2017/07/18

[Fun] abstract art

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Not necessarily funny, I know.

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11 comments:

  1. Hi, how the germans see the amount of books and movies about the London blitz and the battle of Britain have in front of the less known but more brutal bombing of Germany in WWII? Also do you feel that the history of the victims in the last one is underepresented? (a lot of the books on that one are about the bombers).

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  2. The Battle of Britain is rather less known in Germany than the (night) bombing of Germany.

    Concerning the books; the aircraft are attractive for aviation enthusiasts. The only equivalent on the other side are architecture enthusiasts who may want to read about bunkers, especially the medieval fortress-like Flaktürme.
    I suppose it's only natural that the bombing campaign is mostly viewed from the aerial perspective.

    I remember the classic "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Battle of Britain" movies; both were well done, showed both sides of the war and both were mostly about the military perspective. The destruction and suffering on the ground was shown, but not as much.

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  3. I think it is easier to talk open about something "complicated" like WW2 when you are the winner. Many Germans (especially nowadays) have the feeling that it is not right to discuss the "successes" of their Luftwaffe planes like e.g. the Brits do it. As bearer of the "eternal inherited guilt" you usually make these jokes only in secrecy as you know that your ancestors were responsible for the deads and destruction of WW2 (again after WW1). Therefore, and more common now, the identification (on the base of gratitude towards service personnel) reaches negative numbers, while in the "winning" states of WW2 like US, UK, Russia or even France the military still has parades, decorations and respect of veterans. In the case of books the ordinary British library on that topic is far larger than the German, however, German publications (book/TV) can offer a different/additional angle of view onto the "recipients" of the bombs.
    I think you can subsum this under "The winner writes the story."

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    1. Trust me, my ancestors were responsible for nothing such. I know their biographies.

      I don't think any of the warring nations of WW2 "won" that war. All of them suffered more than they gained.

      Most colonised people gained their freedom from colonialism due to the exhaustion of their oppressors, though.

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  4. Fredrick, you are pandering to the notion of 'collective guilt' which is completely wrongheaded: People are only responsible for what they personally do. The Germans already have enough misplaced guilt about what happened in the war.

    You shouldn't be encouraging Germans to continue on this path, as it has led to them implementing very destructive policys. Like importing millions of 3rd worlders to alleviate their sense of guilt.

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    1. The link between WW2 and the current refugee policy is extremely weak, and keep in mind Austria chose an almost opposite policy.

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    2. Its just an opinion I have. 'White guilt' is very common among liberals, and the tolerance of mass immigration feels like virtue signalling to me.

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    3. The related cruelties from the '33-'45 period are the explicitly non-German cruelties: Americans, Swiss and others rejected many Germans who fled from the nazis. Some of those who experienced this returned in 1945/46 and became influential politicians in the early FRG. Their life lessons were cast into the constitution.

      What most people don't seem to get is that there was no explicit political action to let refugees into Germany in 2015. The legal situation was kept while treaty partners (Italy, Greece etc.) failed to adhere to signed and ratified treaty and let refugees move on northwards. German borders were not opened for refugees - they were open and had been open for decades certain countries that the refugees passed through. The German government could have declared an emergency situation within the treaty framework as the Austrians did, that's all.

      The "refugees welcome" fashion was in my opinion an attempted "last stand" type battle, meant to defeat xenophobia once and for all - an utterly naive idea.

      Merkel's "we can do this" was something the mass media liked (for a while) as fashionable, but it was predictably a fragile house of cards. The question was never whether we could do this (the refugees situation 1945/46 proved we can do much more with less), the question was whether "we want this". Merkel got that one wrong, but got her way with her (sometimes) authoritarian style.

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  5. Thank you for the insights, I was curious of the lack of monuments about it in front of the ones located in London. I was recently in a journey trought Europe and as a history fan I wanted to go to army musseums and historical places and I saw this kind of differences between the other countries and Germany, even with Italy, another one that was "defeated" (depending of the point of view, it won and lost the same war).
    Also some friends how lives in Berlin explain me there about the difficult to difference between pride for your own country and nationalism, with the people that wears the national football team shirt, something that it's common here in my country not only when the team plays, as they are (or were mostly before the world cup of 2014) seem as nationalists. It's something kind of crazy to us as we are kind of pride of our country and it has LOT of problems, your country is amazing and beautiful, nothing should refrain the people from say it outloud.

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    1. I think it's safe to say in most of Germany patriotism is politically correct when focused on sports. Berlin is the lefternmost city in Germany and may differ.

      We have no shortage of WW2 or WW2 air war monuments in Germany. To paraphrase one
      "At this site on [date in 1944] 23 Hitlerjungen, 9 prisoners of war and 5 Luftwaffe soldiers died when their battery was hit directly while they defended against a night bombing raid."

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  6. In my country I typically see much more schizophrenic attitude. We were basically the very last unharmed part of Third Reich`s industrial war machine. Producing arms for Wehrmacht till the very end of war (any resistance was really weak), we were bombed by Allies only about eight times in 1945 - and that`s all. But the Czechs are surely the poorest of all war victims, you know.

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