Tuesday, May 01, 2012

German re-writing of Europe's recent history.


On summer weekends in South West France it is not unusual to see scenes such as the above in various tourist spots. Such vivid reminders of how our freedoms were only comparatively recently so dearly secured probably causes discomfort amongst some. Not far from the Ch√Ęteau d'Oleron, where this picture was taken, is the 39 - 45 Museum at Le Gua, now  disused and its exhibits sold on behalf of its German purchasers, which nevertheless may still be seen, a short distance away on the main route to the Ile d'Oleron.



Most of the exhibits from the Museum were sold off in 2008, a list in French is included on this link to a discussion forum on the closure. Other detail on the sale by auction by "Herman Historica" of Munich is here.

Re-writing history is perhaps understandable when it contains much that is best forgotten, but when the lessons of such history seem not to have yet been learnt, then it is right to resist such attempted distortions, and hammer on regarding our joint and recent European shared miseries.

One still improperly addressed outrage, perhaps of particular significance in this final weekend of the 2012 French Presidential election campaign, (where possibly never since 1945 has the relationship between Germany and France been of such crucial importance,) is the lack of imprisonment at presumed German insistance of those Panzer troops who committed the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glanes. Some of the documentation regarding the 1953 Bordeaux trial is still banned within France, so no links will be provided here, but much background and many facts are available online and in English.

Note the significance of the date of the trial 1953, as it relates to the founding of the original institutions of what was to become the European Union. Supposedly that year in February, the common market in coal and iron ore was first established, symbolising a new start for France and Germany - yet it was a new start simultaneously marked by the main German perpetrators of the massacre of 642 men, women and children in a single rural French village, apparently avoiding the consequences of their barbaric actions!

Is it any wonder that a supposed peaceful union formed against such a backdrop has arrived at the point of crisis which we see so clearly in the EU of today?

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2 Comments:

Blogger James Higham said...

Re-writing history is perhaps understandable when it contains much that is best forgotten

I don't see that as a justification at all. What was - was - warts and all.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

James,

You are entirely correct of course. I was not seeking to excuse it merely noting how understandable it was as a function of being so necessary. Clumsily put I'm afraid!

3:38 PM  

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