When asked to give up his seat on public transit for senior citizens, he would often hesitate, wondering whether those individuals played passive or active roles during the Third Reich. While perhaps unfair, younger generations judged Germans who lived through the Nazi era as though they were complicit and could have changed the course of history.
Similarly, we will all be judged by what we do — or do not do — at this moment in American history. This is not in any way to compare the atrocities of the Holocaust with what we are seeing in the US today, but there are similarities to this moment and the rise of Nazism in the 1930s. Today, we stand at a precipice, yet unlike Germans in the lead-up to World War II, we have the chance to vote a rising authoritarian out of power.