Rose Seiler Scott

Rose Seiler Scott, Author

The Rambling Rose

Author: Rose Seiler Scott

Award-winning author of fiction. Teller of truth.
Revealing history and sharing good books.

January 2, 2016
by Rose Scott
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Mein Kampf: A struggle and dangerous ideas

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Public Domain

Public Domain

Ideas can be dangerous. Books of ideas, even more so. Adolf Hitler’s infamous tome Mein Kampf, first published in 1925-26 has just entered the public domain and if there was ever a dangerous book of ideas, that is it.

Fearing that it could incite anti-semitism, especially in Germany, some people want the book to be severely restricted. Others see it as historically significant. As a compromise, the state of Bavaria, which had held the copyright, is releasing an annotated version for study and to shed light on this dark era of history.

For the purposes of providing historical context in my book, I wanted to use a quote from Mein Kampf. Speaking of struggle,  I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out who actually held the rights to Mannheim’s English translation, but when I finally tracked down the correct publisher my query to use a short quote was bounced back and forth like a ping pong ball. When I finally reached the right department I had to answer pointed questions as to why I wanted to use the quote. Eventually I received permission, but it was only for the US publisher and I would have to make a separate query to the Canadian publisher, which would cost me time and money. With regret I chose to eliminate the quote.

Mein Kampf has been described as disturbing, tedious, confusing, redundant, turgid, repetitious, wandering, illogical and hysterical. After reading a number of quotes from the book I must say I concur. Trying to figure out which of many directions to go with this blog post, was also a tedious struggle!

One idea that occurred to me is that Fascism and communism, when boiled down are really the same thing. While Hitler considered himself vehemently against Marxism and what he considered its Jewish origin, his book reveals that his ideas, when boiled down, aren’t that much different.

Propaganda functioned as a machine in both the communist and fascist states.

Hitler’s thoughts on propaganda and its recipients:

I at once took charge of the propaganda, believing this branch to be far the most important for the time being…The first necessity was to spread our ideas among as many people as possible (chapter 5).  Its chief function is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd (chapter 6).

Like Marx and Lenin, Hitler didn’t think much of the bourgeois or middle class and credited them with a lack of intelligence, especially if they didn’t agree with his ideals of racial superiority.

While the bourgeois blockhead stares with amazed admiration at the notice that tells him how marvellous are the achievements of our modern educational technique, the more cunning Jew sees in this fact a new proof to be utilized for the theory with which he wants to infect the public, namely that all men are equal. It does not dawn on the murky bourgeois mind that the fact which is published for him is a sin against reason itself (chapter 2).

Of course, in the class struggles of Marxism, the wealthy bourgeois were considered the enemies of the state, but Hitler’s brand of fascism pitted races, rather than classes, against one another.

Both regimes thought it important to manage religious belief.

Marx and Lenin managed religion by eliminating God and religion from all public life, equating religion with the despised bourgeois class.  They made the state the new God.

Hitler’s method was perhaps more insidious, twisting Biblical ideas to his own ends, attempting to Nazify the churches, undermine their programs and made the state itself a kind of church, complete with ostentatious ceremonies celebrating Nazism.

While both Neo-Nazis and atheists have tried to brand Hitler as a Christian, his ideas do not mesh with orthodox Christian beliefs.

Original sin, as revealed in the Bible and traditional theology is disobedience. Hitler’s ideas on this doctrine appear to be his own:

… they were simply told that they ought to put an end to this truly original sin of racial corruption which is steadily being passed on from one generation to another (chapter 2).

He also had issues with missionary work:

…they try to convert the Hottentots and the Zulus and the Kaffirs and to bestow on them the blessings of the Church, while our European people… are left to become the victims of moral depravity, the pious missionary goes out to Central Africa and establishes missionary stations for negroes…It would better accord with noble human aspirations if our two Christian denominations would cease to bother the negroes with their preaching, which the negroes neither desire nor understand (Chapter 2).

Marx and Stalin are well known for advocating terror to impose communism and Hitler also advocated the use of force to impose his ideas:

Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success (Chapter 5).

Though considered opposite poles of the political spectrum, the outcomes of both Nazi ideology and Marxist ideology has been the same; heartlessly depraved leaders, economic ruin and most significantly the inhumane treatment and murder of millions of innocent people.

Evil is evil no matter what side of the political spectrum it falls on. In Mein Kampf, the ideas espoused are not only repugnant but just plain morally wrong.

It would be a struggle on many levels for me to read the entire book, so I don’t think I’ll bother.

I’ll stick with a different controversial book that has been restricted or banned in dozens of countries. Of course, the central character of that book is Jewish.

Perhaps Hitler should have given it a more careful read…

Quotes from Mein Kampf are from the Murphy translation- Creative Commons

 

November 10, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Opposites

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11986372_10153618028166672_822015880527799676_nTalk about opposites!

Earlier this year, my first novel, THREATEN TO UNDO US was published. It is a war story, and though I tried to write it as hopeful as possible, you can imagine it was heavy and difficult to write.

While I was waiting for the publication process (these things don’t happen overnight), I submitted a few lighter short pieces of writing to the editors of the popular Hot Apple Cider Series. Out of the three pieces I submitted, they chose two for the third book HOT APPLE CIDER WITH CINNAMON. Yay!

You’ll love this book! Not just the part I wrote, which I hope you will enjoy, but all the stories! Some are heart-warming, some funny, others might make you cry. We all have those times in life when we feel discouraged, ill or exhausted and need a little cheer. Or perhaps we are just too busy to get through a novel. This book is perfect for those times. Or maybe after you’ve read THREATEN TO UNDO US.

The book is a compilation of 61 Christian authors from across Canada.

If you are in the Greater Vancouver area and would like to purchase your copy from me,  here are the upcoming events:

I will have copies on hand of all the Hot Apple Cider books, including a gift pack of all three.

North Langley Community Church Women’s Breakaway November 18th 9:15 (pre-register with Breakaway)

Christmas Event with Carola “Bethea” Meerkerk November 27th 7: 00 PM (please contact myself or Carola to RSVP)

Book Launch Christmas Open House and Christmas shopping at my House: November 28th  6:30-10:00 RVSP via contact form or Rose Seiler Scott FB author page

 Langely Evangelical Free Breakaway December 2 8:45 (pre-register with Breakaway)

Fort Langley “Christmas in the Village” Market December 19th – details TBA

For further information or to purchase online see link below:

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August 25, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Book Review: Encounters on the Front Line

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This honest and poignant memoir is Elaine Harvey’s testament to the beguiling and tragic Cambodia.

Her first experience in a refugee camp with the beleaguered Khmer people is in 1980, as a nurse for the Red Cross after the Khmer Rouge uprisings in the time of the infamous Pol Pot. In the border camps she treats unspeakable injuries and illness, working under conditions that can only be imagined.

In spite of the best medical efforts of their team, the aid workers watch, heartbroken, as people die– a beautiful young woman, an old man, victims of a cruel regime. Saddened, shell shocked and exhausted, Harvey perseveres through love and loss, watching mothers without children, children who are starving and deteriorating working conditions. Her group is evacuated from their clinic that they had been working in as it was burnt down by warring factions.

But there are bright spots: working relationships with her colleagues, cherished friendships and even love are forged in this crucible. “A girl, about four years old, her bare feet crusted with red mud, spills the milk down her tattered pink dress, attracting flies. I lift her on my lap and we rock back and forth. She doesn’t smile but her little heart beats against my breast. She is nameless, maybe motherless; all I know is I want to take her to Canada, give her a home, food, safety, and most of all, love…she is swept into the arms of the French doctor, over and up into the truck, on her way, her heart still beating next to mine.” (p. 64)

Like this little girl whose heart beats next to her, Cambodia’s heart beats next to Elaine Harvey’s, even when she has returned home.  25 years later, Cambodia calls her back. Harvey hears about Partners in Compassion, which runs an orphanage. She goes to help as a nurse, but her efforts are challenged. These things are complicated and so is Cambodia. In a way, this is the soul of the book.

Harvey wants to reach out, now with nursing, next with healing touch  “…to reach out, not just with touch but with words, is the bridge I want to cross.” But long term change and healing is not always possible as she  navigates her way around the broken yet vibrant country.

In the author’s third visit she focuses more on travel and writing as she encounters people on the front lines and attempts to define her own front line. The writing is emotionally compelling. Cambodia is painted vividly and Harvey’s reactions, both joy and bewilderment are visceral. “…a land where sorrow falls like monsoon rain.” p. 163. .

