Reflections on Canada’s failure as a free and democratic society – Monika Schaefer’s open letter responding to the witch hunters at the Alberta Society of Fiddlers
BY MONIKA SCHAEFER?
SEPTEMBER 24 ,2016
August 30, 2016
As President of the Alberta Society of Fiddlers, and on behalf of the Board of Directors and Executive, I am writing to advise you of decisions made at a special ASF meeting called on August 17th, 2016.
As a result of your recent public comments regarding your views on the Holocaust, we are relieving you of your duties as Director for the Yellowhead West Region of the ASF, and also rescinding your invitation to be an instructor at our upcoming music camp at Camp HeHoHa in February of 2017.
Thank you for your past contributions to our society.
We wish you all the best in your future endeavours,
Randy Jones, President
Alberta Society of Fiddlers
Open letter to the Alberta Society of Fiddlers:
September 23, 2016
Thank you for the registered letter in which you informed me of the outcome of your meeting. I am being relieved of my duties as ASF Director of the Yellowhead West Region, and you are rescinding the invitation for me to be an instructor at Camp HeHoHa in February 2017. Here are my questions and comments.
At the time of the meeting, I was on the board of directors of the Alberta Society of Fiddlers. Therefore, I would expect that I should be informed of a meeting, especially if I was the subject of the meeting. Was there any attempt to contact me? It seems there was not, and if not, why not? Was there a prior meeting to discuss whether I should be invited? Is there a record of the discussion leading up to the special meeting? Who made the decision to have a special meeting? Is there a record of the special meeting? Was there a vote? Were minutes taken? I would like to see those minutes please. I would like to know if my membership will be next to be terminated. What indication do I have that I would be welcome to attend an ASF event in future?
My classes at Camp HeHoHa the last two years were well received, and the feedback, by all accounts, was very good. You are telling me now that because of my interpretation of the events of WW2, I am no longer welcome to teach at fiddle camp. Surely this is setting a precedent that a person’s opinions about history trumps their ability to play or teach the fiddle.
Last February I had the same views on the history of WW2 as I have now. I have been studying these matters for a few years now. Did anyone complain? Of course not! I did not talk much about history or politics during the camp, and definitely not in class. Whenever I have attended fiddle camp as a student or as an instructor, it was to immerse myself in the joy of playing music together with others in this wonderful musical family which has now been broken. And even if I had discussed history or politics in private conversations, what would be the problem?
We find ourselves in a world where certain conversations can only be whispered behind closed doors, and other conversations are permitted in public. Who would have imagined this could happen in our own province of Alberta in Canada? Who would have thought George Orwell’s world of thought control would prove to be so prophetic? It is shameful that the Alberta Society of Fiddlers is participating in this thought control.
I wonder what this saga teaches young people. If I was to return to the camp as a student like in years past, have you not set me up to be treated as a leper? Surely when asked why I am no longer teaching, I would tell the truth. It was not my teaching that received a failing grade, but my opinions and conclusions about an event which took place 70 years ago. I think the ASF action teaches young people to be conformist, and if they were to disagree with a prevailing view, they sure had better keep it to themselves and lie publicly about their beliefs.
This is becoming an international story. Here is a quote from a recent article by Editor-in-Chief of The American Herald Tribune, Professor Anthony Hall:
“The new configurations of authority are extending to important agencies like the Royal Canadian Legion, Jasper National Park [Parks Canada], and the Alberta Society of Fiddlers. Those overseeing these important institutions are made to feel empowered to impose arbitrary sanctions and punishments against an individual who dared to question enshrined orthodoxy.
The message is made clear that the vibrance of art and culture, the wellbeing of veterans as well as the need to protect some of Alberta’s most majestic Alpine environments have become secondary commitments. The treatment in Jasper National Park of violinist Monika Schaefer signals the end of our free and democratic society. Our right and need to express independent thought, the starting point of collective self-determination, has been sacrificed in order to enforce supine obedience to the sanctification of an historical interpretation that must not be subjected to sceptical scrutiny and reconsideration.”
I am in good company with regards to my understanding of the history of WW2. Gerard Menuhin, son of famous (Jewish) violinist Yehudi Menuhin, has written a book called “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil”. Here is a book review and synopsis.
From the volume of messages of support that I have been receiving, it is becoming quite clear to me that there are people in every village, town and hamlet who agree with my conclusions on the “holocaust”. These messages have come to me from all over Canada and the world, and from many places in Alberta. But the vast majority of those people do not speak publicly about it, because there is a high price to pay. They are afraid of losing their jobs, their friends, and their community standing. An example is made of anyone who dares speak out, to frighten others who might be tempted to question the prevailing dogma. I invite you to read about “ritual defamation”, something that I am becoming an expert on. Evidence and facts have no bearing in this process.
Of the people who have viewed my “Sorry Mom, I was wrong about the holocaust”, those who have voted their approval or disapproval online have consistently done so in a ratio of approximately 3:1 likes over dislikes. Although not the final word, this ratio suggests that many see this video as a positive contribution, well within community standards.
Given that there are people all over Alberta who share my views, are you not now obliged to screen all potential instructors for their political views and their historical understanding? You have set the precedent by your actions against me. In the past, the sniff test might have been whether you believed the earth was flat. People used to be persecuted for saying the earth revolved around the sun.
Free thinkers are often found within the artistic community. I remember long ago hearing about political prisoners in countries far away, such as poets in the Soviet Union who were jailed because of their writings. A tyrannical state is threatened by free thinkers, so the tyrannical state often persecutes its artists. But it is strange when the artist community persecutes their own. That is the context in which I find the actions of the Alberta Society of Fiddlers to be so shocking.
The old adage “the victors write the history books” is not just about choosing the font. We have all been subjected to a life-time of indoctrination. If you have not done independent study of “The Holocaust” outside of the parameters of our schooling and Hollywood, then it is completely understandable that you disagree with my views. However, it is another matter altogether when you demonstrate such a Pavlovian response to my short video in which I apologize to my mother for having held her to account for the horrors of WW2 after having learned that the prevailing dogma is not correct.
I will give just one example to show that you cannot be 100% right and me 100% wrong. I remember learning in school either late 1960s or early ‘70s that the Germans were so evil and depraved that they made soap, lampshades and shrunken heads out of the bodies of Jews. Now they do not teach that propaganda anymore, because that has been proven to be lies. That puts a crack in the untouchable edifice of this narrative.
Aware people are everywhere. I know that. I am hearing from them. Does this mean you will all start looking over your shoulder wondering who else shares my views? Or might it give you cause to reconsider your certainty over this issue? And even if you are absolutely certain that I am 100% wrong, consider the fact that there is no other event in history for which debate is not permitted, quite literally against the law in many countries. There is something wrong with that picture. Only lies need to be protected by laws. The truth stands on its own.
This event called “Holocaust” has replaced our religions. Apparently I am a heretic, and the Alberta Society of Fiddlers is metaphorically burning me at the stake. I think in light of future history, this decision you have made will prove to be one of the more consequential in ASF history.
Will you have the courage to print this letter in your next newsletter? If not, why not? You might say it has no relevance to the fiddling world and the usual contents of that newsletter. Precisely! My views on the “holocaust” also have nothing to do with my participation in the fiddling world of the ASF. But by your actions, you have made the subject of WW2 part of the fiddling world in Alberta.