24.03.2012 jungle-world.com
Der Bundespräsident und die Relativierung des Holocaust
von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Bundespräsidentenwahlen und Bundespräsidenten sind periodisch wiederkehrende Ereignisse, die man in etwa so dringend braucht wie Zahnschmerzen. Und doch, jedes Mal entzündet sich an ihnen eine sinnsaugende Feuilleton-Debatten. So auch wieder geschehen bei Joachim Gauck. Man mag hier gar nicht auf all die Hymnen verlinken, die über ihn in den letzten Tagen zu Papier gebracht wurden, und wofür er stehe, was dieses Jahrhundertereignis nun für die Berliner Republik, den Protestantismus, die Demokratie, die Zukunft Europas und die Debattenkultur alles bedeute, ja wie nachhaltig es das Gesicht der Republik verändern werde.

Efraim Zuroff vom Simon Wiesenthal Zentrum hat einen der wenigen lesenswerten Artikel über das ganze Spektakel geschrieben, und wer ihn liest, versteht vielleicht ein wenig besser, warum der Rest so begeistert von Gauck ist. Der, erklärt Zuroff, habe nämlich als einzig prominenter Deutscher im Jahre 2008 die Pager Erklärung unterschrieben, in der es unter anderem heißt “Europe will never be united unless it is able to reunite its history [and] recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy”.

Über die daraus folgenden Konsequenzen schreibt Zuroff:

By elevating Communist crimes to the hallowed status of genocide, however, the signers of the Prague Declaration hope to shift the focus from the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust to the suffering of East Europeans under the yoke of Communism, thereby transforming perpetrator-nations into countries of victims. Even better, the assessment of Communist crimes as genocide would allow East Europeans to counter the accusations against them for Holocaust crimes by creating a false symmetry between their criminals and Jews who committed crimes against them in the service of Moscow. The fact that the former were motivated by ultra-nationalistic patriotism, while the latter’s motivation was a direct result of their decision to sever their ties with the Jewish community would of course be ignored by those positing this ostensibly meaningful equation. And if the guilt for such horrific crimes cuts across all national and religious lines, the criminals need not fear being held accountable for their crimes, since if practically everyone is guilty, ultimately few, if any, will ever be brought to justice.

A close look at the practical steps called for by the Prague Declaration makes crystal clear how problematic its adoption would be. Thus, for example, it calls for August 23, the date of the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact, to be designated as a joint memorial day for all victims of totalitarian regimes. The choice of this date clearly implies that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are equally to blame for the atrocities of World War II, as if the regime which conceived, built, and operated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp is just as guilty as the country whose troops liberated that center of industrialized mass murder and stopped the killing. Were this proposal to be accepted — and several declaratory resolutions supporting it have already been passed in European forums — Holocaust memorial day will soon be a relic of the past.

Und kommt zu dem Schluss:

His public stance and pronouncements will have a strong influence on the direction Germany will take in the coming years vis-a-vis Holocaust-related issues and their significance in both local and universal terms. Joachim Gauck’s signature on the Prague Declaration is an ominous and very dangerous sign that he is likely to lead the Federal Republic in a different direction than hereto pursued. Instead of building on the foundation of Germany’s to a large extent successful, even if far-from-perfect, confrontation with its Nazi past, he is likely to strengthen those voices which seek to de-emphasize the importance of the Holocaust in German history and consciousness. Instead of serving as a model for the countries of post-Communist Eastern Europe, which have hereto utterly failed to confront their bloody records during World War II, he is likely to strengthen their tendency to flee responsibility and wallow in their victimhood, a stance which would be a tragedy first and foremost for them, but also for Germany — not to mention the negative consequences for the future of Europe.

It is precisely for these reasons that Gauck appears to be the wrong person to assume that lofty post at this important point in time.