The day I understood the 'good German'

Filipe Rafaeli, pour FranceSoir
Publié le 24 février 2022 - 17:58
Underprivileged children sit on the sidewalk in the Warsaw ghetto
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Underprivileged children sit on the sidewalk in the Warsaw ghetto
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

COLUMN - The greatest mystery of World War II has been solved. The enigma lasted more than eight decades.

Underprivileged children sit on the sidewalk in the Warsaw ghetto. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The most important event in recent human history, which shaped the world as it is today, was the Second World War. It is a topic covered, to this day, in a huge number of books, documentaries, plays and movies. Each writer, director and screenwriter tells a piece of the story. Each one with their own viewpoint and approach.

I personally have already contributed to this culture when I wrote and directed a short film based on that time. I told the story of a child in love with airplanes who meets an aviator. In the movie, I explained a little about the mood in Brazil about to enter the war. Finally, I paid homage to the Brazilian pilots who went to fight, in 1944, against the fascists in Europe.

I understand that a lot of people produce on the subject - and a lot of people are interested in reading or watching - because everyone is trying to find out how the world got into that boiling point that caused, according to the best calculations, more than 70 million deaths. Moreover, studying history has a noble goal: to understand the mistakes of the past so that they will not be repeated in the future. "Historians are the professional remembrancers of what their fellow-citizens wish to forget," said the intellectual Eric Hobsbawm.

The works that tell the stories of the people who fought in the war, the focus of most books and movies, are exciting. However, for me, the most fascinating thing has always been the search to understand how the thinking and motivations of each of the people involved in the conflict were.

With so many books and movies, it was possible to understand what people at all levels and from all the countries involved thought and acted, from important leaders such as Winston Churchill, one of the main ones in the conflict, to feeling the anguish of a Soviet child running away from death, as portrayed in the tense film "Come and See", an essential masterpiece by Elem Klimov.

However, even after studying and watching everything possible, for me, one single character always remained a great mystery: it is the "good German". This person was the normal citizen of Germany, not radical, but who did not react when the Holocaust occurred. He was part of a society that accepted the elimination of 6 million Jews with a terrifying normality.

It wasn't five or ten thousand people. It was six million. From within Germany, the Jewish population was relevant: 566,000 citizens. Therefore, practically every German had contact with some Jewish family. They were a society that lived in reasonable harmony. Ordinary Germans went to Jewish businesses. Germans had Jewish employees. Their children attended the same schools. They all went to the same clubs, the same restaurants, and played sports together. Friendships were common and natural.

Less than ten years later, how do you, an ordinary citizen, accept that a family of neighbors is removed on trains to concentration camps? How do you accept that your Jewish friend's neighborhood business is closed, with the owners removed from society, without any protest?

Hate speech, the book "Mein Kampf", defamation, repression, dictatorship, censorship, and Goebbels' massive propaganda, no matter how devilishly brilliant they may have been, in my view, were never enough to explain the contempt of almost a whole society for the lives of other human beings.

For something of these proportions to occur, it is not enough for there to merely be a dictatorship. It needs a totalitarian state where the population is in harmony with the dictatorial government. It needs a people that collaborates by denouncing, helping, and not caring about the evil in front of them. For this, the population needs to understand the opposite: that evil is good.

Now, by studying the history of previous pandemics, I have discovered some clues to try to solve the mystery. It became a little clearer when I read a scientific paper that analyzes the typhus pandemic within the Warsaw Ghetto. I had never read anything about the conflict from this point of view.

Published in 2020, already during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study sets out to explain how the disease, which killed between 10 and 40 percent of those infected, was controlled in the ghetto. The neighborhood, surrounded by walls, housed 400,000 people in a small, densely populated space in 1940.

The article "Extraordinary curtailment of massive typhus epidemic in the Warsaw Ghetto", published in the journal Science Advances, was done by Australian researchers from RMIT University Melbourne.

The study is interesting and focuses exclusively on internal actions, from social distancing to combs used to fight lice. It does not set out to analyze the ordinary citizen of Germany in historical context. However, the Australian scientists, in the introduction, bring in underreported information from the external perspective, from outside the ghetto, during the era.

According to the Nazis, the Warsaw Ghetto was a Seuchensperrgebiet (lockdown) to contain the typhus epidemic

Seuchensperrgebiet or area closed due to disease. (wikimedia photo)

Due to losses of soldiers to typhus in World War I, Germany in the 1930s and 1940s had great concern for public health. They cultivated an obsession with infectious diseases. "There was a fanatical fear of typhus spreading to the German people and its army" the Australian scientists explained.

