Is it possible for some one or some group to be forgiven for their sins? Judaism says yes: when you assume responsibility for what you did wrong and promise not to do it again you deserve to be forgiven by God and the victims of your wrongdoing.
January 30th will be the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s accession to power. In recognizing the anniversary, Germany’s current Chancellor, Angela Merkel observed that Germany’s responsibility for the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis will never expire. Germany she noted in a video message, has an
“everlasting responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism, for the victims of World War II and, above all, for the Holocaust. And this must be made clear from generation to generation and it must be said with bravery and moral courage, every individual can make a contribution so that racism and antisemitism have no chance.”
These are the words of a courageous leader delivering a message that no doubt, many of her people may not want to hear. These are words of a mensch, a decent person, who is committed to doing teshuvah, seeking to repair an aberration in the dynamism of human relations with one another and with God.