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Friday, 12 December 2014


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Evil indeed. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the onset of the Battle of the Bulge. The death toll was enormous but the evil to be discovered in just a few months was nearly unspeakable. Thus the subject person of your post.

Once, when my battalion was training in Germany we were taken on a day trip to Bergen-Belsen. Knowing the Toms' raucous humour I wondered how they would re-act. Utter silence was the result.

Recalling his experiences growing up in neutral, wartime Sweden, the author Jan Myrdal said "The really horrible thing about the Nazis was that they were nothing like those portrayed by Hollywood". Sweden was, of course, subjected to a considerable Nazi charm offensive, backed up by really tasteful literature extolling European culture. If you can get hold of their magazine "Signal" (printed in most European languages) you will see a very slick article indeed.

I showed some excerpts to a neighbour who worked for a leading advertising agency from the Sixties. He said that Goebbels was ahead of what they were doing twenty years later.

We have just seen how (presumably) normal Americans were turned into systematic torturers by the CIA, so I don't think there is any cause for complacency amongst us.

Words of wisdom from Mr. Spalton.

The evil that lurks in the hearts of man.....

It is difficult to move from the individual to the general. Eichmann was an individual who was more or less replicated through swathes of the German public. However, I remain intrigued by a story I touched upon some time ago concerning the relatively soft treatment of the Danish Jews who were, in effect, allowed to escape across into Sweden. Two senior Nazis based in Copenhagen were mainly responsible for turning blind eyes but for very different reasons. One had dropped his earlier enthusiasm for Nazi-ism when he saw the reality; the other remained convinced but was shrewd enough to see much earlier than anyone else that Germany was bound to lose the war and wanted to keep his record as clean as possible.

Also, Edward, I do not accept that "normal Americans were turned into systematic torturers by the CIA". I have yet to see any example of what I would call torture.

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