I filled out my census form and, you can ask my kids, I stomped my feet and grumbled loudly. I even considered including a paragraph explaining my outrage, but Cal said, “they’ll never read it.” He was right so I didn’t bother to write anything. As I walked out to the mailbox, I realized that in my previous post I never explained the root of my anger at this governmental intrusion. After all, I’m no rabid anti-government anarchist or John Birch Society member.
The root is the stories I heard as a girl. My dad is a member of the Mayflower Society, so on one side I bleed stars and stripes. On the other side, my mom is an immigrant to the United States. She and her family came after “the war,” World War II. And the stories they told were of the terrors.
One of the stories I heard was about the friends of my grandparents who disappeared. My grandparents (Opa and Oma) got together with their Jewish friends once a week for cards. Because of the curfew, they’d sneak out of their house during the middle of the night (breaking the curfew law) and run across the street barefoot—in case Nazi soldiers were nearby they couldn’t hear them running across the cobblestones. One night Opa and Oma arrived at their friends’ house and found the door standing open. Their friends been rounded up, never to come home again. Opa (my grandfather) said the Nazis did it at night so the neighbors wouldn’t know to come to their defense of their friends. And what made these round ups so easy? Records. The Dutch trusted their government implicitly and gave them all the information they asked for including ethnicity, religion, occupation, etc. When the Nazis took over, the Jews and any other “undesirables” were easy pickings.
I know the census information is available a million other places, but a voice in my mind whispers, “The less they know, the better.”