In Summary
  • As one reads through Bloch’s account of Ribbentrop’s diplomacy in the pre-Second World War, it becomes crystal clear that the war was coming. 
  • To keep quiet and stand by implies consent. Passivity at Kuria’s and Owino’s abuses implies consent. 
  • Time is not the solution to our problems. Hatred is a contagious intergenerational disease. We must do something.

Joachim von Ribbentrop was Hitler’s right-hand man in foreign politics. He was an intelligent, egoistic and Machiavellian opportunist.  

He started his life as a wine trader, and married Anna Henkell, of a powerful winemaking family, to secure his business growth and success. For him, family, business and politics were all intermingled. 

Anna, who was enchanted by the Führer, introduced Joachim. For the couple, getting closer to Hitler and pleasing him was good for business. Eventually business became politics, assassination and execution.

In 1993, Michael Bloch published a fantastic biography of Ribbentrop. Bloch portrays Ribbentrop as the prototype of a yes-man, who sought to please Hitler in every possible way.

Hitler liked him and defended him against the attacks of cleverer and crueller criminals like Goebbels and Goering. 

History teaches us scary lessons. As one reads through Bloch’s account of Ribbentrop’s diplomacy in the pre-Second World War, it becomes crystal clear that the war was coming. 

The writing was on the wall; Hitler was on a warpath. Europe turned a blind eye and preferred to believe that all would be well. 

RECKLESS AND SENSELESS

For several years, leaders closed their eyes to Hitler’s implicit and explicit attacks, aggressive talk, tactics and advances.

Ribbentropp, who always behaved as Hitler’s faithful handler and loudmouth, came eventually to saying “We no longer demand anything, we want war.” Europe hoped things would turn differently but alas, ‘things’ are the result of actions; destiny is the predictable outcome of our actions.

William Jennings Bryan puts it well when he says, “destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.”  Jennings was paraphrasing William Shakespeare’s “it is not in the starts to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

I refuse to believe that Kenya’s destiny will be decided by the Ribbentropps of today, the handlers, the reckless and senseless loudmouths that are used to manipulate the“hopefool” low class, desperate and sometimes intellectually weak.

They are the ones who will pay the price of death and a jobless economy to have “their” man in power. 

It is really saddening that Babu Owinos and Moses Kurias brainless and obtuse utterances are not punished by their respective principals. To keep quiet and stand by implies consent. Passivity at Kuria’s and Owino’s abuses implies consent. 

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