Thursday, May 21, 2009

Der Spiegel and Poland’s Nazi collaborators

The German weekly Der Spiegel has stirred up a hornets nest in Poland by suggesting - by daring to suggest - that some Poles (they single out farmers) collaborated with the Nazis during WW II.

And not just Poles - French, Romanians, Latvians…etc - collaborated with the Nazis, says Der Spiegel’s lead story this week.

It’s really an article about Ukrainian SS officer John Demjanjuk, just extradited back to Germany from the US on war crimes dating back to when he was responsible for the death of thousands at the Sobibor Nazi death camp in southeast Poland.

But the article gives the German journalists the chance to point out what has been perfectly obvious for many years - that there were collaborators in each of the nations the Nazis occupied. Even the some residents of the British Isle of Jersey collaborated with the Nazis. This is no revelation. But…

Cue outrage in Poland! Politicians, journalists all saying the same thing. This is another example of a creeping trend - Germans trying to transfer the guilt of the Holocaust onto others.

“Ja! Ze Nazis ver German, but hey, Hans!…ja vol!…zis was not an essentially German problem…schnell, schnell…look at all ze nations zat helped us!”

The article comes in the wake of the controversy over the German Expellees Union, headed by Erika Steinbach, who wants to emphasise that some Germans suffered both under the Nazis and in the wake of WW II, when millions of Germans were forcefully expelled from regions that were now in Poland and many other countries - often brutally so.

Der Spiegel editor, Mathias Müller von Blumencron, has pointed out that it was never his intention to claim that the Nazis were not a German problem but that the cooperation of others in the occupied countries was essential to carry out their deathly, murderous project.

Which is probably true. But isn’t that obvious?

Poles, though, don’t really do the historical guilt trip very well. As a nation, Poles see themselves as victims - and that goes back to the revolutionary, Romantic period and has been reinforced ever since.

Poles are not like the British, Americans, maybe some French…they are not trembling with guilt and angst about historical crimes done by their countries in the past. Poles have been the victims of racism many times more than they have been the perpetrators. It’s an important part of the national identity.

So, Herr Spiegel: if you dare to suggest that some Poles went along with the horror - and even though you are correct - don’t act the wide-innocent when you get accused of making German-Polish relations just that little bit more difficult.

Below, BWT, is a photograph of a Polish official checking ID in the Krakow ghetto during occupied Poland.


roman said...


Great post.
I love the way Der Spiegel plays up the "accomplices" angle in order to somehow lessen the collective German guilt by explicitly naming other countries. Here's an excerpt: They are men who have until now received surprisingly little attention -- Ukrainian gendarmes and Latvian auxiliary police, Romanian soldiers or Hungarian railway workers. Polish farmers, Dutch land registry officials, French mayors, Norwegian ministers, Italian soldiers -- they all took part in Germany's Holocaust.The irony here is that this so called "guilt" had already pretty much petered out generationally but this story just brings it all back into the German consciousness.

Anonymous said...

Der Spiegel reflects the German nation and its mentality with precision. The German still cannot accept who he is, a foul creature devoid of human decency. They grind their teeth knowing ever morning they wake up to find themselves covered in shame, humiliation and quilt for their crimes against humanity. What frustrations they must feel knowing that their criminal deeds and moral cowardice will echo through the centuries marking them among human kind. Who cannot look upon them as a lesser people?

They were responsible for the destruction of Poland and the loss of 7,000,000 people and they have failed to pay corresponding reparations for their crime.

No Germans was expelled from what is today Poland, only German war criminals were removed from Polish lands which were under German occupation.

It is abundantly clear that Germany was treated too generously after the Second World War, as it seems they failed to get the message.

Dawid Herszfeld said...

Radek Sikorski provided a historically accurate response to the "Der Spiegel" article:

"Wydaje mi się dziwne to, że mapa Europy z trasami i miejscami kaźni związanymi z holocaustem zawiera Polskę jako państwo, podczas gdy wtedy byliśmy krajem okupowanym i Niemcy stworzyli na naszych terytoriach tzw. Generalne Gubernatorstwo, w którym niepodzielnie rządzili." - Radek Sikorski

In English: "It seems strange, that the map of Europe which shows the trails and places of atrocities connected with the holocaust should present Poland as a state while there was no Polish state just an occupied land where the Germans have created the General Government where they ruled as they pleased."

