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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Monday, March 11, 2013

For Bartosz Wieliński Germany excels at dealing with Nazi past

According to a representative survey published by the daily Der Standard on the weekend, 42 percent of Austrians believe that "not everything was bad" under Hitler. They should take Germany as an example when it comes to dealing with the Nazi past, Bartosz Wieliński, the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza's Germany expert, points out: "This is the result of a historical amnesia [in Austria], which has lasted for half a century and has been intensified by the current economic crisis. There have been surveys in Germany's past which showed that Hitler was the most popular politician in the country and that the majority felt that 'Nazism was basically a good system, but was poorly implemented'. But these surveys are from the 1950s. Germany has done a tremendous job dealing with the grave consequences of the Nazi crimes. In Germany the far right enjoys the support of just a tiny percentage of the population, while in Austria it's the third-strongest force in parliament. The Austrians will no doubt get annoyed again when one points to the past. But on this matter one cannot remain silent."

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