Brief Thoughts on the Supreme Court

So there’s been some talk today of expanding the Supreme Court. Let me make my position perfectly plain: the Supreme Court should be expanded.

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The Quotable Pratchett: Snuff

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away

Continue reading “The Quotable Pratchett: Snuff”

Springtime for Hitler

I have four unfinished drafts. How can I decide which one to finish?

Chaucer Doth Tweet Stay In And WriteWell, OK then. I’ve got one that fits the bill – one I’ve entitled “Springtime for Hitler.”

 


 

I suppose it was inevitable, given my profession and Teutophile proclivities, that I would eventually have to tackle Nazis in some manner.

First, the estate of Joesph Goebbels is suing Random House for royalties, an act Random House describes as “immoral”.

Goebbels Getty Images

Now, I’m not a copyright lawyer, but I imagine that at some point contracts were signed.

One cannot simply get out of a contract because they find the recipient distasteful. Were that the case, the real estate, automotive, and student loan companies would immediately collapse.

In this case, Cordula Schacht – the copyright holder – is of no relation to Mr. Goebbels; in fact, her own father was acquitted at Nuremberg. Therefore, one cannot make the claim that royalties would benefit a convicted war criminal.

Peter Longerich, the biographer involved in the matter, has argued that a private person should not be given control of important historical documents. To which I ask: who gets to decide what is important?

Were I the judge in this case, I’d rule against Herr Longerich. Others disagree with me; some selections from Twitter:

All royalties should be paid to the Holocaust Museum / Memorials! He shouldn’t even be allowed an estate!

Any money paid by the publishers to any estate connected to the Nazis would be blood money.

No one should profit from this unless it’s as a donation to those affected by the Holocaust or a memorial/museum. Disgusting!

The Spawn of Satan should have no royalty rights under the law.

They ought to be ashamed that he is a family member. But people are greedy and will take $ from whatever source.

 

And now, a word from our sponsor:

 

It might not be the original (because let’s face it, Gene Wilder is beyond compare), but John Barrowman redeems the production. Pun intended.

 


 

OskarGroening via BBCSecond, yet another former Nazi is on trial seventy years after the war ended, this time the so-called “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz“. Now, before you get offended or hot and bothered about my tone of type, please hear me out. I am not an apologist for Nazism by any stretch of the imagination, neither do I think war crimes have a statute of limitations. However, I find the overall treatment of former Nazis incongruous.

Case in point: Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor were welcomed back sixty years after the fact. In fact, it seems they were forgiven some time ago, as evidenced by this article from the New York Times. I wonder why the world holds such special hatred for the Nazis when other dictators and regimes have been responsible for death on a much larger scale (like the Soviets and – by some estimates – the Chinese).

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’ve nothing against prosecuting Nazis guilty of crimes for which they’ve never been punished, but I don’t understand why we’ve forgiven some and not others.

Another part of me wonders what will happen in ten years’ time (give or take) when the final Nazi is dead. Who will then become the bogeymen of the world?

 


 

I suppose it’s also fitting that I’m watching/listening to a Twilight Zone marathon while I work on this. Rod Serling dished out devious damnations to nefarious Nazis in “Judgment Night”, “Deaths-Head Revisited”, and “He’s Alive”. There may be more, but those are the three that come immediately to mind.

In fact, Serling’s closing narration to “Deaths-Head Revisited” has become a staple in my classroom when discussing World War II and how we come to terms with what happened:

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, 
the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain 
standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some 
men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they 
shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but 
worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the 
moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become 
the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only 
in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God's Earth.

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