'Der Spiegel' also fails to mention that only in German occupied Poland was collective death the penalty for any Polish Christians attempting to aid Jewish people. In other words, if one Polish Christian hid a Jew, the entire family would be excecuted if caught doing so. This was not the case in any other German occupied countries.

varus said...

BR wrote:Poles are not like the British, Americans, maybe some French…they are not trembling with guilt and angst about historical crimes done by their countries in the past. Poles have been the victims of racism many times more than they have been the perpetrators. It’s an important part of the national identity.

Does that mean Brits and Americans have colletive guilt? I am surprised you think so. Perhaps on the Southbank Show or Dateline London people express remorse over slavery or some other past ill. However, for the average person guilt over past wrongs is far from the mind.

Anom; your views are a little Hitleresque. Or perhaps biblical in an Old Testament sense.

varus said...

Anom; Also Germans were expelled from Poland as the following states:

Germans Expelled from Poland after the Second World War
See also the Treaty of Versailles and New Germany Poland Border

The expulsion of Germans after World War II refers to the mass deportation and ethnic cleansing of people considered German (both Reichsdeutsche and Volksdeutsche) from areas outside of Germany's post-WWII borders. The process, which aimed at ethnically homogenous nation states, was decided by the Potsdam Conference. Although the Potsdam Conference ordained ordered transfer, the whole process of resettlement was performed in a postwar atmosphere of chaos, frequent excesses and crimes.

German citizens remaining after the war, some of whom had become German citizens during the war, were expelled from areas in present-day Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Kaliningrad Oblast, and other East European countries. Some fled in fear of the Soviet Red Army. Some were persecuted because of their activites during the war or for other reasons

jannowak57 said...

I think that it’s become clear that trends in the German media and society are heading in the direction of denial and deflection of that nations historical responsibility for the consequences of WW2. As much as many found it convenient to chastise the Ducks for being confrontational with the Germans it seems they were both correct and early in drawing the necessary conclusions. I think its necessary to reject and confront any German notions that diminish their collective responsibility.

ge'ez said...

So sorry to go off topic... but I was wondering if Alexander Rybak, the Eurovision winner, is Polish?

It seems it's a big viral video all over the world. I thought the performance was as cheesy and dumb as it gets. I mean like so joltingly insipid that I just had to respond to it.

jannowak57 said...

He is from Belarus,but I don't know if he is Polish.

beatroot said...

Does that mean Brits and Americans have colletive guilt?Just think about the British attitude to the Union Flag. It's only the people that go to Wimbledon to cheer on...Henmen, or whoever, who feel comfortable waving one of those around. And it's only during England games at the World Cup that the St george's flag is acceptable to hang from windows. There is a massive collective giuit about the Empire in the Uk.

And look at the recent-ish Tony Blair apology for the Irish the 1840s! And then there was the apology about the slave trade!

Post-colonial's part of the emglish metality.

varus said...

The problems with the flag have more to do with football hooligans and the resent past (1970-90 era) rather than the empire. Granted that many feel uncofortable with displaing the George cross or union flag, but i think that this is mainly because people do not want to be associated with the BNP or the like.

As far as the apology goes, well if you remember, Blair was very carefull not to actually say 'sorry' about the slave trade. Or though admitedly this has more too do with a fear if finacial consequences. However, I think these two examples have more to do with political correctness and the fact that there are sizeable minorities of both black and irish people in the UK rather than any internal feeling of guilt.

Mark said...

I've read this Der Spiegel article, and it seems to me that its motives should be questioned.

Confining the scope of this discussion to Poland, I would say it should be held primarily among Poles: Catholic, Jewish, plus secular, and also the Jewish world at large. It would be beneficial if Germans understood that when uninvited into this discussion, they should not take it upon themselves to barge in. They should agree that their contribution may be needed at times, but by invitation only. The enduring and historically honest presentation of World War II is not their project alone.

Polish-Jewish relationship (and the larger Catholic-Jewish relationship as well) has benefited in recent years from many good will gestures on both sides. Painful episodes from history are dealt with in an honest, but not malicious way. Also, happier times are being recalled as well, and a more balanced view of this history is taking shape. A foundation for a better future is being laid.

