The devils' Bible?

The renowned German writer Günter Grass once wrote: "History, or, to be more precise, the history we Germans have repeatedly mucked up, is a clogged toilet. We flush and flush, but the shit keeps rising."

Grass, himself the subject of a scandal involving his long-denied past in the SS, summarized the sentiment quite well. The Nazi past keeps on haunting the Germans (and not only them): newly published photographs of high-ranking Nazis in party mood in Auschwitz, the 25th anniversary of the Hitler diaries, which turned out to be a forgery, and, most of all, the new pope, a former member of both the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht.

How can his identities - Catholic, Nazi, German - be reconciled? Was joining the Hitler Youth the right choice for a pious Catholic, young but nevertheless old enough to make this judgment?

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