My friend Nico, who happends to be a German, commented on my blog piece about Holocaust deniers. In my response to Nico I wrote that one of my concerns is the parlous lack of knowledge today about the events of World War II amongst younger people in Australia.
Here is an example from The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper in a piece by Matt Neagle. Early this week a Nazi flag was flying from a flag pole at an Adelaide home.
Let's just review a couple of comments by the man named Will, who lives at the house.
The Croydon man, who only gave his name as "Will", said the Nazi flag went up as a joke at a "drunken" house party a few weeks ago.
"It's the funniest story around... well I found it funny, apparently the community is not finding it too funny," Will said.
"We meant no offence, just a drunken party, bit of fun, never took the bloody thing down, caused a whole heap of offence, we're sorry about that, but you know..."
When asked by AdelaideNow if he knows the symbolism of the flag, Will replied:
"Not really, no."
I see no reason not to accept what Will says as the truth. He just did not know that flying the Nazi flag could or would cause any offence.
Partly his responsibility. Partly the responsibility of our education system. Partly the responsibility of all of us.
It's useful to remember that there are many people in our nation, just like Will.