I'm not Jewish. Nobody in my family died in the Holocaust. I work in Munich, a pleasant metropolitan city of a little over a million inhabitants whose Bavarian charm tends to obscure the fact that this city was the birthplace and capital of the Nazi movement. Every day when I go to work I pass by the sites of apartments Hitler lived in, extant buildings in which decisions were made to murder millions of innocent people, and plazas in which book burnings took place, SS troops paraded and people were executed. The proximity to evil has a way of concentrating one's attention, of putting a physical reality to the textbook narratives of the horrors perpetrated by the Germans.
Then the little things start to happen that over a period of time add up to something very sinister. I'm on a bus and a high school boy passes around Grandpa's red leather-bound copy of Mein Kampf to his friends who respond by saying "coooool!." He then takes out a VCR tape (produced in Switzerland) of "The Great Speeches of Joseph Goebbels." A few weeks later I'm at a business meeting with four young highly educated Germans who are polite, charming and soft-spoken to say the least. When the subject matter changes to a business deal with a man in New York named Rubinstein, their nostrils flair, their demeanors attain a threatening mien and one of them actually says, and I'm quoting verbatim here: "The problem with America is that the Jews have all the money." They start laughing and another one says, "Yeah, all the Jews care about is money."............
After having committed the worst crimes in the history of humankind, the Germans were allowed to regain their sovereignty after only ten years, their infrastructure was completely rebuilt thanks to the generosity of the American people, and relatively few Germans were brought to trial for their monstrous crimes. Even those who were tried and convicted received relatively short sentences or had those reduced or commuted in general amnesties. For example, some members of the Einsatzkommandos, those Germans who, before the construction of the death camps, hunted and murdered Jews by the hundreds of thousands, received sentences of as little as five years imprisonment.
If there were true justice in the world, Germany would no longer exist as a separate country, but would have long ago had its territory divided up and dispersed among the Allies. It was an unfortunate historical coincidence that the Cold War began just as Germany was at last being brought to task for its many crimes and atrocities extending back to the First World War. The new threat of the Soviet Union took precedence over a just settling of accounts with Germany. The tragic result is that many of the countries raped and despoiled by Germany, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, are just now coming out of decades of economic decline, while Germany--fat, sassy, arrogant, self-satisfied, and essentially Judenfrei--has enjoyed four decades of undeserved economic prosperity.
We can't turn back the clock to redress all of the historical wrongs that have been committed by the Germans, but there are a number of things that can be done to assure that Germany can never again be in a position to threaten the rest of the civilized world. First and foremost is the realization that, while not all Germans are anti-Semitic, there is an anti-Semitic tendency within German culture that extends back to the time of Martin Luther. Germans are instinctively anti-Semitic in the same way that Americans are instinctively freedom loving. Anti-Semitism has been and unfortunately remains the default ideology of the German people. All things being equal, Germans will instinctively support the enemies of the State of Israel. Therefore, America will need to monitor closely and be ready and politically willing to intervene at a moment's notice in German affairs when it appears that Germany is back-sliding into anti-Semitism.
Additionally, it should be a goal of American foreign policy to oppose and to accelerate the dismemberment of the European Union. We must not allow German domination of the EU to accomplish through parliamentary maneuvering and brokered deals what Hitler and the Germans were unable to accomplish during the Third Reich. Given Germany's resurgent anti-Semitism (and that of France as well), a strong, German-dominated EU that tolerates and even benignly encourages anti-Semitism and is diplomatically allied with the Arab world, is potentially the greatest threat to Judaism since Nazi Germany and a major threat to the United States as well. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the United States. Let all Jews and Americans stand united as we proclaim never again to both the Holocaust and 9/11.