Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Perfume of Roses

Konrad Adenauer has been a source of endless fascination for me. Equal parts spiritual, pragmatic and amenable to collaboration, he was genial and cooperative in his personal interactions but difficult to pin down in public. As lord mayor of Cologne he was aggressive, pursuing funding for expansive development and cultural projects for the city and the region.

During the years that he spent hiding from Nazi scrutiny in Maria Laach, tending to his roses, Adenauer developed a gentler side to his public persona. No longer the vigorous, ambitious young man, he was a seemingly unthreatening, grandfather-figure who was capable of leading (West) Germany from imperialism to democracy.

One question has constantly nagged me: was Adenauer’s personality a vehicle Germans used to repress the memory of the Holocaust? Did Germans bury the guilt of the Holocaust beneath the image of the gentle rose gardener?

Certainly Adenauer was responsible for the strong relationship that evolved between Germany and Israel. At a time when only Social Democrats advocated making reparations, Adenauer conducted secret negotiations with Israeli diplomats and leaders of Jewish organizations. Adenauer accepted the need for reparations (Wiedergutmachung), establishing a precedent by which ethnic groups (not just nations) could make demands for reparations for atrocities committed against them.



Adenauer saw the issue of reparations as an opportunity to moral credit for his state. As Jay Geller has written, Adenauer had complex moral and political motivations for pursuing reparations:
“Was he motivated by a sense of moral obligation, or was there an ulterior motive for his desire to reconcile with Israel? There is no doubt that Adenauer was determined to ensure the negotiations’ success. Adenauer was a deeply moral man, and this morality drove his policy decisions regarding the eastern bloc, Israel, Western Europe, and other issues. However, as Yeshayahu Jelinek has shown, Adenauer also intended to reap all possible political benefit from morally driven political acts. He considered reconciliation with Israel, and specifically making reparations for the Nazis’ crimes, a vital step in Germany’s rehabilitation.”
Rather than limiting negotiations to arguments over the nature of guilt and numbers, he kept the conversation at a high level of morality and ethics. He used his deeply-felt Catholicism to create an atmosphere of genuine interfaith dialogue. The friendship that emerged between himself and David Ben-Gurion overcame the suspicion of Jewish leaders.

Given the post-war atmosphere, it is not too much to say that Luxembourg Agreement succeeded because of the reputation Adenauer earned with Jews. To Jews in the 1950s, Adenauer was the face of German humility. Distrust pervaded German-Jewish relations, obviously because of the pain of the Holocaust. Indeed, Jewish leaders were not at first interested in pressing their demands with any German government. They wanted to extract payments via the occupational administration. Adenauer’s involvement validated the principles upon which they based their demands. A positive image arose among German scholars that turned Adenauer into a hero. Even Fritz Stern asked (as I have) whether Adenauer could have changed the fate of the Weimar Republic had he accepted the Chancellorship under Hindenburg.

Reparations were not controversial with the German public. Average Germans seemed willing to pay for the havoc caused by the Third Reich, particularly as it created a large body of displaced persons for whom the new Jewish state cared. Guilt was less easily accepted. German citizens were less concerned about paying for the cost of the Holocaust than accepting the blame for it. Consequently few politicians, with the exception of the Social Democrats, advocated reparations. Indeed, Adenauer turned more towards friends in the SPD than his own CDU during his secret negotiations with Israeli politicians and Jewish groups.

Adenauer also defined Holocaust guilt as something that belonged to the German nation, not to individuals. The deaths of millions of Jews was committed in the German name and without their opposition, but also without their participation. As early as 1946, he said:
"I think the German people and the bishops and the clergy bear a heavy guilt for what happened in the concentration camps. It is true that perhaps later there was not much that could have been done. The guilt was incurred earlier. The German people, to a large extent bishops and clergy as well, accepted the National Socialist agitation. It allowed itself to be regimented almost without resistance, even in part with enthusiasm. I think that if all the bishops had, on an agreed-upon day, spoken publicly from the pulpit against National Socialism, they could have prevented much from happening. If the bishops had gone to jail or to concentration camps because of such an action, that would have done no harm, on the contrary. But none of this happened, and therefore it is best to remain silent." (quoted by Fritz Stern in Dreams and Delusions)
Adenauer argued that Germans had been generally guilty. Unwilling to oppose Nazism, especially at its earliest stages, Germans were integrated into Nazi projects, and they lost both initiative and will to oppose the Holocaust.

