Letter: Truth in history

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Truth in history

You won’t find a single statue in Germany honoring the Nazis. But the Germans haven’t erased their history, forgotten their past or failed to learn from it. Instead, they have found a way to learn from a horrific and shameful chapter without glorifying or romanticizing it.

Every German student spends part of every school year studying Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and must visit at least one concentration camp before graduating from high school.

Germany’s treatment of its painful history shows the falsity of the current argument posed by some in the United States (including President Trump) that the removal of Confederate statues and the lowering of the Confederate flag would erase our history.

Statues don’t teach us history. A statue of Robert E. Lee on horseback, looking gallant, doesn’t teach anything about the Civil War. It romanticizes and idolizes it.

Flying the Confederate flag teaches nothing about the system it represented, or the human toll it took.

Let’s teach our children the truth about our history, without any romantic veneer.

And let’s lower that flag and take down those statues.