23 May 2020 | Like Unto the Germans

Good luck trying to get it when this horrible administration is history.
Good luck trying to get it when this horrible administration is history.

After World World II, the de-Nazification program in defeated Germany was shut down in the 1950s at the strong insistence of the then West German government as being counterproductive and not useful at all. The allied powers, in particular the United States, acquiesced to that demand.

The famed trials at Nuremberg helped get at some of the big Nazi names and introduced the phrase “crimes against humanity” into the lexicon, but the number of people in Germany who got in trouble for their roles in the Third Reich was *painfully* small in the postwar years. It wasn’t nil, to be sure, but there also wasn’t a mass lockup. Functionaries across the board pretty much went back to their lives, as Germans rushed to the River Lethe and slurped as much as they could. Plus, the incipient Cold War helped distract attention and just about buried any true accounting on the part of the German people. Decades would past before the actual horrors of the Nazi dictatorship would come to full view, starting with the 1978 miniseries “Holocaust.”

What does all this have to do with us? Well, when it comes to the punishment of functionaries and the extent of the malfeasance that we have yet to uncover fully, we Americans are not going to be any different with the sonsofbitches who have ruined the country as the Germans were with theirs. Yeah, we’re using hyperbole overall, but that’s to underscore the point that all the people who operated the machinery to lock kids up, let racism continue to unfurl almost unchallenged, and allowed government institutions to weaken and collapse and so much more will not lose their jobs. They will not be perp walked. They will not be shamed at all. They will all quickly forgive themselves and say, “We had to go along with this to prevent things from getting worse.” That will be the new “I was just following orders.” The more arrogant of the officials–Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin to name just two–will smugly claim “je ne regrette rien.”

And that will be the end of the affair. Count on it.