ABSTRACT

The overcoming of the past is a phrase coined by the West Germans themselves to describe the efforts to be made by the German people as a whole to live down, as it were to purge itself, of the heavy moral burden weighing on it as a result of crimes against humanity, committed in its name by agents of the political establishment of the Third Reich. The payment of a large sum of compensation to Israel under the Luxembourg Agreement was motivated by the desire of the Adenauer government to make material amends, and yet it was always stressed that material restitution could never completely repay such a debt. A conference in London of resistance veterans and ex-soldiers of the Second World War from several countries made similar demands to the West German Ambassador. The restrictions were totally rescinded only after the Six Day War in 1967.