History News Network, Raw Story: A professor of German history explains the true horror of Trump’s response to Charlottesville.
“It isn’t often that historians get to see their work gain such relevance in the present. And for those of us who study the history of hatred, bigotry, and the evils of Nazi Germany, the prospect of such relevance is most uncomfortable. If my work has taught me anything, it’s the importance of keeping the boundaries of one’s moral universe as wide as possible. In the early twentieth century, too many Germans pushed too many others beyond the boundaries of their moral universe—beyond the borders of the German racial community—where their fate was at best no longer of any concern to them, at worst, they represented an existential threat.
When that happens, the horrors committed under the swastika flag become possible. How safe are we today? How extensive are the boundaries of our own moral universe—each and every one of us? Those who marched in Charlottesville under Hitler’s flag and the President who chose not to condemn them revealed the boundaries of their moral universe to be sadly and frighteningly small. The flag that flew on that horrible day—with that symbol of ultimate evil at its heart—should remind us all just where such a limited sense of fellow feeling can lead.”