Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama’s trip to Dresden suggests that Nazi equivalence moralists and German revisionists of “Roosevelt’s war” have a friend in the White House

It would seem that, contrary to what NP predicted five weeks ago (You Think You've Seen Apologizing? Just Wait Until Barack Obama Heads for Japan…), the first fascist nation of World War II that the Apologizer-in-Chief will ask forgiveness from is not Japan but Germany

John Rosenthal points out that, offhand, it is "rather odd" that Obama — that would be the man who, if any, has nothing but a caricatured, shallow, and oversimplified knowledge of history — "would be planning a trip to Germany in connection with ceremonies marking" marking the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy.
But when one considers just where exactly in Germany Obama is headed, then the significance of the visit becomes more clear. There is some talk of Obama visiting the Buchenwald concentration camp outside Weimar, in whose liberation Obama’s great uncle Charlie Payne is famously supposed to have taken part. But the Buchenwald visit appears not to be the main event and indeed it can be presumed to have been included in discussions as something of an alibi.

The latest German reports suggest Obama’s principal German destination will be Dresden. …

The symbolic significance of a visit to Dresden by the American president — especially one undertaken in connection with a D-Day commemoration in France — may be missed by some Americans, but it is absolutely unmistakable for the German public. For Germans, Dresden is the symbol bar none of German suffering at the hands of the Allies. … The bombing of Dresden is commonly described as a “war crime” in German discussions.

Alleged crimes committed by the Allies against Germans and Germany have indeed become a sort of German literary obsession in recent years, with numerous books being devoted to the subject. … The rhetoric employed by [Jörg Friedrich] went so far as to suggest an equivalence between the Allied bombing of German cities and the genocidal conduct of Nazi Germany itself.

As a result of the passions provoked or released by Friedrich’s book, the expression “Bombing-Holocaust” has passed into the German lexicon. Although especially favored by so-called “extreme right” circles (i.e., more-or-less openly neo-Nazi ones), the term merely expresses what is implicit in ostensibly more mainstream discourse.

It is virtually unthinkable that Obama could give a speech in Dresden and not allude to the bombing of the city. … Moreover, for Obama to visit both Dresden and Buchenwald would suggest precisely the sort of outrageous parallels that have become commonplace in Germany at least since the publication of Friedrich’s The Fire.

…As bizarre as it may seem, President Obama’s impending trip to Dresden suggests that German revisionists [of “Roosevelt’s war”] have a friend in the White House.

As Victor Davis Hanson famously said,
Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don’t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

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