Sunday, 19 February 2012

Spitzel is a horrible word

Spitzel is a horrible word. To say it say Spit and then cell and you will get 2/3rds of the way to saying it.

It sounds horrible and distasteful as if the speaker is trying to spir the sound of it off their tongue. But what does this horrible word actually mean?

It means informer in German. It is the word that describes the people in East Germany who would give information to the Stasi of their own accord. They would inform on what people did, say their Granny if she was hoarding food or watching Western TV.

So why use this horrible word in my blog? I use it because last year I had a vision of what a Spitzel could do and how people who I thought were upstanding and upright could act like a Spitzel. Let me explain....

Until mid last year I ran Hamilton Road's Neighbourhood Watch group, I managed a news group that allowed my neighbours to keep themselves safe and things like burglaries in the road. So far so good.

Early in the year a little old lady was robbed and I sent an email asking everyone to watch out for distraction robbery and to keep an eye on their neighbours to make sure they were all right.

So far so good.....

Strangely enough I was then interviewed by the local area Sargent. He had been passed my email by Park Ward's Green Party Councillor who had been sent it by one of his Party members in Hamilton Road. The Sargent had been told by the Councillor that he thought I was being political in sending this email. Despite me having been Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for nearly2 1/2 years at that point.

Basically one of his Party members wanted to be a Spitzel, to be an informer.....I have lived in a Communist country and know a little of what a totalitarian state is like. I had never expected that someone in "nice" Hamilton Road would try to create problems via their Party leader with the Police for me.

So I realised that even people living in a prosperous road can become Spitzel. It seems that it was a Green Party member or supporter who sent the email to their Stasi like Party leader, so the perpetrator could have been anyone who put up a Green Party poster during the election.I raised the issue with the Neighbourhood Watch group but the Spitzel was not brave enough to apologise or explain.

I am not sure if all Green supporters are like this or it is just the ones who live in Hamilton Road. But what I do know is its easy to become a Spitzel. Perhaps those that do it think that they are doing the right thing but the results can be devastating. Not just on the person you inform on, but on yourself.

As I said Spitzel is a horrible word.