I’m in awe of this German officer, Armin T. Wegner, who first spoke out against the Armenian genocide and then wrote a letter to Hitler !!! in 1933 telling him he shouldn’t dare do what he was just starting to do to the Jews. He had such foresight (when it was only the first laws passed, outlawing Jewish professionals), naivety (of sending a letter to Hitler, of all people!) but yet conviction that he had to do something, even though he may have realized that his voice alone wouldn’t lead to anything but personal harm. It is nothing short of awesome and inspiring.
I always hope that if, God forbid, it ever comes down to it, I will have strength of character to stand up against evil. I have a terrible fear that I will do no such thing.
Wegner had such a strong moral compass and he used the tools available to him: His writing and photography. The interesting thing is that it seems he is the only German writer to speak out. Futhermore, one must ask, if a large percentage of writers (not to mention other people) had felt the same responsibility that Wegner did, how may that have altered history? Since he was the only one who wrote a letter to Hitler, he got in big, big trouble for it. It’s amazing he survived.
Anyway, last Sunday, his son flew in from Rome, Italy, in order to speak to a mixed crowd of Armenians and Jews. What an exciting, touching experience that was! To read part of his letter and more of the story, you can read my article here.