Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fragility of Freedom and Nazi History

Today I ordered Fritz Stern's book: Five Germany's I Have Known. I look forward to reading it with great interest, especially since Stern and I are both from the same generation. With the help of Amazon's
click to look inside, I came across the following comment from page two of the Introduction:
Decades of study and experience have persuaded me that the German roads to perdition, including National Socialism, were neither accidental or inevitable. National Socialism had deep roots, and yet its growth could have been arrested. I was born into a world on the cusp of avoidable disaster. And I came to realize that no country is immune to the temptations of pseudo-religious movements of repression such as those to which Germany succumbed. The fragility of freedom is the simplest and deepest lesson of my life and work. And when an unvarnished picture of the past, always indispensable, seemed difficult, I recalled Ernst Reuter's great credo of 1913: "The fate of democracy rests on faith in history." 
Do you see why I want to read and even re-read Stern's book? I am concerned about my own country and the roads to perdition we are following. I do not believe we have followed those roads to disaster—yet—but I am aware and want others to be aware of the "fragility of freedom" in our nation.

In future blogs I'd like to follow Stern and others to ponder lessons we can learn from Germany's disastrous march down the roads that led them to declare themselves National Socialists—better known as Nazis. 

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