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Holocaust contrition 'too much for new generation'

The Local · 31 May 2012, 15:39

Published: 31 May 2012 15:39 GMT+02:00

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Speaking to weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Gauck said Chancellor Angela Merkel's stated position that Israel's right to exist was a raison d' état or national interest for Germany could be asking too much from the next generation.

"This sentence by Mrs Merkel comes from the hearts of my generation," he said.

"Everything that we want to do should be guided by the goal that Israel should be protected as the homeland of the Jews," he said.

"This sentence hasn't just been born out of political rationale but from a deep contrition. It's a moral imperative to ourselves which makes me really worried about whether we can translate the magnitude of this demand into political action."

Gauck, who visited Israel this week, said he was not at all talking about drawing a line under the Holocaust debate. "But there's one tendency I don't want to follow – pulling the perception of the Holocaust into a quasi-religious dimension, into something surreal," he said.

Gauck's comments came as he visited Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah. Gauck promised Abbas that Germany would continue to provide financial aid to the Palestinians – currently amounting to €70 million a year – as long as there was no solution to the Mideast conflict.

The president urged the Palestinians not to break off peace talks with Israel, saying he had urged Israeli leaders to exercise restraint on the settlement issue. Gauck also visited the opening of a German-funded girls' school in Burin in the West Bank, saying it raised "great hopes" for building a democratic and stable Palestinian state.

Gauck also told Die Zeit that he agreed with the intention of a statement by his predecessor Christian Wulff that Islam belongs to Germany. The comment stirred huge controversy in Germany. But Gauck said he would have put it differently. "I would have simply said that the Muslims who live here belong to Germany," he said.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:05 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
Your Excellency, it would appear that you are a little too late. The Holocaust (TM) is already elevated to mystical levels of infallible dogma to be accepted without question, and only truly to be understood by certain chosen people.

Might I suggest you follow on your train of thought with a few other gems?

(1) Most of the people alive in Germany have zero culpability; legal, moral or financial for what happened. So contrition is irrelevant. Period.

(2) The supposed rise in "New Anti-Semitism" is fictional, and invented. It is the indignant objection of modern day Germans to the atrocities of Zionism, supported in part by German taxes.

(3) Have you noticed that the numbers of 'survivors' of these events gets bigger with each passing year? Are they reproducing from beyond the grave?

(4) While Germany might support the existence of a Jewish homeland, why does it have to be at the expense of the Palestinian people, who had absolutely NOTHING to do with events here from 1939-1945?

(5) Why can the Holocaust (TM) not be scientifically studied for historical and sociological purposes? Why is asking questions a criminal act? That REALLY needs to change!

And lastly, when will Germany of the 21st Century finally stand up and say, "Yeah, it's over. Look forward, and don't accept any more guilt for something WE've never done? And when we say "Never Again!", we mean "NEVER AGAIN" to anyone, including the Palestinians? And then stand up to the bully, the elephant in the room. The Monster Child of the Holocaust (TM)

(TM) is a reference to Dr. Norman Finkelstein's wonderful book, "The Holocaust Industry", and I also recommend "The Invention Of The Jewish People", Dr. Schlomo Sand, from a Jerusalem based university.

Anyway, just my two pfennigs worth. Whaddya say? Good start, eh?
18:49 May 31, 2012 by ITAMAR

The truth come now out of your mouth, you are not concentrated in the Israeli Palestinian conflict but in the Jews over the world.

Nobody in Israel complain about the young Germans today who has absulutly no guilt for what happened 70 years ago,

And no the surviviours number is certainly decline most of these poor people die ,

Anti semitism is still in Europe all over and not just in a specific state ,it was ,it exsist, and it will be in the future, our goal is to make it small as much as we can,

The Israeli Palestinian Issue it has to be resolved beteen these two people and not between the western states and Israel

The first step is to recognize the principal of two states living side by side in peace.
19:23 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:57 May 31, 2012 by Englishted

That last rant sounds pretty Anti-Semitic to me.

And comments like:

"you treat the original Palestinian population WORSE than the Nazis EVER treated the people in the camps."

Is just beneath contempt.
20:23 May 31, 2012 by jlemboy

Walking into a synagogue or a mosque other place of worship doesn't make you automatically 'tolerant' of that particular religion.

Additionally--not that much of what you write seems worthy of comment--it should be said that the trauma of the holocaust does not end with the death of the last survivor (or the last perpetrator). This trauma was passed on, albeit in a different form, to the children's generation, and to the next generation as well. This is history. This is the cumulative knowledge of facts and experiences which we know as heritage.

