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> You don't have to look far to understand that perhaps the Germans felt a need for a radical exorcism of their recent past, which American and English people could be a little more complacent about.

You had to be black in America, I think, to consider actually shooting people to make a political point, but in Germany you could be bourgeois and consider it, because most of the people you were dealing with were Nazis and murderers who had gotten away with it: the rhetoric had a much more frightening edge of gravity to it.

Their feeling was that their lives had just started from scratch - there was no history that they wanted to acknowledge as theirs. <

Peter Blegvad