Video: A Night of Oktoberfest Fun Before a Happy Homecoming

On my last night in Europe this year, I enjoyed the mother of all keggers: Oktoberfest in Munich. In this clip, I take a break from my pork knuckle (with fresh horseradish sprinkled on top and sitting on a delicious bed of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut) to stand up and savor the fun all around me.

My crew and I walked home that evening marveling at the joy we had just experienced. I’d been so focused on the ugly and tragic story of fascism in 20th-century Europe (we just filmed a TV special about it), that I actually wished I could have made Adolf Hitler walk with me there, that evening, and seen his reaction to the scene: Bavarian culture high and low (lederhosen pulled up high and dirndl blouses plunging enticingly low) coexisting with a happy racial kaleidoscope of humanity — right there in the city where, just under a hundred years ago, his evil movement first mobilized fear and hatred to hijack Germany’s heart.

Under that big, big tent (one of a dozen that each hosted thousands of happy partiers), people from around the world were one — celebrating Germany, celebrating great beer, and (while many of them likely didn’t realize it) celebrating peace and freedom too. Prost!