Germany Seeks Forgiveness

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

Germany marked a cathartic moment on February 22nd with a somber ceremony surrounding the deaths of eight individuals killed over a decade by Nazi sympathizers throughout the country(Relatives Seek Closure After Killings Tied to Neo-Nazi Ring, New York Times, Merkel Asks Victims’ Relatives for Forgiveness, Spiegel Online International). The revelation of these murders shook the country and underlined the danger of right wing terrorism as a continuing threat almost seven decades after World War II. The ceremony in Berlin was highlighted by a speech by Chancellor Merkel who apologized for the inability to prevent these tragedies. Yet it was one of the daughters of a slain individual originally from Turkey who brought the question of how such treachery can still occur into focus.Having been born and raised in Germany – with little thought remaining about her own integration into German society – she wondered how it can be that a sense of mutual belonging has yet to be connected with the millions of immigrants who populate Germany today.

The moving speech she delivered is worth listening to in German here