>> After last weekend's events in Virginia, few countries reacted quite as publicly as Germany. A young woman was killed in protests in Charlottesville, as far-right activists marched under Nazi flags. In the aftermath, US president Donald Trump seemed to draw no distinction between the far-right protestors and their opponents.
Reuters' Thomas in Berlin says this didn't go down well in Germany, where the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II.>> Reaction in Germany to Trump's remarks weren't very much of surprise and shock. Because the site of a torchlit procession of far-right activists, calling slogans about Jews, was reminiscent of things with which Germans where very familiar with from the history books.
So it drew condemnation from the chancellor, Angela Merkel, and on public television, the officially neutral broadcasters were barely able to conceal their shock when mentioning the events.>> The white supremacists were protesting over plans to remove a statue honoring a pro-slavery commander from the US Civil War. In Germany, totalitarian symbols are banned, and Nazi statues long since removed.
The memorials that remain are designed to teach.>> Remembrance and memorialization are very central to the education system in Germany. In contrast to lots of other countries, where there's a lot of focus on the national past, and on the national glory. In Germany, the focus in the education system is pretty unflinching when it comes to looking at the darkest points in German history.
There is a lot of focus on, for example, the Holocaust and for the genocide for which Germany was responsible then.>> But many conservatives have criticized what they see as Germany cringing before its past. And the hard right Alternative for Germany Party is set to enter Parliament for the first time, in elections on the 24th of September.