In the light of the 10s of millions lost in WW2, the argument of “fearing for our lives” seems pretty quaint. Germans were the Nazi party’s first victims and it wasn’t in secret. Their evil was broadcasted and celebrated in Germany from the onset. Which moves to my next point:
This is missing the lesson on WW2 and the rise of Nazisim and fascism in general. It isn’t that there were some bad guys and the rest were innocent and without agency. The lesson is that it needs to be confronted at the very start. The complacency is what led people, who are usually decent, to aid and commit evil acts. Which is why I don’t see distinction between regular military men and women who served and aided the Reich and Nazi party members.
This isn’t a hard concept, unless they were in concentration camps or ghettos forced to make Wehrmacht arms and supplies; aiding the Reich was still aiding the Reich. Their brutality and evil was not a secret.
Everything you did back then aided the Reich. Building highways provided means to transport tanks and heavy military. German highways were only build back then because of the war. VWs roots lie within WW2. Any kind of metal production was (forcefully) used for military purpose.
Food production went straight to the frontlines.
Its easy to say “speak up” fight against facism etc. but even in a cozy democracy nobody is doing that, how do you expect people to openly fighting it if death awaits as fast as the wrong word leaves their mouth? Not saluting on the streets and you were arrested for betraying your country.
Especially at a time where trump has become president, we look in horror at brasil, watch uk crumble and know that things go wrong we should concentrate on the here and now. There are enough rich people with influence who clearly do follow the nazi mentality, earn money and use it along with their power wrong. Yet we disscuss whether we should go shopping at aldi just because that dude served in ww2? That sounds like an excuse to not act in the here and now because you can only contribute that much to the anti-racism fights.
You should not look down upon people who had to fear for their lives and made decisions based on that instead of sitting in their cozy homes complaining that the head of aldi once had served in the german army but else I (and i assume you, else you‘d use that as a legit argument) know nothing about his current stance towards racism. The present matters.
If you want to do something against racism and facism, start cleaning infront of your own door in the present and not accuse people of things they had to do in the past.
I understand when people say “I support the Rewe group because they support the lgbt community” because that’s something in the present, but based on the past...?
Many companies have skeletons in their closets. To avoid using their products or services becomes a difficult endeavor when you realize just how many you’ve engaged with have a dirty history.
Boycott one company, only to realize another whose products you’ve used gots something to hide. It is ultimately futile. No doubt, you could try boycotting them, but that comes with drastic changes to your life style.
Have you ever used a plastic product, a computer, taken some form of painkiller or antibiotic, eaten a wheat-based product?
Congratulations, you are indirectly benefitting from the German Nazi-affiliated chemical conglomerate IG Farben. It’s subsidiaries were responsible for, among other things, inventing heroin and Zyklon B - the gas used in concentration camps, utilising slave Labour from Auschwitz in their factories and deliberately spreading HIV in South America.