I saw Alec Baldwin’s interpretation of the Nuremberg trial today. It made me think of an experience from college.
When I studied psychology, we were asked if it was time to forgive what happened during World War II. It was 60 years since the war, the trials were over, many had their sentences and the few survivors were old and would soon follow their former colleagues in death. The question provoked a lot of anger in the class, many in the class were descendants of people who lost their lives during the war. My great grandfather and his brother were killed by the Germans. My great grandmother had two years with my great grandfather as spouses. She lived the rest of her life alone, mourning the loss of my great grandfather. She died in 2010, 98 years old. In Norway, Second World War is still a pretty sore subject.
We must never forget what happened, we must never forgive those responsible for all the atrocities. But we must not judge today’s Germany, we must not judge the descendants of those responsible for the atrocities. We must learn from what happened, so something like this never happens again.