German governments have used two strategies to crush dissent in the last century. The Third Reich used Gleichschaltung, or “coordination,” with the state pushing public and private organizations into line with National Socialism. Communist East Germany used Zersetzung, “decomposition,” with its Stasi secret police wrecking the personal lives, careers, and reputations of dissidents. White advocates face both tactics today.
However, there’s a third example from Germany. It’s arguably worse than the other two because its goal isn’t just to force obedience. It’s to instill shame.
It’s Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, “working off the past.” It means re-interpreting your history as something shameful. It’s what Germany’s rulers have forced on their people, and it’s what the Washington Post wants to do to us.
Working for American Renaissance is sometimes hard because we must report bad news, and the news from Germany is almost always bad. Germany is not free. The state arrests citizens for saying the wrong things. The ironically named “Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution” spies on the nationalist Alternative for Germany party. A politician from the governing “conservative” party openly told her constituents that they shouldn’t worry about being a minority in their own country. Few Germans think they can speak openly.
- “Many Germans themselves treat any assertion of national German pride as a manifestation of neo-Nazi tendencies, as something hideously offensive and shameful.” — Frank Ellis, “The German Death Wish,” February 2011
- “Not only do Germans still have an ingrained horror of nationalism to a degree unusual even among Western nations, there are laws criminalizing Volksverhetzung or ‘incitement to hatred’ that can be broadly interpreted.” — John Jackson, “Confessions of a German Police Chief,” March 25, 2016
- “May Angela Merkel’s ‘New Germany’ serve as a warning to whites everywhere.” — Thorsten Pattberg, “The Transformation of Germany,” February 5, 2021
Michele Norris at the Washington Post thinks this is a model for us. She argues America should pursue Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, which she calls a “decades-long exercise, beginning in the 1960s, to examine, analyze, and ultimately learn to live with an evil chapter through monuments, teachings, art, architecture and public policy.”
Germany, she says approvingly, “looks at its Nazi past by consistently, almost obsessively, memorializing the victims of that murderous era, so much that it is now a central feature of the nation’s cultural landscape.” Students learn about the “horrible and shameful [Nazi] chapter in the nation’s past,” any “symbol of the Nazi era” is illegal, Holocaust denial is illegal, and police officers spend years of training that includes Holocaust history. Perhaps this focus is why German police seem unable to stop crime disproportionately committed by Muslims.
Imagine traveling through an American state and coming upon small, embedded memorials that listed key facts about the lives of the enslaved. Their names. Their fates. Their birth dates. The number of times they were sold. The ways they were separated from their families. The conditions of their toil. Imagine how that might shape the way we comprehend the peculiar institution of slavery, its legacy and its normalized trauma.
Imagine if there were similar embedded memorials for Indigenous peoples, who were forced from their land, relegated to reservations far from their normal ranges and regions. Imagine stopping to fill up the tank at a roadside gas station and noticing the reflection off a gleaming brass marker that bears the names of the tribal elders who once lived where you are standing.
We should pay attention to what she’s saying. It’s not enough that statues to our heroes are torn down and that even the dead are dug up. Instead, presumably every part of America will have little monuments meant to disgrace white Americans.