I don’t think I have written much in the past about Hitler.
It is not a topic I am that comfortable describing. (Sorry for the awkward grammar – isn’t that appropriate?).
Sure – it is easy for me to express my position – it is the same as everyone else, but, when entering into the realms of discussion, nuance and conjecture as two of my Podcast heroes have just done (listening while I was out walking Maisie) – Dan Carlin and Daniele Bolelli, it is not so straightforward.
It was my son who first told me about H and the Autobhan – it seems he was responsible for its construction. Rami had been learning about the inter-war period in history and I guess this is something that is taught; it is perhaps part of the GCSE history syllabus.
(A convenient University Challenge question: ‘Tell me one good thing about H’) – you get the idea.
Well, in the Podcast discussion they are examining relativity and history – as to whether the perspective of time alters our feelings about what has happened.
If you ask the same question of Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, people will not necessarily feel as anxious or defensive – what great things did they achieve in their lives?
We can answer this more easily because so many generations have passed since the events; both were likely responsible for more deaths than H or Stalin, but we don’t have the same sense of disgust when contemplating this.
Time irons-out the cracks; when the last great-grandchild of the last survivor of the Holocaust has died, we will lose an important emotional link to what happened; add 20 generations and the associations are even weaker.
Getting back to motorways – I don’t know a deal about them either, other than they are the German version of the UK roads and you can drive very fast on them (esp in BMW) – I have heard up to 200 km/h although that is perhaps not true.
Time does dilute.
It washes away the pain, it removes the colour from scenes of horror as much as happiness.
We cannot judge yesterday by today’s standards.
Yet, we can drive along their roads.
Something to consider.