War Crimes after the War Ended

The history of war crimes is one of the sites of the politics of memory par excellence. The arrangements of world politics today still seat on the consequences of the Second World War -the permanent members of the UN Security Council being one of the more visible. The legitimacy of the contemporary world order depends to an important extent on the image societies have of the past behaviour of superpowers. Although the crimes of the losers are usually well remembered, those committed by the victors have been put aside or hidden. What about the German civilians victims of the drive for revenge of the Red Army, and of the carpet bombing of Germany? Till now the German people has not been allowed to remember, to write the history or to mourn its own innocent victims. This text rescues some of the victims from oblivion and repression, and is presented here with kind permission of SPIEGEL ONLINE:


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