I’m starting to see sinister complicity everywhere. Even the Lufthansa in-flight magazine, killing time en route from Munich to Belgrade by reading a piece about three German Olympic hopefuls.
I can’t place what’s bothering me till the final one, about some girl who started off a swimmer and has since become an Olympic class rower. What passes for levity is the comment in the final paragraph: “’Just don’t wear a T-shirt that says Free Tibet,’ her grandmother warned her. No, she says. She doesn’t want to get involved in politics.”
From anyone else that advice would be merely offensive. Coming from a German grandmother it is downright creepy. Maybe young Juliane Domscheid is no more or less culpable than any of the other cowardly athletes who put personal glory ahead of moral responsibility but her gran must be old enough to remember what happened last time Germans embraced “just following orders” as their national mantra.
For a German to blithely advise against speaking out against oppression strikes me as not only irresponsible but obscene. They, of all people, should know the road to hell on earth is paved with reverence for the regime.