20.04.2004 09:36 - Living in the Shadow of a Fascist State.
Most Germans the age of my girlfriend\'s parents have uncomfortable memories of childhood.
One of the stories that occasionally comes up is the story of the priest, the Party member, and my girlfriend\'s grandfather (\"Opie\"). My girlfriend comes from a small village in a wine-growing area of Germany, and she can trace her family right back to the middle ages, when they first moved to that district and started growing wine - but I digress.
The story goes something like this. The Priest, unlike a lot of people at the time who kept their heads down and mouths shut, was critical of a certain regime. (Doubtless you know the name of the leader of this regime, a former house-painter from Vienna.) The Village party member decided he was going to teach the priest a thing or two. Frankly, he was going to have him beaten up. He wasn\'t going to do that himself, though. He was going to administer the beating via a gang.
So he went round to see Opie, and explained how he thought that the \"turbulent priest\" ought to be taught a lesson in an extremely physical manner, and that Opie was one of the men to do it. Opie took down his shotgun and showed it to the party member, and said \"If you lay a hand on that man, I will use this on you.\" - or words to that effect.
Now read this.