Are we good students?

I watched today some old documentaries from US TV channel, both dealing with the subject of German Nazis of the 30 and 40ties of last century. One was very moving, horribly sad but in a sense uplifting at the same time. It dealt with the story of a young, talented German lawyer who was able to call Adolf Hitler to the stand in old German Weimar Republic and force him to reveal the brutal face of Nazi philosophy and activities. The lawyer won, Hitler lost and was humiliated in front of the judge, the press, the nation. It doesn’t matter today (and, in a broad sense, didn’t matter than) what the particular case was about. What matters was the fact that despite the legal victory, despite the fact that he was able to show to Germans the true face of Hitler – it was already too late. The Germans already bought the Nazi propaganda about grandeur, about Jewish and communist dangers. The chauvinistic, national propaganda that let us forget that we are all humans; that divides us between races, nations; that silences reason and independent thought. Few years later Hitler won the election and took the reins of power in Germany. He didn’t forget the lawyer. He was one of the early inmates of new concentration camps. Beaten, tortured, dehumanized. Yet, at the darkest hours of his horrible ordeal it was him – the lawyer, the intellectual, the Man who won. Not the oppressor, not the brutal, the venomous. It was the human spirit of freedom, of freedom of thought if everything else failed, that survived, that lighted the black sky of Germany. And that was uplifting. His name was Hans Litten.
The second dealt with US business and political elite who suppressed for as long as possible the knowledge of Nazis brutality, especially when it came to the fate of the Jews. Yes, the business of making money. Above all else. The cynics say that money has no morals. But it does, it sure does. For money do not makes itself. It is the people who use it, who make it that give it a moral shadow. And often the shadow is of particularly dark hue. Money does speak volumes of the morality or amorality of its holder.
Every time I visit Germany, I want to cry. It makes me immensely sad to see this beautiful country, it’s people, culture and vibrancy – and to remember who they were 70 years ago. Not for Hitler and Goering and Himmler. They were Evil incarnate. For the people, the millions of ordinary Germans, who followed them, who allowed them to poison the nation, to steal Germany’s soul. I have no idea if they truly recovered from it. If one can. And yet, I have to remember, must remember that the first victims and prisoners of f Hitler’s brutal hysteria were German. Hanses Littens. Maybe they saved German’s soul from death. For the death of a soul must be a thousandth time worse than the death of a body.

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
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