Friday, 6 September 2013

Germany: Every coin has two sides

Rochus Misch
Attitudes about what happened in Germany from 1933 until 1945 vary a great deal.

For some, there was deeply felt regret. For others, there was almost a melancholic reminiscence of the good old times. For others, there was repressed anger and a strong sense of failure for what wasn't achieved.

Rochus Misch, Adolf Hitler's closest bodyguard who died on September 5th, 2013, falls within the second category of those who remember Adolf Hitler with warmth in his heart.

My father who died just a few days ago always was very proud of all things German but as a child and as a teenager I heard him say - not once but many times - that he hated Adolf Hitler because Adolf Hitler had failed to achieve what he wanted to achieve.

Others like my language teacher Helga and my mathematics teacher Reinhart dealt with the past by saying the past is the past and focused on being the best they could be in what they did. With Helga, punctuality and dedication to learn. With Reinhart, precision and intensive work.

For Helmuth Grunow, whom I met in Montevideo together with other crew of the Admiral Graf Spee, there was the pride of having been a protagonist aboard one of the best units of the Krigsmarine commanded by a Gentleman with capital G called Captain Hans Langsdorff, admired and respected by both friend and foe.

World War Two, like any other human conflict, was many wars and many realities depending of personal experiences and expectations.

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