The Abbreviation of German History

A commenter named ludwig recommended this op-ed in one of the discussion threads about German political affairs. Many thanks to JLH for the translation from Junge Freiheit:

The Abbreviation of German History

by Thorsten Hinz

For Bernd Ulrich, the Assistant Chief Editor of ZEIT, the entry of AfD into the Bundestag represents a greater catastrophe than the presence of Islamists in Germany. Islamists are merely a “security risk,” while the AfD is a “hegemonic threat,” he writes in his latest editorial. The “threat situation,” he says, became more serious on the 24th of September.

There is a certain logic behind such madness. The red-red-green hegemony has created the intellectual-moral prerequisites for implementing the Islamist scene in Germany, and is making sure that its area and recruitment potential are constantly expanding. In that context, it is understandable that Ulrich judges them more kindly than those who are opposing the fatal hegemony he represents.

Abbreviation of German History

He is looking for a confrontation with the AfD on the field of the politics of history — because of the “return of nationalism” as it appeared with Alexander Gauland. His “starting point for a new patriotism” is: “ ‘Germany is the only country in the world whose history of itself is about neither heroism nor martyrdom, but guilt, penance, purification….’ But this is not a deficit, rather one note in the concert of peoples. In this uniqueness is the deepest basis for the success story of this country since 1945 — as un-authoritarian, diverse, ecologically and economically strong as it is today”

Being proud of your guilt approaches megalomania. The founders of the West German success story were not un- or anti-authoritarian “diversity” blabbermouths, but tough, disciplined workers. What Ulrich approves of is reducing German history to the pre-history of National Socialism and its elimination — a sort of non-history. All previous chancellors — including Willy Brandt — repudiated this nonsense. Helmut Schmidt, later editor of the ZEIT, said in 1979 that he did to want to travel to Israel as a “perambulating reconciliation service.”

Political Thinking Clogged by Hyper-Morality

The most imprinted self-image of our national history celebrated by the man of ZEIT ignores the lines of historic power and development which continue to be of effect in the present. Political thought is mired in an uber-morality that leads to insane results like not being allowed to set or defend the borders of your own country. So you put your own country at risk and invite the hatred of your neighbors, whom you are dragging into the same fate. And you are leaving the savings of your citizens to the whims of former Goldmann-Sachs bankers.

At any rate, Angela Merkel is the first chancellor who fits this profile. On November 11, 2009, as France commemorated its victory in the First World War, she said; “We will never forget how much the French suffered because of the Germans in the first half of the 20th century. I am convinced that dealing unsparingly with our own history is the only way to learn from history and be able to shape the future.”

Merkel’s dealing was not “unsparing” but was an obsequious counterfeiting of history. The proportion of revanchist policy by the French at the start WWI was actually greater than that of a headless imperial leadership. To say nothing of the Treaty of Versailles, which laid the groundwork of the subsequent catastrophes.

Mutual Respect

At any rate, Alexander Gauland should have sought more solid references for “the right to be proud of the actions of German soldiers in two World Wars.” In particular he needed to clearly separate the First from the Second World War. “Respect” would have been more appropriate than “pride.” At the conclusion of the Treaty of Locarno in 1925, French Foreign Minister Aristide Briande called to his counterpart Gustav Stresemann (with whom he received the Nobel Peace Prize) that Germans and French no longer had to prove themselves on the field of battle; both had shown that they could fight. The respect was mutual.

On May 8, 1995 in Berlin, French President François Mitterrand said what was necessary about the tragedy of German soldiers in WWII: “I have not come to emphasize the defeat, because I knew what strength the German people have, what virtues, what courage. The uniform and what was in the heads of these soldiers who died in such great numbers matters little to me. They were brave. They accepted the loss of their lives. In a bad cause, but their deeds had nothing to do with that. They loved their country. We must be clear about that. We are building Europe; we love our countries.”

No Frantic Turning Maneuvers

Anyone who does not understand that, loves nothing — not his own country nor Europe — loves at most the advantage of being able to defame others without consequence and his livelihood in the coming-to-terms-with-the-past industry.

Gauland’s statement that “these twelve years” will “no longer (affect) our identity today” is a contradiction in itself, since he found it necessary to say it. In the debate in the house of representatives on the day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism, Berlin AfD chair George Pazderski found words that were both clear and personal: His father was a Polish forced laborer who had been taken from Warsaw to Germany at the age of 17. This example shows that the time of National Socialism remains “a very substantial part” of our understanding of history. That is certainly the case in other countries, and it would not be wise for the party to ignore that.

But it is not the center, or the historical sum, and certainly not the all-devouring black hole that a pseudo-religious political history is trying to turn it into. What is needed to end this black magic is not frantic 180° turns, but clear and well-founded adjustments. Otherwise we will quickly repent, reform and congenital-guilt-trip ourselves to death.

