Back a couple of weeks we had a nice little blog spat with Sunny and the like.
Essentially, you\’re not allowed to praise any of Enoch Powell\’s ideas because he was a racist. Yes, his racism means that his views on, for example, monetarism or the universality of human rights cannot be either invoked or referred to.
So, let us all condemn organic farming then:
Now it emerges that at least some of Seifert’s useful tips in his bestselling book Gärtnern, Ackern-ohne Gift, (Gardening, Working the Soil without Poison) may have been gleaned from his observation of the experimental gardens set up on the grounds around Dachau concentration camp.
Tended by half-starved slave labourers, at least 400 of whom were killed, drowned in the carp pond or trampled into the mud of the latrine trenches, the Dachau gardens were established at the behest of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s security chief, and stretched to 211 blossoming hectares.
Seifert’s book goes into great detail about composting, and how it helps in poorly productive orchards. He writes with the authority of someone who has studied a large-scale project.
Unsurprisingly Seifert does not mention Dachau in the book, but he does give an appreciative nod to his old protector in the Nazi machine, Fritz Todt, the armaments minister and lord over millions of forced labourers.
Seifert joined the Nazi party in 1937. He became a professor at Munich technical university, head of the nature preservation league (a forerunner organisation to the Greens) and before his death in 1972, influenced a whole generation of organic garden planners throughout Germany and Europe.
The passion for organic gardening gripped Germany and has never let go. Whether it will survive the horrific images that emerge from Ms Seidl’s research, the imprisoned priests who were strapped to ploughs, the inmates killed for taking a bite of raw rhubarb, the overseer who received a cash bonus for shooting his 100th Jew among the gladioli, is another matter.
If simple racism so damns a man\’s views as to make all of them beyond the pale of civilised discourse then of course actual partaking in the Holocaust must make all of a man\’s views completely vile.
Or we could of course condemn racism, condemn the Holocaust and any man\’s part in either and then evaluate other views on their own merits.
Like, for example, monetarism and the universality of human rights are just fine and organic gardening is still the nonsense it always was.