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@ Posted by: | July 6, 2005 06:40 PM

hey ! " no-name" , post a name, dammit ! Otherwise I say to everyone : " don´t respond to no-namers".
Posts get mixed up and it can be a waste of time to answer.

Even Amihasser has a name.

@niko

The Berlin government set a precedent by removing [the monument].

The Berlin government did not remove the monument.

only when such a memorial site is politically correct it will receive the blessing ... by elected officials.

What about the monument in the Bernauer Strasse?

So, what´s your point? The PDS didn´t like the monument?
Agreed. And?
Does that alone make the "monument" valueable? The questions about the size, the location, the cost and the way it was done still have to be answered.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the bank was pressured by the Berlin government. There are lots of good reasons why somebody should not want 1000 crosses on his property.
Besides, the PDS is only the junior partner in the coalition. The main force is the SPD, who has nothing at all to fear from the monument. Actually, they should be quite happy about anything that takes the PDS a notch down, because the PDS is quite succesfully hunting for votes in SPD "territory".

@ helian: You see, legally speaking it is surely a question of private property (noone disputes that the bank owns the land). I am with you that when there is a extraordinary situation the state should intervene. Bottom line of this discussion is whether the case in question is worth an intervention by the state. Some say yes because it's Checkpoint Charlie, others (like me) say no because there already is a memorial for the said purpose. Fullstop.
Discussing the claim to establish a museum for the cold war as a whole at Checkpoint Charlie (which would be far more logical thinking its function and which AFAIK, does not exist by now), I would support it. But this has nothing to do with the installation of Mrs Hildebrandt anymore.

@ PP Haase:
Well, the Ostpolitik isn't questioned by any political party in Germany, apart from the far right. It's a little disturbing to take it as a hint for the capture of politcs by the left. By the way, I think that it was absolutely reasonable and an improvement for the economy, the people of both of the german states and for the geo-strategical situation.

greets

gio

David, great site and excellent coverage of the issue.

I personally attended the removal of the memorial. I commented on it on LGF here: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=16526#c0144

This was a strange comment: "No money from Bush" in this DW article: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1640015,00.html

@Tanja:

Thanks for the great post with the party slogan of the SPD in the 1950ies. This picture is worth a thousnad words. The question arising from it is:

How can something that they (SPD) considered so absolutely, 100% right in 1950, become for them so absolute;y "wrong" in the 1960ies?

Until 1960, only the Communist GDR considered the partition of the pre-war Germany of 1937 as "correct"(not "Grossdeutschland", mind you.)
After 1968 and the "red revolution" under Brandt, the SPD took up the fight to also legitimize this Stalin horror defended hithereto only by the GDR. The problem was that only the Expellees noticed this awful betrayal. The rest of Germany was dancing with the "Wirtschaftswunder" under U.S. protection.

Now, more and more Germans beginn to notice that they are being slowly "changed" to swallow a lot of the former Communist GDR "value system" in their economy and foreign policy.

For example, if anyone doubts it, let him read Der Spiegel and its foul attacks against Germany's former most important ally. Such publications could have been printed in the haydays of the former GDR.

It remains important to remember, however, that it all started with Willy Brandt and his recognition of the Oder-Neisse-Line. Just as the total Nazi takeover attacked first the Jews as weakest political group with "the WENDE" of their "Kristallnacht".

If any group in a democracy is being robbed of their basic human rights of homland and selfdetermination by a government, it means nothing else but for the rest of them: "Watch out - you could be next"!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

@ all: Sorry for posting off-topic.

@ PP Haase: Well, the SPD as many others seems to have needed some time until they were able to deal with the new realities. In fact, there was no chance to get back the Ostgebiete without starting a war. And you know what that would have meant. And: May I remind you that there were many families (including my own) which were separated by the wall? By startin his Ostpolitik, there have been many reliefs for them to see each other.
So what you say is: Better keep the vague hope to get back the Ostgebiete and therefore not trying to improve the inacceptable situation between Germans from the East and from the West?

Ah, and by the way: It is absolutely ridiculous to compare the dicision over the Ostpolitik with the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. One is a reasonable reaction on changed realitites, the other one is a crime that is the start of the production of these realities.

"If any group in a democracy is being robbed of their basic human rights of homland and selfdetermination by a government, it means nothing else but for the rest of them: "Watch out - you could be next"!" Well, the people from the Ostgebiete were not robbed by Brandt, but as a result of WWII.

Just as a comparison: The land on which the USA is was historically owned by the native indians. They were killed or driven away by the immigrants from europe. This was a crime as it happens in history but nonetheless it would be helplessly revisionist to claim that the land should be given back. When the undoing of a crime would be a even worse crime, better leave it.

Greets,

gio

@gio

>>"Bottom line of this discussion is whether the case in question is worth an intervention by the state. Some say yes because it's Checkpoint Charlie, others (like me) say no because there already is a memorial for the said purpose."

If you're opposed to intervention by the state, then why weren't you out chained to one of the crosses? If you think there was no intervention by the state in this case, you're dreaming. Even the Sueddeutsche Zeitung admits to "hints" to the bank about the monument on the part of former Stalinist poodles in the Berlin government like Thomas Flierl, yet you still think we should swallow the myth that this was a "private deal?" You can keep your blinders on and pretend the Berlin government had nothing to do with the destruction of the monument as long as you like. Just don't ask the rest of us to join you in your phantasy world.

