Alex Constantine - October 7, 2007
IN A 2002 STUDY OF FAMILY memories of National Socialism among children and grandchildren of Germans who lived through the Third Reich, 50 per cent of the interviewees reported that in their opinion their relatives had disapproved of National Socialism, and only 1 per cent thought their relatives had held a positive opinion of Hitler and Nazism.
Only 1 per cent of those surveyed believed that their parents or grandparents had been "directly involved in crimes", whereas more than 63 per cent mentioned how their parents or grandparents had suffered during the war.
These results, published in a book entitled Grandpa Wasn't a Nazi, highlight the widespread tendency for second and third-generation postwar Germans to construct stories about their family experiences that protect the moral integrity of their relatives by drawing a sharp distinction between "Nazis" and "Germans". ...