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nytimes link

The DAX was doing well before Trump stepped-in.

It is absolutely fascinating how a more inclusive system works.  But the protests have been in the news again.  There’s going to be a global downturn and it could get worse.  Those who are more responsible (i.e., countries and people without huge debt) will obviously be in better shape, and the Germans are usually frugal and responsible.



Germany has been on my mind lately, or should I say Germany has been in the news.

Operation Finale rekindled an old story about Adolph Eichmann.  The facts are pretty clear by now and it has already been told in movies.  The Man Who Captured Eichmann, starring and produced by Robert Duvall, is excellent and based on a book.

Eichmann’s real house outside of Buenos Aires paints a grimmer picture.  If you’ve ever known anyone who can truly be described as evil, look here, because no one else can stack-up.  I mean, start here.  The whole lot of them were rotten, right down to the locals in the hospital when Berlin fell.  The high command were of course worse, but after six years, and six before that with Hitler as a leader, it was obvious.

It is fascinating to read and it is one of those things that I think you should know.  I can name about a dozen and even describe their role.  Goebbels was the propaganda second in command, chief looter, and killer of his entire family.  Bormann, thought to maybe be alive for decades but also killed at the last bunker, was the admin get it done guy.  Donitz was the super-brief head of state after Hitler who tried to negotiate a settlement as opposed to surrender.  Himmler and Goring sought peace and power at the end and were expelled.  There was the SS comander, the out-in-the-open killer whose assassination prompted the annihilation of two villages and the murders of virtually everyone there.  von Stauffenberg damn near killed Hilter and contrary to one German commentator I read, Tom Cruise in the role probably isn’t a Scientology plot.  I could go on; they are all as guilty as the next, with some more so.

Which brings us to Adolph Hiltler.  He was not only ruthless, but at least at and near the end, he was completely delusional.  Anyone can read or watch all about it because it is all out there.

But if you want closure, if you’re really certain you know evil, Downfall (2004) is the way to go.  It is very German–made by Germans, starring Germans, and very well-received in Germany.  It is highly-rated on IMDB too.

I was curious if I could understand the German.  I can’t.  Actually, I couldn’t even watch it start to finish.  Maybe I have seen it before.  I know I have seen some clips in it before or disaster and hospital scenes exactly like them.  Ditto scenes of Hitler as despicable and insane.

Still it is worth watching.  It was worth it for me to try.

Watching Hitler and the Nazis in the movie all I could think was, what did Germans get out of it?

Hitler removed all the nearby property owners near his home in Bavaria when he decided he liked it there.  The Wolf’s Lair in Poland was definitely expensive; and the tunnels under Berlin were both expensive and extensive.

What did he build for Germans?  Probably the idea of conquering all these countries would not have worked in the long-run anyway because how do you rule and keep them in line?  But even in the short- or intermediate-terms, what positives were in it for Germany?  The whole thing was based on hate and destruction (negative reinforcement), not on anything positive, even in ideology.

40,000,000 people died and the whole world suffered.  But even at the start of the war, or in the middle of it, what did Germany get out of it?

And that seems to be one of the enduring analytical questions, why did so many people go along?

A similar way to put it is the oft-used phrase “banality of evil.”  It is attributed originally to Hannah ArendtGitta Sereny is another esteemed writer on the subject.

The Healing Wound review in the NY Times.