.

Not the Third Reich… Yet

It makes me burn to hear the left berate
Good policy and leaders they dislike
With claims the U.S. is a fascist state—
“A Nazi nation just like the Third Reich.”
Invoking Hitler’s name with chilling ease
They publish propaganda that’s untrue.
They swarm like “mostly peaceful” killer bees
And mock the slaughters which mark World War II.

It’s time to be reminded of the truth:
The Germans recognized one Master Race
And made their children join the Hitler Youth;
Though blond and blue eyed, if you had one trace
Of Jewish blood they pulled you from your home
And forced you to a death camp via train
Where showers reeked of zyklon-b laced foam
And neither face nor bone were seen again.

America, thank God, fights laws like those
Of Nuremberg—dark mandates, loud as thunder,
Enshrining hate of Jews and those who chose
Compassion. Marriages were ripped asunder.
Home ownership revoked; the right to school
Revoked; the right to practice one’s profession
Revoked. Mein Kampf hung over every rule
As Europe fell to Hitler’s mad obsession.

Imagine if our largest corporations
Assisted genocide like Porsche or Bayer,
Or Volkswagen! They pillaged lesser nations
For slaves, blasé to murder and despair—
So long as inventories weren’t deficient.
They manufactured tanks and poison gases
To make asphyxiation more efficient
When silencing and processing the masses.

America is free of brutal labs
Where vivisection’s done on living twins.
I don’t see corpses being stacked on slabs
Because their genes displayed eugenic sins.
I see no people being kept like cattle
With neither water, food nor even clothes.
I do not see a führer forcing battle
Because his insane lust for conquest grows.

Though leftists smugly libel us and gloat,
We share no kinship with a Nazi state.
America protects your right to vote.
You have the right to either love or hate.
You have the right to worship where you want.
You are not barred from travel or profession;
You have the right to march and shout and taunt,
To marry, to pursue some pet obsession.

You need not hide in attics or some cave
Or choose which of two children must be stabbed.
You won’t be forced to lay bricks as a slave
Nor have your art and heirlooms simply grabbed.
You keep your wedding ring, your dignity,
The gold which fills your teeth. Your kith. Your kin.
That brand new lampshade next to the TV
Was probably not made with human skin.

You’ve had enough? Then stop this defamation!
Not only are we not a Nazi state,
We treasure freedom more than any nation
And won’t submit to calumny nor hate.
We push back tyranny with our last breath
And fight those who block speech, whose words are rife
With hate, who try their best to promote death.
America, thank God, stands strong for life.

.

.

The Electrical Charge

inspired by a story in The American Conservative

I see these words of rage on someone’s site:
“How dare our highest legal Institution
Assert abortion should not be a right
Protected by the U.S. Constitution?
These judges are inhuman. Primitive!
They make us women slaves. How can we live?!”

Well. After getting through this harsh invective
I too feel anger. No, not at the Court.
At her—this shallow fool whose prime directive
Is freedom to treat careless sex as sport
And never face the inconvenient strife
Of being judged for terminating life.

Her next words are “It’s just a clump of cells
Inanimate, unthinking, just a clot
With an electric charge.” And then she tells
Those people who don’t think like her “to rot.”
This woman’s bankrupt soul seems all but lost.
Is trying to persuade her worth the cost?

Here’s what I’d say if I could change her mind:
That even though it may seem quite unfair
The bodies of true females are designed
Quite differently from men. They’re meant to bear
The children of our world. There’s just no question:
Biology is more than a suggestion.

I’d pose a question tied to love and marriage.
What of the wife and husband who despair
Because the wife has suffered a miscarriage?
They loved that “clump of cells.” They were aware
Of every kick. They even picked a name.
Some cells? A baby? Are they not the same?

I’d say don’t be dismissive of the fact
This “clod of cells” will one day walk and sing.
This piece of life will hope and weep and act
As if its mother loved it. This wee “thing”
Is Mozart, Lincoln, Shakespeare, Einstein, Pope.
How can you bring yourself to kill such hope?

