Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Words - By King Daevid MacKenzie

I have just two words for the so-called “Log Cabin Republicans.” Ernst Röhm.

Now, what was it that Jim Jones, that notorious Flavor-Aid pusher, used to have posted behind his throne in Guyana? Summat about how those who don’t learn their history are doomed to repeat it? It’s high time someone clued the Log Cabin Boys in to what happened to ol’ Ernst before they wind up like him. If those who have hijacked their beloved Pachyderm Party ever become strong enough, it may well be what they’ll have in store for both the Log Cabin Boys and us.

Ernst Röhm was one of the German soldiers who, after losing the First World War, founded the Freikorps, a paramilitary organisation dedicated to street violence against German social liberals and Communists. Before long, Röhm became acquainted with a like-minded ex-soldier who had a small political party patterned after the Fascists that Benito Mussolini just led to power in Italy. Röhm decided to cast his lot in with his new friend, and the Freikorps became the Brownshirts, the muscle wing of this new German political party. That party was the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi for short. Röhm’s new friend was named Adolf Hitler.

Oh, and there’s two additional points to keep in mind. Ernst Röhm was openly homosexual, and Hitler couldn’t care less about how Röhm achieved orgasm – then. All he cared about was using Röhm’s paramilitary muscle, now renamed The S.A., to brawl the Nazis to rule in Germany. A dozen years later, Hitler was appointed (not elected) Chancellor of Germany. Röhm’s muscle was duly recognised by Hitler as having been necessary to achieve that goal, and of the dozen highest-ranked Nazi Party members, Röhm was clearly the closest to Hitler personally. Only Röhm and Hitler used the familiar personal pronoun “du” to address each other; no other Nazi cabinet members dared to address each other in such a manner.

In 1933, Hitler’s favourite propagandist, Leni Riefenstahl, made a film about that year’s Nuremburg Nazi Party Rally titled Victory of Faith. The film was so popular in Germany that Riefenstahl was invited to lecture British universities on her techniques, bringing a 16mm print of the film with her to screen at each lecture. The film had two obvious “stars,” Hitler and Röhm. Within a year, rumours spread throughout the Nazi Party that Röhm was planning “The Real Revolution to come” against Hitler. Many Nazis, including most of Heinrich Himmler’s S.S. guards and the commercial interests that Hitler sorely needed to maintain power, put pressure on Hitler to eliminate Röhm’s S.A., many of whom were openly Gay like Röhm himself.

Röhm believed his close association with Hitler would keep him and his S.A. safe, that Hitler would make sure he still had his “place at the table.” On June 29,1934, there was a party thrown at Röhm’s Bad Wiessee lodge near Munich. The following morning, under Hitler’s personal orders, Röhm and his guests, almost all of whom were the core of the S.A. leadership, were arrested and most summarily executed by Himmler and the S.S. Röhm himself was taken to Munich’s Stadelheim Prison, where he was executed in his cell on 1 July, again on direct order from Hitler.

Joseph Goebbels’ Nazi media promoted the “Night of Long Knives” purge of Röhm and the S.A. as a defence against homosexuality and iniquity, with Berlin radio claiming, “From a moral point of view, there was no room for pity.[1]” Only that 16mm print from Riefenstahl’s British tour, stored in one college’s archives and forgotten until the 1990s, survived the movie’s ordered destruction. And a dozen million Europeans, many specifically because they were openly homosexual or Bisexual, had their legal rights stripped from them and were murdered in Hitler’s death camps. To paraphrase one of the authors whose books the Nazis burned in ceremonial bonfires, where rights are burned, soon people will be burned too.

Those who have taken control of the Republican Party are now in an open campaign, heavily funded by commercial and religious interests, to strip Lesbians, Bisexuals and Gay men of their legal rights. And still displaying loyalty to their Party are the so-called “Log Cabin Republicans” under the delusion that the place they’ll have at the table won’t be the one Eddie got in Rocky Horror.

Sorry, Log Cabin Boys, I know and recall the history of Bisexual men like me. I have no intention whatsoever of reliving it with you. And, if I have any say in the matter, neither will you have to.

(King Daevid MacKenzie is a longtime broadcaster for many radio and TV stations in Chicago, Winnipeg, Wisconsin and Arizona, including contributing commentaries for "LesBiGay Radio" on WSBS and WCFJ in Chicago.)

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