Simultaneously, scientists reached the scientific consensus that Jews were the carriers of the disease. Therefore, to protect the population from the pandemic, a wall was built as a public health effort to contain the typhus spreaders. It was 10 feet high and 18 kilometers long. It was the "epidemic wall". In this way, the Jews of Warsaw, about one third of the entire population of the city, were confined in the neighborhood. The total number of Jews in all of Poland was 3.4 million.

When typhus cases increased in the ghetto, as was to be expected due to the crowding of people in a small space, physician Jost Walbaum, the highest health authority, reinforced the already established scientific consensus: "The Jews are overwhelmingly the carriers and disseminators of typhus infection."

Soon he resolved to spare no effort to control the pandemic. "We have one and only one responsibility, that the German people are not infected and endangered by these parasites. For that, any means must be right," Dr Jost added, being applauded by about 100 people, mostly doctors.

In the following, Hans Frank, one of the highest authorities of the General Government, following science, stated that the murder of 3 million Jews in Poland "“was unavoidable for reasons of public health."

That is, this approach tells us that when there is censorship, propaganda, and public health authorities taking action based on scientific consensus, the population, in fear of a disease, even approves of a Holocaust.

But when I first read this article in 2020, when it was published, the mystery about "good German" remained. After all, it started from a wrong assumption: that the traditionally well-educated German people were stupid enough to believe the gross lie that Jews were guilty of the typhus pandemic.

So it became one more hypothesis among several. I concluded that it was a mystery without solution, and that only by living in that society, at that time, something impossible to happen, I would be able to understand how they passively accepted everything.

The consensus of each era

Vaccines against COVID-19 to date do not reduce transmission. They do not sterilize the virus. That is already defined by science in several studies. It does not reduce waves in countries. It does not reduce contamination inside the home. Maybe it is even making contamination worse. And maybe it increases the possibility of catching the new variant, the omicron. Recently, for example, Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries, the only one on the planet with the fourth dose, broke the world record of cases per million and saw the number of deaths go way up.

In other words, science has already defined that these vaccines are not a societal pact. You take it for yourself, thinking about your disease, in case you get infected, and not to help society fight the pandemic. Vaccines don't stop infection and they don't stop transmission.

However, on television, the message is different: "The vaccine protects both you and the people around you," said epidemiologist Pedro Hallal on TV Globo, Brazil's largest network, in a recent report. He was just repeating a pseudoscientific consensus created by authorities and massively repeated like Goebbels' propaganda. 

By saying that vaccines protect people "around you," a statement as untrue as the claim that Jews were the spreaders of typhus, you point out who is to blame for COVID-19: those who decided not to get the vaccine.

At the same time, making the decision to accept vaccines to escape pressure, such as not losing your job or being able to go to a hospital, is not a simple thing. In the Pfizer study of six-month results, published in NEJM, more people died from all causes in the vaccine group than in the placebo group. There were 15 versus 14. Then, when they updated that number at the FDA, the scenario got even worse for the vaccinated: 21 to 17. By the way, the frightening numbers from VAERS, the side effect reporting system, seem to confirm in real life the risk detected in the "gold standard" study. And nobody knows exactly how much under-reporting there is in VAERS, it is just known that there is.

Besides these discouraging numbers, soon after the beginning of the sales and application in the population, a report in the BMJ, one of the most respected scientific journals in the world, pointed out that there was fraud in the study. In the sequence, the report suffered censorship, like those that occurred during the Nazi era. And then we learned that Pfizer, together with the FDA, asked for 55 years to release the safety data, raising more distrust about the reliability of the product.

And no one at the FDA wants to debate the safety data at all. Anyone who says anything outside the consensus of the bureaucrats is accused, fired, persecuted, offended, and censored. In the Moderna study, the bizarre things are similar. And strange things happen with contractual agreements, as in the case of Astra Zeneca with Brazil, where they want to build a vault to hide the secret agreement, claiming institutional security.

This is because we already knew that 50% of the FDA is funded by the pharmaceutical industries. We also knew that Pfizer paid the largest fine in history for "fraudulent marketing" and we already knew that the FDA, which approved the vaccine, cannot be trusted because, among other things, it has hidden fraud in scientific studies. Furthermore, the FDA has the power to control the press. In other words, the companies rule the press. And the WHO? The same thing, after all, 50% of its income comes from industry.

