The Nazis And The Nazi Past

1442 WordsNov 17, 20156 Pages
The Nazis left a lasting legacy that is still felt around the world today. The Nazi past weighs most heavily on Germany and its citizens who still grapple today with what the Nazis mean to their identity. This struggle was much different in the years immediately following World War II and the subsequent creation of divided Germany than today. In the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), the Nazi past was completely ignored. Instead focused on the West as the enemy. In the Federal Republic of Germany the government also attempted to ignore the Nazi past, with the government focusing more on building a democracy rather than emphasizing the brutal past. However, in a free society issues of identity are much harder to contain . The Nazi past began to come up despite these concerted efforts to bury it, yet even when questions about the past began to be raised, people in the 1960s were nearly ignorant about the real atrocities that the Nazis had committed . From 1963-1965, State Attorney Richard Bauer indicted 22 Nazi officials who had worked at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp . These trials attempted not only to educate average Germans about what had truly happened during World War II, but also to eliminate the idea that everyone who had committed these crimes were abnormal monsters, the concept that allowed the German population of the post-war era to distance themselves from this evil. In the 1960s the concept of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the Nazi concentration
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