Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the end of World War Two. No big deal, you might say. And on the surface there is certainly nothing all that extraordinary about May 7, 2010. There has been none of the celebrating that marked the 40th or 50th or even 60th anniversaries.
But what is interesting about this 65th anniversary of the end of the fighting in Europe is that it means every German (and Austrian) born before the war’s end has now reached retirement age. In other words, the entire war-era generation – even those who were infants on V-E Day – is now in retirement. It means all those running Germany now – in government or management, or running factories or driving busses – had, as documented by their birth certificates, nothing whatsoever to do with World War Two.
Their parents, grandparents or great grandparents who might have voted for Adolf Hitler in the last free elections in 1933 could still be held accountable, even indirectly, for the war, the Holocaust and Nazi crimes.
But can Germans born after the war still be blamed for it? Should those born decades or even a half century later still be made to feel the burden of guilt? I think not – and that is why I have, subconsciously, looked forward to dates like May 7, 2010 for nearly 30 years.