BONN (Sep. 7)
Germans were told today by Dr. Eugen Gerstenmaier, president of the Bundestag (lower House of Parliament) that they must remember and “accept our guilt” for the atrocities of World War II. The political leader spoke over one of the country’s principal radio networks, in commemoration of the outbreak of World War II, 20 years ago.
“Unless we accept our guilt, ” said Dr. Gerstenmaier, “we Germans do not deserve the opportunity for repentance. “
“Germany would gain nothing, ” he continued, “if the Germans were to forget this historic burden of guilt. The Germans, moreover, cannot expect their opponents of World War II to forget everything. Forgetting the German guilt would neither consolidate our alliance with the West, nor lead to a positive relationship with Poland and the other Eastern states. “
The Bundestag President told the German people in his broadcast: “It is a miracle that we escaped by the skin of our teeth” after the war ended.