Wednesday, April 13, 2005

How the Germans have learned nothing

The land from which Prussian militarism and Nazism grew and devoured the lives of hundreds of millions of men from 1870-1945, the country that systematically sought to exterminate the Jews, and the nation that had to be nearly destroyed and re-created in a new pacifistic form to prevent its re-emergence as an imperialist stronghold has now ruled that the bombing of Dresden was a holocaust.

From the Telegraph's story linked above:

German prosecutors have provoked outrage by ruling that the 1945 RAF bombing of Dresden can legally be termed a "holocaust".

The decision follows the refusal by the Hamburg public prosecutor's office to press charges against a Right-wing politician who compared the bombing raids to "the extermination of the Jews".

German law forbids the denial or playing down of the Holocaust as an incitement to hatred.

So delicate is the subject of the slaughter of Jews under Hitler that any use of the word "holocaust", or comparison with it, faces intense scrutiny and sometimes legal action.

* * *
Strictly speaking, the word "holocaust," which comes from the ancient Greek for "burnt", might seem apt for Dresden, much of it immolated by the fires started by the RAF's incendiary bombs.

But its primary meaning is now so closely linked to the Nazis' treatment of the Jews that such etymology appears to be in bad taste.

To say the least.

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