Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I just finished reading about the memoirs of one Michael Keogh.

Michael was a British soldier during World War 1 who was captured by the Germans. He stayed after the war and joined some sort of police force.
One day in 1919 he happened upon a frightening scene. A young man who had been campaigning was laying on the floor surrounded by an angry mob. They were kicking and beating him and were flashing their bayonets. It was clear that this was going to end in death.
Michael saved the young mans life. He was in bad shape, cut and bleeding all over.

It would seem a heroic deed and perhaps indeed it was.

But the story isn't over..

He pulled the young man up and asked for his name...
"Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler"..came the weak reply

Was it still a heroic deed...?
Even though retrospectively he might have aided in the deaths of 50 million people?



Anonymous eve said...

You can't get caught up in the "ifs" of the situation. So this Keogh fellow was successful in his duties of saving a life, fine. Why should that have anything to do with Hitler's ym's rise to power, which, when you examine it, only came about through extraordinary counts of hashgacha pratis. G-d wanted this fiend to be born, survive, and rise. He was the one who was chosen to be the vehicle of destruction for tens of millions of people. That does not turn a policeman's accomplishment into a terrible deed, when hindsight is very much 20/20.

Btw, they made this story into a tv show around 20 years ago -

August 25, 2010 10:54 PM  
Anonymous eve said...

oops i meant 8 yrs ago.

August 25, 2010 10:55 PM  
Anonymous davidonthelake said...

Hmm Im not sure how that's possible..the memoir was discovered a few months ago..

August 26, 2010 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Sun inside Rain said...

I agree with eve. He's a hero for saving a helpless human being. Who he later turned out to be doesn't matter. I vaguely recall a story along similar lines that either he (Hitler) or his mother was very sick as a child or baby, and a doctor (probably Jewish, for good measure) saved him. I always thought of these stories as urban legends.

August 26, 2010 12:55 PM  
Anonymous eve said...

who said it had anything to do with the memoir? it was a twilight zone episode from 2002.

to sun:
it was his mother who needed massive doses of morphine, and a jewish doctor was her caregiver.

August 26, 2010 1:21 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I agree as well.
I just think it really illustrates the concept of being defined by the moment of the present as opposed to the big picture.
Even though in the larger picture what he did was horrendous..if you just isolate that moment in time then it was noble..

August 26, 2010 3:17 PM  

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