Here is the full text of experienced prosecutor Jeff Rosen’s talk titled “Germany: Low Crime, Clean Prisons, Lessons for America” at TEDxMountainViewHighSchool conference.
Jeff Rosen – TEDx Talk Transcript
When I was growing up, my family didn’t have a dog. Other kids in the neighborhood had a dog.
So, one day I asked my dad, “Why don’t we have a dog?”
And my dad said, “Because they used ‘Hunds’ on us,” meaning that the Nazis used dogs to attack and intimidate my family, my dad and my grandmother, during the three years that they spent in Nazi concentration camps.
We also didn’t have a German car — no Volkswagen, no Mercedes, no BMW. “Nazi cars” is what my dad called them.
Last summer, I was standing at the Hertz rental car counter in Berlin when the clerk said to me, “Mr. Rosen, I’m very sorry, we don’t have the car that you reserved,” and my face kind of fell.
And the clerk said, “But don’t worry, Mr. Rosen. I have really good news for you. I’ve got a car that has a sunroof, and it’s leather, and it’s big; it’s a wonderful luxury car. Mr. Rosen, let me show you the beautiful Mercedes-Benz that we have for you.”
And I thought, “This is going to be kind of an interesting road trip, where I’m going to be taking this car.”
I’ll tell you where I took this car at the end of this talk. Let me first tell you why I went to Germany to begin with and what I learned there.