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Abu Ghraib is far worse than anything that happened in the Nazi concentration camps.

Great posting, David.

Leichenberge, mountains of dead bodies, abgemagert, skinny, bones and skin, these pictures of hundered of thousands naked dead bodies created the German trauma.

People lost their dignity, they were only naked meat. Germans took their dignity first, then their lifes. That was the Holocaust.

And now the pictures of Abu Ghraib: Wieder Fleischberge - again mountains of bodies.

Abu Ghraib WAS NOT the Holocaust, had nothing to do with the holocaust, was not a bit like the holocaust. Only the pictures looked a like when you compair them in a quick look to some pictures of the holocaust.

But Abu Ghraib was the silliness and cruelity of some people of one night.

And these pictures reminded the Germans and others in this world at the Holocaust and what happened. That explains their strange reaction and overreaction. Abu Ghraib was harmless. The people could get up and it was over.

6 Millions of jews suffered for years and finally got killed in gaskammern.

When Germans get outraged about Abu Ghraib, they try to belittle the Holocaust.

Gabi,

Panties on the heads and naked male pyramids and barking dogs and making a guy wear a scary black costume with a hood are very serious and Bush personally ordered the US pigs to do this. He was ordered to do this by the Zionists like Sharon and Wolfowitz (JOOOOS!!) in order to punish innocent men who are just protecting their country from invaders raping their oil and stealing their women.

That picture reallys says it all. What happened in Germany is a black and white comparison to Abu Ghraib. If only back then they were given the option of panties versus a gas chamber.

Gabi: "When Germans get outraged about Abu Ghraib, they try to belittle the Holocaust."
So the only thing Germans are allowed to get outraged about is the Holocaust? Getting outraged at anything else would be belittling the Holocaust. Yes of course, brilliant! Why don't you just nuke the Country. After all, all Germans are still Nazis!


Not. It probably stretches your Imagination, but there's still Germans of jewish descent living in this country. One of them is writing this to you. So you can take that comment of yours and put it where it's dark.
There was quite a commotion here recently when the STERN mag published those pictures of Americans containing various prejudism, but what you deliver here is just the same. You are no better.

One thing I forgot:
In that Article about Abu Ghraib, I find neither the word "Holocaust" nor "Bergen Belsen" nor any reference to that topic. Maybe it was insensitive to publish that on this very day, but to call THAT a comparison/relativism doesn't make sense to me.

What's the point of this post? Every crime that is not as bad as the Holocaust is ok?

Sorry, you didn't get anything.
1) As the original entry stated, "It should be noted that the German media these days report extensively on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen." So there you have it.
2) nobody wrote that
3) the comments here were about "The Germans", nothing about state-sponsored incitement.
4) again, nobody wrote that. criticism where it's due, here it is not, I will quote again:
"It should be noted that the German media these days report extensively on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen."

No wonder you don't understand, you simply turned everything upside down.


I am sorry that My country the US, the UK and the former U.S.S.R. could not get to the Camps sooner. For that I am truly sorry. I think the Germans would do well to remember who stopped the mass murders and closed the German run death camps.

Any attempts to compare crimes against all of humanity to some current day actions of a few individuals, to these acts which were crimes planned, organized by and carried out in the name of the state of Germany, show the ignorance, insensitivity and immaturity of those that make them. Nothing more needs to be said.

Are todays German responsible for the death camps? Certainly not. They are however responsible for remembering them and not trying to attenuate the horrific nature of the Holocaust buy comparing it with anything else.

Sock: You are right, of course. The question is, if the mere mentioning Abu Ghraib on this day can be called "comparing". That's obviously the way some here want to take it.

Not to quibble, but...Are the Germans of today responsible for the death camps? Certainly not...all of them. But there are plenty of responsible parties still living in Germany today- both active participants and silent bystanders. They may be old, but they are still there, and they are still guilty.

Niko:
So any journalist today should pay attention NOT to mention Abu Ghraib, because today is Bergen-Belsen-day? Are you serious? What about sports results? Insensitive?
Maybe you're the one that draws the connection between Abu Ghraib and the Holocaust here. The FAZ certainly did not. But you'll believe it anyway, I guess.

