Apparently some further elaboration is in order:
In Germany, many aspects of our Nazi past are being "taboo-ized" to sometimes ridiculous degrees. For example, imported model kits of German WWII tanks, planes, etc. are being opened by German customs officials and all the swastikas and other Nazi symbols are being cut out of the decal sheets, blackened or the sheets are taken out completely. German kit releases use simplified/fake symbols (like simple crosses instead of swastikas).
Additionally we are being "taught" (by the government, media, etc.) to feel some sort of collective guilt for that part in our history, a guilt that can never be overcome.
So the reason for me to start this thread was to ask the question, if my "problem" with Spockīs remark is due to the fact Iīm German (and have the background I just explained) or if non-Germans (without this background) have similar problems with it.
Bad thoughts wrote:
the southern US states prior to the civil war. Imagine Kirk and Spock had come to a planet ruled by (white) land/slave owners who brutalize their (black) slaves. Then, to blend in at a slave auction, they would have put on local clothing and Spockīs line to Kirk would have been "You should make a very convincing slave trader". Would you take that as a joke too?
A resident of a Southern state, I can say that southerners don't confront the legacies of slavery, the Civil War, and susbsequent repression the way that other peoples might look at the dark aspects of their own histories. The strong (though not necessarily dominant) presence of Neo-confederalism soft-pedals the nature of slavery in order to give a Romantic image of the Antebellum south or deny the contemporary existence of racism in politics. (Of course, I also know many Southerners who are very thoughtful on these subjects.)
I find that very interesting and it does suggest, that we Germans treat our own past somewhat differently - mainly because of the reasons I outlined above. Thanks
As to why I asked you for your personal opinion earlier: On the one hand you have personal (through your family) experience in this matter (which I donīt) on the other hand youīre not German (I presume) and thus donīt have this German background.