"Otto Buchendorf briskly walked north on the Friedrichstrasse. He was carrying a canvas bag with a loaf of heavy dark bread, a small block of butter and two fragrant, dried and salted herring. It was a cool evening in the Fall of 1934.
Herr Buchendorf was a minor bureaucrat. He was employed in the office of public works. He handled issues having to do with the removal of garbage and the carcasses of dead horses and other animals left in public places. Otto Buchendorf had studied briefly to be an architect. There was little work for young architects in 1920's Germany. He followed his father's path into the labyrinthian bureaucracy of Berlin.
Passing a cobbler's shop he noticed a gold framed image of "The Fuhrer" proudly hanging above the Shoemaker's counter. Otto looked away, nervously clutching the bread as if it were a vulnerable infant. He and his friends had laughed at "The Austrian Paperhanger," as he whipped up the goons and dull bullies that burned to wear his brown costumes. He held court in beer halls -- angry thugs drunkenly singing "Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles!" and shouting epithets at Jews and Communists.
He appeared such a blustering fool or mad man. He was now the man with ultimate power in Germany. He was systematically destroying all that held civil society together. "How could so many be so blind," thought Otto, his face reddening. Yes, they had laughed at the Bohemian Corporal once but now he was threatening to take away a contented future for his daughters, his dreamed of grandchildren. There was no way to predict or understand when or if this would come to an end. It had truly begun and the end was years away.
No one could have predicted the horror they had watched arrive, and once they understood -- it was too late, much too late..." From "The Trial of Otto Buchendorf" By Franklin Cincinnatus
It has truly begun.
(Article changed on May 10, 2018 at 01:42)