That poll actually was a EU one, http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1076084,00.html .
So you shouldn't use it as evidence against Germany. Just to put things in perspective.
Besides, I wonder if the USA were in that list of 15 countries. I don't think so (otherwise it would surely be on top). So I would attribute the 59%-figure to the fact that the U.S. are so close to Israel, and, as the above article says: "The results appear to be a mark of the widespread disapproval in Europe of the tactics employed by the government of Ariel Sharon during the present intifada."

And, concerning quoting "some German a while ago": pointless. Name the guy who said it, give a source, or just leave it alone. You have lunatics in every other country as well, there's no need to quote each one of them.

I made it a point to visit Bergen Belsen during a trip to Germany in 1960.

The parking lot was lit by the sun and birds were singing in the trees. However, as soon as we entered a very large area showing many rectangular mounds of earth covered with wild heather, the birds had stopped their singing. Only a slight breeze rustled ever so faint through the ground cover of grass and heather in the open center of an otherwise forested area.

Each of the huge mounds was framed in plain stone which carried the simple inscription
"1000 Tote". It was as if even nature held its breath out of deep respect for so much human suffering. One could not leave this holy place without being changed forever.....

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

[i]Are todays German responsible for the death camps? Certainly not. They are however responsible for remembering them and not trying to attenuate the horrific nature of the Holocaust buy comparing it with anything else.[/i]

You know what I don't need a foreigner to tell me what I am responsible for. I'm free to remember whatever I want or to remember nothing at all and if I want to compare two incidents I just do it and I don't need anyones approval to do so.
That said I don't compare the Holocaust to something else. I choose not to debate the Holocaust at all. Once they bring up the Holocaust on TV ( and yes they do this a lot in Germany ) I just switch the channel. I'm not interested in this topic, maybe I just had enough of it. Believe it or not, even the Holocaust gets boring, after hearing the story 1000 times.
I'm for sure not the only one in Germany who feels that way.
It seems to me Americans are interested in holding the next 100 generations of Germans hostage for the Holocaust, they got that in common with the left in Germany, but both will not prevail. The Germans are sick and tired of remembering the Holocaust at a time when most of them actually can't remember it, because they were not born when it happend. Since I don't expect Holocaust obsessed Americans and Anti- German German lefties stop mentioning the Holocaust whenever they see a German flag or hear the German national anthem ignorance becomes an act of self defense.

Niko: You're the one that's lecturing here. I don't need that, thanks.

Niko

I don't know if the people in this blog look paranoid or less paranoid. I personally don't care for paranoid tendencies in other people's societies.

The tendency in the German society however has been to accuse, badmouth and smear Germany and her history whenever possible and the tool for this is the Holocaust . This is a game I'm not willing to play anymore. If this worries you, fine, be worried. I couldn't care less.

Niko

What is your point ? The German media being Anti-American, does not meen they're not Anti-German too. Maybe they shifted their attention a bit towards America in recent years, cause you can't sell many copies of Stern or Spiegel by a cover story reporting about events that happend 60 years ago.
Does not change the fact that they still fight all patriotic tendencies in Germany by using the Holocaust and the Third Reich against the German people all the time. It just does not work that well anymore, because the Germans learned to ignore it.

The rising Antiamericanism is a substitute for the lack of Patriotism in Germany. People are denied to be proud about their own nation, because national pride is considered not politically correct, they're also not allowed to be critical of other nations like France or Poland or Russia or Turkey. However there is one big exception: The United States. The arch enemy of the polically correct left for the past 60 years. You're free to say about America whatever you want and people use this opportunity . Maybe it feels good to bash another country for whatever reason , after all the bashing of your own country done by your own people.

Niko says something very insightful. First there is France who cannot get over their injured vanity that the English ended up ruling the world, and now their bastard offspring, the Anmericans are "ruling" the world. Then there are the Germans, who cannot get over their wounded vanity in the face of French cultural superioritiy over the eastern barbarians, as well as resenting that the English ended up ruling the world, and now their bastard offspring, the Anmericans are "ruling" the world.

