Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, August 08, 2002

William Grimm an American living in Germany writes about coming to the realization that anti-Semitism is indeed alove and well. in Europe.

Then the little things start to happen that over a period of time add up to something very sinister. I'm on a bus and a high school boy passes around Grandpa's red leather-bound copy of Mein Kampf to his friends who respond by saying "coooool!." He then takes out a VCR tape (produced in Switzerland) of "The Great Speeches of Joseph Goebbels." A few weeks later I'm at a business meeting with four young highly educated Germans who are polite, charming and soft-spoken to say the least. When the subject matter changes to a business deal with a man in New York named Rubinstein, their nostrils flair, their demeanors attain a threatening mien and one of them actually says, and I'm quoting verbatim here: "The problem with America is that the Jews have all the money."

They start laughing and another one says, "Yeah, all the Jews care about is money."

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I half expected one of them to start talking about the historical veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Here were four young, charming, well-educated Germans spewing forth anti-Semitic bilk that would have made Julius Streicher proud. I found that this type of anti-Semitic reference in my professional dealings with Germans soon became a leitmotif (to borrow a term made famous by Richard Wagner, another notorious German anti-Semite). In my private meetings with Germans it often happens that they will loosen up after a while and reveal personal opinions and political leanings that were thought to have ceased to exist in a Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945.

< email | 8/08/2002 03:36:00 PM | link

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