Fifty ago I wrote a book called "The Swastika," in which I described how the Nazis took over Germany. I was helped by my childhood memories. I was nine years old when the Nazis came to power. I witnessed the agonies of German democracy and the first steps of the new regime before my parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided to escape and settle in Palestine.
I wrote the book on the eve of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, after realizing that the young generation in Israel knew a lot about the Holocaust but next to nothing about the people who brought it about. What occupied me more than anything else was the question: how could such a monstrous party succeed in coming to power democratically in one of the most civilized countries in the world?
The last chapter of my book was called "It Can Happen Here". That was a paraphrase of the title of a book by the American writer Sinclair Lewis, "It Can’t Happen Here," in which he described precisely how it could happen in the United States.
I argued in the book that Nazism was not a specifically German disease, that in certain circumstances any country in the world could be infected by this virus – including our own state. In order to avoid this danger, one had to understand the underlying causes for the development of the disease.
To the assertion that I am "obsessed" by this matter, that I see this danger lurking in every corner, I answer: not true. For years I have avoided dealing with this subject. But it is true that I carry in my head a little red light that comes on when I sense the danger.
This light is now blinking.
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