[S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby The Old Hack on Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:38 am

Nocturn wrote:
Also, Nocturn, for the record, I have never heard of German anti-semitism in a modern context. Or, indeed, any context other than the one the German government will probably arrest you for mentioning.


Not surprising at all.

Honestly, this whole situation frustrates me. As a German, you just can't say "I like Germany", "I'm proud to be German" or just having a German flag (unless it's for soccer-related reasons). If it's not a member of another country that starts arguing with you, it's other Germans. There is something wrong when another member of your country calls you nazi simply because you show your loyality to your country's soccer team by carrying your country's flag around.


I am afraid I have a rather painful confession to make. I was in the position of growing up in a family which only barely escaped extermination by the Nazis, and this deeply affected my relationship with Germans and Germany. This is one reason I so deeply empathise with Susan's character -- much like her and her antipathy towards males, throughout my childhood and early teens I feared and hated Germans in much the same way. It was not until I achieved maturity that I finally began to overcome this attitude. And only much later, after studying the history of not merely WWII but also WWI and the years between the wars did I finally understand that the German people itself had been just as much the victims of Hitler as my own had.

Meanwhile we see other countries being fiercely patriotic, despite their past mistakes. I don't intend to point fingers here, Germany did very wrong things in recent history, but it just wasn't our Germany, it was Germany of the past. It's getting really tired to see everyone else live proudly of their nation whereas we're always made to feel shame for being German. To be fair, that attitude has been slowly fading away over the last few years, but it still left me very cynical whenever I see someone from another country being patriotic.


It is not hard for me to understand, and in fact I agree with it. I do not feel very patriotic these days myself at any rate. And besides, modern Germans are in this regard being made to pay not only for the sins of the fathers but also the grandfathers and great grandfathers, which scarcely seems fair. Today I have German friends I like and admire, including one who made a very important effort to help me turn my life around when it was falling apart. To be sure I also know of Germans I dislike, but the sum of the equation to me equates to Germans being like people everywhere else -- namely, people.
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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby Illusionist on Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:53 am

You surprise and disappoint me, Nocturn. I wouldn't have thought of you as the sort of person to admit defeat without even trying. You seem more like the sort of person to be fiercely proud of being a modern German, and then insult anyone who invokes Godwin's law with the viciousness of some kind of Simon Cowell/Yahtzee Croshaw hybrid.
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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby Nocturn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:28 am

On the internet? Yeah, I'll flip at them. But when you've had rocks thrown at you during a trip to England simply because they heard you talking German, you'll think twice about showing any kind of national pride when not in Germany. I imagine it's a largely European phenomenom, but it's scary when you feel that some people will think of you as mass murderer by association.

Edit: I may be over-reacting a bit, but you'll never know when a person has been brought up to hate Germans for WWII, and not everyone is as rational as The Old Hack about this.
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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby The Old Hack on Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:30 am

Illusionist wrote:You surprise and disappoint me, Nocturn. I wouldn't have thought of you as the sort of person to admit defeat without even trying. You seem more like the sort of person to be fiercely proud of being a modern German, and then insult anyone who invokes Godwin's law with the viciousness of some kind of Simon Cowell/Yahtzee Croshaw hybrid.

"Without even trying" may be a bit harsh as we are not aware of Nocturn's previous experiences and attempts in this kind of situation. I myself have seen situations online where Germans got stomped on after trying to stand up for themselves. (Being a glutton for punishment, I of course step in on their side of the argument.) In RL it is even worse; as Nocturn correctly points out, many Germans as well lay into anyone displaying a too pro-German stance. Given how Germans got browbeaten after WWII it is perhaps not strange, merely saddening.
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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby Illusionist on Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:33 am

And the really stupid part is, Germans being blamed and punished for what their government did was one of the things that lead to that wacky fun-lover Hitler running the show.
The book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore's best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It's hard to describe just how much better the book is. It's like, "If the movie was an episode of Battlestar Galactica with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is Citizen Kane with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end." That's how much better it is. - Warren Ellis.

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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby The Old Hack on Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:18 am

Nocturn wrote:Edit: I may be over-reacting a bit, but you'll never know when a person has been brought up to hate Germans for WWII, and not everyone is as rational as The Old Hack about this.

I fear that rationality may be too great an accolade for me. Perhaps I am merely being directed by George Lucas. *sigh*

As a small reading suggestion, anyone who is interested in this topic ought to check out Sebastian Haffner's books "Germany: Jekyll and Hyde" and "Defying Hitler." Haffner was a brutally honest author who loved his homeland but deplored its follies and despised Hitler. In spite of his claim that he was no hero, he is nonetheless a hero of mine.
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Re: [S.T.O.R.Y. 1/26/02] Ad Libs!

Postby kyevan on Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:55 am

Nocturn wrote:Maybe it was a decade or two post-war, but I like to believe we are mostly anti-semitism-free nowadays.

Mostly? Sure, but to say it's entirely gone would be foolish. Hundreds of years of European antisemitism aren't going to end just because one group of people took it too far. To be fair, though, it was never really an exclusively German phenomenon to begin with, and I'd imagine Germany today is no worse about it than its neighbors.
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