The definition of Holocaust guilt may have been acceptable to the German public in the 1950s, but it doesn’t hold up to contemporary scholarship. More and more Holocaust studies have shown how Germans were actively involved in the dispossession of German Jews.

It is difficult to find any denial in Adenauer’s definition. He could not be counted among the guilty, and it is unlikely that he wanted to hide anything. Shared national guilt may have been a practical definition that allowed Adenauer to move negotiations along without inciting too much opposition. But the definition survived as the public understanding of the Holocaust – something performed by the Nazi state in the name of the German people – until the late 1960s.

Unfortunately, the question remains. Did Adenauer interpose himself between Germans and guilt as he interposed himself between Germans and Jews?

History : Germany

14 Comments:

At 9:05 PM, Blogger game gold said...

Do you know Rose zuly? I like it.
My brother often go to the internet bar to buy rose zulie and play it.
After school, He likes playing games using these rose online zuly with his friend.
I do not like to play it. Because I think that it not only costs much money but also spend much time. One day, he give me many rose online zulieand play the game with me.
I came to the bar following him and found Arua ROSE zulywas so cheap. After that, I also go to play game with him.

Do you know Scions Of Fate gold? I like it.
My brother often go to the internet bar to buy SOF gold and play it.
After school, He likes playing games using these Scions Of Fate money with his friend.
But I do not like to play it. Because I think that it not only costs much money but also spend much time. One day, he give me many cheap SOF goldand play the game with me.
I came to the bar following him and found buy sof goldwas so cheap. After that, I also go to play game with him.

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger xuemei said...

Now do you worried about that in the game do not had enough cabal online alz to play the game, now you can not worried, my friend told me a website, in here you can buy a lot cabal alz and only spend a little money, do not hesitate, it was really, in here we had much cabal gold, we can sure that you will get the cabal money, quick to come here to buy cabal alz.

I like play online game, I also buy dofus kamas and kamas, the cheap kamas is very cheap, and use the dofus gold can buy many things, I like dofus kamas, thanks, it is very good.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger virstock.com said...

Dofus Kamas|Prix Moins Cher Dofus Kamas|Kamas par allopass|Dofus kamas audiotel|Dofus kamas par telephone sur Virstock.com

Meilleur prix dofus kamas stock de dofus kamas

Prix moins cher dofus kamas
vente dofus kamas sur www.virstock.com

Kamas par allopass sur dofus kamas

Dofus kamas par telephone sur dofus kamas

Dofus kamas audiotel sur dofus kamas

http://www.virstock.com/jsp/comments.jsp dofus kamas vente

http://www.virstock.com

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Nicole C said...

buy viagra
viagra online
generic viagra

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger King Bayern Munich said...

We supply many styles of sofas,such as living-room-sofa, Modern leather sofa . soft sofa. Lounge-sofa .
e supply all kinds of stone product,such as china tombstones, Modern-stone-sculpture, paving-stone Glazed-Vitrified-Tiles

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger katty said...

I love to have differente kind of perfumes for every ocation, i think the perfume determine our personality. I usually feel identify with my perfume specially when i have a date and i know the boy buy viagra, so i know he could be powerful and i must to be really attractive.

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger brinkka said...