@gio

You write: "Well, the Ostpolitik isn't questioned by any political party in Germany, apart from the far right. It's a little disturbing to take it as a hint for the capture of politcs by the left. By the way, I think that it was absolutely reasonable and an improvement for the economy, the people of both of the german states and for the geo-strategical situation."

Answer:

1. The curent Ostpolitik is not shared - as you said - by all major parties in Germany. For example, Mr. Stoiber of the CSU was kind enough to hold a speech before East Prussians during the last election and assured them that more negotiations on those treaties are necessary to assure the future peace in Europe.

2, It might be disturbing to you but the Ostpolitik and many other items, like the current antiamericanism, are a product of the extreme Left in Germany. Their influence goes like a red thread through German policies since their "Wende" of 1968/70.

3. If you think, as you rather brazenly stated above, that the Ostpolitik was for "economic reasons reasonable" by legitimizing the robbing of a homeland of from 12 Million people and the genocide of another 2,8 Million innocent souls, you belong to a people who have lost all perspective for what is important and what is unimportant in this life as well as in the life thereafter......

4. Nothing brings more imbalance to peace but a geostrategical position based only upon the shaky foundation of human injustice paired with raw power (see: Treaty of Versailles.)

P.s. By the way, the U.S. has not yet officially recognized the territorial changes made in East Germany by Soviet Russia and Communist Poland. Our mills are grinding slower but therefore with finer end results!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

@Niko:

"but instead the Berlin government was quite fine with the property owner's decision, exemplified by Berlin officials making statements that compare the site with DisneyLand, and providing police force to establish the removal of that 'illegal' memorial."

To take that even further: As I understand it, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum had a legal and proper lease on the land. I haven't seen any allegation that they in any way violated the terms of the lease. Rather, it seems that the Berlin government heavily pressured the property owner to arbitrarily terminate the lease. And due to that, I can't help but wonder how legal that termination actually was. Is it standard practice in Germany for a lessor to have a term in a lease that allows the lease to be terminated at any moment, with no advance notice to the lessee? It sure isn't in the U.S. Could the bank have taken this action on its own? My guess is not without incurring major legal problems. (Consider almost any other situation in the Western world where a landlord is trying to evict a tenant -- you can have the worst tenant in the world, not paying rent, destroying the property, and using the property for criminal purposes, and it still takes months and months of legal actions to get permission to evict. I've been there.)

The point: It sounds to me like the Berlin government has made it clear to the museum that they can forget about pursuing any legal action. And, I'll hazard a guess that the bank that owns the property isn't very happy about it either, because now they unexpectedly have a property sitting empty and not bringing in any income. And I'm willing to bet that the museum not being there any more changes the property's tax status, in a way that is unfavorable to the owner.

Add it all up, and what do you have? More or less, an arbitrary seizure of property. All because the property was being used to present a point of view that the government didn't approve of. And all kinds of laws were simply swept aside to make it happen.

@ PP Haase:

"Our mills are grinding slower but therefore with finer end results!" Well, I'm looking forward to see the result. Will the US government kindly ask the Polish government to give back the "Ostgebiete"?

And by the way: Are you that consequent to demand all the nations on the two Americas to give there land back to the Indian people? Um, then England would have to be given back to some celtic tribes... Or, wait a minute, is it absolutely positive that they were the first people on that island... Let me think for a while, it's getting really complicated.

@Racker

John F. Kennedy did not say "Ich bin ein Berliner" to encourage Berliners to be proud. HE said it to make sure that the USSR clearly understood that he and 200 plus million Americans were not going to let Berlin fall to the communists. You, Racker, must be mentally challanged to believe that JFK spoke those words solely as a peptalk. He was making it clear to Khrushev that we THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER PEOPLE were not going to leave the BERLINERS to him.

@Cousin Dave

You have it completely wrong. I don´t blame you: there has been so much spin on this story...

It´s been pointed out before, but again:

The museum leased the ground from the bank for a limited period of time (until the end of 2004) under the pretence of installing an "art project".
When the lease expired at the end of 2004, the "art project" had become a "monument". The bank did not extend the lease.
The rest is your typical "tenant from hell" story.

@Niko

"the SPD/PDS coalition was being party to the removal by providing law enforcement and logistics"

Separation of power means also separation of responsibility. There was a court order. The city had no choice but to enforce it.

