The Fragmented People That Is Germany
Stability, But Through Divisiveness
It is difficult to think of Germany dispassionately, and on my way there last spring I found that I still felt intensely what I had tried so hard to overcome. In the 30′s, when we felt the hatred of Nazism as a moral imperative, the distinction between Nazi and German often became blurred; and the strongest passions seemed feeble when, at the end of the war, we uncovered the totality of crime, and even our generals broke down and cried. But after that, the very enormity of Nazism speeded exoneration. For such crimes no people could be held responsible, and to affirm collective guilt somehow suggested Nazism in reverse. I had wrestled with these perplexities, but I could rally neither reason to sustain my rejection of Germany nor sentiment to support my conclusion that the German nation cannot be held accountable.
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