What a toxic mess. Is some decent self-respect and patriotism is too much to ask for?

I still fail to comprehend how Bergen Belsen and the Abu Graib incident go together.
Sure, I eventually agree that both were a crime against humanity, at least partially ("partially" exclusively referring to the abu graib incident) .
I believe that war is just an extreme situation for all people participating. I know the word participating sounds rather queer in this context, but I guess it'll fit in there quite nicely.
Perhaps we can settle for involved. Still, the major and significant difference between the Abu Graib incident and a death camp is that the people, who were tortured in Abu Graib, were prisoners of war.
People eventually belonging to terrorist groups, endangering not only the liberating forces, but also the Iraqi people. Now on the other side bergen belsen was a deathcamp, people were killed, tortured and horribly mutilated, for nothing but an idea coming from a deranged leader, supported by even more deranged people.
Therefore, I find this comparrison in particular astonishingly absurd and almost dehumanizing. Though, we all know that Germany, and especially the German media is never going to meet up to its pretensions of having finally concluded coping ww2. It seems, as if a vast majority of Germans are still trying to pass the blame to the allied forces which invaded poor germany and consequently started ww2. Ridiculous.

@Jim

It's much easier to blame the Juden and Ami's than it is to have legitimate national pride. Germany is scared of it's own shadow when it comes to patriotism and national self respect. It is much easier to blame external forces, which is the real culprit that got Germany in trouble and was seized upon the National Socialist Party to get it's self into power. Blaming external forces (Some of which was justified in the case of France and England) led to WW2. The current political governance of Germany and Germany's media are in danger of leading them down the same path again.

Julie,

I think you meant, that you are tired of the Holocaust and that you think the majority of the Germans think the same way.

I am afraid that you are right. The media is full of it and I had many talks to Germans about it. It seems to be common sense. And younger people feel more that way.

But is it good for Germany when the majority has this opinion? I think it is shameful and I am shameful for your postings here. That's why I am here. We have to talk about it, we have to inform the younger generation better.

I can understand when people say they won't watch anymore documentaries about the Holocaust because they have seen enough. But to write here, the Holocaust is boring, Julie, that really shocked me.

How can the torturing of people, the killing of people be boring? What is wrong with you? Where is your respect? Obviously you don't feel that way and I am ashamed for it. The German society, people, school, media has failed to explain the responsibility for the Holocaust. Think of the survivors and the families of the 6 millions of jews who got killed. One could come here and read your posting.

The Holocaust and other tragedies in this world should never be forgotten. To understand how it could happen and to help that it will never happen again, is our duty. Do you know the answer: How could it happen? Can you tell your children what Germans did and why you would never do it? Did you learn your lesson? When you are so tired about the theme, I ask myself if you know it all.

I came here to this weblog, Julie, because I met many Julies in my life and I was shocked what happened to Germany. This weblog with David, Ray, Niko and many others comfort me. And I think it is good that you came here and I hope you stay longer here with an OPEN mind. Maybe you were wrong. Wait.

@Gabi

Julie was apperently raised to hate the evil American's and the evil Joos. For any a child who was raised in Germany from the 1970's on this appears possible for this to be the case. Good luck trying to redeem them. I just ignore their postings dripping with hate.

Go ahead knock yourself out but I don't hold out much hope for ones like her. They will not be happy until every last Jew and North American is dead.

> But is it good for Germany when the majority has this opinion?

I'll answer with an unconditional "YES" :-)

I have got an offer to anyone on holiday trip in Germany: I offer you a free (!) drive to Belsen from Hanover. There are no entry fees at Belsen at all and I can lead you around and after the visit take you back to Hanover. Interested? markusmedienkritk@gmail.com

No doubts, Martina?

What is actually very disturbing about the Holocaust is to endlessly rehash, review, revisit this whole series of utterly evil events, systems, processes, tragedies, and to wallow in our sorrow and in the destroyed lives, families, and futures of the unimaginably large group of people consumed by it --AND THEN --to forget that the point of 'Never Forgetting'is so that we can stop it from happening again.

