Is Europe sinking into a ‘Badenheim’ of barbarism?

The great Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld just passed away. He delivered to his readers and the world the last waltzing tour of a scene waiting for catastrophe to strike: “Badenheim 1939.”.

Resting on gentle hills, colored with roses and lilacs, the small town of Badenheim is the ideal setting. You have fun, there are strawberries with cream in the fashionable patisserie, Jews exchange gossip, quarrel quietly, flirt. Then – unexplainable restrictions for Jews are announced, mail no longer arrives, telephones are silent, there is talk of a “transfer” to Poland. Appelfeld wrote this marvelous constant of human history, the act of stunning that precedes the great catastrophes.

But today, Europe itself risks being turned into a Badenheim.

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  • Norman_In_New_York

    God exacts judgment on evil in mysterious ways. Europe (except those eastern countries standing up to the EU) deserves this.

    • Jack Lipnick

      Why? Because they support the EU?

      • Norman_In_New_York

        They elected these hacks.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Every 40 years or so Europe destroys itself in an orgy of genocide. We’re do for another one.

    • Ed Ellison

      I really believe that they skipped a cycle, mostly due to Pax Americana.
      They let the Americans pay for their defense since WW2, instead spending that money on useless social programs.
      The result will be a doubling down on the next cycle, which appears to be coming in the very near future.

  • LKurc

    Europe has always been a Badenheim. The idyliic first picture that Appelfeld describes is just a thin veneer that covers up the true barbarism that lies beneath it.

    The best description I have ever heard that sums up the true character of Europe was written by the late Paddy Chayefsky in “The Americanization of Emily”, one of the greatest films made about WWII. The main character, played by James Garner, tired of all the criticism that the American soldiers are getting from the arrogant Brits. finally shuts them up with the following speech; “The only reason we are over here fighting is because of 2000 years of European greed, stupidity, superstition, and barbarism.” He basically summed up in one sentence why so many millions of Europeans and others left their homes to go to an new land that promised them the freedom of a better future than the one they had.

    • Some would claim that the reason the Americans were fighting in Europe was that they realised they would be next; that helping the “arrogant Brits” win over there might save them having to fight in America. I think Pearl Harbour brought home to them that the war against the Axis Powers was not a movie.