Monday, January 24, 2005


Here is a disturbing article from The Times of London (via Lgf). What I found most offensive actually appears in the very last paragraph:
The poll also highlights anti-Israeli feeling in Germany. More than two-thirds said they believed that Israel was waging "a war of extermination" against the Palestinians.
However the main finding of the poll is also unbelievable:
Some 62% of the 3,000 people questioned by researchers from the University of Bielefeld agreed they were "sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews."
The article itself expresses my cause for concern best:
The poll horrified Lord Janner, a spokesman for British survivors of Auschwitz. "It's appalling," he said. "It raises fears that the current generation are not ready to pass on the history and lessons learnt from those events to their children."
As we all know, what happened during the Holocaust was appalling and mind-boggling. Remembering it and expecting the Germans to make more of an effort at this than, say, the British or the Americans is simply common sense. While I am not claiming that one is personally responsible for one's grandfather's sins, it would seem appropriate to me to feel a special responsibility to make sure the past (and what a past it is) is vividly remembered - and to be gracious about it. Additionally, it would certainly help if the German public opinion were more in touch with reality: finding even the most passing resemblance between the Holocaust and the Israeli - Arab conflict underscores a profound ignorance of either or both, if not a malicious intent to spread falsehood.

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