Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
For what it's worth, when I was a child, "German" was used pretty much as a synonym for Nazi (though the opposite was regarded as bad taste even then).

But I've come to believe that using "German" in that way was not a generalisation. It was in fact the opposite-a linking of the Holocaust to a specific nationality.  In other words, I am not German and the mass of UK subjects are unlikely to become German. The Holocaust is therefore safely "other".

Link the Holocaust to something far more general-like an ideology: worse, an ideology admired by some British establishment figures-and it all gets a lot less clear cut.  We might even have to accept that Nazism did not spring from a vacuum and consider whether some of our own historic ethnic crimes and attitudes predict we would have been immune in the same circumstances.

by Sassafras on Sat Jun 27th, 2009 at 08:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is that, too. For people in the onetime vassal states of the Third Reich, it gets more direct.

I recall a protest a few years ago called by the local Association of Antifascists in Buda Castle. I believe it was one against an international neo-Nazi gathering to commemorate the 1944 siege of Budapest. One speaker blasted the Arrowcrossers and spoke about responsiblity in his speech. Then I overheard two well-clad old ladies talking, who expressed perplexion about "why the speaker focused on the Arrowcrossers, when it was the SS and Wehrmacht who occupied us, and did most of the killing and gathered the Jews". Huh. (Actually, it was the Arrowcrossers who shot Jews and leftists into the Danube, and earlier it was the gendarmerie that collected and put on trains most Jews -- they were dissolved after WWII for that.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 27th, 2009 at 12:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series