I think it would be best if each nation that went thru World War II took an introspective approach to its history, and if culturally capable, acknowledged what it did wrong and right. Forcing such judgments on others is usually resented.

Beatroot: before you too catch the bug and indulge in any patriotic self-flagellation, listen to this:

beatroot said...

Gilbert and Sullivan...Hmmm...

Personally, I only feel guilt for the bad things that I personally have done in my life. I was not responcible for the Irish famine (indeed I had family die in it, anyway...but so what?)

The problems with the flag have more to do with football hooligans and the resent past (1970-90 era) rather than the empire...I donlt think that is true at all. The British are unconfortable with patriotism these days in a way they were not around the time of the falklands war. But the the ruling class have even lost confidence in drumming up a bit of jingoism every now and again...not when they go to war it has be done under another pretence...humanitarian inteventions etc.

Things have changed big time over the last twenty years, Varus.

Mark said...


I agree with you 100 percent. I would say a true patriot holds his country to a higher standard, and selflessly does his share so it can be achieved.

To give them credit, I think that German people have done much with their culture to exorcise past demons out of it. But we don't need to join them when periodically they issue invitations to one of these self flagellation sessions. Perhaps, on occasion, guilt should remain a private affair.

beatroot said...

First of all, I am referring to the fact that British elites don’t have the option to appeal to national sentiment in the UK…those kind of beliefs are very weak in Britain now. And the liberal elites don’t share them either. That’s a big change. Thatcher thought Britain ruled the waves and the only thing wrong with the country was that the trade unions were too strong - so she smashed them - and that the damn EU was taking away her sovereignty.

New Labour don’t share those beliefs. They feel uncomfortable with nationalism ( and pretty much any ism you care to mention - particularly socialism).

Problem for New Labour is that they don’t really have any alternatives to those old ideologies to knit the nation together.

Secondly, the Der Spiegel article is not an example of self flagellation but maybe a growing trend in this generation of Germans - the ones after the 1960-ers, who felt all the guilt of their parents generation - to point to how Germans suffered because of the consequence of Hitler’s policies. And many did. But they are also pointing to the fact that it wasn’t just Germans who were responsible foe WW II and what happened in it.

That kind of thing might be understandable, but will not go well in Poland.

Mark said...

Well, if it's a growing trend, then we may have another German problem. But I tend not to take these periodic tantrums too seriously, I've seen them before.

And now for something completely different:

beatroot said...

One of the finest dramas since Shakespeare (and I’m serious). The main character, Basil, was John Cleese’s way or highlighting the “Little Englander” who was significant in England in the 1970s. But things have changed.

For a comedy about the UK today see The Office.

Anonymous said...

Beatroot: a criminal collaborator

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said: “but they are also pointing to the fact that it wasn’t just Germans who were responsible for WW II and what happened in it.”

Sorry, but yes the Germans were responsible for WWII without any doubt. Did you see any co-defendants at Nuremberg? If this current generation is taking the tacked that there exists a shared quilt for WWII then their dead wrong and this is basically the main stream adopting the neo-nazis position. This position has been sold in Germany for many years through the publication and promotion of a revisionist history. These are the same people that propagate Holocaust denial. What is so shocking and infuriating is that German society is starting to broadly accept these ideas.

Mark said: “ give them credit, I think that German people have done much with their culture to exorcise past demons out of it.”

More so that Germany and its society has changed to reflect European values rather than any metamorphosis in the direction of the moral high ground. I should point out that after the dust settled the attitude of the WWII generation in Germany was not that of remorse for the great loss of life and destruction that was unleashed in their name but something rather different. The psychology was closer to that of a criminal gang where they were promised their pockets would be lined with gold after the crime was completed but rather found themselves penniless, punished and incarcerated. Thus turning their adulation and reverence for their leader into hatred and scorn because he failed them.

Where Der Spiegel is off side is suggesting that Germans are in the position to lecture any other people about guilt or culpability in a crime, I’d say premature by about several centuries.

beatroot said...

