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  • Tanya Rubinstein

If Adolph Hitler Had “Run” for a Second Term

Here we are, America, October 1, 2020


Fascism has fully entrenched itself in our country, as the prophet George Carlin stated decades ago, “wrapped in a flag, carrying a Bible.”


1933–1938


"Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor on January 30, 1933, the Nazi state (also referred to as the Third Reich) quickly became a regime in which citizens had no guaranteed basic rights. The Nazi rise to power brought an end to the Weimar Republic, the German parliamentary democracy established after World War I. In 1933, the regime established the first concentration camps, imprisoning its political opponents, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others classified as “dangerous.” Extensive propaganda was used to spread the Nazi Party’s racist goals and ideals. During the first six years of Hitler’s dictatorship, German Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations that restricted all aspects of their public and private lives."- Wikipedia


Ever since I was a child, riveted by The Sound of Music, I've been obsessed with this period in history. My grandfather had a copy of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich on his bookshelf which I took down and read. Like so many of us, I saw all the iconic Holocaust films that were in the 70's and 80's: Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List, Life is Beautiful, Boys from Brazil. No other films moved me in quite the same way. After Schindler's List, I went to bed for about a week.


I found old Life Magazines in my mother's attic at one point, documenting the liberation of the camps.


In 2002, when I saw The Pianist, which takes place in Warsaw, starting in 1939 and through the end of the war, I felt a deep connection, I want to even say "remembrance" of that city somewhere in my being, if not in my actual DNA.


When Trump was elected and I was in shock, grief and despair with so many of you, I was given a clear directive from my home in El Rancho, New Mexico to take my daughter to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.when we were home visiting family at Christmas. This was the energetic and I was told that we needed to be fully awake to in terms of what was happening.


Several events ended up converging that week back home as threads of a larger narrative began to immediately unfold. I ended up with my mother at a German-American suburban home of family friends for decades, at Christmas Eve dinner. The oldest brother in the clan was a few years older than me. We were catching up after thirty- five years, over desert and coffee when he made an overt racist comment to me in front of my daughter. I confronted him on it in the moment while his sister began screeching "no politics, no politics".


In a nano second the reality that this was likely to be the end of my relationship with this family I'd known all my life came into focus. I glanced down the table at their immigrant German father, now in his late 80's who arrived in this country a decade after the war. My mother told me that he had been in a Nazi youth group as a child.


The words that came out of my mouth made clear that this wasn't politics as usual and as far as I was concerned, this was Berlin in 1933.


Things became extremely uncomfortable and we left immediately.


The day after Christmas, walking among the halls of the memorial, feeling into the energy still contained in those piles of shoes and the hair of children who were exterminated, I was chilled. I had gone with the desire to re-read the timelines of the rise and fall at the museum itself for full impact. After my precious daughter and I left, we passed by the White House, with the Obama's still in residence.


We've been living in this specific narrative with Trump for four years.


From the rise of the Third Reich to the liberation of the camps in 1945, it was twelve years.


Unlike Germany, we have the privilege and responsibility to interrupt this heinous plot line.


Biden is only the bridge. We will vote our way into a new consciousness that more clearly reflects the dream of a more just and inclusive America.


Are you with me?


Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash