Taking Full Responsibility

Acknowledging and learning from mistakes is no easy task even in everyday life. The German people are faced with recognizing how they were a part of one of the most evil and violent regimes the world has ever known, a role in which they whole-heartedly accept. The German National Museum, the Wannsee House, the Topography of Terror Documentation Center, and other sites and museums provide evidence that the German people seek to admit total responsibility for the actions of Nazi Germany. Endless paragraphs of text, factual documentation, and displays fill these museums, no narrative or excuses present in any way.

The German National Museum gives an excellent exhibit on the Weimar Republic, Germany’s democratic government in the inter-war period, and the conditions that allowed Hitler and the Nazi Party to rise to power. The Germans are not deceiving on the support they held for Hitler, one quote from the German Resistance Memorial Center states, “Most Germans welcomed the new authorities and their politics. Only a minority mounted resistance…” The same museum also maintains that the Nazis were the aggressors during the war, definitively explaining that the Second World War began when Germany invaded Poland. A quote from the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, holds the same sentiment by asserting, “The Second World War unleashed by the German Reich claims over 50 million lives.”

The exhibits at the Wannsee House continue to refute the claims of Holocaust deniers by providing the document formed there on January 20, 1942 surrounding the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Translations in multiple languages give readers the opportunity to digest the rhetoric that Reinhard Heydrich and other Nazi officials created when determining the fate of all European Jews. Further displays give evidence of how this plan was put into action and the end result of its implementation – the extermination of millions of men, women, and children.

Germany explains how many Nazi officials, party members, and war criminals were able to return to everyday life following the war. They also indicate how widespread acceptance of their nation’s past did not arise until later generations of Germans began learning the full truth about the Nazis. Germany today takes full responsibility for their sinister role in this period of history and seek to educate others about it.

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