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"I do apologize for the Crusades!"

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Komnenos View Drop Down
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "I do apologize for the Crusades!"
    Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 13:29

Just read again, in November the Pope returned the relics of St. John Chrysostomos, which the Venetians stole in 1204, to the Patriarch of Constantinople (thats the official title, I know its now called Istanbul).Which then reminded me of his numerous apologies for the crusades and so on. The Germans apologized, quite rightly, for the atrocities committed in WW2 to the Jewish and Eastern European people, and I seem to remember that some European or North-American statesmen apologized for slavery.

My questions: 1. Do you know of any similar apologies?  2. Do you think such apologies have any value or relevance for both sides, the former victims and the former perpetrators?

 3. If yes, who do you think should urgently apologize for which events?

4. How far should one go back in history hereby?



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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 15:11
I think such apologies are worthless! why? because this Generation were NOT the perpatrators! period.
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 15:57
I think it has worth in the way that such atrocities are acknowledge, and it's a sign that populations and their ideologies change over time, and it's a sign of progress in humanity.
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 16:04
Exactly, you shouldn't have to apologize for anything you didn't personally help commit.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 16:16
Originally posted by Dux

I think it has worth in the way that such atrocities are acknowledge,
and it's a sign that populations and their ideologies change over time,
and it's a sign of progress in humanity.

I agree with that. There is no reason to apologize for something that happened 800 years ago (as with the Constantinople thingie, especially since the town has been occupied by a third party since), but for things as the WWII there might be a point. The Germans have apologized over and over again, and developed good relations with their neighbours. Japan on the other hand totally ignores their war crimes as if they didn't happened, and is not so popular in certain areas - just look at the final of the Asian football cup.
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 18:25

Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Originally posted by Dux

I think it has worth in the way that such atrocities are acknowledge,
and it's a sign that populations and their ideologies change over time,
and it's a sign of progress in humanity.

I agree with that. There is no reason to apologize for something that happened 800 years ago (as with the Constantinople thingie, especially since the town has been occupied by a third party since), but for things as the WWII there might be a point. The Germans have apologized over and over again, and developed good relations with their neighbours. Japan on the other hand totally ignores their war crimes as if they didn't happened, and is not so popular in certain areas - just look at the final of the Asian football cup.

Hmm. I think Sweden didnt apologised yet for becoming rich on WW2 and cooperation with Nazists.

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  Quote Gubook Janggoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 18:32
I think there's an apology week or something in Australia for Aborigional opression.
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 19:43
Prince Harry is going to Aushwitz (pardon for the spelling; I pulled a tendon in my neck so I'm typing with one hand)
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 20:10

Originally posted by Dux

Prince Harry is going to Aushwitz

(Sigh) 60 years too late.

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 22:26
Arrrgh!!"
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 22:48
the only thing its right to apologize for is if something JUST happened, and even then if I had nothing to do with it then I dont have to apologize.
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  Quote I/eye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 23:58

the people, that did not commit the atrocities should not apologize, but the stateman, on behalf of the state should make apologies.. especially if the atrocities were state-sponsored like WWII Nazis or Japanese

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  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 03:14

No individual should be expected to apologize for wrongs that they did not commit.  I live in the States and I've never killed an Indian (unless they were mis-marked and I killed one by mistake) and I've never owned a slave (I keep trying to buy one - but noone I know will sell their Canadian! ) 

As already mentioned - state sponsored stuff fall into a different category. States and their representatives should acknowledge when they have gone astray.  It is, however, a particularly difficult thing for many states to do - as the concepts that allowed the state to go astray in the first place are not immediately gone simply because the administration has changed.   For governments - international law does (did? ) cover the various possibilities - although there are countries today that flaunt international law at will.

Germany is an unusual case in both apologising for and offering compensation for the events of WWII beyond anything that was forced by the surrender.  Most nations barely meet the conditions of their surrender, and certainly never actively and of their own will take responsibility for their collective actions.  I believe that WWII saw - in Germany - a collective change in the way that one generation thought - and that those who survived the war were, in many cases, genuinely sorry that they had been led to where they were and regretted having been involved in some parts of the German War effort.  The Germans have in some cases, taken this to such an extreme that there has been discussion about how much collective guilt is enoug, and when it is time to stop flogging themselves for the crimes of their ancestors.  (I've decided - it's time - you can stop flogging yourselves now - as long as you don't forget and don't allow us to forget either.)

Such has not been the case in some other countries following WWII - where the general population never underwent this soul searching and the new governments never required them to - the attitudes and prejudices that allowed the events to come to pass are not only still there boiling under the surface but have been passed on to later generations.  To frame an apology would mean having to address these issues and admit that the attitudes have not changed.

