Bestselling author Andy Andrews's motivational book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, at first seems like a dark historical account of the institutionalized killing by the German Nazi regime from 1933-45.
Not so much.
Delving into it, the book shows what can happen when the average citizen takes an idle view of national politics.
A Bulletin book review. (The book is on sale downtown at A to Z Books.)
If it sounds like this book feeds dark fears of where our country is headed, it’s not that at all. The book is actually uplifting. Andrews is known for easy-to-read, profound books -- The Noticer and The Traveler's Gift among them.
This time, the title (question) recurs throughout the book. His question is not about the methods of mass murder, nor about the mindset of the people who took charge. The vital question is how such a large group of intelligent people could be relocated and killed by a relatively small number of Nazi soldiers. And, how could so many German citizens, not active in the Nazi political machine, stand by and do nothing?
How could leaders convince them to allow such terrible things? The answer is simple. Lie to them.
The author points out that of the 11 million exterminated by the Nazis, 5 million were not even Jewish. They came from many walks -- Catholic priests, Jehovah's Witnesses and suspect Christian leaders, trade union members, Democrats, Freemasons, immigrants, gypsies, homosexuals and criminals. Vagrants wore black triangles. The Nazis gave each group their own identification patch, like the yellow triangles and stars Jews were forced to wear.
This little book is informative without overwhelming the reader with information. For instance, in 3-4 brief pages, it describes how Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann convinced millions of Jews to peacefully cram themselves into trains bound for death camps, and why the Jews allowed themselves to be convinced.
The intent of the book is to encourage citizens to become informed and involved in American politics; to demand honesty and integrity.
He uses statistics to show how little of the U.S. population help shape America, come election time, and the thin margins by which presidents are elected.
Probably the strongest point the author makes is that no person should believe everything someone with an agenda says. If we do, we may find ourselves standing by idly, while something we know to be wrong takes place anyway, unhindered.
Rather than pointing fingers at political parties or specific leaders, Andrews encourages the reader to take time to research and find their own answers.
He also asks questions so the reader can weigh the situation today. Here's a couple:
• "Why do the ages of our world's greatest civilizations average around 200 years?"
• "Why do these civilizations all seem to follow the same indentifiable sequence -- from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, and finally from dependence back into bondage?"
Andrew’s book is excellent. It encourages us to do something profound – actively care about the future of our country, following our desire for truth, and rejuvenate our great nation.