The Boy Who Cried Nazi

It was a chance, unfortunate juxtaposition. As was our tradition I had just taken my grandson to get his back-to-school haircut. Returning home he hurried upstairs to take a shower while I started the prep for his favorite soup. Mrs. Poppy joined me in the kitchen, filling me in on the events of the day at home and abroad. She read aloud a post on social media equating the arrest of some trying to enter the country illegally to Nazi Germany and the holocaust. It was silly, but sadly not uncommon. We gave it no more thought until the next event.

My grandson has discovered the joys of the original Twilight Zone episodes. We are slowly working our way through the series. We filled our bowls with tortellini soup and settled back to enjoy the next installment. It was titled, “Deaths-Head Revisited.” The story was about a former SS officer revisiting the Dachau concentration camp a decade and a half after World War II. It was rightfully disturbing. It is hard to comprehend the death of six million humans by mass shootings, gas chambers, and starvation. Six million people; grandparents, moms, dads, teenagers, toddlers, babies. The final sentence of the story was this …

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers.”

There are things that are so pure, so holy that they must not be diluted. Conversely, there are things that are so evil, so vile that they also must not be diluted … lest we forget.

To compare anything going on in American politics today to Nazi Germany and the holocaust is intellectually weak and historically inaccurate.

To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.”
Elie Wiesel

Poppy (with no apologies)

Thank God for Nazis!

As I walk our dogs, I usually have a one-sided conversation. Tonight I tell Mimsy that she doesn’t have a sarcasm gene. If like Mimsy, you are missing a sarcasm gene, the title of my post is not entirely serious, but it is intentional.

The events this last week in Charlottesville, Virginia have been tough for all  of us. We have seen raw, unadulterated hatred. Sadly we have also seen the death of a young woman. In no way do I want to make light of these events, but I am somewhat bemused by the indignation heaped on the neo-Nazis. Of course they are evil. They are such an obvious target that it takes no imagination to decry them. During WW II the real Nazis were a real threat, the atrocities they committed are beyond imagining.

Today, if we are honest, the neo-Nazis are a caricature. They are the storm troopers in Star Wars. They are the guys Harrison Ford fought in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They are like the bad guys in a second-rate western, who wear black so we can identify them and know who to boo.

The neo-Nazis do serve one real purpose. They give us the opportunity for righteous indignation and a smug feeling of moral superiority. We can beat our chest and proclaim, “Thank God, I am not like them.”

I am not scared of neo-Nazis. I am scared though of the more subtle forms of racism. I am scared of the racism that hides deep within me. I am scared of my thoughts when I see a black family visit the open house next to me that is for sale, and I think to myself, please not them. I am scared when I visit a clinic and I’m assigned to the Indian doctor and I think, I wish it was the cute Irishman. I am scared when I’m on the phone with some someone with a deep southern accent and I assume that their IQ is at least 20 points below mine. This is what scares me.

Thank God for Nazis!