Just watched a trailer for a film that is coming out. It is a documentary that deals with the children of the most cruel and horrific war criminals from the Shoah. It is a legacy that those who bear it do so in the main part unwillingly and with different reactions to it. I cannot think that anyone would be 'proud' to be the son or daughter or grand child or great grandchild of a Nazi, especially not a high ranking one.
One woman and her brother sterilized themselves in order that they would not 'breed' any people with the Goering traits.
Himmler's granddaughter married an Israeli Jew and they have a child. To my way of thinking that is far more positive. The Nazis were into sterilisation of people they saw as 'defective', killing of Jews, homosexuals, political prisoners and gypsies. It must really stick one into the caw of the dyed in the wool Nazis to see that one of Himmler's grandchildren is married to a Jew and has a Jewish child and is being raised as a Jew. There is a delicious irony in that. It is a transformation. It is the fresh rose growing out of the sewer.
How does one live with the understanding of the Nazi legacy in one's own family? It is not something that one is proud of and further more to deny one's roots is worst. I tried for years to negate the German pride of mother's Hitler Youth brain washing and to try to get her to truly realise that Hitler and the Nazi ideology was a horrendous blight on the human race. That people could do that to others somehow suspends rational belief in natural compassion of each and every human being for the other.
I have been trying to get her to accept for years that the Nazis and Nazi ideology is very very sick and flawed. It is probably one of the reasons my mother hates me so much. I am her conscience. She knows in her deepest heart of hearts how evil the Nazis were, but she will still defend them and bemoan the fact that I never learned German and in fact refused to learn German and in doing so rejected her so she says. I only ever wanted to change her perception of the Nazis as these 'super heroes who somehow lost the war unjustly to the Americans who came in when everyone was tired out. So unfair.' she used to say. I could not hear her without shuddering. I wanted her to know the truth. But she did not ever wish to acknowledge or know that truth. She used to say that my father's older brother had bought book after book on the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities just to spite her because she was Austrian and therefore by default a German. Interesting the way some people's minds work. She would state how much he hated her and also how she hated him.
German is a language tied up in the death of millions. I hear the gutteral tones of German and the images that flood my mind are ones of starving people, children with raised hands, German Jack boots coming down on Jewish bodies, mass graves and crematoriums, ovens filled with the bodies of beautiful Jewish mothers, fathers and children, grandparents, someone's uncles and aunts and it is hard to sleep knowing that even if one's mother did not have a hand in it, she ignores it and condones the actions of the perpetrators. She excuses them, makes excuses for them.
The survivors and the generations that come after, should not forgive and should not forget. You cannot even ask for forgiveness for murderers and definitely not mass murderers and torturers surely?
What hurts more is to see self hating Jewish descendants of survivors side with the corruption that is Hamas and Palestine. You can imagine that Shoah survivors wanted to build families, to raise children, Jewish children and then to have these children turn aside from their yiddishkeit and side with Hitler by not getting married and not having children and what's more siding with extremist Palestinian groups - they must be turning in their graves. To have survived for this sort of child, and yet, and yet this is precisely the Jew who needs to be brought home. The Jew who hates him or herself to such and extent, this is the Jew who must be brought back to love him or herself and to be opened to the light of Torah and Yiddishkeit.
It has never been easy to be Jewish and it never will be. It demands growth and maturity. Sometimes if one's family are so toxic - there is only one choice left.