“In a very nice way . . .”

I’m reading a book, “The Hare with Amber Eyes,” that traces the history of a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, through the late nineteenth century and up through the rise of Hitler and the Second World War and its aftermath. In 1922, at a point when Austria was grappling with the problems of change from what had been a great empire to what was now a small and insecure country, there was a novel published that imagined a country without Jews. Hitler was still unknown, Mein Kampf not yet published, when Hugo Bettauer wrote a book called The City Without Jews: a Novel about the Day after Tomorrow.
Bettauer imagined an edict that all Jews must leave Austria: “All of them, including the children of mein_kampf_dust_jacketmixed marriages, will be deported in orderly ways on trains.”
“In orderly ways . . .”

I couldn’t help remembering Donald Trump’s interview with Scott Pelley in which he talked about his plan for undocumented Mexicans: “There’s going to be a deportation force. . . We’re rounding them up in a very humane way, in a very nice way . . .”
As if racism can be “humane . . and nice.”
Three years after Bettauer’s book, Hitler published “Mein Kampf.”

After Trump’s “very humane” deportation force, what would be next?

Leave a comment

Your comment