The Fine Line, State Security vs. Civil Liberty
In his book William Allen states, “If there are two Germans it’s a discussion, if there are three it’s a club”.(1) It is true that the Germans like their clubs. I am a member of the Under the Nussbaum Garden Club in Wiesbaden, Germany. We meet every Wedenesday at 6:00 PM and Sunday at 9:00 AM for Stammtisch or the meeting table. Here we can discuss anything. Anyone can give their opinion about Barrack Obama, Angela Merkel or anything else you choose. In Nazi Germany this would not have been possible. Professor Ganyard stated in a previous class, A History of Germany from 1871 to the Present, (2) that the Nazis had a law that in every organization there had to be a least one member of the National Socialist Democratic Workers Party. You can easily imagine how this would put a stop to any political discussion.
In his book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, (3) David Lagercrantz has his heroine, Lisbeth Salander hacks into the National Security Agency’s (NSA) computers. The reason she feels this is justified is that the NSA hacks anyone’s phone or computer that they wish. For the girl with the dragon tattoo this was nothing other than reciprocation in kind. The argument about civil liberty and national security is raging in our government right now. What we are told is that it’s okay to tap into phones overseas but not in the homeland. The positive aspect is that we even have this debate, in Hitler’s Germany there would be no debate. The USA has faults and problems but there must be a reason that people from all over the world choose to immigrate to our country.
(1) Allen, William. The Nazi Seizure of Power, The Experience of a Single German Town 1922-1945. Watts. 1984. (2) Ganyard, Cliff. A History of Germany from 1871 to the Present. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. (3) Lagercrantz, David. The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Knopf. 2015 Photo from http://www.uwgbcommons.org/wp-ontent/uploads/2015/04/ Swatiska-Nigh t.jpg.