Friedrich Kellner kept a secret diary to record the crimes of the Third Reich

Originally published at:


This is a really interesting episode–I’d heard about this diary before, but I never knew that it only was published because George HW Bush put it in his presidential library in 2005.


There’s nothing futile about being anti-nazi.


Y’all, I HIGHLY recommend reading this book. It is sobering and a real eye-opener. It took me a little bit to finish it, because I had to keep setting it aside because I found it so depressing. And haunting.


Interesting. Did that fix the problem?

Asking for a friend the majority of the media who still seem to think documenting a slide into fascism is the same thing as opposing it.

BTW, if anyone was wondering if there’s anything you can do about fascism, short of violence, the answer is “yes” – as Hannah Arendt writes about Denmark in Eichmann in Jerusalem (emphasis added):

One is tempted to recommend the story as required reading in political science for all students who wish to learn something about the enormous power potential inherent in non-violent action and in resistance to an opponent possessing vastly superior means of violence. It was not just that the people of Denmark refused to assist in implementing the Final Solution, as the peoples of so many other conquered nations had been persuaded to do (or had been eager to do) — but also, that when the Reich cracked down and decided to do the job itself it found that its own personnel in Denmark had been infected by this and were unable to overcome their human aversion with the appropriate ruthlessness, as their peers in more cooperative areas had.

(According to Arendt, in the end, the Nazis “only” managed to murder 48 Danish Jews)

She was being excessively modest there – her entire book should be required reading. Or, I guess someone should make a version aimed at small children, since we’re apparently still married to the storybook heroes-and-villains model which is the basis of fascism, instead of understanding Arendt’s lesson that in the modern world, both villainy and heroism are primarily admin issues, and the greatest moral tests in our lives happen in meetings and while filling out paperwork.

I didn't mean to do a tl;dr, it just popped out

And you can even borrow the book for free at for 1 hr at a time:

If only more people understood that.

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If somebody writes it down there’s a chance it gets noticed the next time around and we don’t have to do it again.

It didn’t work this time, so thanks for the warning, guy, way to play on the team.


Currently something similar is happening, just recorded electronically, by the perpetrators in the form of twitter and perler babblings.

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The diary makes it pretty clear up front that Germany had already fallen to Fascism, Kellner and his father had been quite active before the Fall as a social democrat, and a large part of his reasoning behind the diary was to record his observations and thoughts in real time. He and his wife moved to another town just to kind of get away from a locale where folks knew his political leanings.

He knew atrocities were happening and he knew that the common folk in Germany were going to insist that they had no idea what was going on, that they were going to pretend to be ignorant after their inevitable ass-whipping by the Allies so they could just go about the business of rebuilding their lives after said ass-whipping.

He states a few times in the diary that he prayed for the ass-whipping to be severe because of the abomination that Germany had become.

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