You did not plan it so you choke its birth,
Asserting “choice, ” pretending you’re not haunted.
But moral people don’t say life has worth
Based solely on the question: Is it wanted?
What then of the disabled, old and ill?
Would you abort them also with a pill?

Ask anyone who yearns to have a child:
It’s sacred, not some protoplasmic clod!
How dare you let its promise be defiled?
It has a soul like every child of God.
You might not want to hear it but it’s true:
That unborn child is you. And you. And you.

.

.

Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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34 Responses

    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you very much, James! These are two topics I feel passionate about and am glad that you appreciated the subject matter and composition. I remember well — and have just re-read — your brilliant Dante-inspired cantos regarding your marriage and am again stunned at the pathos, beauty and raw honesty of what you wrote. “She took your life before your name/was ever called…” You also capture the horror very well indeed.

      Reply
  1. Roy E. Peterson

    Brian, both of your poems are outstanding soliloquys on two highly charged social issues that resonate with me. How fittingly and masterfully you dissect the not only hateful, but frivolous and dangerous use of the term “Nazi” and then eloquently present the abortion issue. Great work deserving praise.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you so much, Roy. These were not easy to write and I’m glad you found them to be worth reading. I have many issues with where we are at as a society, but I think it worthwhile once in a while to compare where we are with true evil. I’m sure we’re on a slippery slope but I don’t think we’re at the point where it’s objectively accurate to compare us to Nazis (or the Khmer Rouge, the Bolsheviks, the Cultural Revolutionists or the French Revolutionists for that matter.) We are displaying the hateful tendencies they all displayed which means we absolutely could go there. But we haven’t done so… yet.

      Reply
  2. Adela

    Brian, both these poems are amazing and so very true. Thank you for speaking the truth when the world seems to be accepting evil for good and good for evil. God has blessed you with such beautiful and true speech. I am in awe of you!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Adela, your very beautiful comment is one that has deeply touched me. I will long remember your generous words. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Adela

        Brian, I see you are from Santa Fe NM. I am in Belen NM about 90 some miles away. I’ve always thought Santa Fe was a very liberal place. But now I am happy to see a wonderful conservative lives there too. New Mexico is mainly liberal and so sad that it believes all the liberal garbage that has brainwashed many of our citizens especially our younger generation. I pray for more people like you and me stand up for our freedom that the left is trying so hard to take away from us. God bless you.

      • Brian Yapko

        Adela, how wonderful to know that there is a fellow New Mexican on this site! I’ve passed through Belen and know exactly where you are! If you saw my recent “Lullaby of New Mexico” my speaker passes through your neck of the woods on an I-25 road trip from Albuquerque to Las Cruces! Santa Fe is strange. You’re right that it is a liberal center compared to the rest of New Mexico but it is way farther to the right than where I lived before (California and Oregon.) Even though I’m pretty conservative, I feel very much at home in a place which for the most part, values faith, tradition and law & order. God bless you as well!

  3. Jeff Eardley

    Brian, the hallmark of a great poet is firmly stamped on these two. Highly readable, informative and thought-provoking as with all your work. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Jeff, thank you very much for this kind comment. I’m especially glad you found them readable because they were exceedingly difficult to write, largely because these are inherently non-poetic, emotionally charged subjects which probably belong in the opinion section of the paper more than in rhyming poetry. They may rhyme and have rhythm but they are admittedly far from rapturous. Thank you for sticking with them!

      Reply
  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Brian, “Not the Third Reich… Yet” is a powerful poem that lays out poetically and clearly (a tough task) the atrocities of WWII – atrocities we should all have learned from. The title is telling with the word “yet” …used as a warning, perhaps? I admire the craft of the poem, yet sadly, I disagree with much of the content. I say ‘sadly’ because I want to agree… desperately.

