Guilt and Atonement

Nowhere are people more afraid of history repeating itself than in Germany, where atonement is one of the driving forces of politics. Its shaky intelligent services, its acceptance of over one million refugees, its commitment to open borders, even the entire euro project: all of them are meant to contain, neutralise and atone. The nation state and its organs are viewed as instruments of fascist terror. But guilt is no sound basis for a society and atonement cannot be an unlimited policy objective (J. Samuel, Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2017).