Welcome To Beijing Street!

Disneyland’s fantasy Main Street allows many Americans to ignore that, under the aegis of Disney’s current management, the street’s real name should be Beijing Street. But this isn’t the first time a murderous regime has hidden behind colorful imagery to fool the public.

Walt Disney conceived of Disneyland as a place where people from all walks of life would enter the park and forget about the real world. Main Street was designed with a nod to the previous century and its slower pace of life compared to post-World War II hustle-bustle living. Even original right-angled street corners were rounded because curves had softer views.

Curiosity about the new theme park kept climbing. On July 17, 1955, more than 90 million of the nation’s 169 million citizens tuned in for the TV special Dateline Disneyland on its opening day. It was America’s first introduction to Disneyland.

Soon known as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” the original theme park in Anaheim, California, and its sister parks (Orlando and throughout the world) continue to welcome millions of devoted fans who adore Mickey, Minnie, and all the Disney characters.

And it all begins on iconic Main Street.

But Main Street’s colorful facades, exaggerated architectural details, and red, white, and blue banners can’t hide the truth: Main Street has morphed into Beijing Street. As former U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently said in a speech, “I suspect Walt Disney would be disheartened to see how the company he founded deals with the foreign dictatorships of our day.”

Hidden behind its idyllic veneer, Disney’s Main/Beijing Street enthusiastically supports a murderous regime seeking global domination. Disney has never used its various and numerous entities to chastise China for its abysmal documented human rights record and for being the world’s biggest polluter despite the concerns many around the world have about climate change. It has an extremely close business relationship with China’s Communist Party leaders and a lengthy history of accommodation and appeasement with its brutal dictatorship. Notably, Disney donated $500,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and Disney Chairman Bob Iger expressed great interest in being named the U.S. Ambassador to China.

This isn’t the first time a sham town or façade of happiness has hidden the brutal activities of a murderous regime. Opened in November 1941, the town of Theresienstadt (Terezín) was designed by the Nazis as a showcase ghetto to deceive the world about how Germans were really treating Jews.

The “town,” located just 40 miles northwest of Prague, was advertised as a self-governing municipality where Jews could live in relative ease and comfort. Believing the deceitful advertisements, countless Jews bought rail tickets to Theresienstadt. Others were shipped to the transit camp. But reality attacked them upon arrival when all their personal belongings were taken away.

From Theresienstadt’s opening until the war ended in May 1945, approximately 45 warehouses in nearby Prague held all the confiscated stock including nearly one million books, more than 20,000 carpets, 600 plus pianos, and innumerable personal and household possessions.

Even the frail hope that families could remain together in the camp evaporated upon arrival, when men were sent to the Sudetenlands Barracks and women and children sent to the Hamburg Dresden Barracks.

With rumors escalating about what was happening to Jews “living” in the Third Reich, the Nazis finally relented and allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross (Red Cross) to visit a concentration camp. And which camp did the Nazis pick for the Red Cross to tour? Auschwitz-Birkenau? Dachau? Treblinka? Of course not!

In June 1944, the Red Cross toured Theresienstadt, the camp specifically designed by the Nazis to refute rumors about its Final Solution for the “Jewish Question.” In Humanitarians at War: The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust, Gerald Steinacher shares what the Nazis did at Theresienstadt before the Red Cross visit:

Weak and sick people were deported to Auschwitz to reduce the numbers in the completely overcrowded camp, houses painted, streets and parks cleaned, and flowers were planted. The delegates were shown a school, a soccer game, and a children’s theatre performed for them. The deception seemed to have worked, and the Nazis were very pleased with the ICRC’s favourable report of the good treatment of Jews in German camps.

Either duped or not wanting to interrogate their pleasant Nazi hosts, the Red Cross didn’t ask questions the more obvious questions, such as why Jews had to be resettled in the first place? If these Jews are so happy, why are there barb-wired fences and tall guard towers? Why are Jews forced to wear a yellow Star of David? Can we tour some other camps?

Once the Red Cross left, the recently planted colorful flowers started dying, as did many of the Jews who had been forced to participate in the deception.

But the Nazis were exuberant! With this propaganda success, the Ministry of Propaganda produced a film showcasing the camp and how well Jews were being treated. Following another beautification effort, it was filmed in August and September and released in March 1945, just a few months before Germany’s defeat. Originally titled The Fuhrer Presents the Jews with a City it was later renamed Terezín: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area. It remains the only movie Germans made about any concentration camp.

Just as the Red Cross didn’t want to know the truth about what the Nazis were doing to European Jews, many Americans today don’t want to know the truth about what Communist China is doing to Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, and other mostly Muslim groups such as ethnic Kazakhs and Uzbeks in its Xinjiang region.

In 2017, China’s President Xi Jinping called these groups “extremists,” using that as an excuse for religious persecution, imprisoning more than one million people in hundreds of concentration and re-education camps where they are overworked and tortured. Others not arrested live under intense surveillance, religious restrictions, forced labor, forced organ harvesting, and forced sterilization. (Eerily, many Marxist Democrats call conservative Republicans “extremists.”)

From maliciously giving the world the Wuhan COVID-19 virus, to committing religious genocide, to stealing intellectual property, Communist China is the antithesis of Walt Disney’s vision of Disneyland. Americans can stop this ghastly Disney-Communist China partnership by not:

  • Visiting Disney theme parks (including Shanghai Disneyland)!
  • Going to Disney movies!
  • Attending Disney sports events!
  • Buying Disney merchandise!

Disney is not a happy place to support for critically thinking Americans who believe that all human beings in the world deserve respect and protection, regardless of their national origin, race, color, religion, disability, sex, and familial status (protections explicitly set forth in American law). Disney has turned a blind eye to the Chinese Communist Party’s actions because greed overrides its golden insider opportunity to influence needed change. The dark parts of history tend to repeat themselves, but hope springs eternal that Disney will see the light.

In the 1990s, the International Committee of the Red Cross publicly admitted that its silence about what was happening to Europe’s six million Jews was a “moral defeat.” Let’s hope it doesn’t take decades for The Walt Disney Company to admit that its partnership with Communist China is a moral defeat.

This article is dedicated to my beloved friend and Holocaust survivor Piri Katz. You can reach Robin Itzler email at TrumpNeighbors@yahoo.com.

IMAGE: Main Street in Disneyland by Theme Park Tourist. CC BY 2.0.

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