Scrapbookpages Blog

February 18, 2017

Has Germany given up “its effort to overcome past misdeeds by suppressing any vestige of nationalism?”

Filed under: Germany, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:57 am

The title of my blog post includes a quote from an article in a German newspaper. You can read the article in full at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/world/europe/germany-far-right-politics-afd.html?_r=0

The following quote is from the newspaper article, cited above:

Begin quote

POTSDAM, Germany — As the far right rises across Europe, its ascent in Germany has seemed among the most alarming and puzzling.

For decades, Germany was thought to be inoculated against far-right politics by its history with Naziism and the Holocaust. But today, Germany is experiencing a resurgence of the right — driven, at least in part, by its effort to overcome past misdeeds by suppressing any vestige of nationalism.

Since World War II, trying to define the German national identity, much less celebrate it, has been taboo. Doing so was seen as a possible step toward the kind of nationalism that once enabled the Nazi regime. [German] Flags were frowned upon, as was standing for the [German] national anthem.

End quote

I recall an incident, several years ago, when I was watching a parade of cars, down a main street, in a Germany city. Young men were sitting on top of the back seats of the cars, smiling and waving. A crowd of German people was standing on the street and waving to the men, but no one was cheering. Not the players, not the crowd of people.

I asked a German man who was standing near me: “What is going on?” He told me that these men were the players on a football team that had just won a national championship.

Finally, I understood: the German people were not allowed to have any pride. They had to forever hang their heads in shame because the Germans killed Jews many years ago.

It seems that now the Germans are taking back their pride in being German.  I am cheering for the German people.

The news article ends with this quote:

Begin quote

But spurred by a sense of lost control over the country’s borders, economy and politics, many Germans are reaching for a shared identity but finding only an empty space. Into that vacuum slipped the Alternative for Germany, known by its German initials, AfD, the nation’s fastest-growing party with recent polls showing support at 12 percent, ahead of some mainstream parties.

End quote