A very important reading…
June 26, 2018, 5:55pm
A passage from a German individual in response to a protest in Barcelona against the current situation in USA.
“I am German, not American. As a German I want to say something to you, my American friends.
My family was in in the camps for not complying to the regime. My great-grandfather, four years Bergen- Belsen, and both of his sons in forced labour for the Nazi war machine. We weren’t Jews. It was enough to have the wrong books in our home. In the case of my great-grandfather that was Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, books about Buddhism, Hinduism….they had lived many years in Indonesia prior to the regime., and brought the culture back home before Hitler came to power.
All my life we were taught about the horror of the Nazi regime. During my school years, there was no week in class, newspaper or television, that we weren’t taught about the crimes of our nation. Germany has done a great job of facing it’s crimes. That is one of the things that fills me with pride today, despite our dark years, because it was a courageous thing to do. Germany today is a completely different nation.
But also all my life, I have been asked why we Germans could have this allowed to happen. During my childhood vacations in Italy, France or Holland, the question was ever present. Many Americans have asked me that later too. Now, you are in a situation were you see yourself how it happens. Your country isn’t evil, you aren’t evil people. Germans aren’t evil people either. It creeps in, it grows. First it is fear for the economy, for jobs. Anger at trade. The feeling of being left behind. A divide grows in your nation. Your friends and family members suddenly switch “to the other side”. The loss of empathy is everywhere around you, and it grows. No gun-holding “freedom loving” citizen will save you from the new regime with their firearms….because many of those same people voted for the new authoritarian power themselves. The others are almost always cowards who will run away when the state power shows up at their door.
You are now in a situation Germany found itself in in 1933. Spain and Italy in the 30’s. Yes our time is different, and the laws of your nation are different. Your rule of law works, your checks and balances work….for now. You can still vote. But the real authoritarian and fascist intentions of your current government are not different. Their despise of the press, of minorities, of judges and the laws, and diversity in society are the same. They are testing the limits of law and acceptance in society for weaknesses every day….chipping away little pieces wherever they can. They lie everyday. Facts, truth, critical thinking and empathy are being thrown out of the window. Allies are insulted and treated as enemies. Enemies and authoritarians are being admired.
You are not yet Nazi-Germany. But make no mistake, the intentions and authoritarian aspirations of the Trump government are similar, and are truly fascist. You must be very alert and ready to fight every day. I am encouraged you are going to the streets soon. I hope many Americans will do the same back home. THIS is your power. And VOTE in November…as many of you as possible. They always say this is the most important vote in your life-time….but this time it truly is. Hope to see as many of you as possible demonstrating in Barcelona.