So, vaccines do not interrupt the cycle and it is at least understandable, given all these facts and data, that someone refuses to go to a healthcare facility and take a simple needle prick, even if it is offered for free.

It becomes even more understandable if someone chooses another option in case of being infected by the virus. Especially if you are someone who is aware of the results of treatment with safe, inexpensive, generic, and off-patent drugs, such as the numbers presented by Dr George Fareed and Dr Brian Tyson, with 3,962 COVID patients treated early with zero deaths.

Or if the person is aware of places that use treatments in their official protocols, such as Uttar Pradesh in India or Chiapas in Mexico, two examples among several that dominated the COVID-19 pandemic.

And I finally understood "good German"

With the pseudoscientific consensus that vaccines protect people "around you" massively disseminated, by reading a news story, I finally understood the "good German". 

I needed something that experienced the mood of that time to understand it.

"Hospitals in multiple countries reportedly declined to treat a 3-year-old boy with a serious heart condition because his parents weren't vaccinated against COVID-19", says the story published in NewsWeek

He is a boy from Cyprus. He tried to go to Germany to have surgery. "At the last minute, the Frankfurt hospital told authorities in Cyprus that the surgery wasn't going to happen. The hospital reportedly cited the parents' lack of a COVID-19 vaccine as the reason", the news reports.

"Cypriot authorities reportedly suggested a different guardian journey with the boy to Germany but were unsuccessful in persuading the hospital", informs the report.

With Germany's refusal, they tried in the United Kingdom, the country that was a base of the fight against fascism. It was also denied. Later they tried Israel, the country made up of the people who suffered the Holocaust, but was also refused. 

The child was not infected. The parents were not infected. And even with vaccines that do not reduce transmission, they decided that the parents are to blame for the pandemic and sent a message: that their child deserves to die because of it.

What is the difference between the health professionals in those hospitals and the doctors who applauded Dr Jost Walbaum? What is the difference between them and those who saw the trains full of children going to Auschwitz and didn't care? None. They made me understand the "good German". A contempt for the lives of others.

"Recipients are heavily scrutinized to qualify for hard-to-come-by hearts or any other organs for transplant. They have to go to the patient most likely to survive," commented an anonymous "good German" in the news, behaving like the people who were afraid of the starving children in the Warsaw ghetto.

A child begging on the sidewalk of the ghetto in the summer of 1941. Photo by Georg, Willy ( Imperial War Museums)

"Ignore the rules, engage in high risk behavior and get tossed off the list for transplants.  Same rules that have always been in place," commented a North American who appreciates rules being obeyed.

In other news, a US hospital denied a heart transplant to an unvaccinated patient, condemning him to death. "DJ Ferguson, 31, urgently needs a new heart, but Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has taken him off the transplant list," said his father, David.

Ferguson is not a person infected with the virus, but just a person who has not taken a vaccine that does not prevent him from being infected or transmitting the virus. "I am in favor without question, are you going to put the guy in the hospital, save a life being able to contaminate several members of the medical and nursing staff?" questioned Thiago, a Facebook user. "Radicalism is you denying science," commented Cleber, from Rio de Janeiro, in the post.

In other words, the "good German" was a guy who believed he was "following science". I have not found any record of Germans who opposed this fear created against Jews. But I believe that probably when someone did object, he was accused of being a "science denier".

It doesn't matter that today we have 10 billion doses administered, and every reasonably well-informed person knows or has heard of someone who, even if vaccinated, contracted COVID. People believe the authorities who call themselves spokesmen of science, not the science itself.

By fear, the main ethical agreement in history was revoked

Defendants during a session of the doctors' trial at Nuremberg. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Shortly after World War II there was a series of 12 trials in Nuremberg. It was aimed at convicting captured Nazi war criminals. The first one, the most important, took place between December 9, 1946 and August 20, 1947. It was against the lying doctors and scientists.

The charges against them were conspiracy to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conducting medical experiments without the consent of the participants, such as those in the concentration camps and occupied zones. Of the 23 defendants, seven were acquitted and seven received death sentences. The remainder received prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. 

Out of this trial came the most important ethical agreement in history: the Nuremberg Code. It was intended to prevent the Nazi absurdities from ever being repeated. The first item of the code, the most essential of all, defines: "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."

