German Remembrance

NPR's Mike Shuster reports on Germany's long and deep struggle with its legacy of genocide. As part of the NPR News series on war crimes, Shuster reports on what might be called Germany's "culture of remembrance." Germany is alive with the memory of the second world war, Adolf Hitler, and the Holocaust. In memorials and public monuments, Germany is recreating and rethinking its past. Memorials have been created at sites where Germany murdered its own Jewish people, as well as Jews from other countries. The intent is to decentralize commemoration, rather than gather all the memories into one museum. Monuments at specific sites shed light on the past, the present and the future, and help Germans to better understand the people who were overseeing the genocide. Before the Berlin Wall came down, West Germany spent 45 years trying to come to terms with the Nazi-led genocide. Now this effort must take place again for the East Germans. In new conceptions of the concentration camps, there is an attempt to be more realistic. Many of the people behind the new commemorations are younger, and do not shoulder the guilt from World War II.

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