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I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

07 April 2014

Nazi Era Events

In South Africa, the statement raised in many political discourses is that "it seems that no one supported Apartheid" - ie a sort of amnesia on the injustices that have been committed in the past. This is common everywhere that has similar cases such as slavery in the Americas or treatment of aboriginals in Australia. In Germany, Nazism is the skeleton in the closet.

Admittedly, the Nazism past is not exactly hidden - memorials such as the Holocaust memorials and other such museums are well maintained and highly effective. But, as you walk around Munich (and for that matter Berlin and other German cities), there often seems to be one sided memorials and commentary. 

Munich's Feldherrnhalle is a good example. Apart from being a monument dedicated to the 30 Year War and the war against Napoleon fought by Bavaria; it is also the scene of the Beer Hall Putsch; where Hitler and his supporters tried to being down the Weimar Republic; and failed. Both police who quelled the riot and supporters of the Nazi parties died that day - but the current plaque on the side commemorates only the fallen policemen; and makes no mention of the circumstances on what drove the Nazi party to its action. It is as if, the Nazi party was a small party - not a well supported nationwide movement. 

There is also a monument to the "shirkers" who protested silently by using a lane behind the Feldherrnhalle to avoid passing the Nazi era memorial plaque (which required a salute) to those who died in the Putsch. 

This is not to say that these memorials are not warranted - they are. But by providing one side of the story, it remains incomplete and seems sometimes like an exercise in collective amnesia.

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