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Old January 16th, 2013, 05:58 PM   #81

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There's general amnesia in (mainly) Western Europe. They've clean forgotten they'd have been dragged into the same Soviet pit as us if it hadn't been for the Americans. I wonder if it ever dawns on them they just possibly might need defense at some point.
The Europeans cannot escape two world wars, Auschwitz and a generation of self-righteous judges.

Antonina, you're right. Its the west European countries that are so pompous. The English word is gratitude.

Last edited by TomC; January 16th, 2013 at 06:28 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:52 PM   #82

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To claim that, "aggressive" also ought to be precised.
Well, aggressive is for me to attack your neighbours, to threaten and blackmail them.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #83

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The Europeans cannot escape two world wars, Auschwitz and a generation of self-righteous judges.

Antonina, you're right. Its the west European countries that are so pompous. The English word is gratitude.
An interesting statement for somebody from a nation which cleansed nearly a whole continent of its native population, which needed till 1863 to abolish slavery, which accepted rights for the natives first in the 1920th and which had in wide parts an racist apartheid system till the end of the 80th! Which term you used, self-righteous judges?
In my country serfdom was abolished in 1433! well, ok, and 500 years later we gave Hitler a passport.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 04:12 AM   #84

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Antonina, you're right. Its the west European countries that are so pompous. The English word is gratitude.
I'm extremely grateful to the US servicemen who fought alongside my nation's servicemen as well as servicemen from the Commonwealth and other European nations, but does that mean we still have to be grateful to modern American's.........no, it doesn't.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #85
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I'm extremely grateful to the US servicemen who fought alongside my nation's servicemen as well as servicemen from the Commonwealth and other European nations, but does that mean we still have to be grateful to modern American's.........no, it doesn't.
well said i dont think there isant a british person who isant grateful for the part played by those us servicemen that come to our aid. but many people i have met that are from the us dont seem to understand the part played by our troops during the war.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:10 AM   #86
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The English word is gratitude.
Personally I'm grateful for what the USA did after WW2. I'm also grateful for the US support during the process of the German reunification when some of our European friends would have preferred to go back on their pledges of support for achieving this reunification. (I also think that Bush senior is a seriously under-appreciated president who handled the extremely complictaed time of the breakdown of the Soviet Union in a brilliant way.)

But this doesn't mean that I can't be critical of some of the current or past US foreign policy. I can't even see how I could avoid it without developing a serious schizophrenic disorder since the US government changes every few years, often enough with a change of the foreign policy.

I don't support all foreign policy be German governments. There are a heck of a lot Americans opposed to many aspects of the US government policy, no matter which government. Why the heck am I anti-American or ungrateful if I don't shout "onward America, I follow you" for each and any thing the US government decides?
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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #87
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I should think if you expect NATO to ensure your safety (as everyone in Western Europe seems to be comfortably assuming), you're bound to loyalty and common action. The case of Libia, and a few others, demonstrated that this truism is far from obvious for everyone.
Common action means of course an action which was agreed on by all members of the alliance, especially if it isn't about the defence of one of the meber states. It shouldn't mean that one or some members do whatever they want and then everybody else in the alliance is somehow bound by it.

We're speaking about an alliance and not an oath of fealty to a liege lord.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #88
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Question is, to what extent have Germans really confronted it.

From what I've heard German crimes committed on occupied Polish territories in WWII don't really figure in your school curriculum, and if they do (along with other "nazi" crimes - which everyone knows were "awful" but not much more) teachers tend to skim over the topic nowadays.
I'm not up to date about current history lessons in Germany but if they are anything like the ones 20 years ago, they concentrate to a great extend on how the Nazis came to power in Germany as a lesson of an extremist party coming to power. They also concentrate more on the holocaust against the Jews than on other crimes which happened during WW2, partly because it started earlier. The crimes in Poland are to a great extend put together with the other crimes in occupied territories and probably don't get a special status in comparison to other countries.

The aim is probably to achieve an understanding of the mechanisms of extremists taking over and how a lack of resistance made this possible plus an understanding that what happened was awful.

More details would be obviously better but I think that history lessons in German schools are achieving less in most other topics they try to teach. History education is unfortunately not what I'd like it to be.

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Problem is average German awareness of what soldiers and functionaries of the Third Reich did in Poland between 1939-45 is cherry-picked. There's very little awareness of any wrong done except to "the Jews".
I was obviously not clear what I meant with cherry-picking.

You're right that German history lessons cherry-pick from the German crimes. But they don't ignore the crimes and highlight the building of the autobahns.

I agree that it'd be good if there was a better understanding of the common history since it'd for example help Germans to understand Poland better. But German history lessons are failing to achieve such an understanding with many other countries, too. (Personally I think that it's a scandal how little I learned for example about Indian and Chinese history at school.)
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #89
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education is schools is generally very poor, i live in britain and not once during my school lessons was the british empire mentioned, but we did learn about apartheit, ww1, the interwar years in the usa, ww2 and a little bit about the cold war and the civil rights movement in the usa. i had to find out that britain had a empire by looking on the internet and became fasinated with history ever since.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #90

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......

I agree that it'd be good if there was a better understanding of the common history since it'd for example help Germans to understand Poland better. But German history lessons are failing to achieve such an understanding with many other countries, too. (Personally I think that it's a scandal how little I learned for example about Indian and Chinese history at school.)
Personally I think, that it is a pity, that I learned more about the American Independence, the French revolution and the british industrial revolution, than about the history of the region I live in, allthough the region is full of history - or exactly I learned about my region as much as I learned about India and China.
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