Friday, June 24, 2011

Times Past, (Or Not, As the Case May Be)

As a child  I once visited, with my mother, some new friends that she had made.  They were European immigrants.
Bored, I wandered around the room.  In their small glass-fronted bookcase, I was surprised to see a copy of "Mein Kampf" in pride of place.
I didn't mention this to my mother, but as she was rather pro-communist at that stage it seems little wonder that the friendship did not develop.  Though I believe they may have had a certain authoritarianism in common.
Years later I mentioned this to a friend of long standing.  I knew that he was born in Germany during WW2, and that his father had been in the German army.  However, I was surprised by the vehemence of his reaction.   His mother, (a very beautiful woman), had worked closely with Hitler, he said - (some of her best friends were Jewish, he defended her).  Why shouldn't they have a book that had meant so much to them?  A book that was as precious to them as a bible?
Taken aback, I didn't ask further.   But it still intrigues me that they valued so highly something which I thought was completely discredited.
Other immigrants I came across:  Italian and Maltese.  Bare footed, poor, impetigo scaling down their legs, school lunches of a hunk of bread and a raw onion.   Some of their surnames are now blazened over hugely successful and well-known businesses.


Relatively Retiring said...

This says so much about not making judgements.
(I'm glad that Google is allowing comments today, and I'm trying not to be judgemental about Google.)

JahTeh said...

Some beliefs, when implanted early enough, are never eradicated. It's a shame there is not a book dedicated to the German underground who fought against the monster.

Frances said...

Judgements, Relatively Retiring. So often flawed: yet it seems as if we are programmed to make them.

Frances said...

Too true, Jah Teh. And what amazing courage they showed.
It can seem too hard to go against popular opinion even here, in safety.

R.H. said...

Mein Kampf is opinion, that's all. Blocking opinion is what cowards do.

Frances said...

I don't think that there was any question of blocking opinion, RH.
To me it was more like someone nostalging about pre-nuptial bliss after the divorce.