Okay, I watched Swing Kids for the first side last night. Aside from loving it and being very much enlightened by it, I thought a lot about Thomas's character.
Too Far Gone: These are Peter's thoughts about Thomas when he is at the concentation camp. I know it changes from first to second point of view right at the beginning, but I don't really want to change it because thoughts can change and take different paths during a reverie.
I don't own Swing Kids or the characters Peter or Thomas.
I don't know when it happened. I don't know when he finally slipped. Until the night of Arvid's suicide, I didn't realize that he had fallen for the Nazi propaganda hook, line, and sinker. And I had been falling for it, too. Jesus, it had started out as just a game- HJ by day, Swing Kid by night. Did Hitler Youth do that to everybody?
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but I just have to say, thanks, Thomas. Your words were a wake-up call to me. When I saw what you'd become, I was never going to be one of them. Oh, what am I thinking? You weren't going to be one of them, either. You weren't supposed to be. I guess the horrible truth is that so many people can be bought in by the Nazi Party. But alas, my returned loyalty at the expense of your newly found one… and Arvid's death. It was your fault, Thomas, not mine. But it was so hard to hate you because you were my best friend. Sometimes, in the darkest parts of my stay here, I had even wished to be one of them. To be dragged down with you. To be on the side with all the advantages. God, it was so painful, the way they ripped us apart, the way they ripped everyone apart.
Everyone says I was the stronger one, but I'm not so sure of that anymore. For the weaker you are, the stronger you must become to overcome your weakness. Thomas, I believe that you will overcome them someday. I will believe until the day that I die that you are not one of them. And perhaps you have overcome them already. The last day I ever saw you, you had almost beaten me to death. Then, you told me to run. And when I didn't, when I was being hauled away on that wagon, I saw you watching me. I believed in you, because you were so close to the surface now. Then, I looked at you again. Your face was blank. I saw fathoms and fathoms of emptiness, more foreign than ever before. And in that moment, I knew you were too far gone. You had saved me for old time's sake. You couldn't kill me, because you had become what all Nazis are- a coward.
And then there was a change. You shouted 'Swing Heil!' after me. There's no telling what you are now and what you were in that moment. I only know that you shouted it in front of dozens of Hitler Youths. And at the moment, that didn't even matter. All that mattered was I knew you were back.
But I have had a long, long time to ponder over it, and now it is all the world who you were around when you shouted it, for I know that my best friend chose his true side over his obligatory side. You became strong. Whether it was for the moment or all time, I do not know, and probably will never, for I don't expect to return. But even if it was for the moment, I still have high hopes for you. I saw how strong you were that day, and knew how strong you were from that point in your life onward. I have no doubt that you have the ability break away from the Nazi party. What you still may need is the will.
Our friendship is destroyed beyond repair, I'm afraid to say. Even if I did make it out of here alive and could see you again, there would be nothing for us to say to each other. But I'm never going to make it out alive, I know that now. What I have seen here has taken complete control over me; the way I think and the way I look at things. Just like it had done to you. This time, I am the one who is too far gone. But it hadn't extinguished my morals, like you. What it had destroyed was my strength.
But even if I'm destroyed, there's still hope for you. Now, as to if you have ever reformed, I will never know. But I will die never having lost my faith in you.
What can I say? We just started out two swing kids, two rebels, with barely anything to rebel against. We weren't rebelling against the Nazis. We were rebelling against anybody who busted our clubs. We didn't even care about what the Nazis truly stood for. Just why did we hate them so much? Because we were kids and they were ruining our fun? Yes, that was it. That 'swing kid' we defended so long ago? The Jew? You couldn't care less about him. I always saw that side in you, Thomas, long before either of us were HJs. And now I can only hope that your guilt of what you, along with everyone in the Hitler Youth, had done, would change your views upon them for life.
Maybe I am hoping for too much. What we were rebelling against was so different than the true rebellion against the Nazis. Maybe if we had known the difference, you wouldn't have become a Nazi and I wouldn't have become so close to becoming one. Maybe neither of us would've been too far gone.