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Those who cannot remember the past...

A terrifying survey conducted by the Freie Universität Berlin would seem to suggest that youthful Germans (15-17) are either woefully ignorant about the German 'Democratic' Republic or are having a terrible bout of amnesia. The article does not indicate the level of statistical rigour or otherwise of the survey (and I can't find the German original) but I will assume that it is kosher:

Was the DDR a dictatorship?

Ossis - No - half
Wessis - No - 1 in 3

Who built The Wall?

Ossis - the DDR - 1 in 3

What was the Stasi?

An ordinary intelligence agency - half (not differentiated by former BRD and DDR)

Who was Willy Brandt?

A leader of the DDR - a quarter

Mind you, I hate to think how little the youth of this country know about matters from 20 years ago.

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Blogger Blue Eyes said... 11:53 am

The Germans have an unusual cultural habit of "forgetting" their history. They simply don't talk about it in public or private.  

Blogger James Higham said... 12:27 pm

This focuses on the issue of the shelf life of active memory history. Sooner or later, one's misdeeds die away.  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 12:42 pm

I think there is a difference between "feeling guilty" about one's past and openly discussing the issues so that they can be learned from.

I don't take any responsibility for the British encouragement of the triangular trade or colonisation because I wasn't around at the time, but I do think we should learn from those things.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:55 pm

I'd go along with that in toto, BE.

Way back lost in the mists of time when I was at law school, I encountered the garnishee order, which basically switches a debt owed to you to a debt owed to another, so if some organisation attempts a shakedown on the UK, my response would be, 'the Romans will pay'.  

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