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WW2 justified by former German soldiers

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WW2 justified by former German soldiers

Wonder what the post war generations of Germans think?


As a member of the post war generation I can tell you that the American attempts to get rid of both national socialism and nationalism in Germany were more than succesfull. As an example, the german NPD, a party that follows the tradition of the NSDAP (Even though they call themselve National democrats, opposed to national socialists. Otherwise they would be prohibited) only received 1.3 percent in the last federal election (You have to get at least five percent to enter parliament). Something like military parades doesn't exist in the Bundeswehr. Other militarys try to build up a fighting spirit, by promoting a long and successfull history. If you'd try to place the Bundeswehr in line with the Germand Army of WW1 or worse the Reichswehr you'd be called a Nazi. You are not allowed to show Nazi-symbols without educational effect. Denying the holocaust can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years, etc.


Easier than admitting to what you were a part of. I don't think the Germans have any corner on that behavior.

How would you like to face your grandkids and say, yeah I was part of an army that. ....fill in details.

Not excusing it, just saying I am not surprised.


Yeah. After WW2 west Germany followed a policy of only hunting the "big fish". Policemen, judges, etc. put on a new uniform and kept working unless they actively promoted national socialism- otherwise you'd have to imprison most germans, and that's not how you build a nation.


However, while the older generation didn't start shouting "this is what I did in WW2 and it was bad", the next generation asked "what did you do". It became a major problem when students realised that many of the old national socialists were still working, and they actively protested against the, in their opinion authoritarian, state. Western Germany saw and sees itself as the nation that is responsible for everything that happened and acts upon that knowledge. As an example you can look at the German-Israeli relations.


In eastern Germany things were a little bit different. Since eastern germany itself was a dictature they often followed nazi traditions (which is something they would never have admitted). The Stasi (short for Staatssicherheit, which translates to federal security. It was the east- german intelligence service.) is often seen as a spiritual successor to the GeStaPo (Geheime Staatspolizei, translates to secret federal police. One of the intelligence services of Nazi germany), and was even more powerful. And since eastern germany didn't see itself as a followup to the Reich but as something completely new and detatched there never was a major workup in society. In the east one authoritarian regime was destroyed and a new one was build up.


That link you provided was interesting. If you look at the description

"Winner of the prestigious peace award at the Film festival of the independent film in Osnabrück Germany,"

you can see how the German society handles its past.

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Excellent explanation Jargotn. Interestingly enough East Germany is also more against immigration then the other half of Germany. It makes sense though cos of the bigger unemployment and less actual contact with the immigrants all translating into bigger fear. The whole West-East Germany divide is a very in interesting social "experiment". You can observe the paralel impact of different social models on a society.


EDIT: Amongst the more WW2-wise ignorant nations are also Italians and Japanese. Italians are especially problematic since Allies needed them for political reasons after the capitulation and Italians never saw themselves as loosers but winners of the war. The many notions of them being the good guys are owerwhelmingly present in Italian society.

Edited by Hister
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If you look hard and long enough then you can find such people everywhere. Some countries are more common in such behaviour then others. Germany being a country where people with such believes only represent a fringe of the society while Russia, Italy and Japan have this problem more present. Not to say UK and USA were saints - there were many warcrimes that are not aclnowledged bytoday's populations of these states but far less then what the other side commited. Well, Russians being on their side but commiting more crimes then Nazi Germany.

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This book was originally written in the early '50s. It is back in print. It covers the lives and attitudes of several ordinary Germans during the Nazi Era. It is interesting to notice the consistency of the behavior of all of them. The book makes no excuses, but does highlight how Hitler and the Nazi Regime mesmerized the German people.

Edited by Nidan1
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