Through the lens of history

I’m going to expand a bit on my post of the other day.

Some years ago I was reading a magazine from 1936 and the editor wrote of the “three greatest men of the day, Hitler, Mussolini and Roosevelt.” How he managed to leave out Stalin will always be a mystery.

Well, I choked and my first thought was to wonder what Franklin thought about it. But then I realized that it was written in 1936 and my reaction to it was the result of reading it through the eyes of someone who was post WW2.

In 1936, it was not that people did not know that Hitler and Mussolini were bad people, they just did not care, or rather were more than willing to take the bad with their ability to bring about economic recovery, or at least the illusion thereof. The war and its side effects were still in the future so folks really had no idea just how bad Hitler was. And there were those damned fools who actually thought Stalin was a good guy.

We see things through lenses and there is no way to avoid it. But the biggest lens is the passage of time.


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