In 2007, I lived in Cologne, Germany for a semester and studied international business along with German history. While I was there, I noticed an unspoken omnipresent strange vibe that lingered in the air anytime my class discussed World War II. It was this dark cloud that appeared any time me and my host family talked about the landscape and architecture of the country. Of course you know what I'm talking about. I mean, the Nazis are pretty much the last movie villains you can utilize that will cause no offense, even on Twitter. They are history's biggest villains for a reason. But for current Germans? The memory, the guilt, the shame, the desire to move past it, is all wrapped up in the culture.
My point is that I saw first hand the holocaust and WWII is not something that has been forgotten, whatsoever.
So when I saw this story, I was dumbfounded. This may be one of the most unintentionally disrespectful cartographical errors ever in history. This is so wild, I had to check if it was real.
According to the Middle East Monitor, Germany -- yes, that GERMANY -- has been forced to apologize after leaving Israel off of their military map.
Apparently, it was a "software issue". Yes. Blame the "All Business Pete" of the German Defense Ministry for deleting the all Jewish state that only came into existence because, you know, the Germans tried to exterminate all the Jews on earth. That always works.
Accidents happen. Sometimes, even in a company that's lifeblood is the internet, you put in WIFI so bad that people have to work from coffee shops to get their blogs up. Sometimes when you get sponsored for a live feed, the TVs aren't wired correctly and you can't watch the game.
But shit like this CANNOT be allowed to happen. Because, I truly don't believe this was intentional, but when your country was responsible for the most heinous crime in world history, you don't get the benefit of the doubt. Your defense can't be, "We swear, we're not antisemitic, IBM Watson is."
When the entire complexion of your society is painted with the mass genocide of 6 million Jews, when you are a nation that forced almost all the Jews who you couldn't kill to flee your country, so many that there had to be a new state created specifically to house those Jewish refugees you forced out (Israel), you CANNOT leave THAT state off your military map. That just CANNOT happen. Just cannot.
The President of the Military Counterintelligence Service, Dr. Christof Gramm, of course, could sense the horrific subtext of this "software error" that caused Israel to be removed from their map.
This is what he wrote in an email to the Jerusalem Post.
“I deeply regret this incident and expressly apologize. That should not have happened to the military counterintelligence service that fights antisemitism and extremism. We will improve our quality management for publications.”
Given the sensitivity of German and Jewish relations, if you're the German military, your #1 goal should be to stay away from ANY perceived antisemitism. You probably should have a branch of government dedicated to make sure shit like this never happens. The reason for this should be pretty self-evident.
Because some things can never be forgotten.