Sorry, but yes the Germans were responsible for WWII without any doubt.Of course the Nazis what done it. But ever stopped to think how Stalin could have avoided much of the war? If the Soviets had shown the balls to stand up to Berlin then Hitler would have thought more than one about trying to expand eastward.

and then we have the policies towards Germany in the 1920s and 30s, helping create the conditions where german capitalism went into freefall.

It's too simplistic to say that Germany, and Germany alone, was the cause of WW II.

Mark said...


To some extent I agree with you - in retrospect, the unenlightened and punitive measures the Great Powers of World War One imposed on Germany were counterproductive. They fueled German resentments and encouraged ethnic pride, which the Nazi party then helped channel into violence. The enlightened US policy towards Germany after World War Two led it towards economic prosperity, which hopefully acts as a buffer against the demons of their recent past.

Yet most nations manage to resolve their political and economic problems peacefully, without invading, stealing from, and murdering their neighbors in the name of "racial superiority" and "breathing room". In this respect, those in that generation of Germans who supported the Nazi party cannot be called civilized, as a group they were technically competent barbarians of the worst kind. Those who willingly joined them, likewise, were barbarians. Now, almost sixty five years later, we're still discussing the character of their current generation...

And now for something more enjoyable:

I consider the twelve episodes of "Fawlty Towers" to be some of the finest, most tightly written, and deeply funny comedy I've ever seen. The permanent characters, and those that weave themselves in and out, are vivid and unforgettable. Very interestingly you called it a "drama" centered on the concept of the "Little Englander". That's an original view of this series, plus the concept of the "Little Englander" is not familiar to me - would you care to expand?

ge'ez said...

C'mon, it wasn't so much a matter of anyone lacking gonads..

It was a matter of Stalin's rampant breakneck forced collectivization having thrown Russia backwards every which way. The bastard had no choice but to play footsie with the Nazis just to bide time to gear up for war. Ot

beatroot said...

Little Englander has a wiki entry, in fact.

Geez, he had also killed off many of his generals. But that puts him more in the frame was causing WW II.

YouNotSneaky! said...

I'm with Jannowak and Mark here. Of course there were SOME collaborators in Poland, or any other occupied country. Expecting for there to be NO collaborators in a large population is statistically implausible. It's like expecting a country of 30 million people to have no thieves or no murderers in it. Just on statistics alone there's going to be a few.

The question is how much collaboration was there in Poland. And pretty much all research on the subject matter says there was only a very insignificant amount. Contrast that with Germany where the overwhelming majority of people - though not all - "collaborated" with the Nazis. Hell, they elected them.

Der Spiegel is being disingenuous and dishonest here. They are trying to imply that just because there might have been SOME, even an insignificant number, of collaborationist Polish farmers, then that means that ALL or MOST Polish farmer were collaborators. And because there were SOME, even an insignificant number, of Germans who were not Nazis, then that means that Poles need to share the guilt with Germany.

There's also a bigger context here. Der Spiegel is known for always using (at least up until recently) the term "Polish Concentration Camps" rather than Nazi or German Concentration Camps. And they've done this even after Polish protests - it wasn't until the Poles managed to raise the issue up to an international level and even Jewish groups objected that their editorial policy on this was affected (though I don't know how much).

Mark said...

Commentary worth reading from the young Polish-Jewish perspective on the Der Spiegel article (in Polish):

YouNotSneaky! said...

Mark, that's a good article though it is more of a media review than an opinion piece. It basically balances Szewach Weiss with Adam Rotfeld.

Mark said...


What caught my eye in this article was this quote from Szewach Weiss, regarding the Polish farmers circa WWII:

"Ja poznałem tych ludzi osobiście. Oni mnie uratowali w Borysławiu. Naród polski może być dumny ze swoich chłopów."

(I knew these people personally. They saved my life in Boryslaw. The Polish nation can be proud of her farmers)

This flies in the face of the "Polish peasant" construct Der Spiegel and others peddle to the less informed in the West.

I would like to know what Mr. Marek Edelman thinks of this subject. Among all the opinions floating around regarding Nazi cooperation culpability, his is undoubtedly one of the most authoritative ones.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Yeah Edelman is definitely authoritative, partly because he doesn't spare "the Poles" when it's appropriate (for example in one of his books he talks about being shot at by NSZers during the Warsaw Uprising even though he was fighting the Germans along side them), but doesn't exaggerate.

