Germans continue to show morality concerns over Holocaust, The Atlantic says

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    My attempt to be inoffensive sometimes ends in an incomprehensible post, such as my earlier posting. Let me be more clear:

    Austria and Germany were different nations. I know Austria had a long history of anti-Semitism. Whether Germany was as, or more, anti-Semitic as Germany historically I am unsure. Hitler's anti-semitism was not unusual for an Austrian and seems to have been so for Germans too.

    This cruel attitude to Jews, my Dad said it was based on envy of Jewish business success, is something that should still cause embarrassment to Germans today. I hope it is more; I hope it is a change of heart. The Holocaust is very recent as history goes.

    Germany and Austria were an extreme case. I wish that hatred and arrogance towards other peoples could be extirpated from the hearts and minds of all peoples including our own, Success leads to pride and pride to contempt of others.

    I refer to nationalistic, prideful attitudes not to issues such as illegal immigration which is a matter of enforcing a uniform code of naturalization, to law and order not necessarily contempt.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    Anti-Semitism in Austria was fairly dominant for centuries before the National Socialists emerged as a dark force in Germany. Hitler was such an Austrian, typical of many (not all it is assumed)of his countrymen. Whether Germany was generally so I don't know; Germany werer separate political entities when Hitler first came to power.

    Anti-Semitism and National arrogance was popular in many nations; I think it was particularly bad in some places. I would rather feel embarrassed about my nation's faults than be callous about the atrocities of recent history. The European theater of WW2 only ended 69 years ago. Would that anti-semitism and national arrogances had ended with it.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    “What's the half-life of historical guilt?”

    That depends – in the grand scheme of things we’re all (the world’s ethnic groups) guilty as perpetrators and have all suffered at their hands. If we could record history going back 5000 years with the same accuracy as the last 500 this would be self-evident.

    But people are going to naturally chafe at notions of imposed guilt that they personally had nothing to do with. And a pathological tendency to remember our past crimes in the context of ethnic/national guilt often gives rise to later conflicts.

    We are likely better off leaving these events in the past – while always being mindful of the horrors we are capable of – and looking forward to building a better world.