Thursday, July 3, 2014

This Independence Day Be A Patriotic American: Watch A Movie About Nazis

I'm serious. Take some time to watch Conspiracy, an HBO dramatization of the Wannsee Conference, a two hour meeting that created the framework for what became known as "the final solution."

If nothing else, the film is a firm and frightening reminder of what happens when those in power actively act against the principle "that all . . .are created equal and . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. . . " It took less than ninety minutes to begin the process that took six million lives.

I also found Colin Firth's portrayal of Dr. William Stuckart, co-author of the Nuremberg Laws, compelling and chilling. His demand that laws be created so that the property of Jews killed by the regime could be legally transferred is shocking. More jarring, however, to the sensibilities of one inculcated with the belief that no one is above the law is the ease that the participants had in dismissing the need for law altogether.

Finally, the film ends with General Reinhard Heydrich retelling a story allegedly told to him during the conference. Briefly, a man loved his mother but hated his father. When his mother died, the young man could not weep or mourn. When the father died, the man became inconsolable because because hatred had given him a reason to live and now the object of hate was gone.

A recent Pew survey showed Americans developing a deep antipathy toward members of the opposing political party:
More than one-third of Republicans and just over a quarter of Democrats see the other party as a “threat to the nation’s well-being,” reflecting a widening partisan division in the country that has congealed into animosity and distrust.
Through two decades of political battling across the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the ideological divisions among Americans have deepened. The percentage of Americans who hold consistently liberal or conservative views has sharply increased, and the antipathy between the two groups has shot upward.
Among those with a high level of political engagement – consistently voting in elections and following government and politics carefully – nearly half say they would go so far as to describe the other side as a threat to the country.
Given those results, it seems long past time to rein back contempt toward those who hold a different political view.

The movie is available for streaming on Amazon Prime. I stumbled across a YouTube copy the other night. I have no idea of the legal status this version. Use your own judgement,

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