Why can't we British just forget about the war (you know, that war, with the Holocaust and all)?The Germans have managed it, after all. All water under the bridge, eh?
A couple of items in today's Sunday Times (£) caught my eye....
From an article by Stephen Armstrong on German comedian Michael Mittermeier (their answer, apparently, to Michael McIntyre - well, their names are similar anyway):
Mittermeier doesn’t quite get the whole “two world wars and one World Cup” thing. For a start, his generation seems comfortable that their history is what it is. They’ve moved on, but without forgetting. He will happily discuss Hitler without shame, but without enthusiasm. Modern Germans rarely get the credit they deserve for dealing with a dark past practically, honestly and with a sense of humour, something their British counterparts still struggle to begin to do when faced with the full litany of our own bloodstained history.
Well that's nice: without shame but without enthusiasm. If only we could muster the same philosophical approach to our history of exterminating European Jewry in death camps just a couple of generations ago.
It takes some effort to turn our part in Hitler's defeat into something to be embarrassed about with respect to the Germans, but let's give credit for the continuing effort.
And Max Hastings, reviewing a book on the expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe after the war. Oh yes, they suffered too, you know:
For three years, the new regimes in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia shipped millions of people westwards in conditions entirely comparable with recent Jewish experience at Nazi hands, save that the victims were not gassed.
I love that: "entirely comparable....save that the victims were not gassed".
Yes yes, I know....unfair. No doubt this Michael Mittermeier is a delightful man, and yes, the ethnic post-war cleansing of Germans was a shameful business that should be better known, but - to state the obvious - the Holocaust is not something that should be forgotten or forgiven, or be casually compared to other political crimes.