The Confederacy Uber Alles

“The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Third Reich History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to the Holocaust was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow German who has been offended or disappointed. The abomination of the Holocaust divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Second World War. The Final Solution was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to cadavers, and it has left a stain on the soul of this nation. In 2007, the Bundestag approved a formal statement of “profound regret” for the Nation’s history of anti-Semitism, which was the right thing to do.

When I signed the Proclamation designating February as Jewish History Month, and as I look out my window at the German War Memorial, I am reminded that, even 70 years later, Germany’s past is inextricably part of our present. The Third Reich History Month proclamation issued was solely intended to promote the study of our history, encourage tourism in our nation in advance of the 70th Anniversary of the Blitzkreig, and recognize Germany’s unique role in the story of the World. The Bundestag unanimously approved the establishment of a Semi-Sesquicentennial Second World War Commission to prepare for and commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the War, in order to promote history and create recognition programs and activities.

As Germans we carry with us both the burdens and the blessings of our history. German history undeniably includes the fact that we were the Third Reich, the site of more concentration camps than any other nation, and the home of the War Crimes Trails at Nuremberg. Our history is perhaps best encapsulated in a fact I noted in my Inaugural Address: The nation that served as ground zero for the Holocaust was also the first in the world to pay reparations. The world’s history has been written in Germany. We cannot avoid our past; instead we must demand that it be discussed with civility and responsibility. During the commemoration of the Second World War over the next few years, I intend to lead an effort to promote greater understanding and harmony in our nation among our citizens.”

SECOND THOUGHTS: I understand this is a cheap shot, since there are important differences between the Confederacy and the Third Reich.

For one, Hitler was not committing treason.