    I think America (just the same as Canada, Britain, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia) are growing increasingly fascist by the day. Big corporations are in bed with government… this has been evident for some time, especially with the Clintons. It’s called “Stakeholder Capitalism”, and it’s being pushed by the WEF and the UN. When is the last time that any monopoly was busted… Google, Facebook, Pfizer, etc. etc. etc? That’s because they’re financially tied to the government. I think this quote by Henry A. Wallace (Vice President of the US during WWII) is perfect:

    The really dangerous American fascist… is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

    Brian, you say: “America, thank God, fights laws like those / Of Nuremberg…” But it doesn’t. America violated the Nuremberg Code when it mandated the experimental shots. The injuries physically, financially, and psychologically are numerous. We’re now being told that “mistakes” were made – mistakes many of those who aren’t “experts” knew… and still those who went ahead in violation of the Nuremberg Code are not being tried.

    You say: “It’s time to be reminded of the truth:/The Germans recognized one Master Race”. Hitler did this by demonizing the Jews – treating them as subhuman to turn everyone against them. Isn’t this evil tactic being used in America today whereby white people are told they’re systemically racist? White schoolchildren are shamed for being white. Job advertisements say that white people need not apply, and diversity is the prime goal of the majority of universities – never mind your ability, if you’re white you’re at a disadvantage. The long list of racism goes on.

    I am proud to be British – I love the British people and what Britain used to stand for. I am proud to be American. I love the American people and what America used to stand for. I only hope we can turn the Western world around before it’s too late. I fear that the governments of both countries have turned on their citizens. When parents are called “domestic terrorists” for questioning gender ideology, porn on school library shelves, and becoming upset when a boy identifying as a girl has committed rape in the girls’ toilets, then surely we live in a country that is sliding towards disaster.

    I’m glad your title is “Not the Third Reich… Yet” I really hope my concerns are proved wrong. Your rousing closing stanza gives me hope and makes me think that maybe you’re thinking along the same lines as I am. Thank you very much for your, as ever, admirably crafted, thought-provoking work. I will comment on the second poem soon… I fear I’ve gone on for a bit too long in this one!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Dear Susan, my friend. I appreciate your comment so much — even though it gets my dander up just a little. And if you think your comment was long…

      Let me start my response by acknowledging that everything you say is true. Terrible things are perpetrated by our government and innocent people suffer as a result. Our free speech and free thought are under attack. I’m far from blind to these facts. My body of poetry proves that. But I must also say that from a factual standpoint everything I say in this “Third Reich” poem is also true, both about the atrocities of World War II and the challenged but existent integrity of America’s political/legal system.

      The evidence is laid out. Now it’s time to assess what that evidence means.

      In my view, your evidence shows strongly that we DO now live in Berlin in the year 1934.

      I believe my evidence, however, shows strongly that we do NOT live in Berlin in the year 1942. Both of these interpretations of the facts are compatible.

      (I will parenthetically suggest that your take on the Nuremberg laws, though valid, does not speak to the gist of what made the Nuremberg laws of 1935 so horrendous. They made it illegal for Jews to occupy a profession, own property, marry Aryan Germans, even have sex with Aryans, and a host of other dehumanizing things. Marriages were torn apart. Children were removed from school. An entire class of people were instantly relegated to the status of non-citizens simply because they were Jews. What you describe is terrible but, at least in my view, not of the same order of magnitude.)

      I’ve given the meaning of America a lot of thought lately in the wake of unprecedented division, the slippery slope of history cancellations, corruption and incompetence in government. And I am on the receiving end of considerable leftist hate for having conservative viewpoints despite the fact that every demographic assumption says I should be a liberal. But in the end, I’ve decided that I’m a patriot. I love my country, the United States of America. I believe it’s a resilient country, a country built on a concept of liberty balanced by rule of law. Despite all of the dreck that I have seen occur in the last 20 years, I still believe in this country. That’s why I write so much about its flaws. I would save it if I could. Why else do I write? In point of fact, this is a country which I would fight and die for. I think many others feel the same way. And why would good people fight and die for this country? Certainly not because it’s somehow retroactively embraced Hitler. It’s because the USA still exists as a country that has NOT been Nazi-fied. Yet. Could it happen here? Yes. Absolutely. We’re getting red flags and warning signs all the time. That’s why I wrote this aspirational poem and added the “Yet” at the end of the title. I would like to remind our fellow citizens of who we are. Not were but are for we are indeed in grave danger. But if this were truly a Nazi state, I’d say we need to get the hell out of here rather than agonize about how awful it is and where it has gone wrong. But America is NOT dead, nor are its core values. I intend to fight for those core values every step of the way.

