Sometimes being under the weather has its advantages. Such as catching up on some reading.
About two weeks ago I began reading Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief”. I’m not through reading it yet but there is a scene in the story that has resonated with me since I read it, which I want to share here.
For anyone not familiar with the subject matter of “The Book Thief”, it revolves around a young girl living in Nazi Germany. The scene I wish to share is on page 105. It is 1940 and the Hubermann family has gathered for the yearly celebration of Hitler’s birthday. The characters involved are Hans Hubermann (the father), Hans Junior (his adult son) and Liesel, the young girl. Understand that Hans Junior is a Nazi and his father is not.
“You’ve never cared about this country,” said Hans Junior. “Not enough, anyway.”
Papa’s eyes started corroding. It did not stop Hans Junior. He looked now for some reason at the girl. With her three books standing upright on the table, as if in conversation, Liesel was silently mouthing the words as she read from one of them. “And what trash is this girl reading? She should be reading ‘Mein Kampf’“.
Liesel looked up.
“Don’t worry, Liesel,” Papa said. “Just keep reading. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”
But Hans Junior wasn’t finished. He stepped closer and said, “You’re either for the Fuhrer or against him–and I can see that you’re against him. You always have been.” Liesel watched Hans Junior in the face, fixated on the thinness of his lips and the rocky line of his bottom teeth. “It’s pathetic–how a man can stand by and do nothing as a whole nation cleans out the garbage and makes itself great.”
After I read this scene it took me two days to get back to reading the book.
The parallels between Nazi Germany and America in 2017 in this scene alone struck me. “You’re either for him or against him”. If I had a dollar for each time someone has said that phrase to me in 2017, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere reading this book. “…a whole nation cleans out the garbage and makes itself great”. Sounds familiar.
What “cleaning out the garbage…to make itself great” meant in Nazi Germany under ASSHOLE Hitler: Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, Jehovah Witnesses, clergy, Communists, Socialists, prostitutes, drunks, disabled, gays and anyone else they felt wasn’t worthy.
What “cleaning out the garbage…to make itself great–again” means in America 2017 under ASSHOLE Trump: Muslims, disabled, gays, transgenders, women, refugees, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, the NFL, generally people of any color, the DREAMers, climate change, NATO, anyone who causes a “problem” for him (Comey, Yates, etc.) and anyone who doesn’t agree with what he says or wants. Especially on Twitter.
Considering this book was published twelve years ago, maybe the author is psychic. Or are there truly that many parallels between the ASSHOLE who once ruled and ruined Germany and the ASSHOLE who is now trying to rule and ruin America?