But Germany will always suffer, I fear, from the intensely dramatic character of the crimes of the Third Reich.
There are thus great swathes of the past where understanding is more important and reputable than judgement, because the principal actors performed in line with the ideas and values of that time, not of ours.
We, Britain and Germany, can neither of us be happy about our handling of the Iraq war.
Margaret Thatcher, growing up in a bombed and battered Britain, derived a distrust which has grown with the years not just of Germany but of all continental Europe.
It is normal for politicians in all countries to profess themselves the pupils of history, anxious to draw the right lessons from her teaching.
Prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.
Margaret Thatcher was fearful of German unification because she believed that this would bring an immediate and formidable increase of economic strength to a Germany which was already the strongest economic partner in Europe.
It is not helpful to help a friend by putting coins in his pockets when he has got holes in his pockets.
Men like Hitler and Stalin and their immediate lieutenants cannot plead in defence of their actions that these were justified by the accepted values of that time.
There is no consensus even today on the merits of Napoleon - and certainly no agreement on the rights and wrongs of the origins of the First World War.
Last Update: 14 May 2021
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