Our job, our Aufgabe, is not to remember it so that the Americans can feel good about themselves, and the Germans can feel guilty. Our job as Germans, Americans, and everyone else is to remember so that we keep an eye on the future, not the past. To know that if there was a Hell on earth, that was it, and how do we work together, from different perspectives, to help to make sure no one has to experience it ever again.

The genocides of Cambodia and Rwanda are variations on this theme of the Holocaust. It seems like we should be able to take these lessons we have and apply them more vigilantly. That is, after all, the point.

Niko wrote:

> How cute to put a smilie after that when the original question was, "But is it good for Germany when the majority has this opinion, i.e. that they are tired of the Holocaust and that they think the majority of the Germans think the same way?"

Well, thank you!

Gabi

I did not call the Holocaust boring as an historic event, it is an important part of history, but for me stories about this event are boring. I've heard them all, from every perspective, interviews with survivors, liberators even with former SS guards, british documentaries, german documantaries, american movies.
Maybe it was wrong to just pick the Holocaust, I'm also sick and tired about stories of Hitler, Eva Braun,Graf Stauffenberg, Sophie Scholl, Dr. Mengele, Goebbels , Anne Frank, Oscar Schindler, General Rommel, Stalingrad, the bombing of Dresden, the invasion of Poland and everything else that has anything to to with the years between 1933-1945.
It all belongs into history books and everybody interested should read it. It should be teached in school, just like the French revolution or the Boston Tea party, but it should not be a part of my everyday life and it should not be used as a tool against Germans , who were not even alive at that time. It is abolutly not appropriate to mention the Third Reich every time a German flag is raised 60 years later.

Sock Puppet of Doom

I was raised to hate evil Americans and Jews ? Well, not that I know. I don't hate groups of people because of their ethnicity, nationality or religion , I do however disregard people based on their political persuation. Some of them are Americans and some of them are Jews, but most of them are Germans.

I have no doubt that most young Germans are indeed tired of hearing about the Holocaust - and I can certainly understand why

They didn't do it and are being made to feel a national - racial? - shame for events over half a century ago

It must get tiring indeed

What I would like to understand however is how these same young Germans routinely compare the Israeli's to the Nazi's and speak of Israeli actions toward the Pali's as virtually the same as the way the Nazi's treated the Jews

This is the kind of thing you never really hear in the USA except among the severe far left or anti-semetic morons

But in Germany it seems to be a pretty common opinion among otherwise intelligent people

So by all means turn the channel if you don't want to watch Schindlers List again - I have no problem with that - as long as you don't make any Israelis are the new Nazi's comparisons and tell others who do to shut their mouths

Alas - I expect Julie that you don't do the latter - and probably do think the Israelis are the bad guys in the ME - those troublesome jews!

Pogue Mahone

I don't make Nazi comparisons at all. I avoid talking about the Nazis whenever possible.
And about the Middle East, I've never been there and I don't have the intention to travel to a ME country anytime soon. Alien societies should work out their own destinies, it is not my job to judge who is right and who is wrong. Of course they should work out their destinies in their own countries and not in my country and the only thing that really troubles me about the middle east is the mass immigration of people from this region to my country.

We tried letting people work out their own destinies Julie - in Germany in the 1930's for one example you may be familiar with

We tried avoiding the unpleasent realities of dictatorship and oppression "over there" - what business was it of ours after all

We learned, to our regret, that the dictator in your country will create more and more problems and eventually lead to more suffering unless we care what happens elsewhere in the world

This is true for the 1938 German and the 2002 Iraqi

It has also been true many times in between - the Cold War and real-politic prevented us ( thats the US and the rest of the free world ) from doing anything - but what a better world it would be today if the Saddams were dealt with long ago

Its sad that the lesson you have learned about evil in the world from your education is to ignore it - none of your business - their destiny no doubt

I am sure you have a whole list of bad regimes we aren't doing anything about - you can spare me the recital

The botton line if that you don't feel modern Germany has any role to play in helping other nations experience the freedom so many died to bring to you

Maybe it was Germany's destiny to live under the Nazis after all - and none of our business
Maybe your right
It does seem an awful waste to have rid Germany of this destiny sometimes
Maybe a N Korean solution would have worked better

Benjamin, "In that Article about Abu Ghraib, I find neither the word "Holocaust" nor "Bergen Belsen" nor any reference to that topic. Maybe it was insensitive to publish that on this very day, but to call THAT a comparison/relativism doesn't make sense to me."

Good point, but what doesn't make sense to me is why Abu Ghraib is being mentioned in the news media at all, at any time. It doesn't exactly qualify as "news" today, and doesn't merit repeating much beyond reporting on the results of the trials. It isn't as if no one's ever heard of it ;).

"40 Jahre Dauerbewältigung haben uns nicht voran gebracht. Sie haben die Deutschen von dem erklärten Ziel, sich zu ihrer Vergangenheit in ein verantwortliches und erträgliches Verhältnis zu setzen, immer weiter entfernt. Der Stil, in dem heutzutage angeklagt und abgeurteilt wird, macht die Floskel vom Normalzustand, dem wir angeblich entgegeneilen, den wir unter Vorantritt der Roten und der Grünen sogar schon erreicht hätten, zu einem bösen Witz. Die Vergangenheit ist zur Rumpelkammer geworden, aus der sich jeder mit Trivialargumenten zu Bekämpfung des Gegners versorgen kann. Ein oder zwei Wörter reichen, um das Gespräch zu beenden, noch ehe es begonnen hat; das häufigste ist "Auschwitz".

Niemand hat es so oft und so wahllos benutzt wie Joschka Fischer. Es diente ihm in allen möglichen Funktionen, mal für und mal gegen den Feldzug auf dem Balkan, mal als ein Köder fürs vereinigte Europa und mal als Waffe gegen die Nachrüstung. Anders als sie das selbst behaupten, haben er und seine Freunde das Denken keineswegs befreit, sondern eingezäunt, in einem Dogmenstreit erstarren lassen, in dem die Schlagworte die Argumente ersetzen."

http://www.welt.de/data/2005/04/16/705127.html

It is significant that the German media still report on the WWII atrocities. It is also important to note that this kind of reporting is lacking in Japan. Thus there are still open wounds in Asia, especially in China and Korea.

Pogue Mahone

See that's what I meen. The Third Reich used as a tool against the German people.

1938 Hitler - 2002 Saddam
America defeated Hitler, Germans not willing to help defeating Saddam. Shame on the Germans, they learned nothing from history.

The funny thing about comparisons like that is they're used by different people with different agendas and the Germans always look bad.

I spent a few hours in political chat rooms on Yahoo in the time before the last US Presidential election
I think most of the people in these rooms were what you call liberals. Of course they expected me to hate George Bush, because they've thought everybody in Europe hates him. After telling them that I don't have a reason to hate him, because he did nothing bad to me and that I don't care who would win the election, they started attacking me. They asked me if I'm not aware that Bush is a fascist and that it is my responsibility as a German with "MY" history to fight against facism. Then the stories came about FDR and all the brave American soldiers in WW II , who liberated my country and one very outraged woman told me how saddened she is that there are Germans , who have learned nothing from history and are not willing to help now that Americans have to live under a fascist dictatorship. I know that sounds pretty absurd, but that's what happend. In the end they saluted me with " Heil Hitler" and called me a Nazi bitch.

I have no doubt the same and more would happen in a debate with German lefties about a possible participation of Germany in the Iraq war.
The German media would start an endless tirade about Germany starting a war and invading a country just like in 1938 and in all the talk shows self proclaimed moralists would make their Hitler/ Schröder and Wehrmacht/ Bundeswehr comparisons. They would even find a french- communist-jewish concentration camp survivor, who would tell how shocked he is about Germany taking part in this illegal, imperialist agression.
It would also make big waves internationally, since the media is not only left wing in Germany.
" German tanks rolling again " " Bush going to war with the Nazis", I'm sure Michael Moore would put the " war loving Germans " in one of his movies.


In 1995 when Helmut Kohl was still chancellor Joschka Fischer said Germany can't send troops into the former Yugoslawia, because of our history and all the war crimes that were committed against the Serbs by the "murderous" SS and then 4 years later when he was foreign minister he justified the participation of German troops in the same region by saying, because of our history Germany is responsible to prevent another Auschwitz.

As long as German history is reduced to Nazi history and all the decisons are based on this history and guilt and shame and historical responsibility are the key words Germany is too paralyzed to develop a normal foreign policy.

What a curious exchange here, as demonstrated by the German commentators especially.

I had heard of the guilt-complex of Germans before, where WW2 and the concentration camps were concerned, but thought it to be the rare exception, saved for those who lived through and moreover participated in the acts and not something ingrained to the national psyche of those who didnt have "jack" to do with any of it.

As an American, when asked of my ancestory, I am proud to say that I am of German (and Swiss as well, same difference) descent. It offers the marker of a hard working, reliable, honest person who will show up on time and give you a dollars work for a dollars pay.

While reading the most dreadful parts of Ron Rosenbaum's "Explaining Hitler" regarding the treatment of inmates, both Jewish and otherwise, I wept...wondering how my people could have behaved in such a way, so counter to the decency cultivated by generations before us.

I know its not PC, but I think the ruins of our Fathers sins (camps, chimmneys, etc.) should be plowed over for the fertilizer of history that they are, and not left to stand as a perpetual guilt-trip to the sons and daughters for all time.

@Julie: "It seems to me Americans are interested in holding the next 100 generations of Germans hostage for the Holocaust, they got that in common with the left in Germany, but both will not prevail."

Huh? Sounds like a knuckleheaded conspiracy theory. Go back to 1955 and the so-called 're-armament' of Germany and admission to NATO. Who pushed that? Who opposed that? Who wanted Germany back in the family of civilized nations? Who trusted the German people with sovereignty and the vote to choose their own leaders? And that was 50 years ago. Somehow today the Americans are trying to keep Germany down?
Now, the Left in Germany is another issue. The Left opposed Germany's admission to NATO and 're-armament'. The Left has opposed American bases in Germany and it's terrorists have attacked those bases. The Left in Germany has promoted a kind of 'de-nationalized, goo-goo European, anti-Germaness, not the Americans. I was a callow youth on the Uni Heidelberg back in '75. I thought then the anti-German, self-hatred promoted by the Left and the entire Media was wrong and would lead to a backlash of sick, over-heated nationalism. What's funny is that the Left is now trying to have it both ways, anti-German and pro-German and anti-American in competition with the old-fashioned Nationalists. Germany does need a healthy patriotism, shall I say 'American Style'.

"The rising Antiamericanism is a substitute for the lack of Patriotism in Germany. People are denied to be proud about their own nation, because national pride is considered not politically correct, they're also not allowed to be critical of other nations like France or Poland or Russia or Turkey. However there is one big exception: The United States. The arch enemy of the polically correct left for the past 60 years. You're free to say about America whatever you want and people use this opportunity . Maybe it feels good to bash another country for whatever reason , after all the bashing of your own country done by your own people."

In reading Julie's, Niko's and Gabi's comments, I'm coming to the conclusion that the differences are more one of tone than of opinion. If Julie's getting called a 'Nazi bitch' on liberal forums for not hating Bush or hating America, she's no mind-numbed robot.

On the last post of April 17, 2005 at 02:36 PM:


Ditto, ditto, ditto and bravo!!

Nobody can tear down Germany better than Joe Fischer and his motley crew. The U.S public opinion is mostly quiet on WW II. We have a damned case full load of other problems to think about. Germany is on the road to tear itself and its history apart with help of the extreme Left and an uncaring public.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

I completely agree with the last two posts. Julie is reporting something I've been experiencing here in the US. I personally see no reason to overdo the concentration camps... as long as we don't forget them. What is clear is that "remembering" to the point of flooding the senses with it has NOT worked (Cambodia, Sudan, Rwanda). So it's clearly time to try something else. Such as having it in the history books where it belongs.

But you see, it isn't just Germany being pounded into the ground for "past crimes". It appears to me that the far left in EVERY country is doing the same thing, working hard to squash national pride in order to replace it with... what?

I remember for several months after 9/11 you could not go anywhere here without seeing the US flag waving. Personally, I had the Gadsden flag on my car... the rattlesnake "Don't tread on me" flag from the Revolution. It seemed more to the point to me.

But over the next few months, leftist commentators in the papers and tv news shamed people into putting their flags away. They brought out the same old litany of past crimes and said we had no right to respond to terrorism with "jingoism". "Jingoism" became the jingoistic catchphrase of the day. So too many of us went back to wringing our hands over things we had nothing to do with. I'm still flying my Gadsden flag, but entirely too many Americans have no clue what it is.

The one thing I've always noticed about the far left is that they are pessimists to a fault. They always see the cloud in front of the silver lining, the cup is always half empty. Find a minor fault and blow it up into a crisis. The American women who were telling Julie that the US was in the clutches of a fascist government are a prime example of the kind of exaggeration---completely beyond rationality!-- that I've been encountering here.

So the far left is the culprit here. There's an agenda going on, worldwide, it seems, to dispense with national pride and replace it with... what?

It's the "what" that has me worried :(.

Julie, trust me - you can believe that I and every other American knows EXACTLY what it is like to be damned if you do - and damned if you don't

Saddam is just the latest in a long line of examples - and the German media has led the public down this path most recently

It seems the US is bad for helping Saddam in the 1980's ( we manufactured all those T72's and Mirage jets in our secret plants in Ohio :) )
and then bad for wanting to get rid of him in 2003

I am sure the liberals you encountered assulted you with lots of idiocy - they have it in abundance - but seriously, if the lesson of the 1930's is not "do something about these bastards before they cause more trouble" than what is it?

Allow these other countries to be ruled by this sort of beast - its their destiny?

Your nation has lost its center and frankly you should be worried about the coming of Eurabia

I seriously doubt there is any will left to resist it if your view is common - and my experience suggests it is

mampajamas:

Right on!! the Left is ruining the country. We have the same disease here but fortunately we have a strong conservative movement which is totally missing in Germany.

The German Left hates me too because I don't let them forget what their new darlings (the Russians") did to my part of Germany by killing Millions and expelling even more. They much rather concentrate their demos against Anglo-American bombers who caused minor damage to human life when compared to the Red Army and who helped Germany back on its feet.

Damned yellow hypocrates!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@Poque Mahone: " but seriously, if the lesson of the 1930's is not "do something about these bastards before they cause more trouble" than what is it?"

My impression is that in Germany - where I have worked and studied - the conventional wisdom is that the lesson is, simply, that "war is a horrible thing" - hence the simplistic pacifism prevalecent in political discussions.

The question of whether Nazi Germany should have been attacked because of the Holocaust - if it had *not* invaded Poland and Czechoslovakia - is one that I think is never even discussed.

My impression is that the Holocaust is discussed as being part of the war - not something that was happening, and would have happened, even without war against the USSR, France, Britain and the US.

Brock, fantasic observation. In fact it dovetails nicely with another issue I took with Peter Hasse regarding the Wannsee conference of June 1942

( and no Peter - I am not trying to beat up on you - I disagree with you on these things but still thing we can discuss such issues )

The Germans actually think that the Holocaust was part of the war - that without the war it wouldn't have happened?

In one sense they are right of course - without the war the Germans wouldn't have had so many jews to deal with - esp in Russia

But really - the fate of Germany's jews would be the same - and every occupied country's jews in order

@Julie: Interesting comments about the modern guilt trip and the lack of patriotism in Germany. Let me draw an analogy for you: In America, we get a similar guilt trip from certain quarters concerning slavery. Now, it's important to remember slavery and remember what happened. Fortunately, historians here have done a pretty good job of preserving the information and the stories and the artifacts. But there's another side to it -- leftists here would like to be able to lay a huge guilt trip onto Americans in general over it. This despite the fact that there isn't an American alive today who was either a slave or a slave owner. Germany will pass this milestone in about two more decades, but that won't stop your leftists -- they will just try to create a concept of "inherited guilt", saying that this and that groups of Germans benefited from Naziism, and so must be made to pay even though they weren't born then. (White Southerners in particular get the guilt trip over slavery. There's the perception that all of our ancestors were slave owners. What the heck do they know; my ancestors were Kentucky hillbillies. But in the Left's world, books are to be judged only by their covers.)