I did have to revise my opinion of at least a part of Western scholarship on the subject when Lucy Davidowicz had the nerve to call Edelman "mentally unstable" simply because wished to live in Poland and no one (or few) in the West made a peep about it.

Mark said...

Definitely he doesn't spare some of the Slavic Poles - let's be honest, the far right did include some bone fide anti-semites, and so did the left. But neither does he spare some of the Jewish Poles. I like his style. We should learn from his courage to look at ourselves honestly.

When I think of that war, two men stand out in my mind as prime examples of love, sacrifice, and victory over evil: Janusz Korczak and Father Maximilian Kolbe.

I have no doubt that Marek Edelman will one day be admitted into their company.

Unknown said...

I generally agree with Jan's voice in this discussion. While it is beyond dispute that some Poles did indeed cooperate with the Germans, it is important to look at the article in the context of the current national dialog in Germany. Unfortunately, the prevailing tone seems to indicate (as some of other people pointed out)that the Germans would prefer to view the WWII and related atrocities as a result of actions by a small portion of German population (i.e. the nazis - the "bad germans"...)thereby absolving themselves (the "good Germans"...)from any responsibility as a nation. What's even more troubling, is that some Germans would like to portray themselves as victims at the same level as other people such as Poles, Jews or Gypsies.
To address the other claim that Germany is not alone in being responsible for WWII I must say it's an argument similar to blaming a victim of a rape for wearing provocative outfit. The western powers are to blame for being blind and naive but the responsibility for the war belongs to Germany and Germany alone.

ge'ez said...

Very good discussion here.

As to the matter of the Polish farmer...

I'd guess that many educated "Westerners'" very negative stereotypical viewpoint of Polish farmers is predicated upon Claude Lanzman's film _Shoah_.

I think Jerzy Turowicz put together a sound reply to the film in the NYT:

Garton Ash also made good points.

Dawid Herszfeld said...

I'm suprised (and ashamed to admit) that Der Spiegel fails to mention in their 'list' of German collaborators, many Jews who informed on, profited from, and assisted in murdering, their fellow Jews. This point in itself reveals just how fair this publication is.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Germany was responsible for the concentration camps but I can't understand why Poles will not accept that they turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed against the Jews during WWII and that anti-semitism is still entrenched in Poland? and yes I am Polish.

Anna said...

even the Americans 'turned a blind eye'. It's not that we ignored the tragedy, it's that nobody wanted to believe their ears. President Roosevelt did not react to the news from Poland, remember?
We would not believe that Katyń happened either, until someone actually saw the graves.

But what is good is that now this evil is recognized as such. I wish that the 20 million of Poles murdered in the Soviet Union, 3 million in GG during the war, and God know how many by the Ukrainian Nationals, would get recognized as well.

Zenon said...

Anal at 2:23

Right, you are Polish.

If you were one, you'd know the Poles didn't turn a blind eye, you'd know about the brutality of the occupation and all the little details that made hell out of lives of regular people.

Provocateurs like yourself make me sick.

Anonymous said...

Look no one denies that the Nazis were repsonsible for palnning and carrying out one of the wmost abhorent and barbaric cases of genocidethe world has ever known. However it's all very well for the poles to say that the germans alone were responsible. why then did ther poles rejoice when the german came in originally and why thendid they renounce and sell their jewish brethren to the germans? it's a fact and one that has been confirmed by jewish survivors. Eastern Europ was a very anti semitic area even before the germans came in and pogroms were widespread. I don't care what people say- of course the germans must take most of the responisbility but they could not have enforced such a barbaric and murderous regime without participation from the invaded country. who are we kidding? i'm sorry but the polish peiople have selective meories if they claim they did nothing wrong- some of them even joined the death squads.

Anonymous said...

The Germans have taken resposibility for their past. The Austrians don't and certainly it is a lot easier to assague your own guilt when you can blame somebody else. I think that the Nazi regime would not have been half a workbale if not for people within the occupied countires who were fervent nazi supporters. there were ditch nazis, french nazis, polish nazis, etc etc. People should not criticise this article in der spiegel because it's not about passing the buck regaridng who is ultimately to blame. also why are poland reacting so defensively? it's not racist and not anti polish to state that Poland was hugely anti semitic and alot of Polish people did sell thir previously Jewish Neighbours to the Germans. I also on't care if there was a law stating any pole that helped a jew would have their whole family killed- human beings are human beings and many people took riks to save Jews because they were humanitarians. Also to say Poland suffered the most during the war is rubbish.