@SleepingInSeattle:"Yeah AH, I would suggest to the German school book writers to leave out the bit about erecting a wall to keep its citizens inside the great communist utopia and shooting people trying to flee its greatness, it might give the wrong impression."
here's the truth about the wall:
in 1939 our great socialist leader A.H. startet a campaign to liberate poland, denmark, holland, france and some other countries from capitalist oppression. but the evil american capitalist foes of
progressive politics and social justice answered by building huge amounts of bombers just to re-subdue those just liberated countries under capitalist reign of terror. and of course, the joooos paid all that, so our great socialist leader A.H. had to throw as many of them as he could grab into concentration camps. but sadly, the american locusts were eventually successfull. in the years of 1944-45 they illegaly invaded and occupied the western part of germany without UN mandate just to exploit the german working class and steal all the porsche and mercedes cars. seeing that, our great socialist leader A.H. became so sad that he commited suicide. but luckily, justice was not yet totally defeated. another great socialist leader, comrade STALIN, went on the long march to stop the capitalist menace from throwing down all of europe and - who wonders - the capitalist cowards did not dare to confront with the mighty socialist red army. so comrade STALIN was at least able to save eastern europe, including the eastern part of
germany. but poor 65 million west germans could not benefit from the socialist welfare state in which the east germans and all eastern europeans enjoyed a happy life, so literally ALL of them tried to escape the capitalist tyranny by coming over to our socialist working-class paradise. and THAT'S why we had to build the wall, the death strip, the mine fields and all of that! to improve their poor exploited lives, founding unions and doing the class struggle was
shurely a much better solution, so they had to stay at home and fight the ameriKKKan locusts and the jewish finance empire on the streets! and some of them did, remember those glorious days of 68. i can still hear them scanding "ho - ho - ho chi minh"! but, of course, the CIA/MOSSAD/neoKKKon world conspiracy, in their run to establish a
worldwide social ice-age and law-of-the-jungle capitalism, tried to sabotage our system of social justice and welfare by brainwashing some members of our collective. and in about 1000 weak people, they were successful. those foolish traitors dared to question their socialist leader's ability to choose what is best for them. can you imagine
that?! so they tried to run away, and we killed them. no loss for the collective. and that's all the truth about the wall.

@Cousin Dave, Furchur

>>"When the lease expired at the end of 2004, the "art project" had become a "monument". The bank did not extend the lease.
The rest is your typical "tenant from hell" story."

In the name of promoting international diversity, allow me to make you aware of certain subtle cultural differences, Cousin Dave. In the rest of the world, your typical "tenant from hell" is someone who doesn't pay the rent. In Berlin, a "tenant from hell" is someone who draws attention to the fact that you belong to a party that turned your country into a giant prison and butchered anyone who tried to escape.

@gio

Following the Communist line from the Cold War WW II, you now change the subject again. Here is your writ:

"And by the way: Are you that consequent to demand all the nations on the two Americas to give there land back to the Indian people? Um, then England would have to be given back to some celtic tribes... Or, wait a minute, is it absolutely positive that they were the first people on that island... Let me think for a while, it's getting really complicated."

Your knowledge of American history is obviously
pedestrian at best. The original natives of America were of an unknown race which lived 4.000 years ago. It died out and was replaced 2,000 years ago by Mongol tribes coming across the Bering Straight who lived like nomads without any firmly estalished locality. They generally followed bufflo herds for their food and clothing. These natives were warriors by nature and tried to prevent the peaceful settlement of whites in a land that was largely bereft of people. Most of this land had no Indian or white government for many decades which could either protect Whites or Indians from mutually inflicted injustice. Therefore, it was called the "Wild West" which finds no parallel in modern European history So I think your comparisons with British or American aforegoing policies of the 17th and 18th century in relation to the East German holocaust in 1945 are really quite inappropriate.

Your comparison to even English and Celtic tribes is so ridiculous that it borders on immaturity.

In case you are still wondering, internatioal crimes against humanity, whether committed by Nazis or Communists, do not expire with time.

You also assume that the expellees "demand" their country back to possibly expel the current natives of East Germany again? I think you better read up on the Charta of the Expellees before you bring on these totally unfounded and inhumane charges! I seriously doubt that you are sufficiently prepared to debate the subject at hand.

It is really sad to see what leftist propaganda has produced in Germany.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

I sent an email to the mayor of Berlin.

In it, I said, "Fine. Gonna bulldoze Platz der Luftbruecke next?"

I signed it with the unit in which I served in Berlin at the height of the Cold War.

I imagine they'll at least leave the Soviet war memorial alone....

the tragic thing is not whether it could be removed, but that enough people wanted it removed. That speaks volumes. It is someone else's land -- they can do as they wish, I suppose. It's simply that they wanted to.

"I don't write this because I want to defend the PDS, but because I think that, unlike it is suggested in some posts around here, the PDS is not a major threat to German democracy." -gio

You are dearly mistaken here, friend. The PDS and their ilk are communists and indeed as much a threat to German democracy as the extremist right-wing party NPD is. Hint: Democracy is based on the idea of the individual. Read up about the status of the individual in communism.

It is only for the pro-communist spin of the 68ers that in this country Communism seems more acceptable than Nazism, even though both concepts are equally evil, equally incompatible with democracy, and have proven that in the past equally impressively.

@ Editrix: ""Democratically legitimised outrage""? Is this your invention? Or did you just misread Illic?
Posted by: gio | July 6, 2005 01:26 PM
------------------------------

Neither. It is what Illic, in effect, said.

Mr. Peter P. Haase from Boca Raton, Florida, you are the best example for the sad fact that it is almost impossible to find a German who is not either a suicidal, leftist, pacifist, multiculturalist lemming OR a shameless revanchist, unable to face the fact that Germany started and lost two world wars during the last 90 years. Start a war, lose it, pay for it. A rule as old as human history. It just doesn't apply to Germans (and Arabs), eh?

Stop whining! Show some dignity!

Btw, if the global political- and geographical situation were to be different, you would be as well frothing at the mouth over the USA.


Well, Editrix, I'm not sure if you are right about Mr. Haase. The thing is this: Some weeks or maybe 2 months ago, when I first read comments from him, I would have agreed with you. And indeed, you are very correct about the problem here in Germany - that it is difficult to find patriotic Germans (in the true sense of the word - not patriotism defining itself in Anti-Americanism) without having them have some arkward reflex in their right arm. Or without at least getting close to such minds.

