“Adele from Munkatch” – “The best bread in Berlin”
Adele from Munkatch and The best bread in Berlin have a particular compositional structure. This is because there is an idea (a melody) that never ceases, even with persistent variations (evolutions).
This idea attempts to reinforce the value of memory which, as well as signifying “pass through the heart again” (remember, from the latin: re; cordare), strives to be an effective tool to prevent certain atrocities in the future.
Some historians agree that there was a secret meeting where Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler discussed the political convenience of executing the Final Solution. Goebbels, who was a communication fanatic and was very aware of the impact this could have on the future electoral support, told Hitler that massive extermination would have great negative impact on future voters, and therefore advised against it. He then explained that the National Socialist Party (his party) was growing very slowly in elections and implementing such an unpopular measure would make them lose valuable voters.
Confronted by the Minister of Propaganda’s concern, Hitler responded:
“Nobody complained, and nobody even remembers the Armenian Genocide...; nobody will be bothered by this plan.”
Which could have been the impact of a generalized Turkish objection to the Armenian Genocide? What effect could a firm and constant memory of the Armenian people have had on Nazi propagandistic calculations? And what about the disapproval of neighboring countries... or of the whole world?
We will never know the potential impact this memory could have had on the macabre, yet rational and rigorous calculations made by Hitler in deciding whether or not to systematically kill the Jews in Germany1.
We will never know... but we can learn something from this story: the value of memory.
The same as the central melody of Adele from Munkatch and The best bread in Berlin, which changes constantly, but is never fully extinguished.
This is why, if this meeting really occurred, Hitler was really evaluating pros and cons of this procedure, and the perceived effect of a similarly unpopular process (the Armenian Genocide), would have been a central issue in the final decision.
1It is important to note that the Final Solution was not one of the first options that Hitler was evaluating to deal with the “Jewish Problem” (sic). In fact, the first plan he analyzed (and even started implementing) was to send the European Jews to Madagascar for them to form a self-governed settlement there.
[Un = negative prefix + Popular = the people.
As citizens, we tend to underestimate the potential effects of our opinions.]
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