As one of Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood's characters said in Surfacing, "The trouble some people have being German, I have being human." True enough. But these days the trouble many Germans have being Germans has little to do with the vices and cruelties of collective human nature and everything to do with modern German history and its Nazi legacy. It's a curious, even paradoxical problem, since the vast majority of Germans are demonstrably anti-Nazi and ashamed of the country's brutal, fascist and anti-Semitic past. They will do anything to disavow that horrendous patrimony and ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.
This is a major reason that the official and much of the public response to the migrant Islamic invasion, which is poised to bankrupt the country and unleash a firestorm of violence upon its citizens -- as it is in process of doing -- is so tentative, lame and mired in denial of the obvious. How can Germany permit itself to inflict upon the Islamic horde now tearing up the country the same punitive, oppressive, and potentially lethal measures it visited upon the Jewish community in the first half of the last century? How can it be seen to assemble another Wannsee Conference leading to a kind of "Final Solution," the forcible incarceration and expulsion of the migratory wave of Muslims inundating the nation?
This is the German dilemma: the inability or unwillingness to distinguish between Judaism and Islam, to detect the difference between repression and survival, to remember that in the 1930s there were no terrorist synagogues preaching violence, the conquest of the state, and the enslavement of its citizens as today there are terrorist mosques advocating and promoting these very atrocities. The motive for defensive action is justified, but the clear-minded resolve is lacking.
Germans are prisoners of their own past, not in the sense that they wish to prolong it but precisely in the sense that they wish to prevent it. And this hampers their capacity to perceive or to acknowledge what is transpiring before their very eyes. It explains their helplessness before the social and economic devastation manifesting daily in the public square. They are making reparations for the nation's past by sacrificing the nation's future, by treating the treacherous and parasitical Muslim invaders of the 21st century as they should have treated the loyal and productive Jewish citizens of the 20th.
Thus every Muslim rapist and killer is not judged a palpable enemy of the state but a poor sufferer from psychological trauma or mental illness -- an excuse, incidentally, that applies only to Muslim deviants, demanding our understanding or even sympathy. Examples abound, the latest incident, reported in Diversity Macht Frei, from March 4 when a young Syrian refugee tortured and killed an elderly woman. These interlopers, don't you know, are mere innocents having difficulty adjusting to their new lives. As a result, the influx, as Michael Walsh points out, of a "substantial population of pre-modern primitives steeped in anti-Christian, anti-Western hatred invites jihadism and allows it to fester." It is "a blunder of epic proportions" -- but a blunder that seems inevitable given the bad collective conscience of an entire country.
Some Germans may believe they live in a country not worth preserving. Others may regard themselves as living on the cutting edge of a new globalist multicultural order. Others still may console themselves with futile demographic considerations -- a shrinking birth rate and workforce will be supplied by the Islamic world. Some remain surreptitiously anti-Semitic, like the Wuppertal judge who ruled that Muslim arsonists who torched a synagogue were not influenced by anti-Semitism but had a legitimate grievance against Israel. But most, I suspect, are trapped in a past that has deprived them of the rationale for sensible resistance, rendering them hostage to misdirected moral principle. The same mistake will not be made again, goes the thinking (or feeling): they do not wish to be accused of reviving the Nazi heritage; therefore they have no choice but to allow for a destructive insurgency. Burning the Torah is rectified by honoring the Koran. The consequence is twofold: atonement for slaughtering the Jew has been perversely attained by welcoming a Jew-hating culture, and remorse has been expiated by self-immolation.
In effect, Germany still has a "Jewish problem," but it is the complete antithesis of what it once, foolishly and criminally, imagined it to be. It now has an Islamic problem, but one, in a bizarre historical irony, that is incontestably real. Its debt to the Jews has been paid to the Muslims.