Tomás Ó Cárthaigh said...

I have no sympathy with the Germans expelled in the last war... none at all.

However there was a degree of colaboration with an anti-soviet anti-Russian aim among the Slav Poles, and widespread among the Kashubians and German Poles.

Anonymous said...

Let's set some facts straight.

First, the number of Polish collaborators was virtually nil in Poland, especially with respect to the number of Poles who risked their lives to save Jews (Yad Vashem, anyone?), and out of no obligation. Yes, that's right: one is NOT obligated to save another, it's absolute selfish rubbish to suggest it, especially when there's a death penalty hanging over your head for it. Why should a Pole sacrifice his life and that of his family and possibly his neighbors to save one Jew? Are Jews somehow more important than Poles? You think Jews sacrified themselves for Poles in any significant numbers? I don't know what kind of imaginary world you live in, but "the Poles" are not some monolithic entity that was just lounging around and refused to save the Jews, and had it given a hoot, would have played savior to them. Germany attacked Poland first and foremost, and only began implementing the Final Solution later. What everyone was primarily concerned about was fighting off the German invasion. Judging by the fact that Poland was eventually partitioned into several administrative regions by the Nazis, and occupied for years afterwards, I'd say the situation was more chaotic and dire than some of you imagine. Oh, and that doesn't even mention the fact that Poland was fighting on two fronts, the other against the Soviets. In any case, to compare Polish complicity to German instrumentation and implementation is laughable. It's like comparing the Cambodian genocide to a high school shooting in Alaska.

Second, yes, antisemitism did exist in Poland in the 1930s. That's not shocking news. All of Europe was experiencing a rise in antiseminism, and Poland was not unique in this respect. However, in general, the antisemitism in Poland was not directed against the Jewish ethnicity per se, and didn't exist in any hint of the widespread murderous form seen in Nazi Germany. Instead, it was a complex combination of resentments directed towards a cultural stratus or group, involving Zionism, economics, alignment of interests with Polish adversaries, etc. And where it did occur, it did so as a casual sentiment rather than an organized policy as it did in Germany.

Third, the phenomenon we're witnessing in Germany, to one extent or another, is a tendency towards revisionism. (If I'm not mistaken, Der Spiegel was once a Nazi publication; take that as you will). It wouldn't be the first time the Germans skewed information in their favor, of course. The nation building policies of the 19th and eary 20th century were full of it, and to this day, many Germans view the German Empire as the apex of German power and glory, and lend it such a special place in history that the modern concept of Germany is projected back into the past in order to justify German nostalgia and previously expansion. After all, ve're just takink vhat's ours, ja? The revisionism today is largely a solution to a cognitive disonance in the German psyche, and that disonance is between the romantic desire to believe in a great, special and cohesive Germany, and the irreconcilable shame of World War II. It is a conflict between the desire to believe in German superiority, and an old inferiority complex with WWII at the throne. Two solutions are admitted: either Germany is not superior, or the shameful guilt, inconsistent with the image of Germany many desire, must be spread around so as to lighten the burden. The second is less painful and thus more favorable. By normalizing the guilt and removing any attribution of WWII to the quality of Germanness, it's possible to prevent the inescapable conclusion that anything of German origin-- ideology, identity, aspirations, etc -- was meeting its hideous logical end. It is a coue method intended to prevent the disintegration of the concept of Germany and the concept of German unity.

All of that being said, I hold that the distaste with the article is completely justified. It is an emodiment of what I described above. If it wasn't obvious to you before, then it should be obvious to you now.

Anonymous said...

