The attempted assassination of 14 opposition voices. And the murder of 11 people because they were Jewish.
Then, the noise around these events. The radical right and president Trump making allegations that both these events were concoctions of the left in order to sway the up-coming midterm elections.
It's all almost too Kristallnacht to be believed. Eighty years ago, when after a state-sponsored pogrom in which 7,500 of Jewish businesses and houses of worship were destroyed and hundreds of people beaten and killed and 30,000 sent to concentration camps, the Jewish community was stuck with a 10-million Reichsmark bill for damages inflicted against the German state.
Blame the victims.
The new American way.
Of course in our country, while eleven innocents are shot, anti-Semitism echoes throughout our nation--radical haters attacking HIAS, globalism, and George Soros.
Where will it stop?
How will it end?
I know it's dark but I think of Primo Levi's poem at the start of his great book "If This is a Man."
“You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find warm food
And friendly faces when you return home.
Consider if this is a man
Who works in mud,
Who knows no peace,
Who fights for a crust of bread,
Who dies by a yes or no.
Consider if this is a woman
Without hair, without name,
Without the strength to remember,
Empty are her eyes, cold her womb,
Like a frog in winter.
Never forget that this has happened.
Remember these words.
Engrave them in your hearts,
When at home or in the street,
When lying down, when getting up.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your houses be destroyed,
May illness strike you down,
May your offspring turn their faces from you.”
And now, my slim anti-Fascist reading list.
Orwell and Huxley, of course, but I thought I'd list a few other writers and books who are less prominent.
1. Victor Klemperer. "Language of the Third Reich." Klemperer, a Jew in Dresden, Germany, and a professor of Philology, studied the Nazi manipulation of language to bend the people to their view.
If you can't deal with reading a rather dense book, watch the movie "Language Does Not Lie." See it here.
2. William Shirer. "Berlin Diary: Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941." Shirer, who wrote "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," was a reporter in Germany during Hitler's ascent. This book contains much of his reportage.
3. Chris Hedges. "Empire of Illusion." Hedges, uncannily, predicted the rise of Trump back in 2009. He won a Pulitzer at the Times. But was considered too liberal for the paper and was forced out.
4. I.F. Stone. (Anything you can find.) Stone was a liberal investigative journalist who annoyed the fuck out of right wing power in the late 20th Century. He also wrote "The Trial of Socrates," which is also a must read.
5. Joachim Fest. "Not I. Memoirs of a German Childhood." Fest lived through it. In a family of anti-Hitlerites in Berlin. His mantra was simple--and worth memorizing: "Etiam si omnes--ego non." "Even if all the others do--I will not."