For this reader I would have liked to hear more of Harvey’s reasons for going to Cambodia, the catalysts that drove her and her relationship with her own country.  Aside from these questions, reading Encounters on the Front Line was to experience a little of the heartbeat of Cambodia next to mine. An intriguing read!

Available at:

Promontory Press: https://goo.gl/XxgjIn   Chapters Indigo:  https://goo.gl/PcUI5F  Amazon.ca: http://goo.gl/kPlwQu  Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/kWuJOR                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

June 3, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Truth and Reconciliation

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residschool

Port Alberni Residential School

Today the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” met to release and discuss their report on what has been revealed to be our national shame.

I confess that for most of my life I didn’t know many first nations people or much about residential schools. I lived with my family and attended a school that I could (thankfully) come home from every day.

Over the years, in my travels, I have passed through communities where paint was peeling off the houses and the grass was unkempt. Old washing machines adorned front yards.  “A reserve,” we’d say, shaking our heads and following up with words like “lazy” and “entitled.”

I passed judgement on people I didn’t even know.

Jesus knew the inclination of our callous hearts when He said, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.”

Today that judgment has fallen on our country, as one by one our first peoples have quietly shared their stories of pain, of families ripped apart, systemic abuse and a culture in tatters.

The truth has been told. Sadness and despair has voices and faces we cannot ignore. I am sorry for your pain. I realize it is time for attitudes to change, beginning with mine.

May the path to reconciliation and healing begin.

 

 

Liberators or Captors

May 30, 2015 by Rose Scott | 4 Comments

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Attribution: By János Balázs from Berlin, Deutschland (memorial concentration camp sachsenhausen) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Attribution: By János Balázs from Berlin, Deutschland (memorial concentration camp Sachsenhausen) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

the train pulled up to another prison camp surrounded with barbed wire. A wrought iron sign at the gate stated “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

Liesel was dismayed. This again? She thought of Michal. His family had not been made free by work; she had not been made free by work. Freedom was only at the whim of the authorities and the only thing that would make her free was patience. Maybe.      (p. 343 Threaten to Undo Us)
During the late 1930’s and throughout the Second World War, millions of people, mostly Jews, lost their lives at the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Potulice and other infamous locales. What is not so well known, is that after the war, a number of these camps were re-opened by the Office of State Security under the administration of  Polish communists. Ethnic Germans in Soviet controlled Poland and other Eastern European countries were detained and mistreated in these camps, along with anyone remotely suspected of subversive activities against the new regime.

More  info: John Sacks,  An Eye for An Eye.

Alfred deZayas,  A Terrible Revenge.

 

May 14, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Book Review: Consider the Sunflowers

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Tina’s dilemma is whether to marry stable but dull Roland or free spirited Frank, a man wCONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS FRONT COVER 22-SEP-2014_72dpi (2)ho wears his with Gypsy blood and dubious faith on his sleeve. Then there is Victor, from Vancouver. Flighty Tina strings them all along. Just as she makes up her mind, along comes Dorrie Harms with her designs on Tina’s intended.

Marriage, Tina discovers is not all sunshine and sunflowers. Realities of life on the prairies, personal tragedy, health issues and her husband’s quick temper coupled with Tina’s own poor choices make marriage and life a struggle. Her Mennonite faith is tested and found wanting.
Schemenauer’s vivid prose brings to life a vivid patchwork quilt of characters and a realistic setting. The reader will root for Tina, the main character, not because she is completely righteous—she is not, but because we want her to make wise choices.
Schemenauer does an excellent job of revealing her characters’ minds; it’s not always pretty and charitable thoughts either- jealousy, anger, prejudice and an endless go around of justifying decisions.
Though the plot seems to veer off a little, the story avoids a formulaic approach. Twists, turns and the characters’ quirks keep the reader turning the pages until the end.
Played out against the backdrop of World War Two,Consider the Sunflowers is a historical romance: a tale of marriage, life and faith.
Consider the Sunflowers is a delightful read, full of all the snippets of Mennonite and agricultural life that only an “insider” could know.

