Craignosse, les turlutosses !

  • Israel and the German Raison D’Etat | Daniel Marwecki

    ... the early [années 1950 et 1960] support for the Jewish state was obviously part of a larger rehabilitation effort that was intended to facilitate Germany’s integration into the Western bloc. For this reason, the early West German policy towards Israel does not lend itself to the self-congratulatory moral tales that Germans like to tell about their relationship with Israel today.

    At the beginning of 1966, West German public broadcaster ZDF aired an interview by Günter Gaus with Konrad Adenauer, who shaped the West German government more than almost any other person during his 14-year chancellorship. Asked about his reparations policy, Adenauer said:

    We had done the Jews so much wrong — the atrocities we committed against them had to be atoned for somehow or rectified if we were to regain any respectability at all among the peoples of the world … Even today, the power of the Jews, especially in America, should not be underestimated.

    This connection between the idea of rehabilitating Germany and the anti-Semitic prejudice of Jewish influence, tellingly appended with the phrase “even today”, was certainly not the only reason why the early Federal Republic turned to Israel, but it was the dominant one.

    #histoire #rfa #israelallemagne #antisémitisme

    • The #rehabilitation thesis is logically derived from the historical situation of the post-war period: as has now been extensively documented in research, the denazification of West Germany was discontinued with the founding of the Federal Republic. A close relationship with the newly founded Jewish state was the cheapest possible way of signalling a reformed democracy when no such thing yet existed.

      It is crucial to bear in mind that at the time, hardly anything was further from the minds of Israel’s population than establishing relations with Germany. In fact, the prospect of negotiating #reparations with West Germany plunged the nascent state into its most severe crisis. This also demonstrates just how precarious Israel’s predicament was at the time. In other words: the price Israel had to pay to secure its existence was the absolution of (West) Germany.

      After Germany and Israel exchanged ambassadors in 1965, West Germany was determined to “normalize” relations with Israel, with the latter insisting that Germany’s immediate past meant that it had special obligations towards Israel. Just how “normal” Germany had become, however, was ironically demonstrated by the figure of Rolf Pauls, the first West German ambassador to Israel, who was emblematic of German rehabilitation policy. Pauls, a former Wehrmacht officer on the Eastern Front, spoke of “world Jewry” and accused the Israelis of expecting benefits without giving anything in return, but also felt that Israel had to be accommodated to some extent, because otherwise, “from Jerusalem to London to New York, the Jews would let the dogs loose”.

      Anyone today who finds themselves in disbelief about the histrionic and toxic nature of the debate on Israel in Germany would do well to recall the origins of Germany’s policy towards Israel. Relations have always been shaped by Germany’s past, albeit in a different way than some people imagine today.

    • Recension en français de son livre Absolution ? Israel und die deutsche Staatsräson :
      Une politique de culpabilité

      Dans sa politique vis-à-vis d’Israël, où il n’est nullement question de morale, mais bien d’image de soi et d’intérêts nationaux matériels et spirituels, l’Allemagne se parle à elle-même, c’est-à-dire qu’elle s’accorde à elle-même l’absolution.