      Am I romanticizing America? To some degree. But when you look at the events of today, please realize that the U.S. has never been either perfect or nice. Those who are of a critical mind can find a host of dreadful historical behaviors in our history, from slavery to breaking treaty after treaty with Indians to Japanese interment camps, Jim Crow laws, McCarthyism, And there have always been horrible mob actions – lynchings, John Brown’s acts of terrorism… My family moved to Detroit in 1967 at the height of the race riots there. I lived in Los Angeles under martial law during the Rodney King riots and remember well trying to evacuate from the areas of burning and looting. America has problems. It has always had problems. It flirts with the things the Nazis did in terms of stifling free speech, cancelling history, metaphorically dividing people into categories of clean and unclean based on vaccine status, etc. They did that during Reconstruction. They did that when anarchists bombed cities and set fires in the 1910s and 1920s. There is nothing new under the sun.

      But – as my poem sets forth in a recitation of what the objective evidence shows – we have not reached the point where the Nazis were when the bombed London, swallowed up France and Poland, and created a network of railways and death camps in order to eliminate Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics and others from their Reich. Nor, as I commented to Roy, are we at the place where the Khmer Rouge was, or the Bolsheviks, or Stalinists, or French Revolutionists, or Cultural Revolutionists. We remain better than that. Better, contingent on our fighting to preserve what we have. Which, again, is why this poem now exists.

      In fact, Susan, the very fact that I have the freedom to submit this contentious poem, that Evan has the freedom to publish it, that you have the freedom to disagree with it publicly, that I’m free to comment back to you, bespeaks a freedom that did not exist in Nazi Germany. I would have been arrested by the gestapo for what I wrote. Evan would have been arrested for daring to publish it. And you would have been arrested for what you wrote. Yes, our freedoms are in jeopardy. But, applying some nuance to a nuanced situation, they still exist. Sometimes I think it’s important to be reminded of that fact.

      Thank you, Susan, for your conscience, your articulate argument and for giving me this opportunity to explain my poem and my reasoning. God bless you, my friend.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Brian, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my comment and will admit to mulling your reply over, learning from it, and thinking deeply about certain aspects – the beauty of an honest exchange of ideas. I know I’m in danger of raising your dander up even further, but I have a strong feeling our friendship will survive such brazenness on my part.

        I agree with nearly all that you’re saying, and as I said, I love the “yet” word of hope in your title and closing stanza. As for the dates, I’m not so sure we have as much time to extricate ourselves from the evils of now and the ones waiting just around the corner if we don’t spring into action soon.

        Firstly, for the British, WWII started in 1939, which shrinks that gap considerably. The Nuremberg laws were indeed dehumanizing and horrendous. But haven’t we in the Western world been subjected to similar treatment? At present the farming industry is being shut down by net-zero carbon policies forced on the farmers by the World Economic Forum. Sri Lanka has already folded because of this; it looks like Canada and the Netherlands are hot on their heels and the rest of the Western world is following suit. The nuclear family has been torn apart by the stamping out of Christianity in schools and society in general, the welfare system, the pressure on both parents to work etc. etc. Our children are now institutionalized and indoctrinated by an “education” system that wants to own them physically and mentally – is this not akin to the Hitler youth? Those who refused experimental shots have been demonized. Mandates forced many from employment, prevented them from travel, had them publicly pilloried as uncaring killers of the vulnerable and the reason that Covid was rife, separated and masked them in church, and left our hospitals low on staff with people dying as a consequence.

        The reason for the Nuremberg Code being introduced after the wicked crimes in the name of medical research after WWII, was to prevent people being scientifically experimented on without informed consent. That is exactly what the Government and Big Pharma have done… they’ve ignored the Nuremberg Code and many people have died and been maimed as a consequence. The UK have begun to pay out compensation because of this. What about the transgender movement – castration and mutilation of children leading to an infertile life of suffering?

