I remember a co-worker from some years ago, a German chap of a certain age -- born about 1928, I would guess. Let's call him Gunnar.
I got to know Gunnar pretty well. He wasn't a bad fellow. Thoughtful, well-read, enlightened, droll.
It took a long time for the unfortunate subject of Hitler to arise. I avoided it, and Gunnar certainly wasn't any more eager than I was to bring it up.
But one evening, after a beer or two or three, I can't remember how it happened, but the ill-omened name was spoken.
Gunnar submerged himself in his stein for a long minute, and finally observed, when he came up for air, that well, you know, the man wasn't completely bad. He built the Autobahn, after all.
I thought of this recently in connection with my giddy, happy, liberal friends, still all jazzed about Obama, and very peeved at me when I tactlessly mention the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, to which Obama and his entire party have given a very unequivocal green light.
Oh, I know. Obama isn't Hitler. Nothing like. Of course not. Hitler is the gold standard. Nobody is going to take his trophies away from him any time soon -- let's hope.
What interests me the mentality of my thoughtful, well-read, enlightened, droll Obama-ite Gunnars, who recognize, and quietly -- very quietly, perhaps even entirely in the deep quiet of their own minds -- deplore the bestial depravity of Israel, and understand that Obama is right down there with it; but who nevertheless think he's going to build us an Autobahn.