The Wages of Guilt by Ian Buruma
Memories of War in Germany and Japan

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The author of Playing the Game explores the diverse ways in which Germany and Japan have dealt with the legacy of World War II, explaining how which East and West Germany have come to terms with the Holocaust, and the impact of the atomic bomb on Japan.

About Ian Buruma

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Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. His many books include "Anglomania" (Random House), "Inventing Japan" (Modern Library), and "Murder in Amsterdam" (Penguin), which won a "Los Angeles Times" Book Award. He is a regular contributor to many publications, including the "New York Review of Books," the "New Yorker," the "Guardian," and the "Financial Times.
Published May 1, 1994 by Farrar Straus & Giroux (T).
Genres: History, Travel, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Exploring the cliche that Germany is a culture of guilt and Japan a culture of shame, the author indeed finds that whereas Germany has engaged in a protracted collective mourning over its war crimes, Japan has no war monuments at all except to its own dead.

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The Independent

Holding a German passport myself, I side passionately - maybe too passionately - with the former group: I don't think it's possible for Germans (to speak only for my own lot) to feel badly enough.

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The Independent

You visit institutions that are present in one country and absent in the other, such as Yasukuni in Japan where the war dead (some of them war criminals) are enshrined, or the Agency for Clarification of Nazi Crimes in Germany.

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London Review of Books

Clarke Michael Howard (LRB, 8 September) correctly says of resistance to the Nazis in Germany: ‘one of the less attractive features of the present German government is its attempt to deny the Communists any share of the credit.’ But he has a blind spot about resistance to Japan’s war of aggressi...

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