The Struggles of Denazification and Coming to terms with the Past

Lucas Lang

This week’s readings were about struggle. In the aftermath of the second world war, the fall of Nazi Germany resulted in struggles both with those within and affected by the party and its actions. For Jewish communities, it became a struggle to rebuild. Regrouping with family and loved ones and grieving the dead was only part of their difficulties. Returning to their homes was often problematic as their neighbors, often struggling themselves, sought to ignore or forget the Jews suffering. It would take years for some communities to recognize the losses endured by the Jewish communities, and early on, only if matched with their own losses. The German people also struggled in the aftermath of the war. They had to come to terms with their own dead and losses as well as their own participation in events. Perhaps one way to explain the German struggle to accept their parts in the murder of Jews and other groups, they first had to resolve their own suffering. It is hard to comprehend other’s suffering when suffering ourselves. The Allies had their own struggles, though of a different nature, as they tried to determine who the guilty, innocent, and the victims were and how to punish the collaborators. There is much debate over how effective their efforts were and whether they ought to have persecuted more of the Nazi’s. Whether that would have solved modern issues or only provoked the German people can only be speculated. Many of their same struggles to determine who is the victim, who is guilty, and how to prosecute them reflect current events and remains modern issues.

One Reply to “The Struggles of Denazification and Coming to terms with the Past”

  1. Definitely an interesting point regarding the difficulties that German citizens had regarding coming to terms with the roles they may or may not have played during this horrific time and experience. Given current events and attitudes especially in Germany but around the world in general, one can only speculate to what degree the persecution of the German people involved was successful or not, and perhaps whether said persecutions (or lack thereof) need to be revisited in the modern day.

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