Erectile Dysfunction FAQ's

Impotence, or penile erectile dysfunction, in men is not as rare as one would think it is.
In fact, one out of ten men around the world is affected by this condition. It is not exclusive to old men either. Impotence is caused not just by physical factors,
but mental factors as well.
Exercising on a regular basis and eating healthy food will increase your ability to sustain prolonged physical effort and we all know that sex is effort.
Smoking, frequently drinking large quantities of alcohol, taking recreational drugs and lack of exercising will sap your stamina and also slow down the flow of blood.
Penis exercises can be used for maintaining fitness, preventing or controlling premature ejaculation and increasing the length and girth of the penis.
by penis enlargement pills you can overcome these problems and not only that you can also enlarge, extend also to strengthen your penis and premature ejaculation will not exist anymore for you.
visit http://www.factspenisenlargement.com for more info.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger cletsey said...

In ancient Rome profession perfumer was similar to the career doctor, as well as the manufacture of fragrances was closely linked to the medicine these information comes from the blog I read about the history of perfume.

pheromone advantage

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger lily said...

What do you observe when you meet a person for the first time? Does a dress or stylish jewelry look good? Do you think shoes carry out a healthy impression particularly to those who judge people with their shoes they usually prefer to wear? Well, shoes are really very important to bring out an overall good impact. Nike Shoes are liked and recognized all over the world.
Nike Shoes Us
We provide products of
Nike Air Max 1
Air Max Griffey 1
Nike Air Max 180
Nike Air Max 2009
Nike Air Max 2010
Nike Air Max 24 7
Nike Air Max 87
Nike Air Max 2011
Nike Air Max 90
Nike Air Max 91
Nike Air Max 95
Nike Air Max BW
Nike Air Max Plus TN
Nike Air Max LTD
Nike Air Max Boots
Nike Air Max Presto
Nike Air Max Skyline
Nike Air Max Turbulence
Nike Air Max Fitsole
Nike Air Max Goadome
Nike Air Max Zenyth
Nike Air Max Wildwood Supreme
Nike Air Max Zoom Kobe
Nike Air Max Shoes
Buy Nike Air Max
Christian Louboutin Outlet
Nike Outlets

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Latest nike shoes said...

Ah good exciting content! Will always come to our attention. To bring you good news-works perfect! Nike Football Cleats best shoes 2011!! And Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly.Nike soccer cleats with New nike soccer shoes or Nike mercurial soccer cleats .
Discount Wholesale nike mercurial vapor superfly iii fg and nike mercurial vapor sl limited edition fg,nike mercurial vapor superfly ii fg,nike ctr360 maestri ii elite fg,nike t90 laser elite fg,adidas f50 adizero fg or cheap nike mercurial vapor superfly iii and nike mercurial vapor sl,nike mercurial vapor superfly ii fg,nike ctr360 maestri ii elite fg,nike t90 laser,adidas f50 adizero fg,like the best Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly Blackout,Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly Blackout.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Latest nike shoes said...

Ah good exciting content! Will always come to our attention. To bring you good news-works perfect! Nike Football Cleats best shoes 2011!! And Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly.Nike soccer cleats with New nike soccer shoes or Nike mercurial soccer cleats .
Discount Wholesale nike mercurial vapor superfly iii fg and nike mercurial vapor sl limited edition fg,nike mercurial vapor superfly ii fg,nike ctr360 maestri ii elite fg,nike t90 laser elite fg,adidas f50 adizero fg or cheap nike mercurial vapor superfly iii and nike mercurial vapor sl,nike mercurial vapor superfly ii fg,nike ctr360 maestri ii elite fg,nike t90 laser,adidas f50 adizero fg,like the best Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly Blackout,Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly Blackout.

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger ocs123 said...

My name is Louis Vuitton handbags,your post is very good! Do you like gucci bags any more!

 
At 4:59 AM, Blogger cheap sale online said...

Thanks for sharing, like your post very much. Welcome to buy flirt dresses p4530, we also sale la femme 16898 and night moves dress 6498, most free shipping, high quality guarantee!

 
At 2:42 AM, Blogger Lulu Hostan said...

Your Post Is Good, Go On With It. And Welcome To Sac Longchamp Outlet To Have A Look And Find Your Favourite Longchamp Paris Here!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home