        The American author J.B. Shurk lays out the ten steps to totalitarian control below:

        1. Destruction of religion
        2. Gun Control
        3. Control over energy
        4. Control over communication
        5. Control over money
        6. Doomsday fearmongering
        7. School Indoctrination
        8. Elimination of Family
        9. Elimination of cars
        10. Digital identity tracking

        I think we’re there or nearly there with the first eight steps and well on the way with the final two… just like the rest of the Western world, which makes it hard for anyone to run from tyranny. Like Einstein and others leaving Germany in 1932 and 33, many are leaving in droves from New York and California and other despotic states… but every state is now at risk. This is a global problem.

        In WWII the people united against Hitler to defeat Nazism. But, when one’s own government are the Nazis shutting down society and culture and recruiting useful tools at an ever-increasing rate, we’re already at war without the bombs. We’ve been locked down, gagged, and arrested for marching against and speaking out against the current doctrine… admittedly not all of us have. This wonderful site provides a much-needed platform for free speech. But these platforms are growing increasingly rare and free speech is dying out.

        I feel patriotism. I feel hope. I just think the “yet” is a little nearer than I’m comfortable with.

        Thank you, Brian, for giving me the opportunity to air my views and for your informed response to them.

      • Brian Yapko

        Ah, Susan. We’re talking about two different Nuremberg legislations. You’re talking one post-World War II which was intended to prevent some of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust. The one you reference is described here:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Code#:~:text=The%20Nuremberg%20Code%20(German%3A%20N%C3%BCrnberger,after%20the%20Second%20World%20War.

        And you’re right. That code has been violated here and now.

        But I’m referring to something completely different: the Nuremberg Race Laws Hitler enacted in 1935. https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1933-1938/nuremberg-race-laws

        These are the laws that America has not embraced… yet.

        Susan, I’m not in the least bit upset with you. Don’t forget — we’re on the same side. We’re fighting this battle together. Nothing says we have to see eye to eye on everything. While I am committed to zealous advocacy, I’m not into practicing leftist mind control.

        Thank you, not just for your talent but for your conscience.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Brian, thank you for this. We are on the same page. It’s just that I think today’s authoritarians have learned from history and grown smarter. They have bypassed laws by taking over all the three letter federal agencies and are embedding their totalitarian wish list in the regulations and protocols.

        I thank you for your conscience and talent too. But most of all I thank you for debating me… a rare treat these days that reminds me of Sunday roast and the robust exchange of opinions around my grandparents’ dinner table. That’s why I turned out to be such a pain in the arse when it comes to questioning, challenging, and not accepting what I’m told at face value.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    “The Electrical Charge” is a remarkable poem. It is written fearlessly (I say this because anyone who dismisses the fashionable abortion narrative is demonized by those in power) with a message that reaches out with logic and compassion.

    It makes it easier to get people on board with the abortion narrative if the life within is dehumanized and labeled a “clump of cells”. You have trampled on that cruel label in your miscarriage scenario: “They loved that “clump of cells.” They were aware /
    Of every kick. They even picked a name. / Some cells? A baby? Are they not the same?” These, among the other questions you pose, are powerful words leading up to a powerful closing stanza.

    This poem should be read by every potential mother who thinks abortion is the answer and believes those who applaud that choice. I believe it would make a great difference to many. Thank you, Brian.

    Another thing… the conversational feel of the poem adds to its potency. It’s tough to get a natural flow when delivering an important message. You’re a master at that. One I continue to learn from.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Susan, thank you very much for this comment! As a man I was not sure how it would be received by someone who is a woman — and one who fights proudly for the concept of womanhood. I’m glad and relieved that it works for you. As you describe my poem you articulate the strategy of my argument very astutely. Acknowledge the adversary’s position, then start showing how it doesn’t hold up. Abortion activists want that life “dehumanized” the way you describe. They couldn’t live with themselves if they thought of their unborn child any other way. When Evan accepted this poem for publication he mentioned an electrical-charge Frankenstein image which has haunted me ever since. But that’s how abortion advocates view the unborn and it’s terrifying that they do so. I do hope this poem helps pick away at that paradigm. Again, thank you so much, Susan. You always have such a strong grasp on what I’m trying to say!

