Nämä pysäyttivät miettimään nykyistä maailman menoa ja varsinkin hyvinkin huolestuttavaan suuntaan menevää suurvaltaa, jonka uusi johtaja on päivittäin uutisissa. Hänestä on jo kirjoitettu niin paljon, että en ehkä siihen suuntaan lähde, muuta kuin että olen kyllä sitä mieltä, että meidän tulisi olla tästä kehityksestä hyvin huolissamme. Monet vähättelevät, kuten tekivät jo kampanjoinnin aikana. Maailmanhistoriassa on monta kertaa huomattu, että asioihin olisi pitänyt puuttua paljon aiemmin.
When you grow up in Germany & go through the school system in Germany, you will cover the Third Reich several times. In history we went through it at least twice; in German we talked about it when we read short stories and poetry. In English we read Morton Rue's THE WAVE. When Schindler's List came out, our teacher took us to the cinema to watch it. When we were 15 or 16, our history teacher showed us the German anti-war film Die Brücke. One of our class excursions took us to the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt & another one to a concentration camp.
If you want to be a teacher? Well, you better belong to The Party then. On Stew Sunday, expect somebody from the Party to show up at your flat / your house. They'll want to make sure that you really have stew & that you donate what you would have spend on a Sunday roast to the effort to make your country great again. (And if you don't have stew, you better come up with a good explanation.)
Muistakaamme, että karmeat asiat eivät tule välttämättä nopeasti ja samoja vanhoja vihaan johtavia propangandasuunnitelmia käytetään nykyäänkin, ihan samoja joita Kolmannessa Valtakunnassa. Nämä eivät ole uusia juttuja ja meidän tulisi todellakin oppia historiasta jotain.
Mutta niihin tviitteihin. Miettikää tätä päivää kun luette historiasta:
In Germany, you don't have the luxury of telling yourself (& your children), "It can't happen in our country." So we not only learnt about the horrors of Nazi Germany, but we also learnt about the mechanics of 1930s society. We learnt how vulnerable democracy is & how easily it is brought down.
We learnt that something like the Holocaust doesn't start with concentration camps & murdering people, but that it starts much earlier. It starts with speech that is aimed at dehumanizing a whole group of people.
Another thing we learnt was what life was like in Nazi Germany. Let me tell you it's fucking terrifying how easily such a system is erected & maintained.
You used to belong to the wrong party? You are arrested. You tell the wrong kind of joke? You are arrested.You want your son to get an apprenticeship in the big factory that is the biggest employer in your small town? He better belongs to the HJ (That's the reason why my grandfather joined the Hitler Youth.) Oh, and what about your daughter? Is she a member of the BDM? And if she isn't, why isn't she??
You want to be a folklorist? I hear our great Germanic roots are all the rage now. Better work on that. Go look for some runes. You want to work as an author? Well, if you were critical of the members of our party before we came to power, we'll burn your books (Naturally, you won't be allowed to publish anything new.)
You ran a youth organization in the 1920s? Naturally that will be merged with the new national youth organizations. But hey, those two new national youth organizations (the Hitlerjugend & the Bund Deutscher Mädel) are pretty awesome. I mean, yes, there is a bit of political indoctrination, but you get to do exciting things; you get to go on excursion & on holidays. You are being made feel part of a group - and we all know how powerful this feeling is, right?
Imagine living in such a country. Imagine living in a country where your children are being taught to inform on you & their teachers. Imagine living in a country where your neighbors might inform on your if you make fun of the political leadership of your country. Imagine watching your neighbor, a prominent member of the Socialist Democratic Party, being picked up by the police to be brought to a camp. Imagine watching an angry mob destroy the shop of your Jewish neighbor.
Would you have enough courage to speak up in such a situation, knowing the mob might turn against you? What would happen to your family? Or would you be part of that mob? Because being part of a group makes you feel powerful and important. Would you be part of the bystanders cheering them on? Because at least when they are turning on others, they are not turning on you.
Or are you sitting in your flat at the end of the street, with the windows closed & your hands over your ears bec gosh, you just want to get on with your life, & surely it can't get any worse, & it's easier not to look too closely at the bad things that are happening to other pple.
You know, from our perspective, it's so easy to say, "I would have resisted. I would have spoken up." But until you've lived in such a system, until you've found yourself in a similar situation, you cannot know for sure.
If you'd like to read an account of life in Nazi Germany, I can recommend Anna Seghers' novel The Seventh Cross. Anna Seghers (Netty Reiling) was from a Jewish family in Mainz. Much of her work throws a critical light on society.
The Seventh Cross is a brilliant, gripping novel that presents you with a detailed picture of what life was like in Nazi Germany in 1930s.
P.S.: And in case anybody is wondering, I'm frigging terrified because we currently see the rise of right-wing parties & rhetoric in many parts of Europe (including Germany with the ghastly AfD) as well as a move towards authoritarianism in several western countries.