Actually, Mr. Haase once linked to a site in English which debated the expelling of East-Prussians from their homeland. I looked a bit more around on this site and ended up finding a portrait depicting Hitler in a favourable light, along some of his paintings. However, this is not Mr. Haase's fault. Judging from his comments (if he's not a complete liar here), he is most outspoken against Hitler and his Nazi-thugs nontheless. And not just because it would be politically correct, but he also came out with reasons why the idea of Nazism/Fascism is ill.

I think the issue here is that Haase is one of the last examples of a "species" which has died out in Germany with the rise of and because of the Nazis. I talk about the classic "Prussians". In my opinion, they and their love for their country on the one hand eased the rise of the Nazis, but they got also destroyed by them. They were NOT from the same ilk. It was their mistake that too many of them thought they were. Well, most didn't even do that, but thought to take the deal for the better of Germany, in light of the Versaille treaty, which was unacceptable to patriots like them. It would have been equally unacceptable to patriots of any other country in the world, make not mistake.
Some of them realized their mistake at some point, most didn't. Some of the most courages and outspoken opponents of the Nazi regime came from their like. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Henning von Treskow, Carl Hans Graf von Hardenberg etc. come to mind here. Also, less known individuals like the Prussian Oskar-Heinz Kusch. He was a U-Boat commander and ordered the removal of a Hitler picture from the officers mess to hang it near the toilet, with the comment: "This is a warship. We are not in the business here of practicing idolatry". He also debated with his officers about the illfull way of the Nazis and was subsequently shot by a firing squad in 1944 after his own officers spoke out against him in court.

They went as far as ignoring one of their principles, "A German officer does not conspirate". Most, like Erich von Manstein, were not ready to cross that line despite their distance to Hitler. Unfortunately for themselves. Because, as I said, they and their ideals were consumed by those thugs they let or even helped to gain power in Germany.

And even today, so utterly devastating this decision was for Germany that the ghost of Hitler is still wandering. You want to be a patriot, you'll run into that ghost. Or into those who still worship it. You speak out against the communist land robbery of East-Prussia - which was not at all peacefull but did cost many lives of the innocent - you will be affiliated with the Nazis. You equal the Nazi attrocities to the Soviet ones - not because you want to downplay or whitewash anything, but because they really WERE just as evil (read "The Archipel Gulag" from Alexander Solschenyzin to get an idea, not only on the Gulag but on the whole Soviet history) and, other than with the victims of the Nazis, the victims of the Communists are STILL WAITING for justice - and you will be suspected to be of the Nazi mind.
As I said, at first I thought the same thing about Mr. Haase. But now I think who speaks to us here is just one of those who do not really exist anymore. Thus we do not know his kind. It has disappeared. We only know those who consumed them. But, they are not the same. Cut him some slack.

BTW, here a link concerning Oskar-Heinz Kusch, the u-boat commander.

http://uboat.net/men/kusch.htm

It is a sad thing that most Germans do not know about people like him. I think it has to do with the fact that people like Kusch are proof of the fact that you COULD see. It's just that most DIDN'T WANT TO. Also, the whole "White Rose" resistance group is such a thing. This one is more known, but only as that. Some resistance group. Rarely do you hear about the content of the leaflets they wrote. Back in my school-time for example, we heard about them. As a resistance group of students. That's it. We did not read their letters. But in their letters, THEY SAW. "We didn't know" / "We didn't see this coming" is the general and political correct consensus today. Their letters are proof that this is a lie and you COULD SEE, if you only dared too. "We lacked the bravery, we didn't dare." OK. But "We couldn't know" is a lie.

@Alex: Thanks for a very thoughtful post... I agree with your analysis but at the same time, as Editrix said, it's difficult to find a "normal" German patriot. Forget the Looney Left, forget die Braunen (NPD usw) ... and unfortunately, those in the middle that try to develop a healthy love of country and selfless sense of duty and honour are immediately labeled by the Left as Nazis.

Alex, thank you very much for your most thoughtful and informative post. I will re-read it and consider in depth what you say. Just one spontaneous remark: The whining of the Haases of this world is MOST un-Prussian. One of the founding principles of the Prussian identity was to accept responsibility. And the higher the rank, the more severe the responsibility. It is a FACT that Germany started the war and the "law of human history" I quoted, namely start a war, lose it, pay for it, applies. Full stop! Everybody who is still whining after all those years hasn't got his values straight. It's as simple as that.

And to Stauffenberg, Tresckow et al... well, they all flirted with Nazism first, didn't they? Not that it makes their courage, good intentions and final sacrifice any less valid, but for me it casts some doubts on Prussianism as archetypical guardian of German patriotism. It has been abused by shady "patriots" too often, too. (Don't get me wrong, I always feel the urgent desire to throttle all those who don't seem to recognise that Hitler and his cronies crawled out from the Bavarian beer cellars and not the Prussian barrack squares!)

But here we have a man, who was not for a second fooled by the Nazis, a German patriot through and through, inconvenient, unrelenting and afraid of nothing: http://www.editorsoffice.de/history_Galen.htm

The problem is, that he and his values have become even more politically incorrect now than any other canon of values.

