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Facing up to Germany's past, or a homage to Hitler?

The ‘Hitler and the Germans’ exhibition is held at the German History Museum, just opposite the Brandenburg Gate. Such an exhibition, in such a place, could not escape criticism and controversy. Some warn it will become a shrine for neo-Nazis. Others accuse museum authorities of seeking to glorify a tyrant.


1. Linda from Italy wrote: Whats wrong with a museum exhibition? Of course history, wars and all, has to be taught, and museums should be regarded as another learning tool. Naturally just as in Russia there are some nutters who idolize Stalin, there are neo-Nazis in many European countries, not just Germany and Austria. But pandering to fear of such sociopaths implies they have won.

2. No_Thanks wrote: I feel the Germans should feel proud about having the guts to stare at their past and acknowledge it for what it is. It's just a pity that the Japanese are so gutless about theirs. I wonder how the Americans will approach their mass-murder spree in Iraq and their torture camp in Gitmo in the future.

3. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar wrote: Does the exhibition address the American Conservatives who were in support of Hitler during the 1930s? Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, the Bush family, etc? Does it show the Bush families' financing of Hitler during the 1930s? There were plenty of people who had sympathies with the Nazis in many other countries. In the UK, that had the Union of British Fascists, with Oswald Mosely. The short reigned King Edward VII's wife, Wallace Simpson, was a rather large fan of Hitler, and she and her husband would visit him. I noticed you of course don't mention the Soviet Union. Without the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Germany wouldn't have been able to start WW2, and with assurances that the USSR wouldn't attack, Germany invaded Poland (with the USSR invading Poland as well shortly later), and the war began. I thought I would bring up the things you obviously were hoping nobody was aware of.

4. Tom D Ford wrote: There is a well documented history of the American Conservatives support and financing of the "Corporate State" that Hitler and Mussolini tried to impose on the world. We ought to ask ourselves questions like: Would Hitler have been less bold and aggressive about waging war like he did if American Conservatives had not supported him? How many fewer Jews would have been killed if American Conservatives had not supported Hitler? How many extra American GIs were eventually killed because American Conservatives had supported Hitler? Let us remind ourselves that WW2 was a fight to defeat the Axis attempt to dominate the world through their imposition of the Corporate State and was not fought to free, or stop the killing of the Jewish peoples. Fortunately and in spite of American Conservatives, we won that war. And liberated those concentration camps. And let's remind ourselves that it was essentially American Liberals, the GIs, who defeated the Axis, defeated the Hitler and Mussolini politics that American Conservatives had supported in the 1930s. Let's learn from the past. We ought "Never Again" allow the rise of Corporate Power into the "Corporate State".

5. Linda from Italy wrote: As a Brit, I am only too aware of the thunderous applause from what was then the Brit “upper class” that greeted Mussolini’s rise to power in Italy in the 20s, the “trains run on time” remark was made about him. This support for Fascism in various guises grew among those same classes with the rise of Franco in Spain and Hitler in Germany, seen as a counterbalance to the “threat” of socialism. Many of these despicable people also went along with the persecution of the Jews and it was only when the bombs started falling on London that they suddenly came over all patriotic. My remark in an earlier post about the failure of many citizens of other European counties to face up to greater or lesser degrees of complicity would also include those early supporters of Fascism in the US and UK. The problem with the simplistic good against evil depiction of WW2: wicked Germans/Japanese vs utterly saintly everyone else, with the exception of the Russians of course, is that it allows people to continue denying the facts and thus makes it even less likely that people and nations will learn from history. The “my country right or wrong” attitude is extremely dangerous as it precludes any kind of rational reflection and critical thinking about our own past and it may be that this museum, whose theme, Hitler and the Germans, delves into how ordinary German citizens really felt about Hitler is the last, and most crucial stage in that process, meaning that perhaps Germany is the only country that has really faced up to its past.

6. PilotDan wrote: Germans threw away their rights and democratic institutions for a perceived illusion of a soon to be better economy and security. 9 years later they had nothing having lost everything languishing in the utter destruction of their nation and infrastructure and now are branded throughout time as mass murderers. Had it not been for the United States of that day, Germany would be lost in a thousand years of Communist rule. We are seeing the same fascist seeds planted today in other countries throughout the world, most especially in the United States. Here economic despair and fear of terrorism are making people sacrifice their freedom for an economic stability and a perceived security that makes our police oppressors. That should be the theme of the exhibit.

