I recently got into a bit of a bad vibe situation with someone I know because I said I don’t trust Germans. That person then said their spouse’s parents and family are German. Needless to say I didn’t get the chance to explain that it’s not just specific to Germany (although I mistrust Germans slightly more than others), and my mistrust of certain countries is based upon their history.
I wondered if it’s wrong… but then realised the English and Scottish mistrust each other instinctively… Canadians and Americans instinctively mistrust each other… English and the French mistrust each other… Greece and Turkey mistrust each other, Germany and Russia mistrust each other… America and Russia mistrust each other. But I don’t see anybody getting in a tizzy about that. So what’s wrong with me mistrusting people based upon their country of origin? The way I see it – it’s not predjudice because it’s based upon historical and current facts and not race, gender, sexual preference or other commonly used categories.
I mistrust (not in any particular order) Russians, French, Germans, Serbians, Rwandans, Zimbabweans, South Africans, Americans, Canadians, Israelis, Turks, Chinese, Japanese, North Koreans, and last but not least British.
Each of these countries have either committed genocide, war crimes, or are keeping a group of people in their societies at a lower economic and social level, through indirect or direct racially predjudice policies.
Obviously if someone of one of those nationalities confronts me and proves to be a decent, peace and freedom loving person (as many have)… then I’ll trust them almost without reserve. But there’s that stupid saying that goes “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, someone please kick the shit out of me for being such a dumbass“.
When it comes to Germany specifically… anti-jewish feeling has been going on for well over two hundred years. Add that to the fact that Germany is responsible for both world wars, and the racial murders of millions at a time when the German government had the support of the overwhelming majority… also bear in mind that hundreds of former Nazi’s either got let off, weren’t pursued or were given crummy sentences like twenty years in jail… lastly bearing in mind the rise of fascism in eastern Germany today makes me ask the question… ‘why should I trust a German off the cuff, when it’s highly possible they’ve either used a racist slur in their lives or are closet racists?’.
Many Germans like to say that it’s not like that anymore. For a precious few. I’ve VERY GOOD German friends in Germany who know people who are just as racist as they were, or their parents and grandparents were back in 1938 – just that they conceal their bigotry better today.