Well, Niko, as I said to Editrix - I'm not sure if you are right. And, if it is only because of that, I'm ready to cut him some slack before I "condemn" him.
Fool me, but I have an idea that if his ilk was more common in Germany, we would not find ourselves now in that kind of disharray, in that kind of Anti-American idiocity and in that kind of socialist environment/political correct self-fooling mindset we live in now. It is my opinion that he is not of the Nazi mind, but instead his ideas are no longer acceptable here because the '68ers put all ideas into the Nazi pot which hindered their agenda. That was not difficult for them to do either, because the Germans felt that they were guilty. They could no longer denie that after the world knew. The leftists abused that and utilized it to rott out anything which was to the right of their position.
I agree with those here who say claiming the East Prussian territories back is at least unpracticable, allright. And indeed we fucked up, and we paid for it. This doesn't take away however from the fact that Haase is right when he says it was still injustice. It was injustice for those who lost their existence or even their lifes there. I don't think that claiming this does make him a Nazi. And as far as I understand, he does not say we should take back / claim back the territories. If I understood him correctly, he speaks about reparation and/or recognision of the injustice that took place there. Remember, these lands were not taken by "someone" - they were taken by the evil empire of communism, just as former East Germany (or "Middle Germany", in Haase's words) was. And it was his homeland. We guys here have outrage over the communist rule in the former DDR, but we ignore the Germans of East-Prussia? In the end, this is at least inconsequent, no?

Alex sez: "...but instead his ideas are no longer acceptable here because the '68ers put all ideas into the Nazi pot which hindered their agenda."

The ideas were NEVER acceptable because they defy public international law. Like a broken clock, even the Left is sometimes accidentally right. That doesn't make right wrong.

If Mr. Haase lost his home: Toughsky Shitsky! The majority of his compatriots backed the wrong side. He can go on foaming in Boca Raton, Florida, until he is blue in the face, the Haase Klitsche is lost and the Americans won't do A THING about it. Maybe we live to see how he and his ilk will then turn against the Americans when the've finally twigged that.

"And to Stauffenberg, Tresckow et al... well, they all flirted with Nazism first, didn't they? Not that it makes their courage, good intentions and final sacrifice any less valid, but for me it casts some doubts on Prussianism as archetypical guardian of German patriotism. It has been abused by shady "patriots" too often, too. (Don't get me wrong, I always feel the urgent desire to throttle all those who don't seem to recognise that Hitler and his cronies crawled out from the Bavarian beer cellars and not the Prussian barrack squares!)"

Yes, Editrix, I agree with you. In fact, I already agreed with you in my post. They indeed flirted with them. They flirted with them as far as commanding their armies to fullfill the Nazi wishes. I tried to show as well however as to why I think this demise could have happened. What I was saying was just that these two "camps" were not the same. And when what I think is the ghost of one of those camps, called Haase in our case, speaks out, we see it as the same. I think it is not the same but what is indeed happening is that we have parties now who are outright communists campaigning for the next elections. We sent the Haases to hell, but communists form new parties here (WASG) and people don't see much of a threat. I rather worry about that before I worry about or condemn someone who might have some hard feelings about the fact that his homeland, where he has actually grown up as a child, was subjected and handed into the communist empire, and no one gives a fuck. Following this line, you would also have to say the former DDR was what we "paid for". Yes, OK, we paid for our foolishness. Still, it doesn't mean that for those people suffering the prize it was OK. I think this is all what Haase wants to say. And in this I believe he is right.

I've also read your latest comment, Editrix, but my comment I wrote last - before I've read your last - does also stand in light of your latest. I would only repeat myself. I don't see any meaningfull thing happening in the future towards Haase's stand either, and I also think it is futile and history one has to accept. But at the same time, I see where Haase is coming from with his thoughts and I don't think it's from the Nazi corner but instead I personally do grant him some support. As I said, communists are reforming THIS day here in Germany, but when someone doesn't want the world to forget about the communist take-over of his homeland, we call him a Nazi? I won't. It's just that.

@alex,

Now that you have put yourself on the side of those who defend currently unpopular causes, you must feel a little like those resistance fighters during the Nazi period. Anyway, thank you very much for your gallant corrections of willful mispresentation of my stand against some others on this blog.

Basically, my opposition will simply not recognize that "collective guilt" foisted upon any people is a gross injustice and not at all recognized as lawful by international laws. Many of today's German generation do not know world law. They are only too ready to misquote it against America in the case of Iraq but they do not know that it als defends the human rights of 12 Million of their own countrymen.

The other thing that many of my opposition in Germany do not know, is that expulsion and genocide are crimes against ethnic groups, whether these ethnic groups are German, Jewish, Russian, Polish or Bosnien. These laws need to be better enforced by the U.N. against this type of crime. Anybody who excuses such crimes as "just revenge" is morally inside just as corrupt as a perpetrator. It was a horrible international attitude particularly popularized by Hitler and Stalin.

My personal experience, after coming to America fiftytwo years ago, was that this country reminded me in many of its attitudes of the "old Germany" I was born into in 1928. Patriotism is definitely not dead here neither is Christianity. Hardly anyone would even think of writing American heroes out of this country's history.

In my opinion, Germany is today morally a very sick and sometimes almost anarchic country with a burden of selfimposed self-hate and burdens of misplaced guilt. As we say, "those who hate themselves cannot love others."

But hate is destructive and that is why I have taken up the struggle to fight for human justice in an area which has mostly been neglected in Germany and, consquently, also in America.

