Thursday, September 11, 2008

The taint of WWII-era Germany is so strong that, more than 60 years later, there are some Americans protesting the naming rights of a German company to a new Giants/Jets stadium. This is after the company recognized its past and paid millions in restitution. The Korean thinks the protest is somewhat silly, but he cannot help but compare how taint-free Japanese companies are.


  1. come on they should get over it. i mean it is already old history as well as some what biased. as you said nobody complains about the japanese companies. furthermore there is even the ford stadium in detroit and ford had strong ties to nazi germany.

    btw did ford ever aproached that topic?

  2. The pain is relative.

    In WWII, I'd venture to say (correct me if I'm wrong) Caucasian Americans, many of whom can trace their ancestry to Germany (and may even had relatives there), were "more" traumatized at the "betrayal" of their Aryan ancestors. On top of which, Jews in America are hardly likely to forget how many family members they lost in the Holocaust a mere 60 years later.

    It's one thing to have mysterious, slit-eyed foreigners 'proving' how cold-hearted and "different" they are and quite another to find out your homeland and her people are capable of unimagined things.

    Thus it's quite unsurprising to hear that the stigma of war is lingering far longer than for Germany than Japan in America. Not only are there a number of Jews in America - Americans in general have A LOT more ties to Europe/Germany rather than Japan.

    Besides - the words "Nazis, Jews, concentration camps" are all words associated with Germany. While "Pearl Harbor" and "bomb" may evoke some underlying anti-Japanese sentiment, ultimately, the Pearl Harbor bombing was only one event that happened during the war while the Holocaust happened all through the war and the extermination of Jews is one of the iconic motifs of WWII.

    While it would be IDEAL if Americans would forgive regardless of the "millions in restitution" - its not human nature to do so....and CERTAINLY not with war veterans and Jews about.

    Since this is a Korea-related blog...

    This kind of reminds me of how Koreans are particularly touchy about Japan and not Germany (if at all). Whether or not Japan or Germany paid WILL take more than 60 short years for victims to "get over it." Until all the people who directly remember the horrors of WWII and the Occupation are long gone - there will always be anger towards the people who brought so much pain. If there is any "fact" in life it's that.

    In any case, I always find it amusing when:

    1.) Koreans tell Americans to "stop interfering with Korea" yet fondly remember Gen MacArthur and how he swept in to save (South) Korea.

    2.) Japanese tell Koreans to "get over" the Occupation yet wax poetic about the atomic bombs.

    3.) When Americans tells Japanese to "move on" from the atomic bombings yet have a holiday to remember Pearl Harbor every year.

    4.) When Jews tell Germans that "The stereotype that all Germans=Nazis is deserved" yet are quick to say that Palestinians are so wrong and cruel to stereotype Jews as hypocrites.

    5.) When non-Jews to tell Jews to "stop trying to get sympathy" by bringing up the Holocaust "all the time".

    and on and on....basically, even today, it's amazing how little people empathize (or even TRY to empathize) with other people's feelings. It doesn't matter if it was a massacre or just one person died - the pain is just as real and burned into their memory. And on the flip side, you can't blame people for the mistake their country made at a time they weren't even born. Just no understanding on either side :(

  3. All good points by both. Just a few nits:

    alexander - the Korean thinks Ford's "strong" ties to Nazi Germany might be an overstatement. But generally agreed that this whole thing is a bit silly.

    cyp - with respect to your (1), the Korean can tell you that it's two different groups of Koreans who say the two different things. Older Koreans fondly remembers MacArthur, while younger Koreans want America to stop interfering. But strongly agreed that empathy is lacking in the international scene.

  4. @cyp i think you have a good point there that there is not enough understanding.

    please dont get me wrong: i didnt mean that people should get over their anger against the people who hurt them or their families.
    what i wanted to say is that im a little annoyed how people all around the globe try to find a way to fuel their anger.
    according to my observation people try to find a focus for their anger. most of the poeple who run KZ's are dead, same as the ones who planed them and so on..
    on the other hand the allianz. is an insurance company, neither did the company run concentration camps nor did allianz representatives shoot or gas people. but they were tied to the system in which the concentration camps took place.
    so is allianz guilty? yes are they responsible? not really.
    are they a just target for peoples wrath? not possible to answer that in an objective manner but i would say no. that was where my 'get over it' was directed at.

    another thing is that i think the dead should rest in peace. many people lost their dear ones. not only in concentration camps but also in wars, in accidents due to diseases and so on. to constantly remind people of their grief just prolongs it.

    @the korean
    i rather belive that 'strong ties' is some kind of understatement. rather i would like to say he WAS a nazi.
    his company supplied transportation for the german army, the german branch of ford (during that time not directly controlled by henry ford) used slave labor. henry ford published anti semitic articles. furthermore he accepted the "Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches" (which was the highest possible decoration for a foreigner) from nazi germany.
    how would you call somebody like that?

    hey world! lets get over it ;)


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