hrough their words and deeds, the Germans have proven they have neither forgotten nor denied their role in causing World War II or the unimaginable horror that was the Holocaust. In addition to Holocaust memorials, such as the poignant one in Berlin and the preservation of the Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich, complete with photographs and unvarnished explanations of what happened there, German students are taught in school about their nation’s Nazi past in great detail.
What you don’t see in Germany are streets named after Adolph Hitler — as opposed to the many Jefferson Davis Drives in the southern U.S. — or lofty monuments to Field Marshall Erwin Rommel nobly peering out from the turret of one of the Panzer tanks he commanded. Somehow Germans manage to both remember and learn from their history without such symbols.
I thought of this when I heard yet again the arguments of those opposed to removing monuments that glorify the Confederacy in our Civil War. The statues removed in Baltimore did just that. Mayor Catherine Pugh deserves credit for removing them now and for doing so in the middle of the night to avoid any risk of creating a dangerous situation. Surely we in Baltimore did not want to encourage a visit from David Duke, or other white supremacists and neo-Nazis carrying torches and uttering chants such as “you will not replace us” directed at Jews and African-Americans.
These monuments were created not as historical teaching tools but as a means to honor figures who fought for the south. Can anyone say for example that the statue in Wyman Park of Confederate Generals Lee and Jackson astride their mounts was anything less than heroic in nature? (Baltimore Sun)