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In the Garden of Beasts

‘Why the US had entered the World War against Germany’. Asked the Vice Chancellor under Hitler’s regime Franz von Papen (1879-1969) at a party in Berlin, 1933.

William Dodd (1869-1940), the American ambassador to Germany looked at Papen and said, “I can tell you that,” his voice as leveled and even as before, “it was through the sheer consummate stupidity of German diplomats.”

Ha ha ha … how undipolmatic by a chief diplomat.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Erik Larson’s 2011 book. It focuses on William Dodd, before the ambassadorship was a history professor in Chicago, and his 24 years old daughter Martha, his wife and son all went with him. They lived in Berlin from 1933 to 1934.

There was a speculation that William Dodd was not the Dodd that FDR had in mind. Anyway, this Dodd accepted the job and went to Berlin with his whole family. It was the time when the foreign service was the wealthy men’s playground. Dodd was shocked to find his predecessors spending their private fund upward $100,000 a year to entertain, which was more than five times of his State Department salary.

Big part of the story was told through Martha’s eye – mainly her dates, that ranging from Soviet spy, French diplomat, the chief of the Gestapo (secret police) and even Adolf Hitler himself. The most intense affair was with the spy who turned her into a spy. (After being convicted of espionage by the U.S., she fled to Moscow and died in Prague in 1990. The Russians thought very little of her, a mere dilettante.)

The world had turned a blind eye to Hitler. The Americans didn’t intervene in time, one of the reason was huge debt Germany owed. Also, who wanted another world war?! Dodd lived to see the outbreak of the Second World War. Germany official surnamed on May 7, with a little known Alfred Jodl to sign off – all others higher ups were died by then and Rudolf Hess was in jain in U.K. Three months later, Japan, too surrendered unconditionally, which was 75 years ago today. The images of the ceremony on board the USS Missouri are memorable closure of the bloodiest conflict.

The once mighty aggressors/criminals are the pillars of our modern world now. How did that happen? Three quarter of a century, no one wants a war. The world dominance isn’t through military confrontation but perhaps by technology. Will stealing make up lack of creativity?

In the Garden of Beasts

1933年,德国副总理冯·帕彭扮纯情 问美国大使 “为什么美国参加了对德国的世界大战?” 美国大使平静的说,”我可以告诉你,是由于德国外交官的绝对愚蠢.”

… sheer consummate stupidity!

埃里克·拉森在2011年出版了 《野兽花园里: 一美国家庭在爱情,恐怖和希特勒的柏林》(?) 一书. 在做大使之前,威廉·多德是芝加哥历史教授.他们一家:女儿玛莎+妻+儿子都随他一起去了柏林,从1933年到1934.

书中一大部分是关于他24岁的女儿.是漂亮的男人她就约会.从苏联特务,法国外交官,盖世太保头头,连希特勒她都不放过;可惜八字不对. 所有男人中,特务是她最爱(他把她也变成了特务;不过苏联没把她当回事)… 她甚至要求斯大林批准他们结婚(不知道他那时已经被处决了).后来在被美国判犯有间谍罪之后,她逃到莫斯科,于1990年在布拉格去世.

德国于5月7日投降.由一个鲜为人知的小屁官油豆签字-当时其他高层人士死的死 自杀的自杀. 唯一在世的高官赫斯又被关在英国监狱… 前后不过十二年. 德国人都选择傻天真 或者沉默不语. 柏林议会大火 长刀之夜 … 世界也选择没有看见. 不知道老希看到他当年要赶尽杀绝的犹太人又当家作主了 会不会再死一次. 咱慈慈禧禧也喊过赶尽杀绝哈 离题了. 三个月后,小日本也无条件投降了-那是75年前的今天.

曾经的侵略者/罪犯 摇身一变 现在是我们现代世界的中流砥柱. 那是怎么发生的?

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