Germany 's Postwar Silence : The Horrible Atrocities Of The Holocaust

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Germany’s Postwar Silence The horrible atrocities of the Holocaust remain an important subject in World history. Although very few people are alive from the Nazi era the horrors of the era still haunt Germany. Should the generations of German people be held collectively responsible for the Nazi crimes? If you were born in 1940 the start of the war, you would be 75 years old today. The younger generation of German’s look at that period of history differently than those alive post war. How the postwar Germans have dealt with the Nazi era of their country’s history has been a topic of controversy surrounding Gunter Grass. Gunter Grass for many years has accused German’s of not dealing with what happened in a realistic manner. He…show more content…
Paul’s struggle is whether to publish his mother’s story or bury it with the memories of the Nazi era. As the survivors’ begin to age, Paul’s mother nags him even more to write her memoirs. In chapter 4 at the survivors reunion she turns to Paula and says, “Soon none of us will be alive anymore, only you. But you just don’t want to write down all the stuff I’ve told you” (98). She went on to tell him that “maybe my Konradchen will write something sown about it someday” (98). Paul never wants to be associated with the Germany his mother so dearly wants to hang onto. At the reunion he keeps his distance from Tulla because he does not want to be associated, questioned or celebrated by the Lowe veterans. At the end of chapter 4 the divide between Konrad and his father begins. Konrad went home and posted details of the reunion. He praised the superior German engineering and pitied the hundreds of German lives lost when the ship was sunk. Paul retreated to the beach, and kept silent. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff was the beginning of much misery for the German’s escaping the war torn East Prussia. Although Tulla had put her hope into Paul writing about the violence Germans endured at the hands of the Russian’s once they crossed the eastern borders of Germany, it was Konrad that she relied on throughout the novella to tell her story. Grass uses his novella to teach a younger
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