Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Banality of Himmler

Himmler’s daughter recently died ("Gudrun Burwitz, Ever-Loyal Daughter of Himmler, Is Dead at 88,NYT7/6/18). And her story epitomizes Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil.” Firstly, she made the Times obit page, which is a distinction in and of itself. There was undoubtedly someone whose relative wasn’t so lucky and who said to themselves “I guess you have to be Himmler’s daughter.” Secondly, she remained loyal to her father throughout her life, refusing to believe that he was a monster which is a reminder that in spite of the haunting box cars, train, whistles, ovens and smoke stacks, life apparently went on with some degree of normalcy (at least for those in high positions) during the Third Reich. You did your job and received rewards, promotions and reprimands (in Himmler’s case he incurred the Fuhrer’s disfavor in the end for advocating surrender). You had your marriages and children. Himmler’s produced Gudrun, a nice Teutonic name. Gutrune was Siegfried's wife in Wagner's Ring. According to The Times piece, Himmler called her “Puppi,” and she called him “Pappi.”  Puppi and Pappi could be a graphic novel say like Maus. A killing machine is a way of life and there are weddings and birthdays and children like the hapless Gudrun who had trouble getting a job due to her resume. Gudrun herself apparently found love, in the form of a right wing journalist named Wulf, which just goes to show there’s someone for everyone. Is there a dating site that caters to the offspring of war criminals?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.