I want to be hopeful.
And yet, I started to read the diaries of Victor Klemperer again. I made a deal with my father, that we read this in instalments every morning and then talk about it whenever we feel like it but at least once a week.
The idea was - initially - to get him interested in something else beyond soccer and the weather but also because we did this ten years ago - only he cannot remember that we did.
Klemperer, a German Jew, was a lecturer in Romance languages at Dresden University in 1933 and kept a detailed record of events right from the onset of the nazi terror. (Abbreviated versions of his diaries are available online in English here.)
This is from April 1933 (the nazis came to power in January of that year):
Every speech of the Chancellor, the Ministers and Commissioners - and they speak every day - such a brew of the most open, clumsy lies. Hypocrisy, phrases, nonsense. And always the threatening, the triumphant and the empty promise.
And here, in June 1933, he is referring to friends:
In the evening, after a very long break, Mrs and Mrs von R come to visit. She says she simply cannot cope with all this anxiety and wants to go somewhere where there are no newspapers. When she hears my outrage, she says she does not want to know what's really going on here.
Sounds familiar? In the first quote, replace "speak" with "tweet", if need be and as for the second quote, remember, this was in June 1933, just six months after hitler seized power - long, long before the real atrocities set in. Looking away always feels easier.