No honor for those who resisted the Holocaust, and paid for it
Rejecting part of history is rejecting all of it
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.