Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Germans See Echoes Of Nazi Past In Trump And Charlottesville

For the past decade, the pupils of the Manfred von Ardenne school in Berlin have been visiting a local cemetery to tend the graves of victims of the Nazis.

By honoring those who died doing forced labor for Adolf Hitler’s regime and learning their stories, pupils gain a clearer, more visceral understanding of their country’s crimes 75 years ago.

“It is very important for us to bring our pupils closer to what happened to make sure it never happens again,” said Annemarie Sardisong, the school’s head teacher. “Especially now when the world seems to be coming out of joint.”

In few countries was public opinion so shocked by last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, as in Germany, where the sight of skinheads marching by torchlight and chanting anti-Jewish slogans had historical resonance.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned “racist, far-right violence.”

Even the officially impartial German public media struggled to conceal its shock when President Trump declined to distance himself from white supremacists chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

“We thought America had overcome its original sin of slavery and racism,” said news anchor Claus Kleber. “Is this a relapse?”—Reuters


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.