On April 29, 1945, a wedding occurred. It was a small, quiet affair, where the groom, having turned 56 nine days earlier, married a woman 23 years his junior. The following day that couple, with Russian troops marching into Berlin, took poison, and the man, seeking to make doubly sure, shot himself through the head and then their corpses were doused in petrol and set alight. Conjecture has raged that this was a hoax and that the man had escaped to South America, like his evil colleagues, Adolf Eichmann and a few others.
My father knew a man who was the guard for Adolf Eichmann, and his one regret was that he didn't shoot him. The positive with that was that Eichmann lived to let the world see just how evil he was, with a trial in Israel and his subsequent hanging.
Eight days after that couple committed suicide, the country that man led surrendered to the Allied Powers. The evil that this man perpetrated was laid bare to the world, with the top ten the Allies could capture hanged at Nuremberg in 1946. Hermann Goering was scheduled to hang, but committed suicide two and a half hours earlier. The regime was not just anti-Semitic, it was against anybody who was not considered pure. Children and adults were subjected to horrific experiments at the hands of unscrupulous doctors who escaped justice.
A controversial figure in Austria at this time, Dr Hans Asperger, has had his name attached to a form of the neurology that this month is about. Autism.
With the end of April comes the anniversary of the suicide of an evil man. Adolf Hitler.
Let us think that Josef Mengele may have escaped the hangman's noose he deserved, but in the post-war era, we have some human rights. The rights of the disabled to respect.
Let's make April about the month for autism rights. The rights of autistic people to not be subjected to abuse. The rights of autistic people to be who we are. The rights of autistic people to celebrate achievements. Telephones, Ford cars, the Theory of Relativity.
We neither need nor want a cure. Curing autism is about eugenics, and eugenics were what Mengele and Hitler believed in. This is our month. The anniversary of the death of a man who believed in eugenics.
And let's think of it in another way, too. April 29 in Japan is the first day of Golden Week, a week where companies and workplaces close for a week as they have three public holidays and it is easier to close down rather than have a day off, two days back on, a day off, a day on and a day off. April 29 was the birthday of the Showa Emperor (unlike in the British Commonwealth, the Queen's Birthday is not celebrated on a random day, the Emperor's actual birthday is a public holiday in Japan) and as he was Emperor for 62 years, it was retained, and it is now Greenery Day.
So let's think of it as a new dawn. A new era. The era of ACCEPTANCE of Autism and the rejection of the cure culture.