The Re-education of Axis Countries Concerning the Jews

"The Re-education of Axis Countries Concerning the Jews," Review of Politics, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Fall 2007).  Talk given on November 7, 1943, at the New School for Social Research.


A nation may take another nation as its model: but no nation can presume to educate another nation which has a high tradition of its own. Such a presumption creates resentment, and you cannot educate people who resent your being their educator. If the Germans were to submit to re-education by foreigners, [they] would lose their self respect and therewith all sense of responsibility. But everything depends on making the Germans responsible-in every meaning of the term. The re-education of Germany should be exclusively the affair of Germans. On the other hand, the peace of the world, i.e. the security of the non-German nations against the repetition of German aggression, must be exclusively the affair of the non-German nations. Only by thus clearly delimiting the responsibilities, do you guarantee responsible conduct. Only by limiting themselves to their own business, namely to the protection of their own security, can the United Nations influence the re-education of Germany: if the United Nations show the Germans by firm action, by intelligent distrust, by vigilance in arms that all prospects of German world domination and even of German expansion have gone, and have gone forever, the Germans will have been driven back to internal colonization, I mean, to the cultivation of their own spiritual tradition and of any other innocent pursuits they might choose.