My Reply to Mr.Storck
Well, everything has come full circle now. Some Czechs have accused me of being anti-Czech, and some Germans have accused me of being anti-German. I guess I just don't like anyone then, is that it?
Mr Storck claims that I stated that "the Germans are a perfect example of a racist society". I said no such thing in my article.
I stated the following:
"...it is clear that many countries in the EU have serious problems with racism not only in society at large but also in their legal systems. Germany is a perfect example."
I fully stand behind this statement. Germany has indeed had serious problems with racism in the past few years, and it does no one any good to deny it. Asylum seekers' dormitories have been firebombed, and skinheads have assaulted Turks and others in the streets. The groups conducting this violence have links to the KKK and other white supremacist groups in the USA that are well known to the police and independent observers alike. I didn't say Germany was a racist society. I said it had a problem with racism.
In my article, I also stated:
"Such an absurd notion of citizenship based on "blood" is so clearly racist, one could easily use Havel's term "kmenov} stat" to describe today's Germany."
This statement was not about German society, but about the German legal system, which Storck agrees is "absurd" on the matter of jus sanguinis. Jus sanguinis make "blood" the criterion for citizenship in Germany. That is simply racist and tribal by definition.
Storck's attempt to blame the (at first) allied occupiers for all the developments within German thinking over the past fifty years simply won't wash, but it appears to me that he is not reading my article at all anyway.
I state that the concept of nation was re-enforced after the war and even today because it is easier for people to put the blame on the mythical "nation" rather than confess to their own personal crimes. Whether Storck's "mothers and fathers of the 'Grundgesetz'" were nationalist or racist is not the issue. The issue is that many individuals after the war had individual, personal guilt for crimes (not just attitudes) they committed during the Nazi era. Rather than conduct an incredibly massive witchhunt to find every single individual who bore personal guilt, German society (and those individuals especially, of course) found it easier to transfer that guilt to the timeless "nation", a mythical creation that doesn't exist in reality.
This is why German school children today are made to feel guilty about events that happened generations before they were born. They are told that, as members of the German nation, they too are guilty for the crimes of their ancestors. It is all preposterous in 1998, of course, and if Storck actually bothered to read my article, he would have seen that I agree with him: the young bear no guilt whatsoever for the crimes of the Nazi era.
It is only through the re-enforcement of the idea of nationhood that some try to connect the past with today's youth. It's that mythical idea that supposedly links all "Germans" in collective guilt. It's nonsense, but this is what the young are told. We actually agree there, Mr Storck.
I'll agree with Storck also that some older Germans do not want to admit any guilt at all - personal or mythical. I always had the impression, however, that such thinking was outside the mainstream of public debate in Germany.
And obviously, I agree with Storck that none of this "guilt transfer" is unique to the Germans. In fact, in my article, I stated that the Czech Republic is now undergoing a similar "guilt transfer".
And I agree that anti-German sentiments in the British press - not just around football matches - are repugnant in every way. But that just proves what I was saying in my article all along: the countries of the EU are hardly better at dealing with the problem of racism and ethno-nationalism than the Czech Republic is.