Here is the real truth:

1. Poles only help Jews because they paid them.
2.Hitler is a German icon, the liberator of German nation.
3. German Guilt is a psychological effect of false accusations.
4.German nation is united by
healthy sense of fair play.
5. Germans have lost the final battle but they won the war.
6. WWII was a result of lack of fair play on the Jewish part.
7. If a German nation which is considered as civilized, embarked on eliminating a minority such as Jews, than there was an extremely strong reason to do so. Yes, it was
a choice between life or death.
Germans ware starving to death by Jewish run economy. Thus the real German guilt is the will to survive.
8. German are builders and not senseless destroyers. Billions of German Taxpayers Euros are given to Poles and other EU members to help the economy.
9. Thanks to Germans the Europe is now a happy and united.
10. So the "Arbeit macht frei" was and is a honest statement that reflected the German fair sense of play.
11. The list of pro German arguments is endless, so it is best to experience Germany one self. Boarders are open and everyone is welcomed.

Let's make fried not enemies!

Mathew Orman

Anonymous said...

"...plays up the "accomplices" angle in order to somehow lessen the collective German guilt by explicitly naming other countries." Really? This conclusion is completely false, and an expected outcome of ignorance. Mainstream history is full of inaccuracies, omissions, exaggerations, manipulations, half-truths, and out right lies-anyone ever read a history text from the former USSR? It is high time that the truth be known. Germany has been the World's- an especially Europe's-Sündenbock! Enough already. Think WWI was Germany's fault? Think again. But which country is paying for all of the financial losses in WWI? That's right, Germany. Germany will pay off it's unjust debt this year...2010!! No Polish collaborators? Virtually nil? Anybody ever heard of the Kielce pogrom? Jedwabne? There are numerous examples pre-WWI, during WWI, and post WWII. And these items simply refer to Jews. THere are many more examples involving Germans, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, etc. It is interesting to note that anyone found guilty of accusing the Polish nation of cooperating with Nazi or Communist war crimes can be imprisoned for a maximum of three years in jail. Hmmm. The Poles are highly xenophobic and have nationally internalized and culturalized a "victim mentality". German revisionism? All nations tend to "skew information in their favor". Ever read Polish history? "Anonymous-Let's get some facts straight" is very grandiloquent, no? Advancing old, tired, specious, mainstream rhetorical distortions which attempt to reinforce the mendacity of exclusive German WWII guilt. Bombastic balderdash worked 65 years ago to the present day, but not for long. Europe, collectively, is complicit for WWI and WWII whether it's "sheeple" like it or not. Ignorance is terribly dangerous. "Believe none of what you read and half of what you see"-- Seek the truth.

Anonymous said...

"War propaganda has obscured the true facts of history, otherwise Americans might realize that the German record is no more aggressive, if as aggressive, as that of the French, British and Dutch who conquered huge empires in Asia and Africa while the Germans stayed at home composing music, studying philosophy, and listening to their poets. Not so long ago the Germans were, in fact, among the most 'peace-loving' peoples of the world and might become so again, given a world in which it is possible to live in peace.

"Mistaken as the Boeklers of Germany may be in believing that concessions can be won from the Western powers by negotiation, their attitude proves the willingness of many Germans to trust to peaceful means to obtain their ends."--Freda Utley, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1949

Anonymous said...

I really agree with what Matthew Orman has said. Forget the past and think of ideas that would help rebuild Europe.


Piotr Sudyka said...

I really fail to understand why everyone is trying to wash their hands off WWII guilt and place the blame on Germany exclusively. Collaboration existed in every single occupied country and local populations took part in the destruction of their local jewery. Anyway, people, it's 2010! Who cares what happened over half a century ago when none of us were born? Whether someone is a German, a Ukrainian, a Pole, a Latvian or any one else who's country had collaborators during WWII, makes no difference today. We are all Europeans and should put past conflicts behind us and focus on our future instead of the past.

For younger Europeans today to still be feeling guilt and shame for WWII, wherever they come from that their countries either took part in the destruction of jews or "turned a blind eye to it", as someone said, is ludicrous. What is done is done, it happened, much worse things happened before, perpetrated by every major empire throughout history (I guess they just didn't receive as much attention as the Holocaust did in the media and Soviet propaganda).

Final point, for those users claiming Germans are "devoid of being human" and those who feel no sympathy for those Germans expelled after WWII, you would make comrade Stalin proud. It's people like you that created things like gulags, purges and other perverse crimes the reds perpetrated during their cancerous rule over Eastern/Central Europe.


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