a young couple posing in front of a house after WWII

I am glad my father is dead

a young couple standing in a garden
My parents after the war

My mother, too, for that matter. I think of and miss my parents every day. As war children they endured terrible hardship. I believe watching another madman bring us to the brink of WWIII would be more than they could bear.

I’ve been waiting to share my thoughts because I so struggle with this development, this sick aggression on European soil. Having studied how war, particularly WWII, affects the common man, I am sick to my stomach. Watching the news shows a repeat of what happened back then. In fact, I have stopped writing my new novel because my mind is somewhat in a frozen state of shock.

Most of us Want the Same 

Most people sharing our planet have similar needs and wants: food, shelter, a family, a job to pay the bills and a few friends. How come that so often leaders rise to power who have entirely different goals? They don’t want these basic things, oh no, they’re so far removed from them, because they’re already rich beyond measure. Instead, the next thing they crave is power and more power. And in order to get such power, they’re willing to maim and kill, traumatize millions of people. All of us know such people, either alive or dead (thankfully).

police and tanksThe Rise of a Dictator

You’d think we should’ve learned to recognize such sickness, keep it contained somehow. Yet, here again, stands a man before us, well, he is hiding someplace because he good and well knows what the world would do to him. A man who is rumored to have amassed more than $200 billion, a former KGB member with close to nothing. Where did the money come from? From the people, of course, stolen and extracted from the Russian people who for the most part have little to nothing. Now that he is rich beyond measure, it isn’t enough anymore. He wants it all, he wants to cheat history, force people to follow him, not some democratically elected leader. Putin needs to fake elections to stay in power. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected by democratic process. Is that why Putin wants him gone so badly? Is it because the people of Ukraine want to be free and independent, not controlled by a dictator?

Proceed with Caution

stop the war posterEither way, I fervently hope that the leaders of the remaining world are aware of their responsibility to avoid an escalation. History teaches us many things, it can, because it allows us perfect hindsight. We can study and analyze all the bad turns, the wrong decisions, the turning points. Germany had already lost WWII in Stalingrad. Yet, three more years were wasted, millions and millions of lives lost, not to mention hardships created beyond measure. But when we are in the middle of a dangerous situation, we do not know what the next step is. We think hard and base many decisions on our previous experience, maybe on the advice of others.

Oh, yes, the “others.” They can be a blessing or they are a curse. They may provide sound advice or they support a dictator by bowing down, by riding on his coat tails. Haven’t we seen it done to abundance by the likes of Goebbels and Himmler, by Hitler’s generals who did his bidding to the bitter end. What would’ve happened if just one of them had done the right thing? Stopped Hitler, stopped his madness? Again, we speak with perfect hindsight.

planet earthNow we have no such thing. We, the people, must trust, that our leaders are going to do the right thing and avoid an escalation at all costs. We must trust that some people, somewhere near Putin, will do the right thing as well. Because one thing is clear, another World War would mean the end of humanity. Our planet would continue, of course, nature would eventually rebuild, new life would form over millions of years. The cynic in me comments that this may be better in the long run. Planet Earth without humans would infinitely be better off. Yes, it would. But then there are all those precious people, our children, colleagues, elderly parents, friends and neighbors with lives to live. For them and for that beautiful blue planet  I hope, humanity prevails.

In the meantime, the rest of us must tell our politicians how we feel, we must protest and help those who have been hit by this unjust war—open our hearts and homes and our wallets.