German Atonement for Nazi Past Seen Enough by 42 Percent

About four of 10 Germans say the nation has atoned enough for the Nazi past, according to a poll that also shows little appetite for taking on more global responsibility.

Forty-two percent of Germans say that the country should draw closure on coming to terms with Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship 70 years after the end of World War II, according to the Forsa survey published by Stern magazine on Wednesday.

The poll offers a snapshot of how Germans view their role as Greece’s government revives reparation claims for the Nazi occupation during World War II and Chancellor Angela Merkel stands up to Russia in the Ukraine conflict. Only 16 percent of respondents said Germany should play a leading global role.

Forty-two percent of western Germans and 41 percent of those in formerly communist East Germany said the country has spend enough time dealing with the Nazi past, according to Stern. That compares with 48 percent of westerners and 39 percent of easterners who said the same 15 years ago.

The April 8-10 poll of 1,076 Germans has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

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