“Forget about the past!” “It is not our business what our ancestors did!” Most people seem to follow these suggestions very well. I can’t.
I used to travel a lot. In every foreign country people started talking about Nazi Germany when they learned that I was german. I was in a fishing museum in South England and there I saw pictures of fishermen who were killed by the Germans. The topic pops up unexpectedly in movies and conversations. I feel the anger and the sadness of the people who lost their relatives and friends.
There are many things I don’t understand until now. What motivated human beings to commit crimes on such a large scale, how was it possible in a civilized society? Could it happen again?
As I started reading biographies pain began to fill my heard. History became alive. Little children, old men and women, parents – tortured and murdered officially by the german state by the millions. I watched the Auschwitz processes that took place in Frankfurt 1963 – 1965 and went deep into it. It is hard to describe, but I actually saw through the eyes of the killers because I know the places where they lived, I love the same music they loved and they spoke the language that I speak – and so on.
There is no anwer to the question: How can Germany bear such a guilt? It is impossible. We live, love and laugh today, because an amazing God decided that we should do so.
There was another important thing for me to learn. It was in the year 1999. After a 2 weeks holiday trip in Ireland I gave back my rental car and the man didn’t even check it. I wondered why he trusted me so much. His answer: “The Germans are highly respected in Ireland. I know that everything is all right because you say so.”
Very slowly I realized that Germany is important, strong and a business partner for countries around the world. So: How should I feel as a german? Proud and confident? or humiliated by the crimes of my forefathers? Or everything at the same time?
I like this satirical video because it expresses our experience very well.
The context in which this video was made were the negotiations between Greece and Germany in the aftermath of the greek dept crisis.
What are your feelings and experiences? Please share them with us, we will enjoy it very much. No glorification of the Nazi regime please.