7. ghostofsichuan wrote:You may wish to remember that Hitler and his gang appeared after the banks and investors had caused, until now, the greatest financial collapse in history. As with now, the governments had no solutions other than to save the wealthy. History is often forgotten or twisted by politicians to meet their needs. There is no record of people learning from history. "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it". Some little museum will matter little in the scheme of things....bankers may occasionally visit to pay homage to what they would consider as better times....much cheaper to buy off a single dictator than some elected body.

8.Abdelilah Boukili in Morocco wrote: Facts must be seen as facts first. Then they can be interpreted it according to modern thinking. It's the evaluation and interpretation of history that make of a leader a hero or a villain. Understandably, the Germans have been educated in considering Hitler as a shameful figure because of his wars and unjustified killings; especially of Jews. Now they have the right to see this figure in a new light, in a place reserved for art. If they aren't fascinated by Dracula, so why should be fascinated by Hitler who did his utmost for the glory of the German race, but ended defeated? Hitler remains a historic figure for the neo-Nazis who are among living Germans and who should be dealt with currently. Perhaps, the most frightening trend in Europe is the encroaching far-right, which is not exclusive just to Germany, but almost everywhere from Russia to France. Historically, there were many bloody leaders. Hitler is one of them. Perhaps this museum should remind the Germans and the world what Hitler was all about and to avoid the repeat of the catastrophes he was behind.

9. steve550103 wrote: Don't forget the strong feelings against the perceived sense of loss and injustice felt by many people in Germany as the result of their defeat during WWI. It is often said that WWII was really the continuation of WWI.

10.Tanja wrote: Let's face it, we aren't allowed to forget something like Hitler, nor should we be allowed. I can't help but feel that I should be sorry for what my grandfather did, even if he was only a 16 year old soldier. He may had to fight. However I just feel sorry for all the suffering people had to endure because we didn't manage to free us of Hitler on our own and because we let this happen to us, our government and society. And I believe it's ok to feel like that, because to say that it's history and to "get over" it means to belittle what happened to so many people. When you feel sorry for something, you won't forget it. You won't let it happen again.

11. sudhir mittal wrote: Nothing can justify events like the holocaust. In Germany or elsewhere. In small or big numbers. But an Indian would rather view him as the character of 'Ravana' in the great Hindu epic Ramayana. A stupendous acuity of thought on the human situation, a very wide sweep of scholarship, deep sensitivities towards the fine arts, a very rich inner life which was religious in his own way, a belly burning with fire to change his motherland Germany and a sense of divine mission. All of this was topped with a boundless energy and a ruthless determination. I think he occupied the ground between a mystic and a statesman. This may sound like glorifying Hitler. But for centuries, anyone who approaches him with an open and independent mind, cannot but be fascinated.

Section 5. Picture



Section 1. Практикум Линн Виссон

Текст 17

Вопрос о положении женщин: Национальные планы действия (ООН,1998)

The Status of Women: National Plans of Action (1998)

(Читается в нормальном темпе с индийским акцентом и в быстром с британским акцентом)

Господин Председатель,

1.Содержавшаяся в Платформе действий Пекинской конфе­ренции рекомендация принять в кратчайшие сроки националь­ные планы действия по улучшению положения женщин была положительно воспринята в Российской Федерации, где к этому моменту уже стала очевидной необходимость выработки новых концептуальных подходов к проблеме обеспечения равных прав и возможностей мужчин и женщин в условиях перехода к рыночной экономике.

Утвержденная в январе 1996 года Концепция улучшения по­ложения женщин стала документом, заложившим теоретические основы и определившим стратегические цели деятельности пра­вительства по претворению в жизнь конституционного положе­ния о равноправии мужчин и женщин в Российской Федерации.

Принятый в августе 1996 года национальный план действий по улучшению положения женщин и повышению их роли в общест­ве до 2000 года в свою очередь расширил и дополнил положения Концепции конкретными практическими шагами государствен­ных структур по достижению сформулированных в ней целей.

