Eliminate Hate -- Get Rid of War


A powerful thought from a Holocaust survivor

Image from Pixabay

Early November is a period of Remembrance in Canada. The annual poppy campaign by The Royal Canadian Legion kicks off on the last Friday in October. They distribute the blood red poppy to people across the country.

The goal is to have every Canadian wearing the poppy to honour and remember the fallen. Donations received go to programs for veterans.

I sat down this morning to write and was soon distracted

I noticed a video from a Remembrance service taking place Monday in Edmonton. I was curious why the service would be a week ahead of the official services on November 11th. Those services at 11am mark the exact time the guns fell silent on WW1 in 1918.

I watched the ten-minute video of Dr. Eva Olsson addressing the crowd. She’s a holocaust survivor now in her nineties.

She spoke of her experiences enslaved by the Germans. She was in Bergen Belson camp by the end of the war. She recounted how Allied troops arrived to liberate the camp one morning. The same day the Germans were preparing to execute the prisoners that afternoon.

Hate causes war she says

She assserted that hate causes war. She acknowledged greed also causes war and went on to say if hate was eliminated, war would end.

My mind mulled this over.

Somehow it seemed naive to zero in on hate and not also focus on greed. So many conflicts take place over greed, how could that not be a huge factor?

I pondered on the idea for a time.

I thought about the history of various conflicts. I especially thought about Hitler and WW2. Hitler’s ultimate goal was world domination.

How was that not greed?

It was greed. To fulfill the greed Hitler and his followers needed a rallying cry. They needed to get the people supporting the cause.

Germany was a defeated and demoralized nation. They had fought and lost WW1. Still reeling from defeat the great depression devastated their economy. They were a nation in need of revival.

What better way to rally those feeling oppressed than to identify their ‘oppressors’? The Jews became the needed strawman. They were a people often oppressed in their history who had learned to adapt, survive and thrive.

Stereotypes of Jewish control over the economy were strong. Hitler enacted discriminatory policies against the Jews to feed the prejudice already present. His policies gave permission for those prejudices to gain strength and validity.

Hitler provided the people with a target and in doing so gained their loyalty and support. But, knocking Jews down wasn’t going to lift the country out of the economic struggles. Hitler cast his eyes toward other lands. Lands with people and resources he wanted to exploit.

From hatred of Jews to nationalistic stirrings

The Jews as a whipping post were not going to motivate the people to get behind the invasion of other lands. He needed another motivator. Creating a strong image of the Germanic peoples as an Aryan super race. Now, that was something for the German people to get behind.

His policies led to nationalistic stirrings. It was the rallying cry needed to build a stronger loyal following. The people looked to him to lead them to the promised land.

When he invaded foreign lands they followed. They followed with the belief of the people entitled to what those lands held.

Hatred of the Jews strengthened Hitler’s position. They set the stage to build the Nationalistic mantra and establish Germanic entitlement.

I’d never considered those aspects. They were the basic elements enabling the triggering of WW2. Without the hatred to stir up, the war would not have been able to start.

There was something to Dr. Olssen’s premise — eliminate hate, eliminate war.

And Why Was The Remembrance Service Happening A Week Early?

Looking into that I discovered an organization called No Stone Left Alone. The organization is based in Edmonton.

Its roots back back to 1971. Twelve-year-old Maureen Bianchini was saying her farewells to her mother, a veteran. Her mother asked her to try to remember her on Armistice Day (Remembrance Day).

Every year after her mother’s passing she would visit her grave and place a poppy on it. She continued this even after she had her own family. Her children asked why the other veteran’s graves didn’t receive a poppy. She replied with possible reasons.

Her grown up girls insisted the veteran’s graves all should receive poppies and she took action. The initial goal was laying poppies on local veteran's graves. It has since grown.

The goal is to educate and engage children across the country to lay poppies on veterans graves. Special ceremonies build awareness and help educate. The goal is to encourage young people to remember the service and sacrifice. To lay poppies on the graves of the fallen.

Dr. Eva Olsson’s Talk

Take ten minutes to hear Dr. Olsson’s words. A powerful reminder of the freedoms and democracy we have to protect:

Holocaust Survivor Recalls Harrowing Experience During WW2

Eliminating hate starts with each of us.

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One thing to remember about the Holocaust is that much of Europe already had longstanding fears, prejudices and hatred against Jews; Hitler merely played upon these existing fears in order to drum up support for stripping the Jews of their lands, businesses and other belongings, and ultimately their lives, "for the good of the Fatherland."

In "Mein Kampf," he was completely transparent about his intentions, stating categorically that he wanted to eliminate Jews from the face of the planet, and further, that all good Germans should seek "living space" at the expense of the Slavs in the east, with Poland taking the brunt of that fury.

People remember that six million Jews were killed. Few remember, or ever knew, that six million Poles were killed; roughly half of whom were Jewish.