There are other circumstances, time being one of the largest factors, where apologies become irrelevant.  Often those victimized by a government keep the memory of the pain alive long after all reason says that nothing constructive can be gained.  There are groups trying to extract reparations from Russia for damages done to them by the Tsarist regime, other groups seeking apologies from Turkey for events that occurred under the Ottoman Sultans, and so on around the world.  I think that after a century or so - it does become time to let go of the anger and look at where we are now and what can be done constructively to help everyone get on with their lives.  This - however - is a concept that I would only recommend applying after a century or so.

Poor little rich kid Harry has just gotten himself into another press scandal for his inconsiderate behavior on just such an issue.  His family has living subjects who suffered losses during the WWII.  Certainly while there are those living who have suffered loss,  the issues surrounding those histories shold be dealt with somewhat sensitively by those with such responsibilities.  Knowing that they know how to deal delicately with such matters will leave the rest of us to sit back comfortably and enjoy John Cleese in "The Germans" episode of Faulty Towers.

Originally posted by Paul

Originally posted by Dux

Prince Harry is going to Aushwitz

(Sigh) 60 years too late.

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 03:52
Originally posted by vagabond

 The Germans have in some cases, taken this to such an extreme that there has been discussion about how much collective guilt is enoug, and when it is time to stop flogging themselves for the crimes of their ancestors.  (I've decided - it's time - you can stop flogging yourselves now - as long as you don't forget and don't allow us to forget either.)

As a German, Im glad that our soul searching continues, because I believe that the memories of the Holocaust and all the other atrocities must be kept alive by both sides, victims and perpetrators. For me, it is not vital to discuss the question of collective or individual guilt, I think that has now been settled, but to debate, how it could all happen, how a people that by the midst of the 20th century had made enormous contributions to the advancement of global culture, could then fall back in a state of collective barbarism and do what they did. This is our then legacy, not to flog ourselves for the deeds of our ancestors, but trying to understand them (I still havent) and serve as warning for others. Not that anybody seems to listen

To the question of apologies, I think, it is not so much a question of time, but if the implications of historical events still have relevance today.

The effects of slavery or colonialism, for example, are still very much felt today, and especially the latter, will come to haunt the former major colonial powers in a big way.

So apologies were on order here, but I have the feeling that such could be a cheap way to clear ones conscience. If apologies were followed by deeds, if, for example, the former colonial powers, whose wealth is based on the exploitation of their former possessions, would really try to rectify the consequences of their rule, and materially help those countries they left in a mess (especially in Africa), now that I would call an apology. Fat chance !

 



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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 06:49

Originally posted by Komnenos

  For me, it is not vital to discuss the question of collective or individual guilt, I think that has now been settled, but to debate, how it could all happen, how a people that by the midst of the 20th century had made enormous contributions to the advancement of global culture, could then fall back in a state of collective barbarism and do what they did. This is our then legacy, not to flog ourselves for the deeds of our ancestors, but trying to understand them (I still havent) and serve as warning for others.

 

Hear, hear!

Congratulations Comnene, my thoughts exactly! Actually the Germans still feel strongly about this and have recognized their mistake and this shows to the kind of relationship that they are building with their neigbors. More over the state is taking measures to ensure that the crimes of the past are not forgoten but reminded in order to make sure that they won't happen again.

Kudos to them!

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 15:07

wll i've written a really long message but our glorious forum has eaten it...

Originally posted by Komnenos

how a people that by the midst of the 20th century had made enormous contributions to the advancement of global culture,

oh how much i hate this statement...I hope you realize that eaxtly this way of thinking has let to the rise of eliteism and Naziism in Germany. "oh look how our superior country has maltreated our inferior neighbouring countries, let's apologize by the things inhabiting it..."
culture and civilization has nothing to do with a nation, neither can cultures or civilizations be ahead or behind any other cultures/civilizations. those are values that can't be measured, like art or beautiness, everyone likes different stuff, and everybody adopts the cultural achievements they want. that's why there are different kinds of music and food. and just because some people like Italian food better it has nothing to do with Italy as a nation. everyone could have "invented" it...

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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 15:20
Originally posted by Mosquito


Hmm. I think Sweden didnt apologised yet for becoming rich on WW2 and cooperation with Nazists.


Que? Sweden did not cooperate with the Nazis. If you want to discuss that, open a new thread.

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 15:29
but they did, just like Switzerland (espeically Switzerland) and Spain to some degrees.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 15:41
It's quite a difference between "get rich and cooperate" and give in to threats in order to survive though...
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  Quote Jorsalfar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 15:52
Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Originally posted by Mosquito


Hmm. I think Sweden didnt apologised yet for becoming rich on WW2 and cooperation with Nazists.


Que? Sweden did not cooperate with the Nazis. If you want to discuss that, open a new thread.

The Swede Erik Sigfrid Erickson who was active in German oil trade knew where all the oil refinerys in Germany was located so he let the Allies know where they where.No matter how good the Germans tried to camouflage them Allied bombers found them and destroyed them.

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