Consider the Sunflowers is 299 pages, $19.95 paperback, publisher Borealis Press of Ottawa, ISBN 978-0-88887-575-4. If you order it through a bookstore or library, you may not need to pay for shipping. You can also order online from Chapters Indigo, http://tinyurl.com/nsylp5j . [No shipping charge on orders of $25 or more in Canada. They also send to other countries but charge for shipping]. Or order from Borealis Press, http://tinyurl.com/lfdo9pf . E-book coming in 2015. For more information, please see http://elmams.wix.com/sflwrs .

April 24, 2015
by Rose Scott
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The Big Three at Yalta: Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt

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Yalta 1945

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 Stalin traced his finger along the Curzon line which encompassed the cities of Brest and Lwów. Regarding the other world leaders with a steely gaze, he squared his shoulders so that his epaulets formed a straight and rigid line. “I will settle for the Eastern territories and nothing less.”

All of those present knew that the co-operation of the Soviet forces, allied with the Western powers, had been critical in turning the tide against Nazi Germany.

Churchill tightened his jowls around his cigar. He was not comfortable conceding anything to Stalin and even viewed Roosevelt with some distrust.

Roosevelt flicked the ashes from his cigarette into the ash­tray and coughed; a sound that rattled from deep within his chest. He pulled the matchbox towards himself and looked up, his pale face thoughtful. Shaking out a number of matches, he arranged them on the map…p.viii

In 1945 the World Leaders met at the conferences of Yalta and Potsdam. Among other decisions to be made was what to do with Poland. Stalin had his own ideas, which resulted in the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for almost 50 years. But re-drawing of the map of Europe resulted in the prolonging of wartime conditions and more suffering and bloodshed than the Western leaders could have realized.

Threaten to Undo Us  is The 2016 Word Guild winner for historical fiction.

As Hitler’s Third Reich crumbles and Stalin’s army advances, German civilians in the Eastern territories are forced to flee for their lives.

Liesel and her four young children set out from their home in Poland, in hopes of  crossing the Oder River to safety in the west. But all that awaits them is terror, uncertainty and a brutal new regime that threatens to tear the family apart.

Based on a true story, Threaten to Undo Us exposes historical events that took place in the enormous shadow of World War Two.

Threaten to Undo Us is 327 pages, trade paperback, publisher Promontory Press of Victoria, BC, ISBN 978-1-927559-68-0. Order Online through: Promontory Press,   Chapters-Indigo, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com

April 14, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Flight and Expulsion of Ethnic Germans

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It was not quite dawn as they turned onto the road headed southwest…towards the river Oder which had frozen over this winter. An endless caravan of people were fleeing their homes in hopes of crossing into German-held territory, away from the advancing Red Army. Silhouetted against the bleak sky were covered wagons, carts and wheelbarrows loaded up with bundles and furniture piled so high they looked like they might topple. Oxen and horses strained at their load. Animals led by rope and halter bleated, brayed and squawked as they were pulled reluctantly along.  p. 152 “Threaten to Undo Us”

After the massacre of German civilians by Soviet forces at Nemmersdorf in October of 1944 many Germans fled west, towards the other Allied Powers. Those who stayed in their homes and farms, waiting for official word from the German army, often found it was too late. In January and February of 1945, civilians, mainly women and children fled in panic towards the Oder-Neisse line, which Stalin had already determined would become the new border between Poland and Germany. When the Red Army caught up with them terror reigned. Wagon treks were machine gunned and plundered and women of all ages were routinely raped.

April 4, 2015
by Rose Scott
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Wehrmacht on Parade

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When they reached Kiev, its citizens watched as thousands of prisoners marched in columns, behind trucks mounted with loudspeakers and Soviet flags. Guards on horseback guarded the flanks of the bizarre parade, but it did not stop men, faint from hunger and exhaustion, from collapsing in the street.

Every bone in Ernst’s ankles pressed painfully onto the fallen arches of his foot. Each step was agony, but he knew that to stop marching, to fall over, was certain death.  (p.183 “Threaten to Undo Us”)

Of approximately three million German soldiers captured by Soviet Russia, it is estimated that over one million never returned home.  The POW’s were rarely afforded appropriate provisions, shelter or medical treatment, but suffered appalling conditions as they fulfilled war reparations to rebuild the Soviet Union.

In 1956, the last prisoners were repatriated.

For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_prisoners_of_war_in_the_Soviet_Union