Johan Frankin has been living in the US, though not as a permanent resident, for many years. His job in IT requires him to travel between Germany and America every few months.
Yes, he is still German.
Franklin told indy100 that his growing frustration prompted him to pen the Dear America letter. The level of hatred Trump’s campaign caused, shocked him, and the republican presidential candidate's comments about women and minorities forced his hand.
I was shocked, and I continued to be shocked, that he could attack minorities as well as boast about sexually assaulting women… and people would celebrate him for it. That women would wear ‘Trump can grab MY p***y’ t-shirts. That he would go up in the polls again, despite all that.
Not only is Trump’s campaign filled with hate, but Franklin points to the “highly irrational” nature of his electorate.
There is something about Trump that makes people disregard the obvious, the facts that have been well documented, most of all by himself recorded on tape. Instead, they cling to something highly irrational, some obscure hope that their life will be better if that man came to power.
And I thought: Hm. Remind you of anyone?
For his post, Franklin received death threats and abuse on Twitter, but he expected it: after all, his comment had been designed to shock and appall.
I went as provocative as humanly possible with that Hitler comparison, didn't I?
What amazed me was the overwhelming feedback from people who feel the same way, but wouldn't dare to phrase it the way I did (again, Hitler comparisons are a touchy subject… strangely effective though).
I got many messages from people whose parents or grandparents have fled from Germany, whose relatives died in the Holocaust, who had been imprinted with their grandparents' ‘German collective guilt’ (like me) and can see the parallels between Hitler's rise to power and Trumps campaign.
Franklin insists that his comparison isn't an attack on Trump's character, but rather a comment about his sudden rise to power.
If you have spent any time in any German history class you cannot avoid going 'Huh? Wait a minute.' at some point.