No honor for those who re­sisted the Holo­caust, and paid for it

Re­ject­ing part of his­tory is re­ject­ing all of it

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

driver could hear us. “You have to be care­ful,” he warned me. “You can be jailed if you say the wrong thing.”

He was talk­ing about the de­naz­i­fi­ca­tion laws that made it a crime to use Nazi im­agery, pro­mote Na­tional So­cial­ism or deny the Holo­caust.

When my Bri­tish Air­ways flight from Mu­nich took off, I opened a copy of The Daily Mail and saw the head­line, “Bank nearly banned Churchill £5 note — in case it up­set Ger­mans.”

Bri­tish of­fi­cials warned that “the re­cent­ness of World War II is a liv­ing mem­ory for many here and on the Con­ti­nent.”

It sud­denly be­came clear to me that the re­sponse I re­ceived was a pas­sive-ag­gres­sive re­ac­tion, re­fus­ing to be as­so­ci­ated with some­thing that they had noth­ing to do with. I sym­pa­thize with how un­fair it is for Ger­mans to­day to be as­so­ci­ated with the Holo­caust, but I also know that dis­avow­ing his­tory is not the an­swer.

Those Ger­mans may have been sur­prised to know that of all the things that left the most in­deli­ble im­pact on me at Dachau was not the evil acts of the Nazis, but the hero­ics of a young Ger­man girl named So­phie Scholl.

Scholl was not Jewish, but she or­ga­nized the first stu­dent move­ment against the Nazis, declar­ing, “We will not be silent. We are your bad con­science.”

Like Col. Claus von Stauf­fen­berg, who lost his life in a plot to as­sas­si­nate Adolf Hitler, Scholl and ev­ery mem­ber of her White Rose move­ment were ex­e­cuted. White Rose mem­bers knew they never had a chance, but like thou­sands of other courageous Ger­man cit­i­zens who were killed for re­sist­ing, she gave up her life to take a stand for my peo­ple — the Jews.

Dis­avow­ing any part of his­tory means dis­avow­ing all of it, which also means ig­nor­ing the courage of the Ger­man re­sis­tance. Those he­roes must be re­mem­bered, not for­got­ten. Their courage is some­thing all Ger­man peo­ple can and should be proud of.

ILLUSTRATION BY GREG GROESCH FOR THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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