This is Athens as we want it to be.
Over the years I’ve met a large number of people who lived through the extraordinary transformation in the fortunes of the Nazi party between 1928 and 1933. In the elections of 1928 the Nazis gained less than 3% of the vote – they seemed an irrelevance in German politics. Yet by January 1933 they were the biggest party in Germany and Hitler was Chancellor.
‘You just can’t imagine how quick things can change,’ many of these Germans said to me. ‘One moment it seemed that everything was stable, certain, and the next the banks had crashed, the middle-class had lost their savings, there was mass unemployment, and the whole fabric of our culture seemed to be unraveling. You couldn’t even walk through the parks – it just wasn’t safe anymore. There was so much crime. And Hitler offered us salvation from all of that disorder.’
I thought of those sentiments on a recent visit to Athens. Read the rest of this entry