The details will never be known but this photo of my father and his comrades in 1945 was sent to me a few days after Trump’s incitement of violence at the U.S. Capital in Washington DC.

My eyes slowly opened from birth to the age of five, living in a very small village of western Poland. Then in 1960 my parents took four small children on a ship to Canada and never returned.

My eyes have never witnessed the tremendous destruction that my parents, and so many other parents, endured as a result of the Second World War. At the outbreak of WWII my father was a teenager in another village in Poland where almost everyone was massacred except him.  My mother’s family was transported to Siberia where my grandmother died and starvation was a friend that ended a constant misery. WWII stole everything from my parents but their beating hearts and the air in their lungs. But they moved on.

Because of my parents bravery I have known none of these things throughout the 65 years of my life. No wars. No starvation. And much ethical teaching from TV shows like Father Knows Best, Bonanza and so many influences of good people.

But all those brave persons grew old. They slowly passed away, one by one. Their voices became smaller and smaller. And now their wise teachings can no longer be heard. Once again new Hitlers have been growing. Much like the Hitler youth the new generations look for quick solutions and simple explanations of cause and they only need a conniving salesman to be swept into his net.

Like Hitler before him Donald Trump is a captivating, psychotic speaker who knows how to twist words and meanings. Hitler used to stand in front of a mirror and practice his hand gestures and intonations in preparation for his speeches. I have no doubt the egotism of Trump is the same.

After the First World War Hitler never felt sorry for the German populace that was suffering around him. He found their complaints despicable. He only felt sorry for his fellow soldiers. He slowly developed an excuse their loss. He and his men were stabbed in the back by the Jews who caused Germany to lose the war.  It was a disgrace to the image of Germany. Hitler would make Germany great again. Like Trump would make America great again. In November, 2023 Hitler attempted a coup in Bavaria that failed. Sent to a luxurious “jail’ for a few years he wrote his “Mein Kampf”. Now that Trump has lost his Twitter account he may also reside in a societal jail as he and his followers prepare for their own great uprising.

Hitler used the misery of his people to find a Jewish scapegoat that he used to perfection. Trump is now using “far left wing radicals” as his scapegoat for his electoral loss. The blue-eyed and blond Germans of the 1920s and 1930s absolutely believed their superiority was stolen from them. Much like the changing make-up of society is stealing America from Trump’s pure white race.

Hitler’s arrogance took Germany to unimaginable evils. Murdering even the most innocent children in mass extermination camps. My home country of Poland still maintains witness to those atrocities in the well-preserved camps where “Work Shall Set You Free”. While Jews died, so did many Poles, and mentally ill, and gypsies and all else that did not match Hitler’s approval. As one observer said, he did not know anyone like Hitler who could sign off the deaths of thousands in the morning and have a very pleasant, gleeful lunch at noon. That too is Trump, he just has not got there yet.

Like Clarke Griswold I have a post-Christmas wish for my 66th birthday. I would like to have Trump brought to me hog-tied, with a red ribbon wrapped around him and his ass kicked into my living-room by my cousin Eddy. I would then drag his comb-over head to his golden toilet seat and shove it down there for a good long while until he gets some appreciation of how fragile his own life could be. But then, by doing so, I would be just like him.

All kidding aside this is the very grass fire that we light, in the middle of a national forest, without thinking what might happen if the fire ever goes out of control. Because these small flames are the start of enormous fires that no one can put out until all the wood is burnt to the ground. Germany was a national forest that Hitler lit and it burned to the ground. That fire also spread worldwide and took almost every country with it. The First World War also started as a small flame in Serbia when a Grand Duke was murdered and all of Europe aligned itself into two unstoppable fires. All peace talks by more level-headed diplomats were of no use.

Instead of turning to violence, today America did what it should have: Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a second time – a record never achieved by any previous President. But more revealing was the number of Republicans who voted against impeachment. Even when the angry mob that Trump incited could likely have killed them except for the bravery of a few outnumbered police officers. Now this lack of a bipartisan stance may embolden factions in every U.S. state to light their own little fires, each with the potential to start the big one.

I have lived my long and peaceful live because of the cornerstones placed by those before me along my path. I would like to think that somehow I could also lay a few cornerstones for those little feet that will pass over me when I am gone. Peace, understanding, tolerance. A slowness to battle, a fearless courage to strike when no option is given, and may you all have the wisdom to know when each is required.