OPINION: The World (and Especially Europe) Needs Germany to Step Up
Often times I read in international magazines and newspapers articles about a new German film, art show, or historical exhibit that has you examining the Nazi past from a new angle.
While it is true that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, those who tread water in its great currents condemn themselves to drown.
Germans of two and three generations ago embarked on a horrible racist imperial program; they may have been your grandparents and great grandparents but their actions are not yours. Germany as a nation has accepted its guilt, which is far better than the Turkish stance on the Armenian Genocide (from Kemalists to the current Neo-Ottomans, they deny the very fact of a genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire). It is far better than the Putin’s supposedly post-Soviet yet-still-revanchist view of the old USSR and its mass murdering and ethnic cleansing ways. And it is leaps and bounds beyond the denial of decimations by the Politburo bureaucrats of Beijing.
I am not saying just compensation for the relatively few remaining victims and their families should cease. Rather, I am saying that the legacy of Nazism should not neuter and constrain you, for a dose of Deutschland is what the world needs right now.
In the international media Greece, Cyprus (really, just the other Greece), Spain, Portugal, and Italy are all portrayed as you have chosen to be – the sick man of Europe. They all suffer from a malady of financial excess.
Germany’s national ailment is a decade’s long crisis of confidence from guilt over crimes you did not commit and which are used as emotional blackmail to get you to pay Europe’s bills.
You have convinced yourself that because two generations ago your nation waged genocidal war that you today must enslave yourself, children, grandchildren, and future generations to the myth of an integrated Europe, rule by undemocratic continental committees, and wild financial schemes hatched by irresponsible Leftists in other nations.
The dream of a continent united under the Nazi’s did not work and nor is the idea of one united under Brussels financed by German discipline. One need only look at the periodic long and arduous meetings where German leaders compromise with other Euro member states over fiscal and economic goals, only to have the watered down agreements ignored by Germany’s supposed partners.
There is nothing wrong with Germany as a component state in a Federal Europe if that is what the German people desire. From across the Atlantic, I do see the appeal of a common market with the some of the fiscally sound and responsible economies of Northern and Eastern Europe (The Nordic and Baltic nations and Poland in particular), but Germany should be at least an equal if not a leader, not the bullied boy beat up by the national presses and political classes of nations who refuse to control their spending – or it should jump ship.
Regardless of your European decision, Germany must be a leader in more than just economics.
Though a medium sized nation you punch well above your weight. Oddly, the constant Holocaust haranguing and Nazi imagery that has guilted you into paying for other European nation’s mistakes have had no effect on which global regimes you are willing to do business with. From your acceptance of a revanchist Russia bullying of your eastern neighbors (who are much more responsible than the southern ones who grasp at your wallet), charnel house China, and the always insane Iran, you seem willing to do business with any nation.
I applaud your sense of global capitalism, but I implore you to reconcile your trade policy with your sense of history.
This is not to resuscitate the specter of the Holocaust, for you are a different people than the Nazi’s, but it is to learn from the great and long history of the German people that tyrants, whether Napoleon or Putin, are dangerous and threaten more than just their immediate neighbors. That whether the Nazi’s or Iran (the word itself is a cognate of Aryan), those who talk of genocidal expansionist dreams may lead the world to moral disaster. And that the former gulags of the Soviet Union and those of today’s People Republic of China imprison the same sort – people who want to worship, publish, and speak freely – all values enjoyed in your great country.
To a free Deutschlaand, living its values free from emotional blackmail and as the force for good the world needs it to be!
Thank you so much!