65 years ago
: Today is the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Some German sites — Papa Scott, Vowe, ITW — are pointing us to the wonderful virtual recreations of the synagogues so brutally destroyed. They are magnificent, which only makes their destruction more tragic.
See also yesterdays’ NY Times oped on Germany, guilt, responsibility, and forgiveness in light of the scandal about the company that provided a material to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and also made the gas the murdered millions.
It may be true that the majority of contemporary Germans are legally innocent of crimes committed under the Third Reich, which is why there is such collective frustration about not being able to shake the stigma of genocide. But regardless of redemptive impulses and achievements, everyone in Germany remains morally responsible. This was a crime that took place on German land. The soil and soul of Germany are fated to have long memories, and Degussa, despite its commendable recent deeds, should not be profiting from its newfound virtue.
It is not German guilt that must be eternal, but the acceptance of moral responsibility