Adolf Hitler, promised an environment of no crime, full employment, a high standard of living and happiness. Austrians “became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.” The Austrian government could not deliver these conditions, so 98% of the population, believing the lies, “voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.” When this vote passed, the people danced for joy in the streets for three days.

Almost immediately law and order returned and “everyone was employed” in government-created jobs, but what followed under fascist socialism was pure hell. In return for believing the empty promises, education was nationalized and freedom of religion in public education ended. Crosses in the predominantly Catholic schools were “replaced with Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag” and prayer, replaced with singing praises of Germany.

“Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance,” she said.

If their children were not present, parents were threatened, first with “a stiff letter of warning,” then with a $300 fine and with jail. The day consisted of two hours of political indoctrination followed by sports and fun. The children loved it but “lived without religion.” Having no moral compass, illegitimacy flourished.

“Unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler,” she said.

Men and women had equal rights under Hitler. They found out what that meant when workloads were equal, making no distinction on the basis of sex. When the war came in 1939, the draft was compulsory for both sexes, and women served on the front lines as well. Many became “emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.”

Werthmann said, “When the mothers had to go out into the workforce, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages four weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.”

Under Hitler’s socialism everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing and housing. Health care was socialized as well, free to everyone.

“Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries,” she said.

Of course, to pay for this benefit for the less productive, “the tax rate had to be raised to 80% of our income.”

When the war started, a food bank was established.

“All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death,” she said.

Socialism now controlled life and death by controlling who ate.

Small businesses were intentionally over regulated out of business leaving the government-owned large businesses the only ones existing.

“We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished,” she said. Moreover, “farmers were told what to produce, and how to produce it.”

Worse yet, finding it so easy to kill 6 million Jews, Hitler next moved on the mentally disabled as not having value and liquidated them as well. To prevent the population from revolting, guns had long since been registered, then outlawed, and freedom of speech ended as well.

“Anyone who said something against the government was taken away,” she said.

How close is the U.S. to implementing some of the above socialistic practices by false promises, as did they, too close? Hopefully, we will not waste our vote on the failed promises of socialism that delivers only slavery and shared poverty.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit


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