Your above comments are unhelpful, and contribute only to the wellness of the fantasy world inside your head. However, I'm sure you enjoy posting in internet forums, where nobody is able to talk louder than you and tell you in public how ridiculous or racist or fanatic you sound.
20:38 May 31, 2012 by emilf
@Sayer wrote:

"(4) While Germany might support the existence of a Jewish homeland, why does it have to be at the expense of the Palestinian people, who had absolutely NOTHING to do with events here from 1939-1945?"

Have you heard about Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem?

Who actively collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy?

Who had personally met Hitler,Himmler, and Eichmann?

Who requested Hitler's support to oppose the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home?

Who was promised the leadership of the Arabs after German troops had driven out the British?

Who helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS?

Who sent his associates to visit oncentration camps as part of a "training course"?
20:47 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:48 May 31, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:06 May 31, 2012 by reallybigdog
"you treat the original Palestinian population WORSE than the Nazis EVER treated the people in the camps."

"Is just beneath contempt."

NO NOT REALLY AS NUMBERS DON'T MATTER as you have said before Englishlisted!!

Palestinians today are a caged community ravaged daily by the Israelis who removed them from 80% of their lands like cattle. Today they continue to cut down their crops repeatedly stop deliveries of food, water and aid in an attempt to choke them from life completely. The Palestinians who once owned all of the lands legally which are now occupied by Israel are further supported by Christian nut jobs and the like because they believe the bible gives them the inherent right to do whatever is necessary to secure the promised land. And this brutality goes on day by day without equal and without the attention of Syria etc...not even a mention by comparison. Lets also not forget that all of this for the most part is done behind a media blackout....so no prying eyes etc can witness their wet dream to completely extinguish the Palestinians at all cost and by any means real or fabricated from what are alleged Israeli lands is whats really beneath contempt considering its all being done in the name of the BIBLE. The Bible by the way is apparently a legal and binding land ownership document with authority above all international law apparently. By the way the Palestinians where once JEWS who converted from Judaism.
21:39 May 31, 2012 by catjones
For once, a balanced discussion of an unbalanced subject. If only the jews had bought every single Palestinian house 60 years ago...it would have cost less than all the money spent on Israels' defense, plus they'd have some legal and ethical ground to stand on. But because they didn't and won't this conflict can never end. That wound cannot heal because the blood will not coagulate.
21:53 May 31, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:12 May 31, 2012 by wxman
When a commenter's final remark following a number of reasoned, well thought out presentations of the facts is to ridicule and denigrate the responders, it truly says a lot.
23:30 May 31, 2012 by Charles the Great

When people who want the one state solution I hope you understand it will create another Yugoslavia. Palestinians do not want to be Israelis. I'm Israeli and a Israeli who is not Jewish. I can tell you yes Palestinians should have a country and what you say is not even true. I wonder why European thought it was alright to take lands from the Native peoples of the Americas and create nations that have little meaning to them. Germans had settled in what is today Brazil( has Social Apartheid), United States and Canada. I do personally know Palestinians and believe me they can not understand why people in Europe would want a one state solution. But mocking the Holocaust which is thought in Palestinians Schools in the West Bank and in Gaza.

As for Dr. Norman Finkelstein he agrees in a interview known "Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign" says that under international law Israel is a state and has the right to exist as a Jewish Nation and call it anything they want. The people who want to impose the one state solution will never help the Palestinians get a state.

Also I have a question If Israel is 'Apartheid' then what parts of Canada's Indian Act did they copy. The reason why I ask thing South Africa used it to create Apartheid system and the Indian Act in Canada is still in place and many native groups in Canada do say Canada is a Apartheid State but this does go unnoticed by the International community.
00:57 June 1, 2012 by wood artist
Germany has acknowledged the Holocaust, accepted responsibility, and made great efforts to make amends, both financially and otherwise. For some, those efforts will never be enough, but that's true of most things in life.

On the other hand, there are other, similar events in history that other countries have never attempted to deal with. Japan's actions in Korea and China, the Turkish genocide of Armenians, and many others. Germany has at least made an effort.

Given that most Germans alive today had no involvement in those times, and almost certainly had no direct responsibility (with the possible exception of a very few "old folks") for any of those actions, it is time to move on. Forget? No. Remember, so lessons can be learned? Yes.

Israel is unique, but that does not mean it should have free rein to do whatever it wishes, continually citing The Holocaust whenever it chooses a questionable course of action. The issues surrounding the settlements, the treatment of Palestinians, and similar issue cannot be ignore nor tolerated because of "The Holocaust."

Similarly, saying that Israel is doing something "wrong" does not automatically make the speaker antisemitic. Israel can be wrong, and may be wrong, and people should be free to express that opinion with Israel automatically playing "the Holocaust Card" or the "Jews" card. We ALL need to move beyond that game and look at actions between countries objectively...without regard to extraneous issues.