      Reply
  6. Joshua C. Frank

    Wow… two hard-hitting poems! Each one alone would give a leftist pause, let alone the one-two punch he would get from reading one right after the other!

    However, like Susan, I, too, have difficulties with the first poem. In my experience, the left reserves the label “Nazi” for conservatives, even though the parallels apply far more to the left than to anyone else. By allowing abortion, our government may not do any direct killing, but it allows the same kind of mass murder to run rampant; they’re more like Pontius Pilate than like Adolf Hitler, so it is true that we aren’t the Nazis (yet).

    Still, I’m afraid your analysis in the first poem is a little too simplistic. Our government may not kidnap children for lethal science experiments, but our laboratories conceive children in Petri dishes in order to butcher them like animals for experiments. Our corporations may not finance genocide overseas, but they do manufacture chemicals and tools to kill children in the womb without killing their mothers, and reimburse travel expenses to employees who cross state lines for abortions. Our lampshades may not be made of human body parts, but our vaccines are. Most of us may not see “corpses stacked like slabs,” but a cursory search of pro-life sites will take care of that with just a few clicks. All this from the same people who call conservatives “Nazis” for trivial offenses, or worse, for doing what’s right. In many ways, the mass murder of abortion is worse than the Holocaust, especially in death toll (63 million in the United States alone); it takes a pro-abortion person to deny this.

    I also think of the scathing indictment from The Chosen: “You’re worse than Hitler. Hitler was after the Jewish body; you’re after the Jewish soul.” I think that applies perfectly to the left. The Nazis also killed many Christians for opposing them, and now the left is after the Christian soul as well.

    The poem is brilliantly executed, though; its only real flaw is that’s it’s out of date.

    The second is also brilliant, and without any flaws. It skewers the position that the unborn baby is somehow chattel, to allow to live and die as the mother chooses just so she can sleep around without bearing a child until she wants to. I feel exactly as you do on that matter. Leftists have no room to speak out against even the most horrible genocide until they take that beam out of their own eyes.

    Well done! Like Susan, I continue to learn from your technique.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Josh, thank you very much for this comment. I wrote a lengthy response to Susan which I hope you’ll look at because it addresses many of the points you’ve raised. There’s an interesting paradox here because the left and the right have both gone through phases of calling the other “Nazis.” Neither one of them comes even close to reality, but right now I agree that it is the leftists who are acting like totalitarians — not so much fascists as Bolshevik/Cultural Revolution-loving Communists. On the other hand, the leftists spent four years promoting the hateful lie of likening Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler and saying that Trump-supporters were all neo-Nazis. Rubbish. I had thought that specious lie was laid to rest, but as soon as the Supreme Court overruled Roe versus Wade I started hearing about how undemocratic our nation is, how fascist, etc. So until the Dobbs case, this poem was out of date. But Dobbs has made it new again. Because of a conservative Supreme Court, the the Right was resurrected again as the fascist enemy of the left.

      Everything you say about the horrors of abortion are true. I hope you won’t take offense, and my poem speaks for itself as being anti-abortion, but I struggle with finding real-world moral equivalence in stem cell research versus taking someone’s Jewish grandmother, slaughtering her and then tanning her skin into lampshade material; or taking little Heidi and Hans, who happen to be Jewish identical twins, and deciding to perform vivisection experiments on them as the war criminal Josef Mengele did. God may see such things as equivalent but neither the lawyer nor the Jew in me can.

