@spook3 you’re right many Germans remember the huge distinction between American and Soviet treatment. After the 2nd world war, Eastern Germany was robbed bare and continued to pay a hefty tribute to Moscow for decades. The Soviet memorial in Berlin tiergarten was rather well known as “Tomb of the Unknown Rapist” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_War_Memorial_(Tiergarten) for obvious reasons. Over a million Germans were killed as 16 million Germans were forced from their often long established homes in Eastern Europe. All of Eastern Europe disappeared behind an Iron Curtain of heavy repression. Meanwhile western Germany thrived. Thanks to the US who stopped other western Europeans from taking their revenge, gave and borrowed Germany money, and allowed German companies such as volkswagen (and Japan’s Toyota) to compete on a never before realized global stage to the detriment even of US based GM and Ford.
According to the FT, some Germans then are grateful to Moscow for allowing Germany. Imagine what gratitude ought to be Washington’s due. But Germans don’t look up to Russians, they compare themselves to Americans. They can easily forgive the Russians while their mentality is competing with that of their allies.
The Germans need the Americans far more though. Gas and oil can be replaced, but global markets, freedom and the American wing that protects Germany’s export economy cannot. Germany like China can ignore its international obligations while the US patrols the seas but one can imagine that at one time, the Americans are going to tire of protecting a world order that fails to appreciate the US role. Let’s hope the Yanks continue to spend their tax dollars on securing the livelihoods of billions while receiving scorn in return. I’m not sure I’d be as considerate.