For the last thirty years I have devoted my energies to defending the German people against a variety of charges directed against them by their leftist and neoconservative critics in the US and Germany. Many of the points that I’ve raised about the historical past don’t have to be amended, because they continue to be true, e.g., about the Allied responsibility for the outbreak of World War One, the silliness of looking for Nazi ideas throughout the German past, and the brilliance of German philosophical and literary accomplishments. Nothing that is now occurring would cause me to revise my critical judgments about the grossly unjust Treaty of Versailles, the terror bombing of German cities during the last year of World War Two, the arrogant stupidity of the post-World War Two re-education of the German people carried out by the “Western democracies” and the kangaroo court held in Nuremberg in 1946 and 1947. These are not things that I feel impelled to reconsider.
What I am changing my mind about is whether the Germans are totally blameless for the antifascist horror into which they’ve descended. As German friends tell me, what transpired on New Year’s Eve, when over a thousand Near Eastern Muslims attacked 121 women near the central train station in Cologne, tore off their clothes and in some cases began to rape them, is only the “tip of the iceberg.” There have been hundreds of other incidents of violence across Germany that have been reported since Angela Merkel, to the near unanimous support of her Christian Democratic-captains, encouraged Muslim migrants to enrich her country by their presence. The German media have tried to hush up the embarrassing incidents or after the attacks in Cologne shifted the blame to the victims. Apparently the verbally abused and assaulted women didn’t “stay at arm’s length” from their attackers. It is hardly surprising that the police came belatedly to the crime scene or that Cologne’s feminist social democratic mayor, Henriette Reker, insists that the failure of the victims to maintain the proper distance from their attackers led to their fate. But, according to Reker, this setback will not hinder the construction of a German multicultural society. The federal minister of justice, Heiko Maas, who is also a feminist Social Democrat (read antinationalist, antifascist enthusiast) has expressed the same optimistic judgment as the one issued by the Cologne mayor.
Last Sunday when a demonstration against the abuse of the victimized German women took place at the site of the attacks, the police quickly intervened and threw canisters of gas at the demonstrators. The government and various corporate heads have pledged to take action against those who are heard to disparage the “welcoming culture.” This culture has been generated for the benefit of more than one million Muslim migrants who have entered Germany, with the blessings of the political and journalistic class. If the “conservative” German head of state Angela Merkel falls from power and her totally submissive party is “abgewählt” (voted out of office), the new government would likely be the most Culturally Marxist regime on the face of this planet. PC totalitarianism will then descend on the Germans in a hurry rather than with measured strides.
Up until recently I might have explained away this situation by pointing to German antifascist re-education after the War, a subject on which I have written a great deal. I might also have cited the fact that the Germans have lost two great wars, a fate that has left them utterly demoralized. I would also have brought up the understandable reaction to the crimes committed by the Third Reich and the concomitant responsibility felt by the younger Germans to somehow make amends for the Third Reich. Although Germans, I would have argued, have been excessive in their atonement frenzy and have drawn the wrong conclusions from the recent past, at least their motives seemed decent. One German lady provided another interpretation that was at least plausible when I asked why Germans revel in their atonement rites. She explained that they still regard themselves as being “occupied” by the victors of World War Two and therefore are intent “die Amis zu befriedigen (to please the Yankees).”
Although there may be a measure of truth in most of these explanations, I no longer accept them as definitive. I now consider the Germans to be responsible for their own mess and reaping a well-deserved punishment. The fanatically intolerant leftist politicians who inhabit the German political scene were democratically elected. No one put a gun to the head of any German to vote for them. Moreover, there’s nothing like a Trump movement or the National Front that has emerged on the German right, which hardly exists as a political force. The only slightly right-of-center party in Germany, and the one that is stepping forth to address the exploding Muslim violence, is the Alternative für Deutschland. This is a party that only in Germany would be viewed as occupying the “far Right.” In the US the AfD would be hardly indistinguishable from the GOP establishment; and like our establishment Republicans, the leaders of this party are forever pummeling each other for being “too right-wing.” When Angela Merkel praised Germany for not needing “a party of the Right,” she knew whereof she spoke. Until now all her opposition has come from a Left that would make Bernie Sanders look like Edmund Burke.
Workers and state employees dutifully report to the government about who is expressing rightist sentiments, for example, by not participating in the welcoming culture for the migrants. Universities, which in Germany are entirely state-run institutions, would not give anyone a position in a history or social science department if that person were thought to hold insufficiently antinational opinions. The renowned modern historian Christopher Clark was shocked at the anti-German animus that he encountered while lecturing at German universities on the causes of World War One. Last year I too was shocked when German President Joachim Gauck accepted blame on behalf of his country for “the massacre of the Armenians” in 1915. I’m still trying to figure out how the German Imperial army participated in the mass murder that Gauck has laid on them. From what I’ve read on the subject, (and it is a great deal), German officers, like Liman von Sanders, tried to prevent Turkish military units from massacring Armenians, despite the fact that some Armenians had taken up arms on the side of Russia against Germany and Turkey. But since German politicians relish recounting their nation’s sins, real and imagined, why shouldn’t they throw in more nonsense? We might even add to their mea culpa list all the lesbians that the Third Reich is imagined to have killed but never did.
It is entirely possible that Germans act as they do because as one young American friend who is studying in Germany noted: “They follow their leaders, right over the cliff.” Although this explanation may be drawing on unfair stereotypes, the person who offered it is far from an inveterate German hater. He went to study at a German university because of his deep respect for the humanistic accomplishments of mostly dead Germans. But Germans of the present generation have embraced a lunatic, antifascist ideology, and they have done so with a moral intensity that is characteristically German. Other nations do not act in this way, at least not to the same degree.
Claiming this behavior is due to the forced re-education inflicted on Germans after World War Two and to the bad self-image that Germans took away from the Nuremberg show trials is not entirely credible. World War Two ended in 1945 and Germany is no longer an occupied country. If the Germans stopped waging war on themselves as a people, the American army would not likely reinvade their territory. In fact except for a handful of German-hating journalists and academics, who are located exclusively between Boston and D.C., most people wouldn’t even notice if the Germans became a self-respecting nation again. Perhaps they could start by closing their borders to migrants. They might also think about filling their universities with academics who don’t loathe their country’s entire existence up until the moment the Allies occupied it.