Ploughing my own furrow
I have heard this sentiment expressed by a German workmate..she felt that for Germans to distance themselves from their wartime history was to appear to dismiss or minimise the horror of it.A friend of my daughter's emigrated from Germany to the US in her teens. The young woman wrote a very thoughtful and touching essay about carrying the guilt of her ancestral land; if my daughter still has it, I will post it here.
I had never thought of her point of view before. She discussed feeling as if she has to weigh every word before she utters it for fear of sounding like a nazi, and how many Germans feel they can't ever distance themselves from their WW2 past.
She felt that her generation were shaped by, and victims of, the actions of a generation before. She said that she was reluctant to announce her nationality and when it was identified felt a wave of guilt and had an urge to explain or justify a history of which she was personally not a part. She said that her personality had been shaped by a need to appear as 'non-German' and non -threatenng as possible in an attempt to counteract stereo types she felt people held of German people.