It is certainly proper to analyze the causes of these conflicts. But it is not proper to vest the sins of the father onto the son. If there is residual anti-Semitism here in Germany, and I believe there is, much of it comes from the younger Germans who resent paying "reparations" to Israel or to Jews-I'm not saying whether they do or not, I am merely commenting on the perception which certainly exists.
If one can say that the bungled peace of 1918 led to the Holocaust, one can also say that the occupation of Germany post-1945 has been a great success because it produced one of the great democratic, prosperous nations of the world.
If I were a Jew in Israel, I would agree that we should never forget, I agree with that and I am not a Jew in Israel. But I also think that as we celebrate halting mass murderers, we should also celebrate their rehabilitation.
Let me think about your reply and I will get back with you. I think we agree more than disagree. I need to digest your response, thanks.
For the average German, under 60 there is no recollection of it and it happened a long time ago.
For the Jewish people, 1933-1945 is yesterday.
For a German, it happened eons ago.
As an ancient people that has seen it all before, we have a long memory and things like WWII do not fade. We are here, Nazi Germany is gone, we survive anything and everything thrown against us. Memory is key.
You stated:”It is possible to say that the Germans were guilty and the Poles were not, for example”.
The Poles and most Europeans were guilty as well. The Austrians (Anschluss) Hungarians, French, Croats and all other Europeans freely (and happily I might add) handed over their Jewish brethren to the Germans or the Fascist equivalent power in each land, so did the Church.
The guilt is European, not just German but Germany will have to carry this burden for a long time.
You stated, “But it is not proper to vest the sins of the father onto the son”.
Germany, as a nation bears this sin. Of course, if you're born after 1945 you are not part of the crime individually, but collectively your people, in your nation, with your ideology and more importantly, with your culture/mindset perpetrated crimes that no other nation (though the USSR is damn close) had ever done, up to that point in history.
If Antisemitism exists in Germany and Europe, and, as you say, it is the result of Germany STILL having to pay all the victims then, what does that cyclical argument say about the Germans? If they are Antisemitic because they have to pay “those money grubbing Jews”, then they have learned very little. By thinking this way, you blame the victim for being the victim and you vent your anger on the one that suffered. Hate the Jew for being the Jew that you killed?
I understand the logic of your argument and understand the sentiment of the Germans who are “sick and tired” of those payments but what price can compensate for the loss of 1.5 million Jewish children? Do yo have any idea what that means for a small people like the Jews?
I am not getting out my violin to play a sad song to make you feel guilty here but what I am trying to convey to you is what a devastating effect this has on the Jewish people to this very day, right now. I do not think people understand or appreciate the impact of the loss of 1.5 million children, forget about the other 4.5 million souls, I am thinking about the kids.
Germany will have to pay some kind of compensation for years to come until the people of that era pass from this world and that is fast approaching. Then, Germany will have paid out her funds. In Israel, in the late 1950’s there was a huge argument about even accepting reparation funds (called “blood money”), in the end, the young, struggling country decided to take the funds to help boost her fledgling economy.
You stated, “If one can say that the bungled peace of 1918 led to the Holocaust...”
I do not think there is a direct correlation. A “bungled peace” led to WWI part 2 but the Holocaust is something special, something outside of post-WWI grievances,something very special in it's evil, that only the Germans designed.
It comes deep from the depths of the German soul, not the Pole, not the Japanese nor Italian, it is uniquely German and that is something the Germans must think about and analyze for generations, should they chose to do so.
The bottom line, is that we Jews, especially in Israel, celebrate LIFE. Unlike the Muslims (who allied themselves with the Axis powers in WWII) of this region, who celebrate death, WE choose life.
We recognize that Germany has made amazing strides, has educated itself, have created an amazing, prosperous country out of the ashes of WWII.
We celebrate the modern Germany and they are our closest ally in Europe so we recognize and celebrate the rehabilitation and unification of your country.
We do not forget however, that 70 years ago, it was a capital offense to be a Jew in Europe and that the ashes of millions of my people are still scattered all over the continent.