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Monday, 2 April 2007

Merkel continues push for German Law in Britain

Every year the results of a survey appear in the British press. It shows how we are viewed by our cousins in Europe. Every year the Germans say the same thing - as a nation we're obsessed with the Second World War, and it's rather gauche of us to keep remembering that the Germans lost. Can't we get over it?

I blogged some weeks ago on efforts by Chancellor Merkel to introduce across the EU a new law making Holocaust Denial an offence punishable by up to three years in prison, and for making the Swastika an illegal symbol across Europe. In the Telegraph today is news of an agreement signed by the Home Office (without Parliamentary approval) allowing persons convicted of Holocaust Denial to be held in UK prisons.

Merkel's push for a Holocaust Denial Law in the UK exemplifies the curious schizophenia about WWII in Germany; the Nazis were a very bad thing, for sure, but they had nothing to do with Germany. How crass of us to keep linking the two!

Despite Germany's desire to be seen as the purity guardians of Europe in condemnation of Nazism, I know in my heart that it is really we here in the UK who will never forget the dangers of totalitarianism. Or that the German character still contains the potential for totalitarian control.

2 comments:

Guthrum said...

it is something that they simply do not wish to be reminder of. A village in Bavaria that I know well has a small graveyard that is full of memorials to soldiers who simply did not make it home, WWII accounted for 80% of all males between the ages of 16-55. It was a bleak time for Germans as well. But the point is taken, Hitler was elected to power.

Raedwald said...

Yes, the figures for German war casualties are horrendous. And I'm not claiming British moral high ground - Harris' bombing campaign rightly remains controversial.

But I still think they're wrong to criticise us for continuing to remember it as we do; It remains one of our great defining periods of national identity. We were indignant. We fought. We won. the world was a better place.

I won't give that fundamental truth up for anything.