Just a quick thought today about something relating to what I’m currently reading. It deals with life in Germany during the Nazi party’s ascent to power. I have always heard about how the citizens of Germany themselves, by and large, were oblivious to the true nature of the Nazi’s intentions. This is probably more true as it concerns those who lived outside of the urban areas. Those who lived in and around Berlin, those who had direct and frequent contact with the Nazi leadership, had more of a chance to see them for who they really were.
The case can be made that many of the people living in Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power chose, to a certain extent, to ignore the warning signs. The growing prominence of the Gestapo led to a drastic increase in reports made by German citizens to the police. Obviously, the citizens of an increasingly militaristic society would be driven by fear to conform. The point that has struck me in all of this is how the vast majority of German citizens turned a blind eye, simply because they were either too fearful of the consequences or too comfortable with the current state of their lives. Some people even sought to make personal gain by turning in their friends and neighbors to the Gestapo over tiny, meaningless things.
Can any comfort or habit of life be so important that a because of it a person can justify their ignorance of a public evil? This look into the past should serve as a reminder and a warning for today.