The Question of German Guilt

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Or they foresaw the disaster, said " judgment ceases.

Germany continues to grapple with Nazi-era legacy

It can be drawn where we feel the other I so, ahd warned; but that does not count politically, either, if not even trying for a moral self-analysis-where we per- no ction followed or if it had no efiect. They seem incapable of repentance and I. Yet the too, are included rr. They are what they are' Force alone can deal with J the politically liable, because they, too, live by the order oi such men who live by force alone.

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There is no such aloofness in modrn states. But the moral guilt exists for all those who give room One may wish to make such aloofness possible, yet one to conscience and repentance. The morally guilty are those cannot help admit to this liitation. A non-politi e. Let us look ar some of these porriblfi. By who wanted o suyiys-moral guilt was incured.

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Mendacious avlwals l"Irrt. A frrst-class soldier may have suc- i,,lr time or anotherl Only the forgetful. In d".. It weighs on oil patriotism.

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Hence the good conscience in evil deeds'. Y", oo. It is no simple guilt' ]t is at t; ow life in a decent,, sphere. For whatever is said about unwitqing youtlr. To do one's duty guili cannot affect the consciousness of military honor. If a ,o. But simultaneousl by shrugging ofi stupidity and evil as fi" ,tg"t"""t that there was some good to it, after all- inevitable, they furnished an excuse. What finally turned this readiness to a supposedly unbiased appraisal-was wide- 4 this conduct into full-fledged moral guilt was the eagerness to spread among us. Yet the truth could be olly a radical.

The ose friends so they could no longer talk frankly' The same army, mentally against the Part seemed to exist outside man who had just lamented the failure of a martyr to andlwithout the Party as though it were a power of its own. It leads us to Pprty woutd disappear again-with the- Fuehrer's death at I. For thl Present one had to belong, to right things. The iollowing conversations were typical: After the war we'II finish National- '' Awakening and self-analysis of this delusion are indis- An oficer speaks: Socialism on the very basis of our victory; but now we must pensable.

They turn idealistic youths into upright, morally stick together and lead Germany to that victory-when the 66 6t. Through this mentality they may be actually discharged and glad to go home. The SS alone will stay unexisten- akin to National-Socialism's inhuman, dictatorial' armed, and the reign of terror will grow into a slave state. If a mature Person in had the No individual human life wiII be possible; pyramids will certaintyof inner conviction-due not merely to political rise; highways and towns will be built and changed at the error but to a sense of existence heightened by National- Fuehrer's whim.


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A giant arms machine will be developed which Socialism-he will be purifled only by a transmutation for the final conquest of the world. We achieve spiritual realizations. Whoever otherwise, and inclined to further fanaticism' i. Al- then i. Your fight is a mirage, desired by self morally. You only help to entomb the German spirit. Impoteng s! T:sk, 6g Itsanxious omission weighs upon the individual Mrreprvsc.


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Gu "1 4l as moral guilt. Blindness for the misfortune of others, lack el of imagination of the heart, inner indifierence toward the Morality is always influenced by mundane purposes' I may evil-that is moral guilt. Metlphysical guilt is. The Party was the state. Conditions seemed Jaim beyond mor-ally meaningful duty' T! Nothing short of a war could upset violated-by 1l"y. AII the powers were appeasing Hitler. All enough lfrrt i lu"tiously risk my life to Prevent it; if it wanted peace. A German who did not want to be out of haiipns, and if I was there, and if I survive where the other I t everfthing, lose his profession, injure his business, was ir liit", I know from a voice within myself : I am guilty of ,f obliged to go along-the younger ones in particular.

Now, being still alive. A r badge,, to seek death in humiliation-in when the Constitution was torn up, the dictatorship established in sham legality was needed, an external token without inner assent. A man and all resistance swePt away in the intoxication of a large asked to join in those days could hardly refuse.

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We could seek death when the t:ll:t l. We could seek death when itig, uSisturbed in their socia-l life and amusementsr as ff r,rothing had happened. That is, moral grrilt. I'housands in Germany sought, or at least found death physical gpil!..

We sur- vivors did not seek it. We prefered to stay alive, on the Consequences of Guilt il.. I We f"[ feeble, if logical, ground that our death cou]d. We are guilty of being alive. We know of us, are guiltv can be no doubt qhat 1ve, Germansr every one before God which deeply humiliates us.

Karl Jaspers-() The Question of Geman jufirspervsubsfron.tk | Truth | Epistemology

What happened to of guilt' us in these twelve years is like a transmutation of our being. FIence there occur the consequences f j Aff Germans without exception share in the political I In November , when the synagogues burned and liability. All must jointly sufier the effects of the J chiefl4, moral and political. In either sense, the guilty were of their disunity' We acts oflhe victors, of their decisions, ]J those still in power. The generals stood by.

In every town are unable here to exert any influence as a factor of power' Il the commander could act against crime, for the soldier is Only by striving constantly for a sensible presentation of I there to protect all, if crime occurs on such a scale that the the facts, opportunities and dangers can we-unless everyone ' police cannot or fail to stop it. They did nothing. In the ProPer form, and the German Army. It was not their business. They had dis-l appeal to the victors. They will be judged by the courts I deeply moved by a horror containing a presentiment of com- i of the victors, or by German courts established by the victors' ing calamity.