Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Opposing approaches to WWII legacy

german tank
A German tank

In his book Traitors, author Frank Walker has detailed the divergent ways in which Germany and Japan have dealt with their respective World War II legacies.

In his book Traitors, author Frank Walker has detailed the divergent ways in which Germany and Japan have dealt with their respective World War II legacies.

Speaking to Defence Connect, Walker said that some German businesses that had profited from underpinning the Nazi war effort, and are still operating today, had paid reparations and had been open about their World War II past.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"But for many years after the war, they flourished with the same people [with whom] they had fought during the war," he said. "Many of them who had served [were] war criminals – one of them became the press officer for Porsche."

Walker noted that the press officer in question had in fact served prison time as a Nazi war criminal: "I mean, okay, they have to have jobs, okay. Turn the page, we move on."

"But I think, what they've done in Germany, West Germany it started with, is that all the school children must go and visit the concentration camps to see what their forefathers did," said Walker. "As part of the research for this book, I went to Buchenwald concentration camp, which is just near the old capital of Weimar."

The author recounted how when he visited the former concentration camp, he was struck by the large number of school groups present.

"If you ever visit one of these places, it has an impact on you, because you know what happened there," added Walker. "But nobody meets each other's eyes in these places. You walk, the gravel crunches under your feet as you walk and you think: 'Who else walked these paths?'"

PROMOTED CONTENT

By contrast, Walker said Japan has chosen a completely different approach.

"There are a few individuals who advocate acknowledgement of Japanese war crimes, but … it's not in Japanese school books," he said.

"There's certainly no campaign to publicise Japanese war crimes, as the Germans did with theirs. And I think this largely… is part of the Japanese culture not to admit failure or guilt."

To hear more from author and journalist Frank Walker, stay tuned for our podcast.

Opposing approaches to WWII legacy
German-tank.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

5G Networks
Jun 16 2021
5G Networks partners with DXN
5G Networks has announced a new service agreement between 5GN Wholesale and modular data centre operator DXN, to provide business ...
BAE Systems wins contract to modernise USS San Diego
Jun 16 2021
BAE Systems wins contract to modernise USS San Diego
The prime has been selected to provide maintenance and modernisation services for the US Navy’s San Antonio Class ship. ...
Tim Walmsley
Jun 16 2021
Op-Ed: ‘Big Hands’ announcements disengage SMEs
In the military, they have a saying: ‘Big hands, small map’. This essentially means you have completely skimmed over the detai...