Germany and Russia were at war, but the one thing they agreed on was that they both wanted Poland, and they conspired during the war to eliminate the Poles along with the Jews.

My husband's paternal grandmother was damned near killed for the "crime" of walking home from work; she was Catholic, and along with several other young women, she was thrown into Pawiak prison in Warsaw, from which few such women ever returned alive.

Thankfully, her stepfather was German, and vouched personally for her character, whereupon she was allowed to return home to her son, Marek's father, then about two years of age.

I think arguing hatred versus greed as the causal factor of war is irrelevant, as I don't believe that you can reasonably separate the two, as history bears out.

Invariably, the talking heads tell their populace what they (we) should fear, that ____ (name your adversary of choice) is at fault, that they are taking ( or keeping) what is "rightfully ours," and that we have "no choice" but to go to war to protect what is "ours."

We can hear it right now, on an almost daily basis, coming from the Trump White House . . . it just depends upon which day it is, which so-called "adversary" he's screaming about in the moment.

The best solution I've ever heard came from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.
Hatred cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."

Mother Theresa said it somewhat differently:

"If you hold an anti-war rally, I shall not attend.
But if you hold a pro-peace rally, invite me."

From my own standpoint, this comes back to the spiritual idea that you cannot promote a negative effectively, or in other words, that what you choose to pay attention to, grows.

So while "eliminating hate" may sound logical on the surface, it is essentially doomed to failure, because the focus is still on hate.

Whereas "promoting and fostering love" is a better use of energy, as love makes hate itself irrelevant, and by focusing on love, although it would certainly take time for hate to lose substantial ground, it is a far better use of energy, and more likely to succeed in the end.

Typically, those who hate are wanting, in a real and definable sense, because they sense something lacking in themselves, and are seeking to fill a void.

If we each seek to love others, to the best of our ability, and to forgive ourselves and others, regardless of actions, that will go a long way toward ending war and making our world a happier and more fulfilling place for all.

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It can be equally argued that focusing on promoting love is irrelevant if you don't identify what holds it back.. which is hate.

Greed wasn't separated from hate... it was recognized that in order to accomplish the greed, the perpetrator needed to enable hate. Without the hate to cover it's presence.. greed is exposed for what it is.


Undeniably true, alyhough it can also be argued that the real opposite of love is not hate, but fear.

But both greed and hate, as well as fear, dissolve in the presence of real love, given without expectation, especially in a society whose leaders actually focus on what the people really need, rather than on cynically raping the system for their own enrichment.

Those who have their basic needs met are rarely so fearful that they readily give into hate, and are therefore also less likely to be caught up in greed.

I acknowledge that it is a process, and not an overnight panacea, but having grown up in the 70s, when the majority of people were far less focused on self than today, I can only believe that it remains possible.

It is up to each of us to create peace and love, to the extent we are able, within our own sphere of influence.


Well I suspect that Dr Olsson tends to lean more toward addressing what actually is in play not what might be in play if the universe would just line up right. That would arise from her very real experiences and how the root causes continue to play such a huge role in public discourse today.


I have nothing but love and respect for Dr. Olsson, and immense compassion for what she went through.

I merely stated my difference in philosophical and spiritual opinion that focusing on hate, thus giving it greater energy and power, could possibly be the most effective way of eliminating it in society.

I lean more toward the philosophy and practice of Dr. Viktor Frankl, who chose love and compassion toward his torturers and captors at Auschwitz Birkenau, even while they were forcibly castrating him without anesthetic: he understood that they felt that they had no choice but to follow orders, and were thus every bit as captive, mentally and spiritually, as he was physically.

He chose to love and forgive them, even as they were carrying out the most heinous of actions, because they could not take his spiritual freedom, and in that way, he was less of a prisoner than they.

THAT to me is far more inspiring, and healing and redemptive, than any focus on hate will ever be.

I never suggested that love is the easier course of action. It is not.

Just ask the Dalai Lama. Or Ghandi. Or Mother Theresa. Or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or John F. Kennedy.

Choosing love is advanced citizenship, and statesmanship.

Choosing to focus on hate is far more common, with predictable outcomes.

You are free to agree to disagree.

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Thank you... relieved to know I’m free to agree or disagree. I usually take that as a given in any exchange of ideas and concepts.

Posted using Partiko iOS


Obviously, but what I said was agree TO disagree, which is not the same thing.

I meant only that I respect your opinion, and understand your stance, but I do not agree.

And at this point I doubt that we are likely to change one another's opinions.

Agreeing to disagree is time honored among my family and friends.


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I spent the first 11 years of my life a military brat, then my dad retired and joined the RCMP. I now live next to a city that used to be a military based turned retirement city for ex military... the 11 days leading up to remembrance day is always a reflective time around.
That was a good read.

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PIMPIN! #spreadlovenotwar - love the message. Sad to hear about this lady's story. As for the poppies, is that what prompted the whole poppies and Canada thing?

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Beautiful photography

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