      I also agree with you that the mass murder of so many millions of the unborn is heinous and when they count souls in heaven, perhaps it will outweigh the Holocaust. But the difference between abortion and Hitler’s Holocaust is not just the fact of death — it’s also the exceptional real-world cruelty of having your government declare you to be non-human dirt, to have official government police and secret police tear father and mother from their children, of watching relatives shot before you, of losing everything and everyone you’ve ever cared about stripped and poisoned, of having Jewish slaves remove corpses by the millions from showers of death. This was more than mass murder. In their slaughter of one-third of all Jewry in the world, the Nazis perpetrated what is undoubtedly the most sadistic acts of cruelty upon an innocent people — a people who had fought honorably for them in World War I, who had contributed massively to German culture and wealth. This was the sadism of having a conversation with someone you called friend and then shooting them in the face and then stealing their wedding ring and artwork while burning down their synagogues and vandalizing their graves. This was the sadism that makes any claim of equivalence between Nazis and the Jewish people anathema. No, this was a sadism unlike any other. Abortion is horrendous but it doesn’t target one race or religion with the legally-mandated purpose of rendering them extinct. That being said, it is here, it is now and it is despicable.

      As for the abortion poem, I’m very grateful and pleased that you liked it. I hope very much that it makes a difference.

      Again, thank you for commenting, Josh. Forgive my passionate challenges here on a heavy subject that I feel very deeply and, given my background, very personally about. I am willing to hear more about your views if I can share more with you about mine. In the meantime, God bless.

      Reply
      • Joshua C. Frank

        Thank you for your offer to discuss it further. Because it’s such a hot-button issue for me, I think I’d rather not. I like and admire you, and I value our connection. I look forward to reading more of your work. I hope you have a great weekend.

      • Brian Yapko

        Thank you, Josh. I feel exactly the same way. I’ll look forward to your work as well. And you also have a great weekend.

  7. Cynthia Erlandson

    Great stuff, Brian, clearly composed with much heart, yet not giving in to sentimentalism. “They swarm like ‘mostly peaceful’ killer bees”; and “Because their genes displayed eugenic sins.” are my favorite lines in the first one. The second is also wonderfully done. I especially identify with its sixth verse, because I always wonder why, if it is just a “clump of cells”, the mother is worried about it being born; clumps of cells aren’t born. And you are so right at the poem’s end: the “clump of cells” is her. And all of us.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Cynthia, thank you so much for this comment. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the poems even though both are a bit dry. But, as you noted, I wrote them with my heart. I’m especially pleased that the last line of the Electrical Charge works for you. That child really is every one of us.

      Reply
  8. Norma Pain

    Brian, these two amazing poems have my mind, again, waffling between optimism and despair at the direction the world is heading. I agree with Susan that things are much worse than mainstream media allows us to see.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Norma, thank you for commenting. I am totally with you on the waffling between optimism and despair front. I agree with Susan as well. There is much we don’t get to see. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel. But have you ever read Tolkien? This quote from The Lord of the Rings helps me. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Tolkien was a wise man. Thanks again for your comment.

      Reply
  9. Mary Gardner

    Brian, thank you for expressing your, and my, views in these eloquent and sobering poems.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      My pleasure, Mary. Thank you very much for commenting and for your encouraging words.

      Reply
  10. Margaret Coats

    “America, thank God, stands strong for life.” Brian, this inspired final line gives a great uplift to “Not the Third Reich . . . Yet” AND defines the real difference between our United States and Nazi Germany even now. America affirms God-given life and resists any attempt of some among us who want to suppress life itself in the name of freedom. America is not all about freedom to choose no matter who suffers. As you well remind us, there was neither life nor choice for Jews in Nazi Germany. And I’m glad to see you notice those non-Jews who made the liberating choice of compassion, like the White Rose students. They too forfeited life and freedom.

    America’s internal enemies stupidly grasp the name “Nazi” or “fascist” to condemn conservatives who remain true to American principles. They try to make “Nazi” mean
    “right-wing.” But the Nazis were left-wing National Socialists who wanted the state to exercise tyrannical control, as did Soviet Socialists in Russia and lands under their power. The real Nazis in the United States are leftists and socialists who have too much power for the good of the nation. [As Susan points out with her quote from Vice President Wallace.] So far their major atrocity is against the unborn, but many lives have been rescued, thanks to God and to Americans standing for life.

