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The Plum Tree
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After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

Created: 01/19/13

Replies: 7

Posted Jan. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

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After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

After the war, Christine’s friend Kate doesn’t believe her when Christine tells her about the camps and Stefan's role as an SS guard. Do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?


Posted Jan. 21, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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christy

Join Date: 05/22/12

Posts: 41

RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

In many ways, this was portrayed as realistically as I could imagine---how could anyone have believed that human beings could be so base and cruel to each other? BUT, the author also grappled with the contradiction of this 'disbelief' in a terrific way by giving us (readers) plenty of opportunity to see (from a bystander's view) that very evil acts were being perpetrated on their fellow countrymen.... Disbelief becomes doubt then horror before it turns into so called 'rationalization' of fear that makes us turn our eyes from the truth. Guilt comes after the truth of an evil deed becomes accepted as such. What a horrible time that was. I'm afraid that keeping ones eyes open to truth is still hard (and horrible).


Posted Jan. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
guntak

Join Date: 10/20/10

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RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

People, the general populace did not know about the extermination camps. It was being kept secret. A society who had produced Beethoven, Wagner, great writers could not quite wrap their minds around these inhuman atrocities, too hard to believe. After the Russians and the Americans liberated Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka the inhumnities became world known, then came the disbelief and the guilt for the German people.


Posted Jan. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

In the age of Internet, its difficult to image a world where communication was very limited. Often people didn't know or didn't care what was going on in the next town. Most people were too busy just trying to survive. We never like to believe that other humans, like us, are capable of monstrous atrocities so its not that difficult to deny them.


Posted Jan. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 26

RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

After talking to several people who lived in Germany at the time, I do not believe many knew about the extent of the atrocities. I also agree that many were just trying to survive themselves. I don't think guilt is as good a word to describe their feelings when they knew, but shame is a better description.


Posted Jan. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

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RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

I think that most of the German people in small towns were just trying to stay alive and keep their families alive. They had to have known that some of their neighbors had disappeared but I think that they were afraid to ask too many questions.


Posted Jan. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
peg

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 29

RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

I think some were guilty and some were in denial. In late 1980 a German exchange student lived in our home for a year. He denied a lot of the atrocities of the war.


Posted Jan. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
peg

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 29

RE: After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?

I believe many Germans could not allow themselves to believe all that went on and for some time hoped it would not last.


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