Hitler, Nazis And World War II: How Germany Deals With Its Dark Past | Meet the Germans



2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. Do Germans today still feel responsible for their country’s past? And is it ever okay to laugh about Hitler? For this week’s Meet the Germans, Rachel meets Timur Vermes, author of “Look Who’s Back,” and finds out more about Germany’s “memorial culture.”

Rachel moved from the UK to Germany in 2016. As a relative newcomer she casts a fresh eye over German clichés and shares her experiences of settling into German life. Every two weeks she explores a new topic – from allotment gardens to money to language.

For a daily dose of Meet the Germans, head over to Instagram: @dw_meetthegermans

And you’ll find more Meet the Germans videos here:

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47 comments

  1. As an American, I love much about Germany. But the NSDAP era is not one of those things. In this country, we only now are finally trying to come to terms with hundreds of years of slavery in our past. Very difficult, not going easily. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana. History repeats as a spiral, not a straight line.

  2. As a born American currently living in 🇺🇸; I want more Germans to share their history without censorship. I'd read that, listen to them, and appreciate the world history. 🌎 😺

  3. fuqq the memorials!!
    what about reparations for murdering,maiming,r@ping,enslaving and terr0rizing millions of Poles? for erasing Warsaw almost entirely?? educate yourselves on the Warszawa-Wola massacre: about 170k of kids,elderly,priests and other civilians incl. doctors and nurses ,who even took care of wounded germans,170k of civilians murdered within less than a friggin' week!!
    NEVER FORGET!!

  4. I say let both Germany and Japan just be and if they want to go at it again, we will happily oblige.

    My grandfather landed at Omaha and didn't have a problem with it so I don't either.

    If WW2 wasn't decisive enough then what ever the outcome of a repeat should be allowed…

  5. Does anyone know the answer why Poland has problems with Germany ?! from the time of the tribes to the 2nd WW …1000 years Poland is under attack.
    This is not only the time of Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler was realizing a „very old dream” of conquering Poland.
    How is it possible that Germany (each next generation after war ) refuses to accept the decision of the first generation. Sooner or later for 1000 years they repeat the war mistake. Regards to 2WW today Germans say that they did not know what the Nazis were doing then and during the war there were 3,000 death / labor camps … the local residents did not know anything (“blind” as always!). In this example, it shows how the Germans have coded "automatic ignorance of their own actions".
    Here we need a group of scientists to answer the question: why Germany has a tendency to cause war conflicts ?.
    Let's remember that history is not only Adolf Hitler but you have to look deep into the history of Germans to understand 2WW. Let us admit that Hitler was just a tool and a nation's desire for a very long time. This desire for a war conflict is very old….older like Hitler.

  6. World: You guys committed atrocities!

    National responses:

    US: Throw money at them.

    Germany: We apologize and will do everything to right this wrong

    Japan: Dunno what your talking about. Wanna see my ahegao face?

    Turkey: We never commited any atrocities and if you accuse us a second time we'll commit them again.

    Russia: Do you know how little that narrows it down?

  7. Of course the germans are pro EU
    Ironically, they want to dilute their shame and collective guilt with the very same people they slaughtered like if mixing with everybody else they'd go unnoticed.

  8. "How Germany deals with it's dark past"
    Me: they should burn one side of the flag, to stop remembering the dark past of germany, burn it out of their minds, the other side stays perfect, clean, symbolizing of that of the future and the now, that everything is peaceful.

  9. lol, racism and antisemitism are all over the western world, its not just a german thing. just like back in 30s.

  10. I would love to meet a German person irl. They're so open and accepting of their past. No wonder why Einstein was a German, that way of dealing with it is very wise and very inspiring. I respect Germans for that.

    – A Sri Lankan

  11. My grandfather (a Turk from Bulgaria) lived in the German rule and he still speaks highly of the Germans because the Germans built new railways, new cable cars and opened new mines. Also German soldiers treated them very well.
    So I think Germans should be at peace with their past

  12. Germans have apologized now for almost 80 years, its time to stop.Germany can not go on being the wipping boy of western guilt.The world acts as if Jews where only persecuted in Germany but turns a blind eye to the fact that the Soviet Union also persecuted them and other minorities.May i remind you it was the Frenchman Charles de Gaulle who set embargos against Israel while they where fighting for survivel in 1967 Arab Israeli war.

  13. I as a German can say that it's very common to talk about the countries past and not take any offence to it. We as people have all learned the fact that war is no good. Also with the change of times there won't likely have another wrongful leader for Germany since there was Hitler. I feel that there still may be those people who are thinking about taking control of other's and their freedom by destroying their lives or making them take orders but it won't ever get as serious as compared to the world war. I am extremely proud to call myself a German and I love my culture and I feel that all Germans would say the same. Thank you for your time.

