Raskrinkavanje.me: Is that the Germany we all know?

Everyone seems to have their opinion about the Resolution on Srebrenica Genocide. Politicians and parties are threatening and making demands, exerting pressure. Religious communities negate the genocide, and certain “media” call for organized resistance. 

The public discourse is dominated by the claim that the Resolution will label all Serbs as genocidal. Interestingly, those who most vocally argue that no nation or state can be genocidal are the ones labeling other nations and states as such

Following the accusations of collective guilt for the systematic killing of over 8,000 people, a new narrative has emerged – how come genocidal Germany wants to label Serbia as genocidal? 

Dodik has been one of the key figures who has used and spread false narratives about Srebrenica. He says that the same Germany that sponsored the Ustasha crimes against the Serbs is now the sponsor of the resolution on Srebrenica, which should put the Serbs, the descendants of the genocide victims, on the dark side of history. 

Official Serbia also echoes these sentiments through its ministers. For instance, Minister of Labor Nemanja Starovic “reminds” us that “those who executed one hundred for one, who established Dachau, Jasenovac, Auschwitz, Pag, now accuse Serbs of genocide to politically capitalize on that trump card later.” 

Dodik shares views with Orthodox brotherhoods and IN4S, which never miss an opportunity to congratulate Ratko Mladic, a man who commanded genocide on the ground, on his birthday

The Orthodox brothers state – “We cannot come to terms with the fact that the government, which was formed thanks to our votes, supports a resolution initiated by the descendants of the organizers of the Holocaust and ‘Kristallnacht,’ countries responsible for the deaths of three million of our people in aggressions against our homeland during two World Wars.” 

“To make the irony bigger – the initiators of the Resolution are the descendants of the organizers of the Holocaust and ‘Kristallnacht,'” the IN4S news portal adds. 

Countless similar examples can be found online. And yes – Germany’s authorities, Hitler’s Reich, committed the greatest crimes recorded in history. Kristallnacht happened there, and they established camps, conducted purges, killed… We all know what happened in the Second World War, who from this area helped them do that, and who fought against fascism.   

One crucial point that the authors of the above quotes tend to ignore rather than forget is that Germany has acknowledged its crimes, prosecuted the perpetrators, and undergone a process of denazification. The leaders of the Third Reich were convicted and hanged For years after the war, despite being destroyed, Germany paid reparations to numerous states and associations. There is almost no recorded and public denial of the crimes of the Third Reich, German leaders apologized to the victims of Nazism. Modern democracy in Germany and its development serve as an example for the entire world. 

In short, this is not the same Germany, as depicted by Orthodox brotherhoods, ministers of labor, IN4S, and others. 

When the Allies crushed Hitler’s Reich, in October 1946 they categorized Nazis into five groups – major offenders, who would be sentenced to life imprisonment or death; activists, militarists, and profiteers, who faced up to 10 years imprisonment; lesser offenders, who received a probationary sentence for up to three years; Nazis supporters and followers, who were subject to surveillance and fines; and exonerated individuals who were acquitted of charges. 

During the Nuremberg Trials, high-ranking Nazi officers were convicted, most of them sentenced to death by hanging, and the crimes of the Third Reich were condemned

Denazification meant eliminating the influence of Nazi ideology from public life in Germany. It included banning the Nazi Party, criminalizing the advocacy of National Socialist ideas – punishable by death – and prohibiting swastikas and other symbols. All Germans had to fill out questionnaires and undergo interrogations about their involvement in Nazism, and former Nazis were taken on tours of concentration camps and shown videos of the suffering of Jews in the camps.  

US government documents from 1945 explicitly state that the denazification program involved arresting Nazi leaders and supporters of this ideology, as well as other individuals who posed a threat to Allied occupation. Also, members of the Nazi Party were removed from public and other important functions such as those in private companies, all Nazi laws were completely removed, and in addition to the Nazi Party, all organizations created by it and those close to it were banned. The prevention and removal of Nazism from information services, education and religion also began. 

Nazis had their financial and other assets blocked, and places named after Nazi-related figures were renamed. 

In September 1951, Germany’s post-war chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, asked the world for forgiveness for the crimes of Nazi Germany from the Bundestag and said he was ready to begin negotiations on reparations for the victims of the Holocaust. That year, specific amounts Germany would pay were determined. A deal with Israel alone involved paying three billion marks in reparations. 

In modern Germany, denying the Holocaust, spreading Nazi ideology online or offline, expressing support for Hitler, or wearing any Nazi-related symbol is prohibited. Racist and anti-Semitic words can send you to prison for five years – the famous case of the writer Ernst Zindel, who served that exact time for denying the Holocaust.  

So, once again – yes, Nazi Germany committed indescribable crimes during World War II, but is this the same Germany mentioned by Miholjski zbor, IN4S, Dodik, and others? 

Simply and shortly put – no. 

Darvin Muric, Editor-in-Chief of Raskrinkavanje.me

This project is funded by the US Embassy in Podgorica. The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Department of State/Government.