Maybe this sentence from my Koenigsberger countryman, Immanuel Kant, had a more than just passing influence upon my life: "Let the maxims of your willpower be such that they could be adopted for a basis of international law." It would be helpful if many more Germans would think in those terms. I know, it is utterly Prussian and demanding upon self but indisputably correct!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

"Anyway, thank you very much for your gallant corrections of willful mispresentation of my stand against some others on this blog."
- Mr. Haase

Mr. Haase, I also have to ask you to cut *them* some slack. I don't think it is "willfull mispresentation". The problem is really this: Most of those, at least here in Germany, who take "your" stand, are indeed Nazis. They take your stand not because they honor it for its own rightousness, but because it's a tool for their agenda. Just as they did back then. And, of course, the leftists welcome that, because they can gain political sympathies by pointing that out. And, unfortunately, they are right in that point too often. This is why I said I regret that there are not more like you in Germany today.

@ alex N.

You wrote:"Mr. Haase, I also have to ask you to cut *them* some slack. I don't think it is "willfull mispresentation". The problem is really this: Most of those, at least here in Germany, who take "your" stand, are indeed Nazis. They take your stand not because they honor it for its own rightousness, but because it's a tool for their agenda. Just as they did back then. And, of course, the leftists welcome that, because they can gain political sympathies by pointing that out. And, unfortunately, they are right in that point too often. This is why I said I regret that there are not more like you in Germany today.

Answer:

This blog in particular is fighting against this kind of misrepresentation by the current German mass media. Example? There is absolutely no political association between the extreme right in Germany (NPD) and the Expellees and their association BDV (Bund der Vertriebenen.) That might correct your assumption that most people promoting my cause in Germany are Nazis. Moreover, the mostly leftist German mass media love to quote extreme rightists in matters of the expulsion from East German provinces. At the same time, they do their best to provide the Bund der Vertriebenen and their peaceful attempts at a solution with the silent treatment unless a scandal might have developed between them and the Poles, etc.

The BDV is an association of Millions with elected officials voted for by the expellees themselves. (Or, are they all "Nazis" too because they fight against this great injustice regarding their human rights?)

If other political entities in Germany have written this cause upon their own flag for political purposes, it is not the "fault" of mine or the fault of the expellees. That is what is called democracy.

However,I want to call to your attention a much greater evil in Germany where today any true patriot is painted immediately, incorrectly with the infamously broad "Fascist brush" by the mass media. This may partly be to blame for your impression that there are Nazis "everywhere".

It must als be considered that the Nazis claimed for themselves during the Hitler years as being the only patriotic representatives of the German Reich. The fact that they said it made it not true and it is time for all Germans to shake this untrue association between patriotism and Nazism off once and for all.

As a matter of fact, it is a much admired fact in Germany to this day, that East German expellees have never fallen for the siren songs of many an extremist German politician, even though they would have had more than just casual justification to do so after there rotten treatment by the BRD government.

They know Nazis and Communist only too well to trust any of them and that is why the vast majority has voted consistently for CDU/CSU throughout the past six decades.

Under such circumstances, I am not at all moved if some idiots in Germany also call me a "Nazi". After all, I am in good company, our president has been called the same from voices across the Atlantic.

Sorry about your obviously well intentioned attempts at being a peacemaker in this case. But "it will be a cold day in hell" before I cut any of those character assassins in Germany some slack. They have been far too long in the public driver's seat in Germany.

They are well known to excuse any crime committed against the German people - especially if committed by Soviet Communists. Isn't it funny that they don't cut the same slack for the Anglo-American bombers and their carpet bombings of Germany even though these human German losses were much, much lighter when compared with the East German Holocaust perpetrated by the Bolscheviks??

It is high time to pull the rug from under them or to take off the gloves!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

Agreed.
I did not mean that there are "Nazis everywhere" or that all of those taking your stand are of them. But unfortunately when you hear from this stand in the media (!) it is mostly from actual Nazis, and the media will also take care of painting this stand in a Nazi light even if the outspeakers are not. That the becillic leftist agenda is behind developing this picture even more so is what I tried to say already. It works even for those people posting here, who are mostly anti-socialists, as you see. With "cut them some slack" I did not mean you should just accept them blaiming you (or I wouldn't have posted in your defense), instead I just wanted to make you aware why I think they put you in that certain corner. I'm sure that by those people here it's not "willfull" mispresentation, as you thought (which was the only thing triggering my last post), but instead because of exactly what both you and I think the left have tried to achieve and partially achieved even among outspoken anti-communists.

@Haase: I agree with Alex completely. In my mind, there was no willful misrepresentation, but raTHer, an almost automatic reaction to years of the Left equating an ounce of German patriotism with National Socialism, a smokescreen to be sure, for the purposes of furthering their own agenda. BTW, my mother-in-law is from Neiße and I hear similar things from her ... I would also never accuse her of being a Nazi! One just needs the complete picture.
And another thing: I'm pleased you found a home in the United States of America!

@alex

Thank you for the explanation of your position which is very close to mine.

Just as an asides to those who talk as if I owned land in East Prussia (which I do not) or if I promoted any particular process in behalf of same:

The only thing I promote is a referendum amongst the expellees as supervised by the U.N. This will give East Prussians, Silesians and Pommeranians a chance to publicly voice their plans for a united and peaceful Eastern Europe. The results of this might be quite different from what was hoped by those who have constantly denied these rights to the expellees.