It has been explained in detail, so that there is no doubt: "This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion."

Today, Covid vaccines are still experimental. After all, the truth is extremely simple and there is no open question: it is impossible to know the long-term effect. It has been in massive use for just over a year. The amount of doses, for example, has not yet been defined. The long-term effects of vaccines are uncertain. They may, and hopefully will, do no harm. But only a time traveler can claim that the vaccines are safe.

The study records themselves on the official websites document everything, so that there is no doubt: Pfizer's study ends on May 2, 2023. Moderna's ends on October 27, 2022, Janssen's on January 2, 2023, and Astrazeneca's on February 14, 2023.

At the same time, rulers in various places, hearing the grotesque lie that vaccines protect people "around", have decided to implement the useless health passports, coercing and forcing people to participate in medical experiments. In other words, out of fear of disease, they revoked the main human rights agreement in human history. No surprise to a world that considers as normal three countries to refuse a cardiac surgery for a child.

Austria, the first country to easily join the Third Reich, hires agents to persecute those who do not want to participate in the medical experiment. Austrians who are not vaccinated face fines of up to 3600 euros for non-compliance, and can go to prison if they refuse to pay, reports the Swiss website Blick. In addition, Austrian health authorities have even put all unvaccinated people under house arrest.

Australia, on the other hand, went further. Afraid of the unvaccinated, they created their own version of the Warsaw Ghetto. It is located in the northern territories. It is highly guarded and police hunt down escapees. "Australian police have arrested three people who broke out of a Covid quarantine compound in the middle of the night," reports BBC news. 

They did not have the virus. "Officers found them after a manhunt on Wednesday. All had tested negative to Covid the day before," the news release said.

And the Australian idea of reviving the Warsaw Ghetto has inspired doctors elsewhere to say phrases worthy of Dr Jost Walbaum. "If I had the opportunity and the authority I would do my best to create concentration camps for the unvaccinated," said the medical director of the Villa Sofia - Cervello hospitals in Palermo, a city that in the past showed appreciation for Mussolini.

Australian ghetto. Photo: Google Maps.

Moreover, today it is possible to understand how authoritarianism is implanted with the support of a frightened population and a press that refuses to do its job. In a program on television in Brazil, a reporter afraid of the unvaccinated asked about the implications for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. A public official explained that parents can face fines and even have their children taken by the state. 

In the aftermath the reporter questioned whether ordinary people should report the parents to the authorities. "You should report them," replied the law judge. "As was done with Germans who hid Jews in the basement," journalist Paula Schimitt commented. 

In Canada, the country that has already asked its citizens to report people who criticize government health decisions, Judge Cathaline Heinrichs has banned a father from sharing social media posts related to COVID-19 with his son. And it went further: she prohibited the father from discussing the COVID-19 vaccination with his 11-year-old son or providing the child with "other information about the vaccine or the disease" such as the Pfizer study fraud news published in the BMJ.

"Fear corrupts the greatest certainties," said to me by a physician friend, professor of medicine, who has treated 750 COVID patients with only one death, just the one person who did not do all the treatment. He asked for anonymity so as not to suffer persecution, offenses or defamation.

"History repeats itself, first time as tragedy, the second as farce," Karl Marx once said.


In 1941, during the Nazi occupation of France, the underground newspaper Défense de la France - France Soir was born. It was the newspaper of the French resistance. They denounced the fascist occupation government, human rights violations, and the false science of the Nazis. They were accused of producing disinformation. Subverting the censorship, in a heroic way, in 1944, they distributed up to 450 thousand copies daily. Besides news, they produced, in their printing plants, passports for persecuted Jews.

With ups and downs, France Soir survives to this day. Now, during the pandemic, they have been denouncing false science, human rights violations, fascist rules, and had their interviews with Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, censored on youtube. The newspaper has been accused again of publishing disinformation and they are fighting against totalitarian passports. It is the only newspaper with history that preserves the courage to do all this. "We have the same spirit of resistance," told me Xavier Azalbert, the newspaper's director of publications. It's the coolest place in the world where they invite me to get up on a stool and curse Nazis. It's the tradition of the newspaper.


I have my ears ready to hear offenses for writing this article. I will accept them all, as long as the person who wishes to offend me first says that he agrees with the child in Cyprus not having his cardiac emergency attended to.


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