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On second thought, two clarfications.

  1. Of course not all German citizens who participated in or helped the extermination of Jews were NSDAP members. Then again, there is a loose usage of "Nazis" that encompasses all who agreed, not just card-carrying members; and including 60 million to cover an extra half million (while missing out on non-Germans) is hardly more precise or moraslly justified.

  2. At the root of the difference between my take on post-war history, and your misreading of it, seems to be that you see a claim of a momentary changeover, where I am speaking about a process.

And yet again back to the original point in yet another formulation: the fact that today's Germany is home to a large religious minority of post-war immigrants, almost half of whom are naturalised -- as well as the120,000 Jews Detlef reminded us , most of them post-1989 immigrants --, is in the context of history a confirmation of de-Nazification, so irony and bitter laughs are out of place. (Pissing on Hitler's figurative grave is more in place.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 27th, 2009 at 01:27:59 PM EST
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Perhaps the issue is simply that you are making some peculiar use of "irony". I was lucky enough to attend a speech given during the primary elections by Obama at the Texas state capitol. A huge multi-racial crowd gathered to cheer Obama - and the stage obscured a statue placed on the front of the capitol building in the early 1900s that has on it the legend "in memory of the Confederate soldiers who died to protect the rights of states given in the constitution." That is, in my mind, an enormous irony although a very pleasant one.

The bitterness of the irony in Germany is maybe not apparent to you, but to me, when I travel in germany and see muslim women in headscarves, I think of photographs of my great grandmother in her headscarf in her village in Lithuania before the Germans arrived with guns and shovels. When I pass the empty synagogue in Koln, I think of the people who worshipped there for many generations. When I talk to Turkish Germans and find them "more german than the germans" it reminds me of the reputation of German Jews among the ostjuden. And yes, it's a bitter irony. And the fact that the Nazis would have found it a defeat doesn't lessen the irony or the bitterness.

by rootless2 on Sat Jun 27th, 2009 at 01:45:29 PM EST
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