2.С одной стороны, экономические преобразования в странах с переходной экономикой открыли перед женщинами новые го­ризонты, дали возможность по-новому реализовать себя, а с дру­гой - солидные издержки рыночных реформ больнее всего ска­зываются именно на женщинах: усиливается феминизация бед­ности, растет женская безработица, ухудшается здоровье женщи­ны. Нас беспокоят негативные демографические процессы: сни­жение рождаемости, низкие показатели ожидаемой продолжи­тельности жизни, высокие цифры смертности населения, осо­бенно в трудоспособном возрасте, негативные тенденции в ре­продуктивном здоровье. Снизился уровень занятости женщин, среди безработных 60% составляют женщины. Говоря о нравст­венном состоянии общества, следует отметить факты жестокого обращения в семье и насилия в отношении женщин.

Проблемы безработицы, проблемы положения женщин и мно­гие другие общественные вопросы носят глобальный характер. Массовая хроническая безработица бьет и по тем, кто смог найти работу. Ведь угроза быть выброшенным за ворота вынуждает их мириться с произволом предпринимателей. Так, по данным МОТ, предприниматели, как правило, платят молодым работникам 40-50% от зарплаты взрослых за аналогичную работу.

Незанятость значительной части молодого поколения явля­ется первопричиной многих социальных зол. Лишенные возмож­ности трудиться, молодые люди начинают ощущать свою отчуж­денность, ненужность обществу. А это, в конечном итоге, ведет к росту наркомании, преступности, проституции.

3. И не надо забывать о том, что сегодня средства массовой ин­формации обладают огромным потенциалом воздействия на об­щественное сознание. Это особенно ощутимо сегодня, когда международные отношения все больше становятся делом не только профессиональных дипломатов, но и широких слоев ми­ровой общественности, когда гласность, информированность становятся обязательным условием и ускорителем демократиза­ции международной жизни.

Конкретным результатом работы в части улучшения положе­ния женщин стали предпринимаемые меры по обеспечению занятости женщин. Приняты генеральное трехстороннее согла­шение между правительством, работодателями и профсоюзами, программа поддержки и развития малого предпринимательства. Проводится опережающее обучение работников, находящихся под угрозой увольнения, осуществляется социальная адаптация безработных. Организована профессиональная переподготовка безработных женщин, оказывается содействие в трудоустройст­ве оканчивающим высшие учебные заведения. Социальная помощь переходит на строгую адресность.

Проблемы положения женщин носят глобальный характер.

Огромное значение для успешной реализации Пекинских доку­ментов имеет солидарность женщин, тесное сотрудничество правительственных и общественных структур.

Спасибо, господин Председатель.

Mr. Chairman,

1.The recommendation contained in the Platform of Action of the Beijing Conference/That/Something/What is contained in the Platform of Action of the Beijing Conference, namely/that is/I mean/ I am referring to the recommendation/to adopt as soon as possible/in the very near future/national plans of action to improve the status of women, has the approval of/was approved by/meets with the approval of/the Russian Federation, where there already is a clear need to/where the need is evident/obvious/clear to draw up/produce/work out/for

drawing up/producing/working out/new conceptual approaches to (the problem of) ensuring equal rights and opportunities for men and women in conditions of/during/the transition to a market economy.

The concept which was approved/adopted/That/Something which was approved/adopted in 1996, namely/I mean/that is/the concept for

the improvement of the status of women became a document which laid the theoretical foundations/bases/and determined/defined the strategic goals for the activities of the government in implementing constitutional provisions regarding the equality of men and women in the Russian Federation.

The national plan of action adopted in August 1996 to improve the status of women and enhance their role in society by the year 2000 in turn has expanded and supplemented the provisions of the Concept through specific practical steps/actions/by state institutions to implement the goals/objectives it contains contained in it/its goals/objectives.

2. The economic transformations/changes in countries with transition economies have opened up new horizons/opportunities/for women, have provided new opportunities for self-fulfillment/self-rea-lization/and, on the other hand, the major burden/costs/of market reforms are impacting most of all/are most intensively felt/born/ experienced by women: there has been a rise/increase in female poverty, a growth of women's/female unemployment and a deterioration of women's health. We are concerned about the negative demographic processes: a drop/decline in the birth rate, low life expectancy indicators, high mortality figures for the population, especially of working age, and negative trends in reproductive health. There has been a drop/decline in the level of female employment, and 60% of the unemployed are women/women account for 60% of the unemployed. In speaking of the moral state of society, we should take note of incidents/cases of harsh/brutal behavior/treatment/within the family and of violence against women.