Under international law, the settlements are illegal...everyone knows that, including Israel...and saying so neither denies the Holocaust nor raises a question of antisemitism. The settlements would be equally illegal in India, Poland, Canada, or anywhere else.
01:21 June 1, 2012 by raandy
WA I would agree with you that Israel has no right playing the race card. Time is up , game over, 50 years ,thats what you get , move on, everyone else has or wants to.
08:45 June 1, 2012 by Sayer
Might I refer the literate among you to peruse Gideon Levy's wonderful piece in the Jerusalem daily Haaretz, on May 31 2012. And for reference, I also recommend Anthony Lawson's wonderful new production, "The International Bureau of Double Standards." Have fun!
11:36 June 1, 2012 by mobaisch
I am a Palestinian survivor - living in German for short time - and I have to agree that Germany has some fault. Yes we can solve our conflict between us (Palestinians and Israel), but the unending support from Germany/USA/.. to Israel give it the O.K. that they are doing O.K. "Keep going! Israel."

Germany (or any other country) should not support Israel (or any other country) blindly, regardless their actions!

Some comments here are just influenced by not liking muslims in Germany (talking to you @Englishted) and they try to look rationally discussing here against Palestinian right to exist.

P.S. I also do not like muslims in Germany :p ..but it should not make you blindly support anyone who is on the other side in any muslim-otherSide conflict.
12:14 June 1, 2012 by ITAMAR
Two states solution living side by side in peace

"you treat the original Palestinian population WORSE than the Nazis EVER treated the people in the camps."

I am living in Israel in a small village in south of the country which is inside the green lines,we have a small moslems village not far away ,about 1 km from my city,we have very peacefull and good relations,I know part of them because they work with me in the same hospidal, besides they come over and buy in our supermarket, one of them opened a Pharmacy in our small center a realy nice man,other people work in our village, their children come to watch children shows in our town and also play football with our children,

Some moslem families decided to live in our village ,they are wellcome and our children go together in the same school?

Sayer there are bad things on both sides but the moderates can bring to the right solution=2 states solution
14:47 June 1, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Kosmonaughty -

I am still waiting for your references proving that the majority of the "Freedom Fighters" in Libya were Al Qaeda armed by the CIA, Germany, and NATO.

How long must I wait? (Probably a long time as I am sure you are out to prove the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy to gain sympathy for a homeland in Palestine.)

Also, I was waiting for your treatise explaining how Israel was more oppressive that Syria, Iran, and Taliban.

You promised...
17:59 June 1, 2012 by Englishted

Everything you say regarding the Palestinians may well be true and it is wrong that anybody is treated so .

I have no problem with that ,but I have yet to evidence of medical experiments being carried out ,or the erection of gas chambers to kill men women and children on a industrial scale which is what happened in the Nazi death camps so I stand by what I said.To compare the two is contemptible and plane untrue.


Read my first comment and then explain to me why you jump to that conclusion.
19:05 June 1, 2012 by ITAMAR

1.on 29.11.47 the UN decided with resolution 181 to end the British Mandate on Palestine and to divide the country beteen the Jews and the arabs creating 2 states: a Jewish one and an Arab one,that decision came after 100 of conflict betwen the 2 people who wishes to realize their own idependence in the same land and also after many investigations commities which were sent to Palestine in order to resolve the issue.The arabs rejected that resolution for 64 years tried to wipe Israel with repeated wars.

2.The Jewish people belong to Israel,the scientific defintion of people is:"a group of people mostly from the same ethnic origin ,who had a common history ,a common language ,a common religion and a common land,the Jews did not come to Europe or other lands in the world from the Moon,they were forced from their land by the Romans in year 70AC,the Roman had two systems to controll their occupied countries:Separare e governare, and Exlium of big part of the people in order to repress anyrevolt, and the Jews did revolt first in Judea-Massada and then in Gamla in north.There was allways a Jewish presence in Palestine since then for 2500 years but the Zioniost movement had brought a big immigration since 1882,with the goal to recreate the lost Jewish state.

The Palestinians are not Jews but arabs who occupied that land in 1250 with Saleh A din, they came with tribes from Arabia.
20:46 June 1, 2012 by Sayer
I would refer the literate to Alison Weir's "If Americans Only Knew" page. Wise woman.
21:06 June 1, 2012 by ITAMAR
"The Palestinians are not Jews but arabs who occupied that land in 1250 with Saleh A din, they came with tribes from Arabia"

Saying that it does not change their legitimate right to self determination ,they have the same right as the Israelies to create their Palestinian state

two states living side by side in peace
21:58 June 1, 2012 by Sayer
ITAMAR, you have not convinced me that you actually live in occupied Palestine. To tell the truth, it sounds as if you're in Amsterdam, in a coffee-shop with an internet connection. Chill o-u-t man!
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