If you should ask me why I have taken it upon myself to fight for these people for over sixty years, the answer is simple: The Soviet occupation of the East German provinces was the end of an ancient beautiful and serene world in a microcosm. As a Prussian and as a surviving human witness, I have the mandatory moral obligation to see that it is never forgotten - even if I live today as a citizen of another nation on another continent.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

Alex sez: "But at the same time, I see where Haase is coming from with his thoughts and I don't think it's from the Nazi corner."

I don't think so either and I never said so. I just don't think "revision" of history is right, from whatever point of view. I am sick and tired of that archetypically German trait never to accept responsibility, or maybe better, never to accept the other's point of view. Some time ago, I found the following observation in "The Winds of War" by Herman Wouk and was stunned by its astuteness. Wouk lets his protagonist Vicor Henry say: "Roon [a fictitious character] starts on his first page, for instance, exactly as Adolf Hitler started all his speeches: by denouncing the Versailles Treaty as an injustice imposed on an honourable and trusting Germany by the cruel Allies. He does not mention the historical catch to that. German writers seldom do. In 1917 Lenin overthrew the Kerensky government and sued for a separate peace on the eastern front. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, dictated by the Germans over a year before the Treaty of Versailles, deprived Russia of a territory much larger than France and England combined, of almost sixty million inhabitants, and of almost all her heavy industry. It was far harsher than the Versailles Treaty.
I used to bring up this little fact during my Berlin service, whenever Versailles was mentioned. My German friends were invariably puzzled by the comparison. They thought it made no sense at all. The Treaty of Versailles had happened to them; Brest-Litovsk had happened to the other fellow. In this reaction they were sincere. I cannot explain this national quirk of the Germans ..."


Alex sez: "As I said, communists are reforming THIS day here in Germany, but when someone doesn't want the world to forget about the communist take-over of his homeland, we call him a Nazi? I won't. It's just that."

I won't either and I didn't. But it's an intellectually dishonest, demagogic trick (whether deliberately performed or not) to connect the undoubted crimes of Communism with the takeover of German land after WWII. I repeat: "The Communists" did not start the war. The Communists happened to be the ruling power of a country Germany attacked and which eventually won. The fact that this country happened to be ruled by Communists does neither make their costly victory any less valid, nor their claim to the former German Ostgebiete.

Some personal observations: I happen to know and/or to be connected with quite a few people whose ancient home had been the former Ostgebiete, East Prussia and elsewhere, all of them from a class that had been, until well into the 20th century, de facto ruler over life and death. All (I repeat: ALL!) are totally un-revanchist. To name some prominent examples for this thinking: Fürst Dohna-Schlobitten, for example, then an old man, travelled to Poland to advise the Poles about the management of the land he knew and loved so well. 1945 he had defied the Treckverbot of the Nazis and formed well-organised Trecks, which helped to save many of his people (and his famous horses, by the way). I think he has written a book about that. In post-war Germany, the Dohnas run dry-cleaning shops and went on with their lives. THAT is "Prussian"! Or maybe you have come across the writing of the historian Christian Graf Krockow, scion of a family from Pomerania? His writings reflect a similar outlook, as does the writing of Marion Gräfin Dönhoff. But, as I said, it is not the quirk of some prominent and excentric individuals, but a spirit that motivates an entire class. And I don't think it has anything to do with a lack of love of their ancient home, rather the opposite. If you look at the higher echelons of the Vertriebenenverbände, you won't find any Dohnas, Dönhoffs, Zitzewitz' or Lehndorffs there. That class just doesn't whine. I guess they'd consider that un-Prussian. Lower middleclass is rampant and I seem to remember that, if every claim to having been landed in the Ostgebiete were true, pre-WWII Germany would have bordered the Urals. Whether that is true or a well-thought out joke, I don't know. But like all good jokes, there is more than a smidgeon of truth in it.

Scout sez: "BTW, my mother-in-law is from Neiße and I hear similar things from her ... I would also never accuse her of being a Nazi!"

No doubt she isn't. It is just another case of the general-German-blindness-to-truh syndrome, that befalls people of every political provenience.

Btw, is she from Nacke an der Neisse? Tell her what rhymes with it! Okay, I know, a somewhat crude pun, I just couldn't resist... :-|

@Editrix: Point taken. Injustice is injustice, there has been more than enough to go around in recorded history, recent history no exception. It's always convenient to forget injustice imposed and remember injustices suffered. However, I think you might be just a little too hard on the Germans in this respect. They certainly haven't cornered the market on this characteristic. BTW, no, she is actually from the town of Neiße, and yes, it was a crude pun.

@editrix

Oh yes, from the "red" Countess Doehnhoff to many a noble Prussian family, they became "shell shocked" in their own conscience by German atrocities in East Europe. It is totally understandable because it stood against any values these families grew up with.

Unfortunately, none of these well meaning "mea culpa" confessors were and still are particularly trained in understanding Democracy as a basic concept for not only everyday living.

More importantly, they have no concept of today's fair execution of national or international juris prudence in the face of war crimes.

It all started with their totally erroneos understanding that any people, living under a dictatorship, may be justifiably, collectively blamed and punished.

