Still many people around the world have a problem with Germany due to the Second World War. Young generations in Germany blamed for something their grandparents did. How many jokes do exist all over the world about germans? Especially in West Europe. How often, young germans need to defend themselves in discussions about an era of horror? A discussion they don’t even want be involved at but unfortunately they have no choice or else they are accused of Nazism.
From 1933 till 1945 the Nazis of Germany aimed for a totalitarian system and an empire that covers the world. The Third Reich (Realm or Empire). Adolf Hitler wanted to follow the footsteps of the Holy Roman Empire leaders from Germany, the First Reich. Not to confuse with the ancient Roman Empire. The Second Reich was the Hohenzollern Germany, installed after the Franco – Prussian war of 1870 till 1871. It was Arthur Muller van den Bruck who mentioned the Third Reich already in one of his books in 1923. Muller was probably a great example to Hitler. The Nazis brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in Germany after the First World War.
The Second World War became hell on earth. Hitler knew how to deal with the misery in Germany after World War I. He promised the nation jobs, a great economy and a powerful country with an important role in the world. This is exactly what he did but not as many had expected. Hitler wanted his Third Reich at all costs. He blamed the jews for the poverty of many germans. He had a strong frustration against these people for their successes in business. Jews always knew how to make money from nothing. They knew how to survive and how to take care of their families. For Hitler this was a good opportunity to put the blame on them and this made him popular by all these Germans living in a hopeless situation. After having his war machinery at a high level he conquered Europe in no time with his Blitzkrieg (Lighting war). The European people suffered for five years long. Six million jews murdered as well over a million people of other groups like gipsies, polish but as well people with another beliefs. In these five years 47 million civilians died before the allied forces from the West and the East ended the bloodiest war the world has ever experienced.
The first postwar Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer realised in what situation Germany was in after the Third Reich collapsed. It was his duty to bring Germany back. To find a way to pay the debts and at the same time to increase the economy. The toughest job ever for a politician. He knew well what Hitler did in Europe and how many people suffered under this regime. It was the 4th Chancellor Willy Brandt who showed the pain and quilt from the German people and kneeled on december 7th 1970 for a monument in Poland for all the victims and cried. A turning point for many polish people. They believed the good intentions of this man. A new relation was born and thanks to the Marshall Plan,an aid program by the USA, to build a new Europe, people could start to look forward and to see future opportunities for them and their families.
The system of Germany was to work hard to build up the country and to understand what they have caused in Europe. New generations learned in schools what happened exactly in World War II and they learned to deal with it. They also learned to deal with the discriminatory feelings of other nations against them but they worked hard and since the millennium they are proud being German again. They wave their flags at big sports events and believe in what their country stands for. They have learned from the past and dealt with the guilt for many decades. Something many countries still didn’t do.
Two years after WWII, the Netherlands murdered many opponents in Indonesia, a colony until 1949 to reinstall the dutch monarchy after the Japanese left in 1945. Until today this history is still not mentioned in schoolbooks and the official apologies from the government came in 2011. Many generations in the Netherlands don’t know anything about this genocide. In England, children learn about the once so powerful United Kingdom and its pride but what do they know exactly about the cruelties the army caused in Ireland, Scotland and many countries overseas? Or Austria, a country what finds it hard to talk about their dictatorial era from 1933 till 1938. The chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss ruled the nation as a dictator until it was annexed by Nazi Germany. What about Italy? About ten years ago I drove down to Naples and at a gas station you could buy busts of Mussolini, a war criminal and friend of Hitler. We have many more examples about countries who are afraid until today to deal with the horrors their grandparents caused to millions of innocent people.