    “Not the Third Reich . . . Yet” is very well structured and articulated. There is a stanza-by-stanza argument, punctuated by exceptionally effective words. These include the “mostly peaceful” killer bees and the repetitions of “revoked.” The rhyme words are also carefully chosen. The poem is a speech worthy to be compared to best of Independence Day poems written by America’s poets in the past. In fact, when I consider the irony involved in correcting America’s national socialists, it stands with “Old Ironsides” correcting thoughtless bureaucrats. And the greater length is entirely justified by the passionate need to lay out an important case in full. It reads so well that I suggest you try an informal reading on Labor Day or Veterans’ Day. Just take a few friends to some place that has a tall flagpole flying the stars and stripes. I bet some passersby might stop to hear. This isn’t just for poets!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Dear Margaret, thank you so much for this generous comment. I’m especially glad that you like my final “thank God” line which summed up my views in a way meaningful to me. The Third Reich was utterly Godless and depraved. Although it is said that some of the high ranking Nazi officials had revived ancient Germanic mythology as a religion, I would have to characterize the whole lot as completely amoral atheists. As a continuation of the discussion you and I had regarding Justice in my New Mexico poem, it is apparent that if there is no morality which springs from a spiritual source, a Higher Power, then absolutely anything is possible. Nazi Germany is an example of that, but so is Communist China, Stalin’s Soviet Union, the French Revolutionaries, and on and on ad infinitum.

      Thank you for mentioning the White Rose students whose story is not told often enough – examples of extraordinary courage and honesty in the face of evil. As I understand it, every one of these young people was executed by the gestapo for doing the right thing. But there are many, many other stories of courage as well ranging from Oskar Schindler to Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Raoul Wallenberg to name only a few. Evil exists but can and must be fought. Ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things.

      I also agree with you (and Josh and Susan) that if there are Nazi-leaning people in this country, the left owns them. These are the people who now tear down statues, rewrite history, ensure the cancelling of voices that they disagree with, all in the ironic name of “social justice.” Aborted babies are indeed victims of their ideology, but so are children who are being brainwashed into utter sexual identity confusion, those who are punished for exercising their religion, those who favor choice in what goes into their bodies. I’m not backpedaling here… I don’t believe these are the actions of Nazis, but they do exemplify actions and attitudes which are indeed headed down a slippery slope towards Totalitarianism. A good reason for holding up a poetic mirror and urging caution.

      Thank you very much for the exceedingly kind words about the mechanics of the poem! Old Ironsides! I just went and read Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.’s fine poem which actually made a difference. As for my “Third Reich” poem – It was not an easy one to write. That you think it is worthy of being shared with others means the world to me. I will consider how to make that happen for one of our national holidays! I wish more people actually took pride in America. When all is said and done, the promise of the USA is still there. More people need to be heard and vote accordingly to preserve it. I’m glad to see that our coins and paper money still say “In God We Trust.” Let’s keep it that way!

      Reply
  11. David Watt

    Great forceful and compelling poetry Brian! My favorite line among many is ‘Biology is more than a suggestion’. The media nowadays love to promote biology as being flexible and indeterminate.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you very much, David! And thank you for your observation. Yes, this is where a science unmoderated by mature ethics has taken us — people think that gender is negotiable, plastic surgery can fix all questions of self-esteem, that even race is subjective. (You should look up the story of Rachel Dolezal, a self-loathing white woman who decided that she was black even though she wasn’t. When her deception was discovered, she was fired from her job teaching African studies. But she got much support anyway!) It all seems to focus on narcissism, a culture which fuels peoples’ entitlement for instant gratification and an unwillingness to work on internal growth.

      Reply
  12. Anna J. Arredondo

    Well said, Brian, on both topics. Nothing like a good poetic dose of truth to give perspective, and perhaps to sway some of the misguided minds still capable of rational thought.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you very much, Anna! Not all will agree with my views but I did strive for them to be rational and defensible!

      Reply

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