Eerie similarities to present day.
Look inside the story:
This book is a collection of essays of the experiences of citizens living through the rise of the Third Reich. It gives a look into 1930s Germany from the eyes of the civilian populace that were effected by the changes in Government and Society. Bessel’s book is a great example of why society needs to learn from history.
Importance of remembering the past:
Life in the Third Reich written by Richard Bessel was a good read, but also terrifying at the same time. A lot of events and observations during the rise of the Fascist Regime sound eerily similar to some modern day occurrences and mindsets. Below are the quotes I highlighted in the book while reading. I ended up stopping after so long due to there being so much that could correlate between 1930s Germany and Present day.
“…by 1933 German Jews were objects, not subjects, of German politics…the Jews were largely irrelevant to the campaign for political power of which the struggle against the Left formed a major part. And whereas there is some evidence that the campaigns against the Communists brought the Nazis popular support in 1933, the opposite appears to have been the case with regard to the excesses against the Jews.” (pg. 8)
“the Nazi Party consciously chose to bring in storm troopers from neighboring villages to seize the assets of the working-class organisations, and villagers criticised the personal behaviour of the outsiders rather than the political system and its local representatives.” (pg. 20)
“Many villagers were enraged by the events they witnessed. Some resisted the Nazi attack on the working-class organisations; others voted with their feet and avoided public parades.” (pg. 20)
“the ‘Strength-through-Joy’ programme of cheap package holidays and the ruthless persecution of deviants and minorities. Though most of the working-class activists and many of the older generation remained opposed to the regime and demonstrated their disapproval by staying away from public displays of Nazi power, many got caught up in the patriotic euphoria of the mid-1930s.” (pg. 21)
Knowing every person interprets the same text differently, I will leave the weight of these quotes to you, the reader, to connect the dots on how some, or all, of these quotes compare to society’s current path. This book wasn’t a great read, but it is one I urge people to buy and read.
If we, as a society, do not reference the previous mistakes made throughout History, then we are opening a door to a multitude of suffering for the relatively near future.
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana