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@amihasser: Go abroad! People like you we don't need in Germany.It's not enough that you can write, you should also be able to think.

@Ernie:
Still I don't really understand what the point is and I don't know if it is true that the US never asked for a "thank you". They might not have done it openly but I think the idea that the Germans should be more thankful has been in American politicians' minds for long time.
As I wrote, I as a German can't see why the US efforts during the Cold War were something that the US did for Germany more than for any other Western country. It's different when it comes to what the Allies did after WW II. Today's Germany would not exist if the American, British and French had not defeated Hitler and then built up the country again. But still I think that the protection of Germany was something that was given to Germany for Germany's sake. It was to protect the democratic world. Of course, Germany would have been the first country to be defeated by its communist German neighbour if there had been no protection but this would have meant a shift in the balance of power that would have been a threat for the US and even more for Great Britain or France. I think this is the true reason why Germany was not left to protect itself after a short time.

But maybe there's no proof for any of these opinions. It might be worth not doing something because it might insult somebody and especially if they chose July 4th deliberately, this is more than wrong. However, what I oppose to is the way the whole thing is presented here. It's presented as if it was an absolutely non-German problem and that insulting the Americans is the main purpose. Even if this was true (which I don't believe), I can't find any proof in the article for such an allegiation.

@Christian..
proof? perhaps not.. but Woworeit has a history of this type of crap. Remember when Bush visited Berlin ( a year BEFORE Iraq), Woworeit said 'No way, I am OUTTA here when he is here'.
Fischer, to his credit, stepped in and said..
Putin was recently here as the representative of the country that was responsible for the divided city. and Putin got the red carpet treatment..
Dammit Woworeit, you will be there!!!
I still don't like Fischer and will be glad when he is gone, but at least he had the honor and decency to stand up for what is right.
this has Woworeit's fingerprints all over it..
ironclad proof? perhaps not..
but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth

A blood sucking locust in Germany,
steve

@EuroNeuzeit: You got something wrong. There's no state media in Germany. What you wanted to translate, translates to "media under public law" which is very different from "state media".

@amiexpat:
That's no proof at all in my eyes. Not only no "ironclad proof" but none at all. The article doesn't even state what part of the Berlin administration made the decision. It might have been Wowereit, it might have been somebody else as well. Bad taste might be enough to be upset but enough to criticize.

@Christian L.

Thank you for your correction.

"However, if it's German history, let the Germans deal with it. You find your way to deal with your Smerican history, we'll find ours to deal with our history........Germany happened to be at the border of the communist world and it was the country that lost WW II."

Germany was ALSO the country that "happened" to start WWII! Or perhaps this is the way Germans are "dealing" with their history.....forgeting minor details.

Germans died fleeing the GDR but their cause of freedom was a universal one. The US, via the people and officially through our government, should wish that the victims of the Berlin wall should not sink into historical amnesia via bulldozer.

I would suggest to those who do business with the particular bank who owns the land to strongly consider moving their money elsewhere. Just a few accounts, closed specifically for the reason of their land use policy will go very high up to the bank. It is quite likely that the Berlin government has issued their own threats to the bank, the bank should know that giving in to them is not without cost.

" . . . the East German dictatorship cannot be equated with the atrocities of the Third Reich."

Yeah, right. It would be unfair to draw any parallels between one vicious German police state and another vicious German police state. As if making political distinctions between various forms of state-sanctioned barbarism really matters (except to the intellectual heirs of Mikhail Suslov). Good God.

Besides, comparisons to the Third Riech are now reserved exclusively for the United States.

Ah, well. So much for history.

Will they be demolishing the Brandenburg Gate as well?

@Cosmo

"Yeah, right. It would be unfair to draw any parallels between one vicious German police state and another vicious German police state."

That's what I'm talking about... For a German this is normally a bit different because Germans have a view from within the country that has produced the Nazi dictatorship. Any attempt to draw parallels can be seen as a try to scale down Nazi atrocities... because of the history of Nazi anti-Communism and because of the "We were against the facists"-bonus of the left. The American view is different, neither Nazism nor Communism were plotted and used in the US.

This difference allows the European left to hide their activities, their support of enemies of freedom and even their own anti-freedom agenda behind the ultimate Nazi and facist evil which they fought and which has to be unique in history.

At the age of 17 I stood at Checkpoint Charlie in the summer of 1971. I was able to see the East German guards in their guard tower on the other side watching me with their guns in hand. On a dare, several in our group took a few steps across to the other side. We visited five iron curtain countries that summer. I don't remember being so afraid any other time in my life as those three weeks. My experience at Checkpoint Charlie and visiting the concentration camps in Poland shaped my political leanings for the rest of my life. It was real "reality". Something network TV wouldn't "get". I wish all the Dik Durbins and Nancy Pelosis of this world were as well versed in history. But alas, their "field trips" take them to the Carribean. I'm almost positive they would have a different perspective on life.

History happened and cannot be changed, however, it can be forgotten if the monuments are destroyed. I would also think this would be an excellent tourist draw but maybe they don't need the tourist dollar in Berlin.

Some points should be made very clear:

1. This is not the only project commemorating Checkpoint Charlie. There is a whole Checkpoint Charlie museum dedicated to this.

2. This is not really a "monument". The project was approved by the city merely as an art project.

3. From the very beginning, there was never any doubt about the fact that the project was only to be there for a limited period of time. The DW article from november 2004 states that the crosses will be there only till the end of the year (2004)!
Therefore it´s quite hypocritical that the initiators should cry foul now. They are the ones that deliberately broke the contract.

I have absolutely no sympathy for the way Ms Hildebrandt and friends handled this. This is a democracy. If you want a monument, you have to convince people. You don´t just go ahead and hijack some private property because you think this is important.

Gerhard's Grovel

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/48985.htm

Ok, wait a sec.
>>The bank subsequently refused to renew the lease and, when Ms. Hildebrandt refused to remove the monument, sued and won.

Can anyone tell me about this case? On what grounds did she sue and what was the court's reasoning for ruling in her favor?

If I'm reading this correctly, German political parties are arbitrarily voiding a verdict of the court?

Or am I just confused? (Wouldn't be the first time!)

@fuchur: I fully agree with you. But the way Berlin City Hall handles this case is an unnecessary provocation. Choosing July 4th to tear down this installation should be a very big NO, just as you wouldn't remove a private project about jewish history in Berlin the same day as Reichskristallnacht. It's a big F U to Washington, nothing else.

Link to the official museum at checkpoint charlie:
http://www.mauer-museum.com/index.htm

Came over here from Orbusmax.

As an American who has a piece of the wall in his family and would like one day very soon to visit the wall... this is nonsense.

People go to Berlin for the wall, you know. I think very frankly the destruction of this memorial should be stopped, or the German people will unleash the wrath of the British, the French and the American peoples (or at least those who haven't forgotten) who gave so much to make Berlin one, great and free city over the years!!!

I dont believe this! I am going to have to agree with Fuchur and not with the others ;-)..... perhaps I have got something wrong but as I see it:

This is just a tourist trap built as an art project. It is not a memorial and nobody, absolutely nobody is going to demolish Checkpoint Charlie in any form at all. Berlin is broke and needs the tourists for one and secondly it is a historic and important site. There would quite rightly be an outcry if they tried that. Checkpoint Charlie and the private museum are safe and going nowhere. However back to these crosses: The only people in this part of the city are tourists, people visiting the unemployment office Mitte round behind it in the next street or Kreuzburg residents walking back after a shop in Friedrichstr. (The real monument museum thing is in Brunnenstr I think and at the Topography of terror there is a section on the borders and the Stasi). I dont think anybody goes here to remember loved ones who died trying to flee the DDR and I certainly cant imagine they would want to as its packed and the photo there is a very flattering one. Its certainly not a place of quiet and respectful memory, hence the criticism in Deutsche Welle. The degree to which the state should intervene in things is always a heated debate on this weblog but surely it should be the states job to build such a memorial with an approved design in a respectful atmosphere and location and not up to a private museum to set up an art project on some hired land and then make out that its a memorial. It caused a scandal and a lot of criticism when the art project was set up for this exact reason and its not being got rid of to wipe out the past but because the lease is up on the place. If there is a scandal here its surely that there isnt a proper memorial park and not that this is being closed. Certainly its popularity shows that such a memorial is a good idea. The criticism of the publicity of this project in context of the Holocaust memorial and the graveyards of the soldiers of the second world war only make sense when seen in this light.

But like I say I will have an ask around and see if I can check the facts, certainly I am not convinced by these conspiracy theories, especially as Wowereit and the PDS have been trying as much as possible since the Münster conference to distance themselves from the SED. Its just as likely that theyd love to open a memorial and publically denounce the DDR so as to been seen as the new future thinking party.

I can understand everyones outrage and why people are upset but something doesnt seem to add up to me on the ground here in Berlin. I have heard a completely different story.

By the way I agree about the bad timing of the 4th of July 100%. For me though this is the real outrage of the day:

These people are organising an anti-Bush demo at the Bburg Tor on the 4th at 18.00. They claim to merely be an get out and vote initiative for Americans living in Europe, which is fair enough in my books as thats democracy. But the fact that the election is over and that the "Wanted Bush Kriegsverbrecher" posters are in German and hanging up everywhere makes me smell a rat.

Why be offended by this. That we take offense at something is a very weak argument against what offends us. The German government (directly or indirectly) bulldozing this memorial on the 4th of July is a metaphor for what the Germans have done to themselves and the rest of Europe time, after time. The ruling class bulldozing the freedom of the people they rule, and of those who otherwise live peacefully on their borders. Don't you think the bulldozing of this tiny monument is representative of what is happening to the people of Europe with the EU constituion?

Doughnot Boy Andy
>>The degree to which the state should intervene in things is always a heated debate on this weblog but surely it should be the states job to build such a memorial with an approved design in a respectful atmosphere and location and not up to a private museum to set up an art project on some hired land and then make out that its a memorial. It caused a scandal and a lot of criticism when the art project was set up for this exact reason and its not being got rid of to wipe out the past but because the lease is up on the place.

This is why I'm confused. I can't discern the public vs private use issue; if this land is privately owned by the bank why did the court rule against it?; how do Political parties get to go against a court ruling?

I really don't think there is enough background information here for me to draw any conclusion about what's going on.

@Pamela

Thats what I dont really understand either.
I can only presume that if the Bank tried to clear the land but that the court ruled in favour of the museum then this could be because of law involving leasing of property and that if the Senat took the museum to court then it may be covered by another area of law. Perhaps they need a licence for such art displays or perhaps because of the sensitivity of this area it was deemed to be unsuitable.
I cannot confirm that any of this has taken place though.
What I can say is that I havent heard anything about this here yet from anyone or seen anything about it but I have been busy of late.

I did find this though dated from 2 years ago where Wowereit makes an issue of thanking the museum at Checkpoint Charlie for all its great work and denounces the DDR. Here it is:

"as Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin teilt mit:

Der Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, gratuliert Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt und seiner Frau Alexandra zum 40jährigen Bestehen des Mauermuseums Haus am Checkpoint Charlie.

Wowereit in seinem Schreiben: „Zum 40jährigen Bestehen des Mauermuseums Haus am Checkpoint Charlie übermittle ich Ihnen persönlich und im Namen des Senats von Berlin die herzlichsten Grüße und Glückwünsche. Mit meiner Gratulation zum runden Jubiläum verbinde ich zugleich den Dank an Sie, lieber Herr Dr. Hildebrandt, an Ihre Frau Alexandra und an alle Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter, Förderer und Mäzene für die unermüdliche, tatkräftige und erfolgreiche Arbeit bei der Aufarbeitung und Bewahrung der jüngeren Vergangenheit unserer Stadt.

Das Haus am Checkpoint Charlie steht nicht nur an einem geschichtsträchtigen Ort, es ist zugleich zu einem Magneten für viele Besucher unserer Stadt von allen Kontinenten geworden, es ist ein Ort, der für die Lebens- und Überlebenskraft der Demokratie steht, der Diktatur und ihre Auswirkungen geißelt. Wenn das Museum heute auf sein 40jähriges Bestehen zurückblickt, so wird damit zugleich eine umfangreiche dokumentarische Arbeit gewürdigt, finden das oft mühsame Zusammentragen von Exponaten, das umfangreiche Recherchieren nach Zeitzeugen, die Aufarbeitung von ganz persönlichen Schicksalen und die Widerspiegelung gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse Anerkennung.

Das Haus am Checkpoint Charlie gehört zu den populärsten Berliner Museen, es findet nach wie vor großes Interesse bei all jenen, die sich über die Teilung Berlins und ihre grausamen Folgen informieren wollen. Damit wird Ihr Haus zugleich auch zu einem Denkort, der die Menschen aktiviert. Ich bin sicher, dies wird auch im jetzt beginnenden 5. Jahrzehnt seines Bestehens so sein. Ich wünsche Ihnen allen weiterhin Erfolg in der Arbeit, viele interessierte und aufgeschlossene Besucher sowie Gesundheit und persönliches Glück.“
- - - - -"

They seemed quite chummy back then at least!

@ Pamela

> If I'm reading this correctly, German political parties are arbitrarily voiding a verdict of the court?

No, the bank sued and won after Ms Hildebrand refused to remove the monument.

Martina
>>No, the bank sued and won after Ms Hildebrand refused to remove the monument.

My reading comprehension skills need work. I read the sentence to mean that HILDEBRAND won.

duh.

Thank you

@Razorgirl Don't even try. The people here are foaming outta their mouths, trying to turn this into some anti-American issue. They're not interested in facts.

People seem to forget that Germans were at war AGAINST Americans in WWI and WWII. German motives are understandable, if offensive: They don't want to institutionalize their defeat and subsequent humiliation? After all, American Indians don't tend monuments to their conquest by Americans. (In fact, tribal casinos could be considered monuments to their victory over Americans.)

Hmm, seems the bank always saw the "monument" as a temporary project, and its creators understood this. I supported the bank & government decision, until I read that last line, "The authority stresses that the East German dictatorship cannot be equated with the atrocities of the Third Reich."

This reveals that the destruction is seen as an essentially political decision to salve the memory of the political/ideological inheritors of the perpetrators of the crimes commemorated. That a big no-no. Keep the monument there. Find public money to pay the back rent, then buy the site. Truly popular war memorials are rare enough in Germany as it is.

If the bank did win it's lawsuit to get the land back, then I can understand the legalities behind the removal of the monument. However, picking July 4 as the date for the removal is more than a little tone-deaf. I also don't appreciate the effort to somehow distance the GDR from Nazism. True, the GDR was not nearly as bad as the Third Reich, but that is mostly because it was a puppet largely controlled from Moscow, and it was a minor player in the global communist movement.

However, communism has managed to kill far more people than fascism/naziism did. One need only look at Stalin's purges, Mao's "great leap forward" and the Khmer Rouge's "killing fields" to see that.

However, in Europe these days it's fashionable in many (much too) influential portions of society to view communism as some kind of failed, sepia-toned utopia. It was never that, it was simply a way of extorting and crushing the human spirit and potential of the populace, while at the same time hypocritically declaring the rule and dignity of the working man.

What exactly did communism deliver to East Germany? Leaving aside all those people whose names are on the crosses at the current memorial:

1. A drained uncompetitive economic base

2. A listless populace that had been educated in the glories of communism at the expense of actual useful skills.

3. A hideously polluted environment

4. A fractured society, where people were anxious and suspicious about their neighbors, and even their own family, over who might have cooperated with the Stasi.

5. Crumbling, poorly built and maintained infrastructure

6. Lower health standards and life expectancy than in the West.

7. A society where the principal source of national pride was a drug and corruption-ridden national sports federation.

8. Cities made up of soulless, gloomy, poorly built architecture

9. A trashing of traditional German culture that was viewed as "counter-revolutionary"

Even Hitler and the Nazis managed to avoid many of the items on this list.

All this, and East Germany was actually the showcase of communism in Europe!! East Germans lived far better than Poles, Czechs, or even Russians for that matter.

But no, we don't want to equate the GDR with Nazi Germany, that would be unfair now, wouldn't it...

Christian,

"So shouldn't it be Germans to decide about what will be done with it?"

Absolutely. But that's not what Americans here are objecting to. They are objecting because of the DATE this is to occur, July 4. Perhaps it's just coincidence, but to many of us who've witnessed America-bashing in Germany, we find the timing odd.

Now, that's just ridiculos, Steve. Nazi Germany was not "bad" because of "poorly built and maintained infrastructure" or because of "(cities) made up of soulless, gloomy, poorly built architecture", moreover not because of "(a) drained uncompetitive economic base", "(a) hideously polluted environment" and "Lower health standards and life expectancy".

It was evil because of the 12 million+ people that died in "industrialized" death-camps and because the nazis started WWII that cost the life of 60 million+ people. Moreover because of the facist totalitarism, etc.

Often the "death-number" of "nazis" and "communists" are compared. That's in my opinion somehow pervert. Moreover communism was a global "movement" - certainly with many, many innocent dead - but not just taking place in a relatively "small" country.

And never forget: though the GDR was definitley a satellite-state it was not the same state as the USSR. You can't blame the things Stalin did the GDR.

Nazi-Germany - GDR comparison won't help and work. Sorry.

@ Michael

You can't blame the things Stalin did [on] the GDR.

Whoa there buckaroo! OK, granted Honnecker was certainly not the equivalent of Stalin. But, by the same token, neither he nor the DDR gets a free pass just for being "satelites" of the USSR. Remember, the DDR proactively and reflexively supported the Soviet Union in everything. Their propaganda worshipped the Russians. Certainly, that moral and material aid emboldened Stalin and his predecessors.

Abetting a dictator may not make one his ethical equal, but it does make the supporter an accessory to the crime.

@ Michael

You can't blame the things Stalin did [on] the GDR.

Whoa there buckaroo! OK, granted Honnecker was certainly not the equivalent of Stalin. But, by the same token, neither he nor the DDR gets a free pass just for being "satelites" of the USSR. Remember, the DDR proactively and reflexively supported the Soviet Union in everything. Their propaganda worshipped the Russians. Certainly, that moral and material aid emboldened Stalin and his successors.

Abetting a dictator may not make one his ethical equal, but it does make the supporter an accessory to the crime.

Sorry for the double post. I messed up and wrote "predecessors" in the first when I really meant "successors," as I corrected in the second.

Enie, as you said, not ethical equal. And I didn't want to say anything more than that. Honecker WAS a dictator. And I won't deny anything you said. I didn't want to say that the GDR should get a "free pass" or something like that. But you can't use GDR and USSR as a synonym. That's all I wanted to say. Not more.

Michael:

I explicitly stated that I was aiming at the idea of nostalgia for communism as some sort of lost paradise. In Germany, this is often referred to as "Ostalgia" for the dear, departed GDR. The vague sense that somehow things were better under the GDR. My focus on the direct impacts that the GDR had on East Germans was a way of showing that in fact things were not better.

As for the naziism/fascism vs. communism death count, I find it very valid. Last century, you didn't see democracies lining up millions of their own for the death camps, botched forced collectivization and deportations to the gulag. Certainly the camps of the Khmer Rouge and some of the Soviet gulag were comparable to the Nazi camp system. Also, you mentioned that the Nazis had a war, which helped them kill more people. Stalin used WW2 as an excuse to kill millions of Soviet and Eastern European citizens, who he viewed as being too disloyal to his rule. Also, the fact that the Nazi "had a war" should make you wonder even more about how the communists managed to pass them up even though they did not "have a war" in which to off their opponents.

Was the GDR as bad as Stalin? No, but they were pretty bad. Let's face it, the GDR would never have worked if a substantial number of East Germans hadn't decided that they wanted to actively support the policies of Moscow. They could have chosen to stay home and do nothing, but instead they chose to support the communization of their homeland, and the idea that the state was a better authority on how people should live their lives than the people who were actually living them. That's the philisophical tie that binds the GDR to the Third Reich--the lack of regard for human aspirations and life, supporting the need for collectivization into larger economic and political units. When the individual means nothing, it's usually not too long before millions of individuals are being sacrificed for the greater good of the collective.

The leadership of the GDR deserves the same approbation that history has heaped on the Vichy government in Occupied France, or Vidkun Quisling in Norway. They weren't victims of Soviet mind control. They weren't lined up at gunpoint and told "You over there, you are now the minister of justice, and that guy next to you is the new chief of the secret police." They latched on to the Stalinist takeover of their country because it was a way to advance themselves, even if it meant they had to abuse their own people to do it.

I´m not even starting on what a vain and selfish disgrace to the victims of the berlin wall that "monument" really is.
It´s totally pathetic and it´s built in a cheap and inappropriate way.
everybody who wants to see the truth actually can.
There is a section of the wall rebuilt at a place where the wall actually never existed. it is more than ok to call that disneyland. it doesnt devalue disneyland because disneyland is not a memorial but it devalues that what is said to be a memorial.
it´s a personal tragedy that Mrs. Hildenbrandt turned completely nuts and cant accept that it´s not her alone who sets up the rules of rememberance.

4th of july? give me a break please. with that vast theoretical complex you made up here, you are becoming Wiedergaengers of Michael Moore.

I very much enjoy your blog. There are tons of reasons enough for it to be there.

