Don't Let My Past Be Your Future.
November 11, 2017 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Harry Leslie Smith is not afraid to school anyone on the current regression to the bad old days. At 94, he’s got every right. He’s a veteran of the British Royal Air Force during World War II, so when he compares current times with Nazi Germany he knows about it first hand.

As a child in the 1920s he lived through the hell of life was like without a social safety net: destitution, hunger, and homelessness. His sister died of tuberculosis and was buried in an unmarked grave. The dismantling of the National Health Service, for both physical and mental health treatment, is one of his chief concerns.

Fortunately for us all he’s writing books and articles, tweeting (pointedly at times), recording a podcast, and doing television interviews. His latest book, Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future, takes modern conservatives to task for their inhumanity. No surprise, he’s an ardent campaigner for the Labour party.

He celebrates happiness as well. His wife was a German woman he met in Hamburg after the war and he’s written a book about their life together.

The refugee crisis in Europe has captured his focus now and he’s devoting the rest of his life to finding a solution.

posted by mrcrow (4 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

Well, we can only hope that today's Nazis aren't studying history in the hope that they can win the next time...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:41 AM on November 11, 2017

"Then aged 16 and still wet behind the ears, I’d go to pictures with my mates and we’d laugh at the newsreels of Hitler and other fascist monsters that lived beyond what we thought was our reach. Little did we know in that August 1939, life without peace,"

My Uncle was 13 that summer, lots of ballgames and usual Southside Chicago stuff But his older brother had joined the navy in 38', mainly to have one less mouth to feed and he would send home money. His first at leave Was that summer and he conveyed that things didn't look well, that Hitler was more then a cartoon. Well, it also conveys that the end of innocence for millions nevermind the millions living in poverty. By 1944 he was in German pow camp. By 1966, His brother was a rear-admiral so ya, I believe that 1945 signifies a new era, one of almost constant warfare and a struggle for remaiming natural resources and there markets. welcome To the year 72.
posted by clavdivs at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's a little hackneyed to quote Twain's, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." But he wrote much more...

A historian who would convey the truth must lie. Often he must enlarge the truth by diameters, otherwise his reader would not be able to see it.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

Herodotus says, "Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: The conscientious historian will correct these defects."
- Acknowledgments for A Horse's Tale

It is not worthwhile to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.
- Autobiographical dication, 15 January 1907.
Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2 (University of California Press, 2013)

[More at TwainQuotes]

Those who learn from history are doomed to make new mistakes.
--Chuck Rosenthal
posted by lazycomputerkids at 3:40 PM on November 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

« Older 7 forgotten women surrealists   |   If the valley was hidden, how did they find it? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments