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Quote of the Century:

July 29, 2008

The quote below was sent to me by Nels Cook, a Finn fluent in English, son of a former colleague of mine (and Nancy’s) from our Finland days. I am hoping that he will consider writing a monthly column for this blog as his emails from Tallinn and Helsinki are filled with both historical and contemporary political wisdom, and furthermore are quite funny, a hard combination to achieve.

Concerning the quote of the century, there really are two from World War II that are up there for contention. There is the famous one by Rev. Neimoller about how first `they’ (choose your own `they’ – Bush, the Nazis, the FBI etc) came for the trade unionists and communists but no one did anything until, left all alone, he was easy to pick off.. ie – the best brief synopsis for why, what the old left used to call a `united front’, – people finding common political ground despite their differences – still resonates in a certain way.

Hermann Goering, WW 1 German flying ace, drug addict, thug extraordinaire and Hitler’s designated successor and commander of the Luffwaffe (Nazi Air Force) was condemned to death by the Nuremburg Trials. Instead he took the easy way out and committed suicide by swallowing cyanide pills the night he was to be hung. The quote below was from his trial. It rings true today. Obviously. Thanks Nels.

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