|"This is the final lesson to be experienced.
This last lesson is perhaps the one of greatest importance. This
lesson was the question that started our plunge in studying Nazi
life. Do you remember the question? It concerned a bewilderment at
the German populace claiming ignorance and non-involvement in the
Nazi movement. If I remember the question. it went something like
this. How could the German soldier, teacher, railroad conductor,
nurse. tax collector. the average citizen, claim at the end of the
Third Reich that they knew nothing of what was going on. How can a
people be a part of something and then claim at the demise that
they were not really involved' What causes people to blank out
their own history? In the next few minutes and perhaps years, you
will have an opportunity to answer this question."
"If our enactment of the Fascist mentality is complete not
one of you will ever admit to being at this final Third Wave
rally. Like the Germans, you will have trouble admitting to
yourself that you come this far. You will not allow your friends
and parents to know that you were willing to give up individual
freedom and power for the dictates of order and unseen leaders.
You can't admit to being manipulated. Being a follower. To
accepting the Third Wave as a way of life. You won't admit to
participating in this madness. You will keep this day and this
rally a secret. It's a secret I shall share with you."
I took the film from the three cameras in the room and pulled
the celluloid into the exposing light. The deed was concluded. The
trial was over. The Third Wave had ended. I glanced over my
shoulder. Robert was crying. Students slowly rose from their
Chairs and without words filed into the outdoor light. I walked
over to Robert and threw my arms around him. Robert was sobbing.
Taking in large uncontrollable gulps of air. "It's
over." it's all right." In our consoling each other we
became a rock in the stream of exiting students. Some swirled back
to momentarily hold Robert and me. Others cried openly and then
brushed away tears to carry on. Human beings circling and holding
each other. Moving toward the door and the world outside.
For a week in the middle of a school year we had shared fully
in life. And as predicted we also shared a deep secret. In the
four years I taught at Cubberley High School no one ever admitted
to attending the Third Wave Rally. Oh, we talked and studied our
actions intently. But the rally itself. No. It was something we
all wanted to forget.