There are reports in the English press that the German President has said that “Germans haven’t learned lesson of Holocaust.” This comes from reporters not understanding the subtleties of long Germanic (or Dutch) sentences. In English, one almost always needs to cut up such sentences into several parts to make them digestible to the English mind. But that often reduces beautiful ways of understanding into easy base slogans.
Let me first acknowledge how difficult it can be for allies of oppressed groups to think through a fog of guilt feelings in our heads. Many men as allies of women know this, many cis-straights as allies of LGBTQ+ know this, many WASPs as allies to non-Caucasians, Jews, and non-native English speakers know this, many adults as allies of so-called kids (young people) know this, many temporarily able-bodied so-called sane people know this as allies to those with more limitations, etc.
Rather, the German president actually said literally: “… I wish I could say that our remembrance has made us immune to evil. Yes, we Germans remember. But sometimes it seems though, that we understand the past better than the present. The spirits of evil are emerging in a new guise. Presenting their racist, antisemitic authoritarian thinking as an answer for the future, a new solution to the problems of our age. And I wish that I could say that we Germans have learned from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading….”
In other words: Germans cannot rest assured that everyone has have learned this lesson so well that no one needs to be vigilant still. Remnants of the old hatred are still here and need to be fought continuously.
He also didn’t say that ‘he stands “laden with guilt”.’ Rather, he said: “I stand here laden with the heavy historical burden of guilt. Yet …” talking about taking responsibility for the future and not just being stuck in guilt feelings of the past. That is quite different from being laden with guilt.
My conclusion is that therefore the German People as a whole has learned its lesson. That the fight against Jew-hatred is not over.
Therefore, I’d like Germans Gentiles to take the lead and visit all Muslim countries and teach why it would befit them to befriend Jews and Israel.
The heading: “The world turned its back on us: Full text of Netanyahu’s Holocaust Forum speech” is wrong too. Netanyahu said literally: “the world largely turned its back on us.” The word ‘largely’ is essential here.
But this faulty impression he caused. He should have said: the countries that would end up fighting Nazi-Germany and defeating it, and losing millions of lives themselves, had first largely turned their backs on us.
Because Asian, Pacific, South-American, African and Russian countries didn’t. The Philippines, Chili, Morocco, Russia, China, Australia, etc. did not send away Jews. Switzerland, the Netherlands, England, the US did.