Every few years we Smiths travel to Austria to visit my wife’s family and take in the sights. Since my German is wretched, my wife focuses on the visiting and I focus on the sights. I mention these facts because this happens to be one of those years.
Austria is, of course, a very agreeable placed to focus on sightseeing, but it does not escape the universal law that, in every pot of ointment there must be at least one nasty fly. With apologies to the ointment, here are a couple of nasty flies that this sightseer ran across.
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The Grazer Stadtpark is a lovely oasis of greenery near the city center. Laid out on what had been the glacis at the foot of the old city wall (substantially demolished after the Napoleonic Wars), it is today a public pleasure ground richly ornamented with fountains, statuary, and magnificent old chestnut, maple, and sycamore trees. In basic conception and design, it neatly expresses the mind of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie, especially their sentimental attachments to nature, the nation, and what I can only think to call personal and social decorum.
In other words, the Grazer Stadtpark is a testament to the post-revolutionary dispensation that the Left has hated and sought to destroy since 1848.
And this is why we should not be surprised to find myrmidons of the Left doing their part to soil this tableau of bourgeois sensibility with their signature stink, squalor, and noise. And because these myrmidons have friends in high places, we should not be surprised to find officialdom winking at their soiling.
This is an old bandstand in the Stadtpark, which a hoard of anarchists first occupied and made an encampment about ten years ago. Before they arrived, it occasionally sheltered a band of musicians; now it permanently shelters a band of banditti. I have not noticed severed heads on spikes, but the anarchist banditti of the Grazer Stadtpark have made their encampment decidedly unwelcoming to anyone of bourgeois sensibility. They have daubed its walls with forbidding voodoo hex signs. They ward off evil bourgeois spirits with the powerful juju of a bongo drum. And for good measure they add their special mojo, which is an unholy incense compounded of unwashed armpit, hand-rolled cigarette, and smoldering hash pipe.
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I first visited Graz about twenty-five years ago. Walking along one backstreet, I remember my surprise at coming upon a small memorial to the young men who died fighting in the German Army during the Second World War. In those days, my thoughts about that war were not “nuanced,” so I was (albeit very mildly) shocked that there should be such a memorial. This encounter did, however, set in motion (albeit very slow motion) a chain of reflections that led me to the conclusion that this shock was misplaced. And that conclusion brought me to last year write my denunciation of the destruction of confederate war memorials (here).
Wars are complicated and there are always, in any case, plenty of honorable men fighting on the (relatively) wrong side. This is why all sides should be allowed to raise and preserve their memorials, and why it is despicable to spit on the grave of a soldier simply because of the uniform that he wore.
And this is why we should not be surprised to find myrmidons of the Left happily hawking gobs of sputum onto soldiers’ graves simply because of the uniform that they wore. And, once again, because these myrmidons have friends in high places, we should not be surprised to find official connivance in this spitting.
And so it was with shock rising to anger that I yesterday noticed that the small memorial to the young men who died fighting in the German Army in the Second World War had been removed, and had been replaced with this memorial to “the freedom fighters against National Socialism and its victims.” (I take this to mean the communist underground (which was pretty far underground in these parts) and, of course, Jews.)
I have no objection to men raising a memorial to “die Freiheitskampfer gegen den Nationalsozialismus und an sein Opfer, but when they raise this memorial on the rubble of a memorial to young men who died doing what they no doubt saw as their duty, and whose deaths were no doubt grieved by any number of friends and relations, I have a very strong objection indeed. In fact, I say what they have done is despicable.
Massacre of prisoners and mutilation of the enemy dead are the mark of savages, and so is destruction of memorials raised to the dead. I can all too easily picture the smug creeps who carried out this act of vindictive vandalism. One doesn’t need an ounce of sympathy for the National Socialists to say that these smug creeps are a pack of despicable savages.