Anne Appelbaum on Germany's war commemoration:
Everything about modern Germany, for instance, is the way it is because of the war, from its pacifism and its devotion to the European Union to the architecture of its capital city. War guilt is built into the political system and becomes controversial only when it seems some Germans want to abandon it: The new wave of interest in the fate of Germans who fled or were expelled from Central Europe after the war, or the popularity of books about Allied bombings of German cities, worries many in the region. Hence Angela Merkel's presence at Westerplatte. (She was the first to confirm she would attend.) No German chancellor wants any of Germany's neighbors to doubt that Germany is still very sorry about 1939 (even if some are rather indifferent). And none wants Germany's neighbors to fear German aggression today.