NOT JUST GERMANY GUILTY
To Orwell Today:
re: FRAWNCAY discussion regarding attitudes toward Germany
Actually, my background is Russian Mennonite - a pacifist group. We spoke Low German at home. However, people confused us with Germans, although we are a mixed bag of Dutch, Swiss, German, Polish, Russian descent. People equate us with Germans aka "Deutschland euber alles" when our main tenet is "Human rights uber alles" (check out Mennonite Central Committee on the web).
Yeah, I do have a bone to pick with Germans and Germany. First off, I will stress that not all Germans were responsible for WW II. Many Germans were victims (and heros), ie. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to name one. But the one thing that stands out from the mess Germany created in WW II is that there are so few individual apologies, and acknowledgements. I have lunch with 3 girls, one is German, one is married to a German, the other is Swiss. Whenever they speak of WW II and Germans (and the Holocaust) they go into denial, or play it down, like "my parents said no to the German soldiers, and all the Jews in their village was saved" ??? or, "My husband says that 6 million Jews is an exaggeration" (As in, "if the number was 500,00 - THAT'S OK!") The denial is what really bothers me. So I speak German, and sit with them and am disgusted. I'm also 1/8 Jewish, so I know that my Dad, had he come from Germany in 1940, would have been exterminated. This is where my Mennonite heritage come in... we were told to admit our mistakes, to be honest, to respect all humanity. I really believe that if there had been a mass apology in Germany - a reckoning of what happened, why did it happen? why did we let it happen? and taught to German school children, the horror, the lessons to learn from that horror, I would have more respect for Germany.
In Canada, we have some skeletons in our closets too: stripping of Native Rights, head taxes on Chinese, Catholic orphanages abuses, attack on Doukhobors, to name a few. As to French, I just love the language, and I am glad that we're diverse, like Switzerland. Learning another language is a positive thing, and French is a beautiful language to start with. Yes I have a bone to pick with Germans. You know, I would love to hear one German say, "I am sorry for what happened in WW II".
Hello again Judith,
I'm curious about something. Do you hold any animosity toward the Russians or ever wonder why we were friends of Stalin during WW-II? His brutal Communist regime had been established in 1917 and was in full swing in 1939 when the war started. By that time he'd sent over twenty million Russians to the Gulag where they were worked to death before they died of starvation. After WW-II the allied powers sent Russians who had defected back to Stalin, whereupon they were sent to Siberia and worked to death. After WW-II the Russians and their allies (that includes Canada) herded 60-million German civilians into camps and starved 9-million of them to death.
During the '70s I worked as an auslander arbeiter (foreign worker) in Germany for the United States Army in Europe (USAREUR) and felt no animosity from Germans toward myself (during WW-II my uncle had actually been an RCAF pilot and earned medals for bombing Germany*) and I held no animosity toward Germans for shooting down the plane my grandfather was piloting in WW-I. He lived in a prisoner-of-war camp for a year or so. He used to show us the shrapnel in his legs when we were kids.
I wasn't even born during WW-I and WW-II but I'd learned, by the time I lived in Germany, that there are two sides to every story (and every war). I've made it a point in my life to learn as much as I can about both sides.
You'd be amazed about how much of what we've been taught about history is in fact nothing but a pile of lies, similar to what Orwell described in 1984. See Ministry of Peace (War) and Falsification of Past. The evil perpetrators of most wars and other dastardly deeds are the responsibility of the group Orwell refers to as The Brotherhood and they hold allegience to no nation.
After you've done a bit more reading you may have a change of heart about who needs to apologize to whom. Actually, the whole world needs to say "I'm sorry" to each other and hold the Internationalists who are guilty for war accountable.
All the best,
PS - Es tut mir leid, ich sprech kein deutsch (or in other words, my German's as bad as my French)
PPS - Read the book Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 1944-1950, by James Bacque
PPPS - Read POSTWAR ATROCITIES TO GERMANY, by George Orwell
PPPPS - Here's a review of Crimes and Mercies:
In this powerful new book, Canadian historian James Bacque presents detailed evidence, much of it newly uncovered, to show that some nine million Germans died as a result of Allied starvation and expulsion policies in the first five years after the Second World War -- a total far greater than the long-accepted figures. These deaths are still being concealed and denied, writes Bacque, especially by American and British authorities. Crimes and Mercies -- a handsome hardcover work, illustrated and well-referenced -- is a devastating indictment of Allied, and especially American, occupation policy in defeated postwar Germany. Nearly 15 million Germans fled or were brutally expelled in the greatest act of "ethnic cleansing" in history, a human catastrophe in which some two million were killed or otherwise perished. Then, under the notorious "Morgenthau Plan" and its successor policies, the Allies carried out a massive looting of Germany, and even prevented German civilians from growing enough food to feed themselves. Bacque shows, for example, that General Eisenhower, in violation of the Geneva Convention, in May 1945 forbade German civilians to take food to prisoners starving to death in American camps. He threatened the death penalty for anyone feeding prisoners. Bacque also describes the terrors of the postwar camps in Poland where children and other German civilians lost their lives. Written with fervor, compassion and humanity, and making use of never-before cited records in Moscow archives, James Bacque exposes a little-known but important chapter of 20th century history. He builds upon the revelations of his startling 1989 study, Other Losses, which presented evidence to show that hundreds of thousands of German prisoners of war died as a result of cruel and illegal mistreatment by American, British and French authorities. American historian Alfred M. de Zayas, author of Nemesis at Potsdam and The German Expellees, provides a valuable foreword.
You are absolutely right. There are two sides to every story. But first the facts must be put on the table. Facts, not exaggerations, falsifications, erasions. Seeing we're discussing WWII, I'll stick to the subject. A fact the whole world knows is, and I've read much about:
1) The Holocaust did happen - we have witnesses
2) The German people suffered tremendously at the hands of the British and French after WW I.
3) Stalin was guilty of mass executions, mass convoys to the Gulag. - I have witnesses
4) People don't learn from history - Israel's treatment of Palestine is an example
5) Germany has never apologized for the Holocaust
6) Israel has never acknowledged that Palestinians have equal rights
There are two sides to every story.
Yes, and we must make the effort to learn from both sides of hiSTORY regarding WW-II and all other wars before arriving at informed and educated conclusions. It's important to have an open mind and not be prejudiced or biased, as hard as that is when it comes to wrongs done without our knowledge but in our nations' names.
All the best,
*JOHNNY BOURASSA DIAMOND IN ROUGH
GULAG BONES UNCOVERED
COMMUNISM'S TRUE BELIEVERS
NO ESCAPE FOR GULAG PRISONERS
INDIAN LAND CLAIMS DISBELIEVED
COZY DAYS IN STALIN'S KREMLIN
SOVIET GULAG'S HAUNTING LEGACY
COLD WAR, WARM WAR
SOVIET DEFECTOR IGOR GOUZENKO
RUSSIA IS HELL'S INFERNO
CANADA'S RED TRUDEAU
STALIN'S LIAR IN NEW YORK
JFK'S 'ICH BIN EIN BERLINER' SPEECH
MCCARTHY GLIMPSED VISCIOUS TRUTH
ORWELL'S "CRYPTO-COMMIE" LIST
COMMUNIST CRIMES EXPOSED
ORWELL'S PUBLISHING PROBLEMS
ARMING OUR ENEMIES
SOLZHENITSYN'S WORDS OF WARNING TO AMERICA
STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD II
STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD I
DARK SIDE OF RED ARMY'S LIBERATION OF GERMANY
CANADA'S SOVIET SCHOOL
FREEDOM FIGHTER DOUG COLLINS DIES
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