West Germany: Shifting the Guilt

Germans call it die unbewältigte Vergangenheit — the undigested past. By that, they mean the national burden of collective guilt from the Hitler years, which saw Germany start the largest war and commit the most heinous systematic crimes, including the annihilation of 6,000,000 Jews, that ever scarred the history of a civilized nation. Yet in recent years, many Germans, especially those who grew up since the war, have felt that the whole country was unjustly saddled with the burden of crimes committed by only a part of the population. As Foreign Minister...

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