But again on this one: Please Relax. It´s a personal and selfish thing by Mrs. Hildenbrandt. And there is no government but in fact law bringing justice to the owners of a site that is being hijacked by a horrible barrater.
and i guess most of you are still for private property, no?

StevenW
>> But again on this one: Please Relax. It´s a personal and selfish thing by Mrs. Hildenbrandt. And there is no government but in fact law bringing justice to the owners of a site that is being hijacked by a horrible barrater.
and i guess most of you are still for private property, no?

Yeah, I think I'm with you on this. The land does not belong to her private museum, it belongs to the bank. She refused to remove the exhibit, the bank sued and won. End of conversation.

Cheap-shot remarks by political hacks about Disneyland insult the memories of the people the exhibit was meant to honor. July 4th? If that date was meant as an insult to Americans - and I have no idea if it was - I could care less. If Germans' cultural discussions have to trash Americans in order to gain politcal validity, what else is new? The fact that it would be done over the bodies of these people takes priority, I would think.

But again, I think this is a private property issue. Anybody comes up with more info to change my mind, I'll be happy to listen.

@Christian L -

If your house caught fire and your neighbors helped extinguish it, would you just walk away and say "They did it to save their own houses," or would you thank them for their aid?

One further note - several decades of US administrations were not the only thing keeping American troops in Germany. They were also there with the nearly complete support and encouragement of the American people, who did not want to see West Germans steamrolled by the Soviet machine. We heard what it had done to others, and we did not want that for you.

May have missed this posted previously, but what is the plan for them to replace it with?

Surely they are not going to destroy the current monument without plans to replace it.

Tom Penn:
>>Surely they are not going to destroy the current monument without plans to replace it.

Let's look at terminology. This is not a monument. This is an exhibit set up by a private museum on land leased to them by another private organization. The lessor chose not to renew the lease. The 'they' that are going to 'destroy' the EXHIBIT is the state authority enforcing a court ruling that ruled in favor of the lessor.

If the EXHIBIT is to be replaced, it is up to the PRIVATE MUSEUM to find another venue.

The more I ask people about this the more it seems that there has been some misunderstandings here. This seems to have very little with politicians, its a property thing. The 4th of July thing was also chosen by the court... its a first thing Monday morning job and although it may seem tasteless if you consider this to be a memorial its just routine if you dont consider this a memorial.

From Tagesspiegel:

Berlin (dpa/bb) - Das umstrittene Mauer-Mahnmal am Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin soll geräumt werden, obwohl es in dem Streit um das ursprünglich gepachtete Gelände noch keine rechtskräftige Gerichtsentscheidung gibt. Eine Sprecherin des Berliner Kammergerichts bestätigte am Montag, dass es für die Berufungsverhandlung noch keinen Termin gebe. Ein Gerichtsvollzieher des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Mitte hat für kommenden Montag (4. Juli) die Räumung angesetzt.

So although there is no official decision from the court the bailiffs will clear the land on the Monday. This is typical for these cases where a date is set and whoever is on the land has to reverse the decision before they are thrown off. This certainly has nothing to do with politicians as far as I can see.

So finally, as we have brought the facts together, I think it's time for this site to change the tone of the posted article - so that no occasional reader will miss the point as so many commenters did due to the lack of balance (could you call that bias?) in the article. Maybe you could write a new article in which you get things straight?

How about letting 'em raze it but taking the ensemble of crosses and re-erecting them at Ground Zero in New York City in place of the proposed Soros-sponsored, anti-American Freedom International Center?

The grave robbers of Ground Zero

@Lou Minatti:
You're right about that. And I do understand if for some Americans it's hard to assume that this is coincidence. However, I think it's only fair to assume it, even if it's hard to do so.

