tiistaina, lokakuuta 03, 2006

TIE: Tag der Deutschen Einheit

In respect of the current day, I watched the movie "Good bye Lenin" and thought about the state of this country. I have blogged a lot about German patriotism during the World Cup this summer and still find funny the way Germans relate to their home country. Patriotism is a taboo to some extent. The propaganda Germans have had to go through in the past 60 years has certainly worked in a way. It feels like every time a German says "I love my country", they have to continue with "...although I am not proud of our history..." D4yLight's campaign (in German) is a good example of how to put this in words. (I do agree with it though)

The World Cup was a great celebration of patriotism and being proud for your country. Loads of people bought their first German flags and went out proud in the colors of the country. I guess this has happened before, at least during the reunion of the east and west, but somehow it felt like Germany was proud of it's colors for the first time.

For a Finn, it's hard to understand the shame lurking behind the patriotism. Of course, we know of what happened during WW II and find it terrible, but I don't feel any Finn of my generation would say that the current day Germany has anything to do with those events. Perhaps the Finnish WW II history affects our feelings as well, since Hitler's Germany also had a positive effect on our history. Again quoting Wikipedia "Finnish consensus asserts that the Finns as a people would most likely not have survived the war without cooperating with Nazi Germany." (But at the same time, Finns do remember who burned Lappland.)

The point is, this is history. Don't get me wrong, Finns make jokes about nazi Germany and "Lappland burners" as the rest of the world, but that's only for laughs as serious as "the fat Americans". No one is going to disrespect a German because of Germany's history.

What is left of the Nazi Germany in WW II is the shame. And this shame is becoming a shame of only one country: Germany. I do not think foreigners share or quite understand this shame. They find it overdone. I certainly hope and believe, the Germans have learned from the history, but at the same time I wish you, the Germans, would no longer bear the huge bourden of shame I see behind the healthy warm feelings felt towards your home country.

So let's be proud of what Germany is. Let's not put an "except" or "but" at the end of our praises for the German industry, German cars and the great culture filled with warm-hearted Stadtfests and beer-tents. The current day Germany is even an admirably tolerant country. What happened is behind us, and the penalty is paid. Germany can now function as a normal part of the free world and enhance peace by acting responsibly. A good example are the peace-keepers sent to Lebanon: the world has forgiven. Now it's time Germany forgives itself.

2 kommenttia:

Osakeyhtiö Huovinen kirjoitti...


And now, after Juhos' article and forgiveness, Germany is about to rise as an empire - without a monkey at their back.

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