Closing the Circle. Remarks to Andrew Stroehlein's Reply to Me (BL, 13 March 98)
The fact that Stroehlein is accused to be both, anti-Czech and anti-German, appears to be a result of the way in which he thinks and argues. I followed several discussions in which he was involved, and I have to say that I cannot remember any topic, in which his position was convincing. I got the impression that he usually writes his statements on the basis of a quite tiny knowledge. This is the only alternative I see to Stroehlein being anti-German.
May be my English is very bad, but I am quite positive that the phrase "... 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." contains implicitly but clearly the statement that "the Germans are a perfect example of a racist society". But this might have been a misunderstanding.
What I find nasty is the demagogic way in which he uses the violent attacks on immigrants or asylum seekers in Germany to strengthen his thesis that Germany has especially serious problems with racism. You will hardly find anyone with an IQ slightly above 10 who will deny the existence of xenophobic and racist groups in the German society. And obviously it did never occur to Stroehlein that during the last decade no other country in Europe has taken more refugees and asylum seekers (in absolute numbers and percentage) than Germany. If you take in account the number of the German population it proves to be simply untrue that Germans have been committing more crimes against ethnic minorities than the citizens of many other European countries.
Stroehlein wrote "...it appears to me that he is not reading my article at all anyway." Remarks like that definitely do not match the style of intellectual debate. But it is even more embarrassing to accuse somebody else of something you did yourself! I did not make a bloody "attempt to blame the allied occupiers for all the developments within Germany over the past fifty years". I simply stated that for many years after WW II the political and social elites in both German states had not the faintest chance to re-enforce the idea of nationhood, because the Allies would not have allowed them to do this. I am very happy about that and therefore did not and never will call the Allies "occupiers" - but if this is the term Stroehlein prefers ...
Finally, Mr. Stroehlein, once again: I "bothered" to read your article. If I would not have done this, what do you think: Why did I write my statement?! But you are right: Not every word of mine corresponds with your statements. Sometimes I just come forward with thoughts my own. I do apologize! However, I did not explain my personal experiences with national complexes as a German in Czechia in favor of any thesis. I just wanted to show how much my generation in Western Germany has learned, read and discussed about German fascism (in school and elsewhere). Thus, not "the German society" has serious problems with racism, but some stupid individuals have serious problems with members of other ethnic groups - as with their mental health.