Photo: Conciliation at the Graves: François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl 1984 in Verdun

11 thoughts on “The Abbreviation of German History

  1. Para 5, “mired in political ueber morality”: no. It is mere window dressing hence not mired at all.

    Like many articles on Germany currently written by Germans, this one does not look “ueber den Tellerrand hinaus”, beyond the tips of their own noses.

    The fact that Merkel 2015-2017 talks like an effete female Green-voting social worker about mainly Muslim country-shoppers is a clever facade aimed at binding the liberal and illiberal left to her.

    Because taking German mainstream political rhetoric at face value 2015-2017 cannot explain at least two things: 1. why Merkel came out in the past against multiculturalism. 2. why many or all heads of west European governments, Canada, USA (Obama pre-Trump), with all of whom Merkel deals daily on various topics, are currently fairly interchangeable on the topic of mass immigration.

    And all of these countries have different national histories and hence political cultures and none have Germany’s.

    Hence the explanation has to be found in the political economy of the USA and its NATO underlings: who profits and who loses from Muslim colonisation driven (also) by Wahabi Saudi Arabia?

    That profit/loss must be measured both both domestically inside various white European countries and internationally vis-a-vis Russia and China, with their indigenous Muslim minorities.

  2. Germany cannot survive as a healthy human community until they are permitted to recover their culture, religion, and identity free of eternal un-atonable race guilt.

    Consider Mongolia. Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes slaughtered 40 million people, roughly 10% of all humanity in less than 100 years, most of them civilian men, women and children. The Mongol Empire ultimately covered 1/6 of the world’s surface. The Mongol hordes genocided countless smaller nations, now forgotten to history.

    Yet, to commemorate this great man, Mongolia built a 150 foot tall statue of him just a few years ago:

    The worst mass murderer and genocidal monster in history, yet the Mongolian people respect, admire, and honor him. They are proud of him.

    We must distinguish between pride in one’s history- even a monstrous history-and the desire to repeat those monstrous acts here and now.

  3. I actually think that Merkel’s secret hatred of Germany comes more from her East German past and the constant drumbeat of anti-German propaganda in East Germany from the Soviet Union up until 1989. If Germany survives this disaster, the Germans must never again elect anyone like Angela Merkel. She is just the reverse face of the Hitler coin.

  4. Love the line, “Being proud of your guilt appeoaches megalomania.” We’ll likely see many such deranged, mutated responses to Europe’s self-inflicted immolation in the coming few years. Courage and cold logic will very likely NOT appear.

  5. Thank you, JLH for the translation. Just one small correction:
    »»that he did to want to travel to Israel as a “perambulating reconciliation service.”««
    The first “to” should obviously be “not”. Also, Schmidt refered to “Action Reconciliation Service for Peace”,

    so some words better might be capitalized.

    @Stephen Carter: The German expression is even more concise: “Schuldstolz trifft auf Größenwahn”.
    “Schuldstolz” being a concatenation of the nouns guilt and pride, coined in Germany to mean exactly that strange relation towards the crimes that happened during NS-times.

  6. You don’t learn from history ignoring the history of those who Merkel has stupidly called to invade her own country: Merkel is dangerous, treason defines legally the nature of her policies, and she is a psycopathe, to boot.

  7. She should be judged according the potential damage she has inflicted on 80 million Germans and Europe and my civilization, where are Islam’s Newtons, Mozarts, Einsteins, Rembrandts… She should be judged and sent to prison.

  8. Mitterand’s comment should be posted on billboards in the US, with Germany changed to Southern States and WWII changed to the Civil War, or if you will, the War between the States.

  9. Much of this discussion evolves from a search for definition of identity, of national identity. Political usage of identity had previously been taken to an extreme under ns ideology, and so its anti-thesis would naturally be its opposite, that is to say multiculti and dissolution of traditional identity. Now exactly why Germans would be the centre of two opposite extremes defies me, though I am able to theorise different possible reasons.

    For example one would be that Germans did not like a previous arrangement, so tried for one extreme, lost, and had the opposite imposed as punishment, self imposed even as a form of humiliation or a form of recognition of error. Both extremes would seem senseless though, and they both revolve around the existence of a distinct “German identity”…otherwise migrants would not be migrants to be welcomed, just more people instead. As a country how many “more people” does Germany want? All of them it seems, which is maybe a bit naive? From a political viewpoint of expanding an ideology ( red-green?) though, as an identity, it makes some sense … so it is disingenuous to use a past theme of attempted totalitarian identity failure to impulse a new one, purely political this time, no ? Maybe Germans just have a constitution that seeks a single tribal unity, where a political tribe is next best substitute to one of race? Who knows, but if so maybe it should be aknowledged that the theme is maybe not sound? Some travellers had to have a space created for them as homeland…maybe Germans are something like the opposite but similar as well – they refuse to be contained to a border, or at least do not agree with borders too much, but at the same time call for them?

    Well I am sure many peoples are like that also to a degree, but for some reason Germans seem to be at the epicentre of defining the contradiction…most likely because of past and current extremes.

    I am sure someone can explain it better, but that is a start. The wiki on Germanic peoples has a quite full base of information to start from also :

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