Toughts, news and small talk mainly concerning China from a berlin perspective

4/07/2005

As Many Wars As Nations



Found a very interesting essay by Adam Krzeminski (according to the publisher, one of Poland's leading journalists and chairman of the Polish-German Association in Warsaw), entitled "As many wars as nations". The introduction by the publisher says:

"The Second World War is still being fought. Sixty years after it ended, almost every anniversary stirs up arguments and emotions: D-Day, the Warsaw Uprising, the liberation of Auschwitz, the bombing of Dresden, Yalta, the taking of Berlin, and Potsdam. There can be no single version of this war. When the heads of state stand side by side at the ceremony in Moscow on May 9, each of them will be remembering something different."

Well, the second world war is still being fought in Asia too when one thinks of the nationalistic uproar in China these days, and the euphemistic description and presentation of the Japanese attack on China and the rest of Asia in Japanese schoolbooks.

The essay closes:

"... Europeans will go on living with competing memories and competing myths for a long time to come. What is new is that these competing myths are no longer being fostered in confinement, but in constant dialogue between neighbors, besides which in each country as well as being fostered they are also being debunked. Time will tell if this clash of national myths will ultimately engender a common European view of the Second World War, without dropping the national experiences. Already in many countries the Europeans are gradually ceasing to be victims of autism exclusively fixated on separate images of the past."

Looks as if historical autism will not cease in Asia for some time, as there is no sign that either side is willing to make a step towards a constructive dialogue.

P.S. Particular interesting is one of the links coming with the article: "Myths of the Nations".

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