En annan jämförelse med Auschwitz…

Man hoppas att Åsa Romson nu insett att ”kraftuttryck” i form av onyanserade historiska jämförelser inte lämpar sig för en vice statsminister. Hursomhelst, en föregångare vad gäller Auschwitz-jämförelser utgörs av den tyska radikala vänstern på 60-talet:

Anti-militarism had a special place in German student protest as a tidy way to condemn both the Federal Republic and its Nazi predecessor. With the growth of opposition to the Vietnam War this conflation between past and present extended to West Germany’s military mentor. America, always ‘fascist’ in the rhetoric of a minority of radicals, now became the enemy for a far broader constituency. Indeed, attacking ‘Amerika’ for its criminal war in Vietnam served almost as a surrogate for discussion of Germany’s own war crimes. In Peter Weiss’s 1968 play Vietnam-Discourse the parallel between the United States and the Nazis is explicitly drawn.

If America was no better than the Hitler regime — if, in a slogan of the time, US=SS — then it was but a short step to treating Germany itself as Vietnam: both countries were divided by foreign occupiers, both were helplessly caught up in other people’s conflicts. This way of talking allowed West German radicals to despise the Bonn Republic both for its present imperialist-capitalist associations and for its past fascist ones. More ominously, it authorized the radical Left to recycle the claim that it was Germans themselves who were the true victims—an assertion hitherto identified with the far Right.

We should not, then, be surprised to learn that for all their anger at the
‘Auschwitz generation’, young Germans of the Sixties were not really much concerned with the Jewish Holocaust. Indeed, like their parents, they were uncomfortable with the ‘Jewish Question’. They preferred to subsume it in academic demands for classes on ‘Faschismustheorie’, obscuring the racist dimension of Nazism and emphasizing instead its links to capitalist production and imperial power apparatus’ was the imperial lackeys in Bonn; their victims were those who opposed America’s war in Vietnam. In this peculiar logic the populist, down-market tabloid Bild Zeitung, with its withering criticisms of student politics, was a revived Der Sturmer, students were the new ‘Jews’; and Nazi concentration camps were just a serviceable metaphor for the crimes of imperialism. In the words of a slogan graffitoed across the walls of Dachau in 1966 by a group of radicals: ‘Vietnam is the Auschwitz of America’.

Judt, Tony. 2005. Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945. New York : Penguin Press, s. 418–419.

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