Tuesday, October 25, 2022

How to spot a closet Nazi


Ireland France Nazi SS fugitive ratline teacher belligerence abuse school education collaboration indifference amorality books

The first Nazi I met was my French teacher at St Conleth's College in Dublin, Ireland. Louis Feutren was a former SS officer and Nazi collaborator who fought against the Allies and French partisans. Escaping from French justice, he found his way to Ireland.

Feutren was a caricature Nazi, raining scorn on us students, flying into fits of rage, throwing copybooks at our heads and sometimes striking us for the tiniest misdemeanour or gramaticcal mistake.

It was an open secret at the school and in Dublin society that he had been and SS officer during the war.

I wrote a long section on Feutren that sadly had to be left out of the 2022 version of The Real Odessa due to space constraints.

Feutren's story is relevant today and exemplifies how any society, in this case Ireland, my own school in Dublin, can become accustomed to cohabitation with evil.

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