Jul
01
1995

Has Germany Confronted Its Past? Or Is the New York Times Ignoring Its Present?

Abstract

On May 1, a week before the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the New York Times ran a front-page article by Stephen Kinzer under the headline, "Germans More Willing to Confront Nazi Crimes." Referring to "a month of observances at former Nazi concentration camps" in the lead of his 28-paragraph story, Kinzer claimed that "ordinary people" and "senior political leaders" have entered "a new phase in Germany's psychological history. No longer interested in repressing, denying or moderating the truth about Nazism, many Germans are for the first time confronting it directly without flinching."

According to a recent poll, 36 percent of Germans believed that expelling the Germans from the "Eastern Territories" was as great a crime against humanity as was the Holocaust against the Jews.