Now, let me see if I can cover some of the political attitudes concerning American-German relations today. Your "live and let live" attitude is admirable to a point, but there is also a level at which it expresses the passiveism of Germany today. If we have a beef, this is where it is. Live and let live only extends up to the point where one country attacks another, and allow no doubt that the U.S. was militarily attacked on 9/11. As a member of NATO, Germany was morally and treaty-bound to rise to the common defense. This it has failed to do in Iraq, but more generally, the near zeroing out of the military budget and the failure to maintain a level of technology that would allow German troops to interoperate with U.S. troops is where Germany really failed to live up to its NATO responsibilities. Aggrevating the situation is that there were, and still are, certain parties in Germany who are selling weapons to the enemy. Although the German government hasn't been a participant in this, they aren't doing much to stop it either. Look at it from our point of view for a minute. Americans look at this kind of stuff and say to themselves, "this is our payback for defending Europe from tyranny for half a century?" They might try to remind Germans of D-Day, or Arnhem, or the Battle of the Bulge, and oh yeah by the way, we did all this while we were fighting an entire second simultanoues war in the Pacific that Europeans tend to just forget about. And when the reaction is "so what?" (or worse, "Bush is Hitler!"), well, that gets a bit frustrating.

Now, having said that: I'll also say that Americans in general don't believe in blaming children for the sins of their parents, and few here today want to blame modern-day Germans for Hitler. If we spend a lot of time harping on the Holocaust, it's because we truly don't want it forgotten. (Consider this: the "never again" movement that began in the Holocaust's wake after WWII failed miserably. The world may have collectively said "never again", but it did happen again: Mao in China, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Rwanda, Saddam, and it's happening again now in Sudan.) There is no desire to punish today's Germans for Hitler, any more than there is any desire to punish today's Japanese for the sins of the Imperials.

Admittedly, there is animosity towards Europe in general, but most of this is focused on France which is perceived as the instigator. As others have pointed out, there is a fair amount of cultural synergism between America and Germany. In fact, to the extent that the things that were good about Germany historically are absent from Germany today, the U.S. is serving as a cultural repository for those things. As we see it, eventually Germany is going to realize that supporting Franco-Europeanism goes against its own interests. When that day comes, I sincerely hope that our leaders can hold out to Germany an olive branch -- and a gun, which it may need to defend itself at that point.

Cousin Dave: "White Southerners in particular get the guilt trip over slavery. There's the perception that all of our ancestors were slave owners. What the heck do they know; my ancestors were Kentucky hillbillies. But in the Left's world, books are to be judged only by their covers"

Too true. In fact, my Dad's family were a long line of doctors in Georgia who DID own slaves. But I don't accept any sort of responsibility for them, and anyone who tries to lay a guilt trip on me is barking up the wrong tree. I'll lay them out in lavender.

Part of my attitude is because the last of our "family doctors" died in 1864 on the battlefield, and the family lost everything and were in abject poverty from the Civil War all the way through WWII. I'd say we'd paid our dues. Dad was the first college graduate in a formerly well-educated family in more than a century (he was a nutritionist :D ). His father died with a third grade education.

The other reason I won't accept any responsibility is because, like most Southerners, I'm a "capital C" Conservative. Personal responsibility. I'll gladly accept responsibility for things that I have said or done myself, but I will not accept the sins of others as my own. I am not responsible for the behavior of my ancestors, nor did I benefit in any way from their behavior (quite the opposite!).

I think Germans in general need to develop some of this attitude. You can break your heart and end up pulling out your hair trying to atone for the sins of others. It isn't worth it... either to yourself OR to the people you're trying to atone to (they won't appreciate it).

Nazifying Israel, How to Get Rid of the Holocaust

Read this

@Julie

Read this. I found it very helpful to understand better.


Weizsäcker Rede 1985

Ansprache des Bundespräsidenten Richard von Weizsäcker am 8. Mai 1985 im Plenarsaal des Deutschen Bundestages zum 40. Jahrestag der Beendigung des Zweiten Weltkrieges

hier


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