This is based upon primitive laws (established during the Dark Ages) of "collective guilt". The main proponents of this type of inhumane and culturally Antiwestern philosophy of war were Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Our Western, modern and more humane understanding of international justice (as proclaimed by the preceeding "Haager Landkriegsordnung" and by the United Nations of today), forbids this revanchist and inhumane treatment of any civilian population whether perpetrated by the victors or vanquished of an armed conflict.

Those who still adhere today to the anachronistic ideas of "revenge against an entire population" belong into the dust cabinet of history.

Just as an aside, to strengthen my argument is the guilt of the Soviet Union and Red China. Both countries have killed uncounted tens of Millions for political purposes. But why would nobody make all Russian and Chinese citizens responsible for these almost unbelievably, gigantic killings of ordinary people???

Basically, it amounts to many Western countries havng been undermined by godless Bolshevism.

No good luck to them!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

Ohh! Now the ostelbischen upper classes are infested by "Communist" thinking as well! Yeah right!

It has NOTHING to do with that, or MEA CULPA thinking. It has everything to do with accepting the consequences of a self-started and lost war and an aversity to WHINING, which you obviously don't share. What you are doing now AGAIN! You did not address even one single point I made, instead you are informing us all again (and again and again) about Communist atrocieties. Revising history again, whining again! I repeat: get some dignity!

@editrix

You are so far-out left that even just a discussion on Western law and cultural history is a total waste. You are in danger of falling off the earth on the left side.

You must be a leftover product of Honecker et alias and I cannot even begin to find a vocabulary to discuss anything seriously with you.

Since you still believe in bloody revenge as a civilized method to finally solve territorial disputes, the best I can do is to learn quickly to ignore you as I have learned to ignore the historical existence of Neanderthalers and Dinosours.

Live well within your own mental boundries.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

@editrix

Your constant referral to Prussian nobility is somewhat nauseating.

They have not been always a blessing for the good of common Prussian people during Prussia's long history. As a matter of fact, they often stood in the way of friendship between Prussians, Poles and Lithuanians.

Even the latest leader of the East Prussian Landsmannschaft, W. v. Gottberg, is suspect of surrendering Prussian people's human rights which can only be surrendered by the people of Prussia and nobody else according to international law.

He is also a severe critic of America which does not enhance his standing as a free human being in my eyes.

The East Prussian who truly represents the character of my home country is Immanuel Kant. You can search for a long time through his writings before you will ever find any sentence which justifies Russia's and Poland's horrible revenge foisted upon Millions of innocent people in East Prussia, Silesia and Pommerania.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

@niko

"Revenge" and "collective guilt" of nations or ethnic groups always ends always up as gross injustice, e.g., Hitler's persecution of the Jews because a few were Communist or Stalin's persecution of the Kulaks because a few were rich.

Ins't if funny that the Eastern Block used to call East German refugees constantly "revanchists" to the general amusement in the West. They did that because the Communist's little, violent minds could only think in those terms and therefore they naturally expected a violent reaction from Germans to their Holocaust on Millions of German women and children.

In reality, it was the expellees who renounced since their founding of the BdV in 1950, all violence and only worked for peaceful solutions to outstanding WW II injustices, the restoration of the German economy and a United Europe. They did it while refusing to be drawn into extremist movements who obviously courted their vote.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

@Niko: you might want to give up on arguing with Mr Peter P Haase, Boca Raton, Florida. As I wrote before, the Martians infested if not remote-controlled a handful of non-Prussian, non-Silesian and non-Pommeranian villains to do all those, uhm, bad things that really are minor as compared to "Russia's and Poland's horrible revenge foisted upon Millions of innocent people in East Prussia, Silesia and Pommerania."

You see, Davids Medienkritik really is a big tent."

It is indeed. Yet I am still amazed that he chose so strongly pro-American a forum, of all fora, to spout his obsessive relativist tosh. He must be a real party pooper at Boca Raton, Florida, with his endless tirades. ("AWMEGAWD, do we really HAVE to ask that Haase again? Last time he even got started on his 'Holocaust on Millions of German women and children' rant while we were discussing ethnic knitting patterns!"

But then, maybe he is just a Java-applet in an infinite loop...

You are right, I won't bother with him anymore.

@Editrix

With your latest, overly lame attempt at ridiculing me personally, or making light of one of the greatest but largely ignored human tragedies in modern times, it shows only two very sad characteristics about you:

Either you are a fairly un- or onesided educated, incredibly lightweight airhead or you are one of those leftwing nitwits who exist in numbers of many thousands or more as a sorry leftover (like coffee grounds after a party) from the Socialist collapse in the 90ies.

For exactly those same reasons, I have chosen largely to ignore you (and Nicko) and I am very gratified to also be a "persona non grata" on your list.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

Niko sez: "Due to the tireless efforts of Mr Peter P Haase, Boca Raton, Florida, every reader in the blogosphere must have been educated personally about that tragedy."

Mr Peter P Haase, Boca Raton, Florida, a mole, would be a serious problem and a destructive agent for the freedom of the American way of life, if he were just a little bit younger and a little less gaga.

Screen your German immigrants a bit more carefully, US of A. Or you might be unpleasantly surprised one day!

I don´t care what ever comes out of the rotten mouths of the socialists to justify the destruction of the installation near checkpoint charlie. With this deed they are pissing on the graves of all victems of socialism in Germany. Being from Hamburg I promisse that I will piss on the graves of Luxemburg and Liebknecht during my next visit to Berlin.

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