A Letter To The German Chancellor

by Chris Sorochin


Mein Lieber Herr Bundeskanzler:

As you know, for the past fifty years, my country, the United States, has considered itself the leader of the "free world" and a shining moral example for all our allies, including your country.

Also, for the past fifty years, your country has struggled to come to terms with and make amends for the inhuman acts perpetrated in the name of Germany during the Third Reich.

I am pleased to inform you that you no longer need castigate yourselves for your past, nor need you continue to maintain public exhibitions commemorating this shameful part of German history.

As you're no doubt aware, this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic annihilation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our national museum, the Smithsonian, had planned an exhibit showing not only the hideous effects of the bombings on human beings, but also the disagreement among military experts on their necessity and the continuing legacy of atomic weapons and testing, including some experiments on unsuspecting civilians that would make your Dr. Mengele envious. But it was not to be. A coalition of veterans' groups and reactionary politicians threatened to cut funding for the Smithsonian if it went ahead with the exhibit as planned, and so it was finally reduced t-o just the fuselage of the Enola Gay, the plane that did the evil deed, with nothing describing its queasy mission.

Of course, a few malcontents attempted to undermine the unveiling with banners and pictures of the victims. Several even managed to pour blood and ashes on the sacred aircraft itself. Others have tried to verbally ruin everyone's day of fairytale history, but I hear that on one occasion, a group of patriotic tourists, determined that no unpleasant truths would reach their ears, drowned them out by singing "God Bless America.

So, my suggestion to your country is that you follow our lead and refuse to acknowledge any chapter of your history that isn't flattering to the egos of your citizens, particularly the military. You should highlight how necessary the Nazis were for Germany's pride and prosperity and emphasize the positives of Hitler--like Volkswagens and the autobahns and how the trains ran on time and there was law and order. And get rid of those embarrassing exhibits at Dachau and Buchenwald. I'm surprised that Wehrmacht veterans' associations have allowed them for so long. Why, children might actually see these things and conclude that blind loyalty to one's country could be dangerous! Where would we be if everyone thought like that? The concentration camp buildings themselves can remain for historic interest, but get rid of all that other stuff about the victims and how they suffered. People always suffer in wars and we have to have wars, don't we? Anyone who attempts to inject negativity into these "politically cleansed" exhibits can be arrested or merely rendered inaudible with a rousing chorus of "Deutschland iiber Alles" Learn from us: If you want to be a proud, powerful and mindlessly complacent nation, don't be so honest about yourselves. That, as Phil Gramm would say, is the recipe for our

Isn't it delicious? cake.

No apologies; no regrets.