Beholden to America

ANTIFA sticker, Neukolln

Double takes are quite common. Especially for first time visitors from the United States, who know little about German politics. Appearing like clockwork, just before annual commemorations of the end of World War II, such anti-fascist stickers harken back to a time when radicals were grateful for being liberated by the Americans.

Can you blame them? Imagine what would have happened if the Allies had not defeated Hitler. If only the US had been as proactive in reconstructing other European countries as thoroughly as it did Germany. Italy, for example, would have turned out much differently. Berlin, August 2011.




  1. Note that it does say “allies”, not “Americans”, and that the latter entered the game years after news of concentration camps crossed the ocean, when the war was nearly over.

    That is, be careful with that self-righteousness, the German left doesn’t looked kindly upon it.

    1. Hi A, thanks for comment. There’s nothing self-righteous here. It’s about Americans being unfamiliar with the continuum of German left politics. In terms of history, the US entered WW2 in 1940, not when it was nearly over. You wrongly take offense, too. It’s not progressive to issue veiled threats. You might want to reconsider that part of your statement.

      1. Then why did you write “liberated by the Americans”, not “liberated by the Allies”? As that’s the thing that registered on my murricah-meter in an otherwise perfectly fine post.

        1. I accept your misunderstanding. Thank you. However, its important to recognize that the beginning of the post emphasizes that this as an **American view** of a US tourist. If you take that as your starting point, it’s clear what’s being said, and it is what it is. Americans take a lot of credit for the political development of post-war Germany. They don’t see the country’s liberation as a collaboration with the Russians or with other western countries. They see it as being an American achievement, that was not fully concluded until 1989, with the collapse of the DDR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.