A gentleman and a gem of a man, Joachim Reinwein, a good man that I have golfed with for a decade recently shared with me his hand-written Christmas wish list, he presented to his parents.
It is written in the old style of German handscript, which I do not read fluently. He pointed out a few things to show how widespread thought was in that era.
"Dear Baby Jesus (Germans ask for gifts not from Nikolaus, but from Baby Jesus),
Please bring me
A motorcycle with a sidecar
and a moving machine gun.
Like the one at Schneiders (spelling?) store."
The point he wanted to make was his signature as a boy:
Heil Hitler! Jochen (Joachim)
His point was that during that era, even children were swept up with popular opinion.
It does make you stop and think - am I counter-culture as Paul indicated we are to live? Or do I parrot the perspectives and passions of my peer group? Am I a mirror of my society or of my Saviour?
Romans 12:1-2: 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The past generation, like Joachim, have left us a tremendous legacy, I am the richer for having know this fine man. Their work ethic, their willingness to right wrong perspectives has made Germany a strong nation.
They have important stories to share with us. Listen to them.