  14. I think Germany needs to let go of its past during the war. It's been a horrible discussion that's been repeated for decades and if your argument is if we forget history your doomed to repeat it your rong because if you remember how these "people" I use that term loosely took control of this beautiful country people will try it again in fact they already have so perhaps we should teach future generations to not remember the past but to come to terms with it and move on and I know you may think I'm rong but if you look further you will see I'm right.

  15. Russians went to war with Germany. But now half of Russian lives in Germany. Come to think of it they do kind of have the same mentality.

  16. All I can say is that I love Germany and its history, they should be proud of it, they are just humans that make mistakes like any other culture or country, they are not the first nor the last.

  17. I like how young Germans still feel guilt in their past even if they are not involved of their dark past. They feel sorry for it but Japan, Italy and other countries can't even discuss it. But to me, the Holocaust was one of the worst happening in our mankind.

  18. I stopped teaching America history at the High school level because of the same issue. Floridas curricula is just propaganda and god forbid you go off and say teach you students about your states involvement in the atlantic slave trade even as just a Spanish colony for 200 years and there will be a meeting to protest you and your 'marxist liberal agenda' 😂😂 parents just want history to be 'write an essay on why America is so star spangled awesome'

  19. Text

    Anhören

    Hauptergebnisse

    Du (du hast, du hast, du hast, du hast)
    Hast viel geweint (geweint, geweint, geweint, geweint)
    Im Geist getrennt (getrennt, getrennt, getrennt, getrennt)
    Im Herz vereint (vereint, vereint, vereint, vereint)
    Wir (wir sind, wir sind, wir sind, wir sind)
    Sind schon sehr lang zusammen (ihr seid, ihr seid, ihr seid, ihr seid)
    Dein Atem kalt (so kalt, so kalt, so kalt, so kalt)
    Das Herz in Flammen (so heiß, so heiß, so heiß, so heiß)
    Du (du kannst, du kannst, du kannst, du kannst)
    Ich (ich weiß, ich weiß, ich weiß, ich weiß)
    Wir (wir sind, wir sind, wir sind, wir sind)
    Ihr (ihr bleibt, ihr bleibt, ihr bleibt, ihr bleibt)

    Deutschland, mein Herz in Flammen
    Will dich lieben und verdammen
    Deutschland, dein Atem kalt
    So jung, und doch so alt
    Deutschland!

    Ich (du hast, du hast, du hast, du hast)
    Ich will dich nie verlassen (du weinst, du weinst, du weinst, du weinst)
    Man kann dich lieben (du liebst, du liebst, du liebst, du liebst)
    Und will dich hassen (du hasst, du hasst, du hasst, du hasst)
    Überheblich, überlegen
    Übernehmen, übergeben
    Überraschen, überfallen
    Deutschland, Deutschland über allen

    Deutschland, mein Herz in Flammen
    Will dich lieben und verdammen
    Deutschland, dein Atem kalt
    So jung, und doch so alt
    Deutschland, deine Liebe
    Ist Fluch und Segen
    Deutschland, meine Liebe
    Kann ich dir nicht geben
    Deutschland!

    Du
    Ich
    Wir
    Ihr
    Du (übermächtig, überflüssig)
    Ich (Übermenschen, überdrüssig)
    Wir (wer hoch steigt, der wird tief fallen)
    Ihr (Deutschland, Deutschland über allen)

    Deutschland, mein Herz in Flammen
    Will dich lieben und verdammen
    Deutschland, dein Atem kalt
    So jung, und doch so alt
    Deutschland, deine Liebe
    Ist Fluch und Segen
    Deutschland, meine Liebe
    Kann ich dir nicht geben
    Deutschland

  20. Germany: we deeply apologize about the atrocities we caused
    Japan: ᴸᵉᵗ’ˢ ʲᵘˢᵗ ᵖʳᵉᵗᵉⁿᵈ ʷᵉ ᵈᶦᵈⁿ’ᵗ ˢᵉᵉ ᵗʰᵃᵗ
    Also Japan: Quick! Come up with a way to hide our atrocities!

    WWII is a big topic in history class here in Germany. I find it hilarious how Germany is the best when it comes to dealing with their dark past. Yet, they’re always the ones who get the blame.

    I also happen to know and heard of several people holding grudges against Germany as well as Germans who were bullied for the atrocities caused in WWII but I literally can’t this about Japan considering they distort and censor history while using frickin anime and kawaii culture to whitewash themselves. See what I mean? Germany deals with it properly but they get the blame. Japan does a terrible job at it and they get praised by everyone and pretty much get a pass for their atrocities.

  21. Wish it wasn’t taboo over there to be proud of military service years after the war. They deserve to be proud of their years of service.

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