@Doug:
Strange comparison. This is exactly what made the US unpopular in many parts of the world. I guess any other country would have gone the same way if it had been as powerful as the US is. It's ok if America does good deeds for others. I know that US feel a responsibility for the world and it is good that they do. But it's not wise to tell the ones you've helped that they're not grateful enough as someone who's much more powerful. This will raise resentment in any setting not only in inter-national relations. I do think that we Germans are thankful for what the US, France and Great Britain have done for us. They have delivered us from Hitler's regime and have built up the country after WW II. But a good donor can leave it to the receiver how grateful he is. There's no question that one is disappointed if the receiver is not thankful but telling him he should be more grateful will make it worse.
Germans tend to feel inferior. The way we have chosen to free ourselves from that feeling is not the best one but it is us who have to find out about that. I don't find it ok for an American to emphasize that the Germans have started WW II. This is part of our history and we should never forget us. But if we feel inferior because of something that's 60 years ago. Do you feel inferior as an American because the US were partially built on Indian blood? You don't and it's good that you don't. You know that this is part of your history and your nation is struggling with finding a good way to deal with that. No nation of this world will ever be able to tell you how to do better because nobody knows. I as a German will never tell you that you could do better because that would not be of any help.
What I'm asking for is to give us Germans the chance to find our own way of being proud of who we are and not forgetting about our history without feeling guilty all the time. It's the concept of forgiveness that will help. We Germans need forgiveness for our past just like any other nations needs that from time to time. And we need more tolerance for each other's differences. German culture is different from American one. This means that the Germans will never think like the Americans, nor the Americans like the Germans. It's good that we're different but we shouldn't always see a threat in that but a great opportunity.

>>"If the EXHIBIT is to be replaced, it is up to the PRIVATE MUSEUM to find another venue."

>>"The more I ask people about this the more it seems that there has been some misunderstandings here. This seems to have very little with politicians, its a property thing."

etc., etc.

Yup, just a mere matter of private property. No ethical problems to worry us here. Slavery was a mere matter of private property, too. Just a property thing, that's all, and the courts declared it all nice and legal. End of story, right? Are these people putting us on with all this pretense of missing the point, or are they really that clueless? I, for one, by no means dispute the jurisdiction of the German courts over this matter. It's the bank's perfect right to take back its property if it so desires, just as the slaveowners had a perfect right to take their escaped slaves back from the North. The issue here is not legal rights, OK? Medienkritik also has a perfect right to question the motives of German banks and German politicians, whether what they're doing is "nice and legal" or not. I can understand it if someone wants to claim that the German bank really had no interest in the monument, one way or the other. However, since the bank refused Ms. Hildebrandt's perfectly good money, it doesn't seem likely, does it? Just don't insult us with your claims that this is all "just a matter of private property."


@ Christian L.

France didn´t do a fu.. for Germany.
and never will..
don´t mention them in one sentence with the US and GB, it is wrong and an insult

@moderator

Quote from another topic about risng costs of this service
"We subscribe to the online versions of several German newspapers"

I know only one german online version where you have to pay do you also know this newspaper.
So where do you have to pay for german online newspapers( examples)? In the Us it is different i know.

NRO's Jim Geraghty just picked up the story, and he included the link back to David's Medienkritik. Bravo !

http://tks.nationalreview.com/archives/067482.asp

@Irena
Who does it insult? Of course, they couldn't do as much in WW II as the US and GB could because they were already occupied. However, they had troups in West Germany after the war so they also protected Germany during Cold War. If they didn't, why would you say the Americans and the British did? And you have to mention that even the Soviet Union helped to deliver Germany from Hitler. They brought a system afterwards that wasn't better but they did help delivering Germany at first. I don't like that "good democratic countries, bad communist countries". I believe the democracy is the better system but it's by far not perfect. Any country can be bad in a way, no matter if democratic or not.
But probably this is exactly what I criticize the most here. Don't accuse others of painting in black and white only if you don't use more colors, yourself. There's a proverb in German that sums up a lot of what is written here. It says "Was nicht sein darf, kann nicht sein." (What must not exist, cannot exist.) I know this is true for those who are criticized here but it should not be true for the critics themselves, however.

You do the typical watering down and disecting of 95 % established facts/events . Yes,face it, many things are for all practical purposes, black or white.
The constant German preoccupation for minute exploration of shades of greyness is either 1.)an excuse for doing nothing or 2.)a distraction from their own refusal to accept a black or white something as just that. In any case it results in doing nothing or hindering those that are.

The French did nothing in comparison and to mention them in the same sentence is an insult to the efforts of the US and GB. And you needn´t tell me about the role of the SU.

Quote you:

"I don't like that "good democratic countries, bad communist countries". I believe the democracy is the better system but it's by far not perfect. Any country can be bad in a way, no matter if democratic or not."

That says it all.

I tell you what :
I (!) do believe in good democratic countries and bad comunist (and others) countries. The key is the totalitarian nature of a form of government.

and your asumption is wrong " any country can be bad in a way "

my goodness.
A democratic country is almost certain to NOT "be bad" in a way totalitarian countries have been over and over.


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