Dictators and Good Deeds

Did Hitler help an old lady to cross the street before he became the Führer?

There is no account of such a deed. However, in Café Hofgarten in Munich in 1922, he was sitting near Lion Feuchtwanger. When Feuchtwanger got up to leave, Hitler darted up and helped the writer put on his coat.

(A decade later, the author’s works were thrown into Nazi bonfires. The polite man of the Twenties could very well have taken on the role of Grim Reaper if Feuchtwanger had still been within reach.)

I am still in search of one good deed by Vladimir Putin, firebug of inhabited buildings, dictator, invader of countries, kidnapper of children, assassin of journalists at home and “turncoat” agents abroad.

I broke with fans of the man, but if any of them can come up with just one good deed by the despot, things will have to be patched up.


– Herbert Kuhner