Germans today see Nazi defeat as liberation

center_img Sponsored Stories BERLIN (AP) — Millions of Germans experienced the fall of Nazi Germany 70 years ago Friday as total defeat. Today, most Germans view it as liberation from 12 years of tyranny.In a symbol of the shift in perception, the German Parliament plans a special session Friday to reflect upon “a day that stands for a new beginning, and the double liberation from war and Nazism.”A poll released last week showed 89 percent of Germans now think of the end of the war as liberation, with only 9 percent calling it a defeat. That compares to 35 percent who saw the Nazi fall as a defeat a decade ago. The Forsa institute poll of 18 to 85 year olds had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. Schroeder was the first chancellor with no personal memory of the war himself. And only one member of Merkel’s Cabinet — Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble — was born by the war’s end.Merkel in her video message this week stressed that her generation still had an historical obligation to fulfill.“We Germans have a special responsibility to deal attentively, sensitively and skillfully with what we did in the Nazi era and what long-lasting wounds and concerns there are in other countries,” she said. “I fully understand that.”German President Joachim Gauck, meanwhile, has said that paying tribute to Soviet soldiers would be at the center of his commemorations marking the events of May 1945 — although the former pastor from communist East Germany acknowledged that memories of the Soviet army are “ambivalent.”“On May 8, 1945, we were liberated — by the people of the Soviet Union, though not only them,” he told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview Saturday. “We owe them gratitude and respect. And that is the case regardless of the fact that the Soviet liberators ensured, as occupiers in eastern Germany after the war, a lack of freedom, repression and persecution.” Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img

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