The problem of unemployment, the problem of the status of women and many other social issues are global in nature/universal/ widespread. Mass and chronic unemployment also strikes/affects/

those who have found work. This is because/For/the threat of being fired/dismissed/downsized/let go/forces them to put up with/accept the arbitrary will/whims/of entrepreneurs. Thus, according to ILO data, entrepreneurs as a rule pay young workers (some) 40-50% of the salaries paid to adults for similar/such/identical/work.

Unemployment of a significant part of the younger generation is the root/primary/underlying/primary/major/cause/reason for/of many social ills/problems/issues. Deprived of the possibility to work, young

people begin to experience/feel/alienation/a feeling of alienation, that they are useless to society. And this ultimately/finally/in the last analysis leads to an increase in drug addiction, crime and prostitution.

3. Nor should we forget/And we should not forget/it should not be forgotten/there should be no forgetting that today the mass media have enormous potential for impacting on/influencing public opinion. This/is particularly true/makes itself particularly felt/today, when international relations are increasingly becoming a matter/subject/ affair/field not only for/professional diplomats but also for broad strata/ a wide range/of world public opinion, when glasnost and the availability of information are becoming a prerequisite/sine qua поп and a catalyst for the democratization of international life.

A specific result of work to improve the status of women are the measures undertaken to ensure/provide female employment. There has been/we have seen the adoption of a general tripartite agreement between the government, employers and trade unions, and of a program of support and development for small enterprises. Intensive/sophisticated /state of the art/advanced training is being carried out/conducted for workers who are in danger of/threatened with/vulnerable to/dismissal /downsizing, and there are programs for social adaptation of the unemployed. We have seen the organization of/There has been the organization of/professional retraining of unemployed women, and assistance is being rendered/given to help graduates of universities/ institutes of higher learning/university graduates/find jobs. Social assistance is now becoming carefully/specifically targeted.

The problems of the status of women are in fact/indeed/truly global/universal/in nature/are global/universal. Very important/of enormous significance/A major factor/for the successful implementation of the Beijing documents is the solidarity of women, and also close cooperation between governmental and public organizations/ institutions.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Section 2. Phrasal Verbs


1. He set forth his views as soon as he joined us. 2. If I were you I wouldn't set him on against his poor brother. 3. So far as I remember that building was set up when I was quite a boy. 4. He set his pupils to work at once. 5. The hot season set in last month. 6. I strongly advise you to set to writing your composition tonight unless you want to lag behind your class. 7. She sets up for a film star. 8. Will you set these tickets aside for me? I'm so eager to at­tend the concert. 9. He tried to have the contract set aside because conditions had changed. 10. Her crown is set with precious jewels. 11. The law sets down that speed limits must be obeyed. 12. How do you set about building a boat? 13. The rumour was set about by one of your relatives, no doubt. 14. He set down his achievements to his unceasing efforts.

1.He proclaimed his views as soon as he joined us. 2. If I were you I wouldn't urge him on to oppose his poor brother. 3. So far as I remember that building was erected when I was quite a boy. 4. He made his pupils work at once. 5. The hot season began last month. 6. I strongly advise you to begin writing your composi­tion tonight unless you want to lag behind your class. 1. She pro-jesses to be a film star. 8. Will you reserve these tickets for me? I'm eager to attend the concert. 9. He tried to avoid the contract because conditions had changed. 10. Her crown is inlaid with precious jewels. The law says that speed limits must be obeyed. 12. What about building a boat? 13. The rumour was disseminated by one of your relatives, no doubt. 14. He put down his achievements to his unceasing efforts.

Section 3. Typical Drill

1. Guess the NOUN via "Is it + adjective" questions

Guess a noun. Other students try to discover the noun with the help of only YES/NO questions.

Questions to ask opposing team(s): Is it big / round /square / rectangular/hard / soft / high / tall / low? Is there one in this room? Can we eat it? Is it made of wood / plastic / metal? Is it small/yellow/light/dark/circular? Have you one in your house / country? Do you like it? Is it used every day? Is it larger than a....? Can I see one now? Do you find it indoors or outdoors? Is it liquid or solid? Have you got one in your house / with you? Your own questions.

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