History teaches us lessons about demonizing and restricting legitimate journalists (letter) | VailDaily.com

History teaches us lessons about demonizing and restricting legitimate journalists (letter)

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana

"We must free the German Nation of Poles, Russians, Jews and Gypsies." — Otto Thierack, Master of Justice of Third Reich, Auschwitz

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me." — Martin Niemoller

A few plaques viewed in war museums, readings on war and PBS war films. Finishing a learning tour through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, one sees photos, prison cells and worse of Hitler's Nazi and Soviet Unions' atrocities against those who dared to expose their savage actions used against resistors or people they felt were useless.

First, it was just words, then it was heinous actions. They used strong, hateful language instead of diplomacy and reason to exhibit strength, like the schoolyard bully. In their quest for power, ruthless leaders create enemies, normally the poor, immigrants, ethnically different, educators and journalists. They need to demonize the free press and promote press outlets that praise them.

History shows many ruthless leaders were elected and then started to restrict voting. In war museums, one observes labels ruthless leaders use against critics. Labels like criminals, prostitutes and "enemies of the people," along with photos of elderly women, journalists, religious leaders, educators and other resistors.

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This week, another journalist was murdered for exposing European Union funds theft by Bulgarian wealthy leaders. Last year's Bulgarian visit, our tour guide explained that like other communist countries, old communists became the new capitalists. They had the power and money then and now to control the narrative, after demonized and restricting legitimate journalists.

Cheryl Moskal

Lakewood and Vail