Summary of “I survived the Warsaw ghetto. Here are the lessons I’d like to pass on”

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel stated this summer that “When the generation that survived the war is no longer here, we’ll find out whether we have learned from history”.
As a Polish Jew born in 1925, who survived the Warsaw ghetto, lost my family in the Holocaust, served in a special operations unit of the Polish underground, the Home Army, and fought in the Warsaw uprising of 1944, I know what it means to be at the sharp end of European history – and I fear that the battle to draw the right lessons from that time is in danger of being lost.
Now 93 years old and living in Tel Aviv, I have watched from afar in recent years as armchair patriots in my native Poland have sought to exploit and manipulate the memories and experiences of my generation.
They may think they are promoting “National dignity” or instilling “Pride” in today’s young people, but in reality they are threatening to raise future generations in darkness, ignorant of the war’s complexity and doomed to repeat the mistakes for which we paid such a high price.
Given what I’ve learned over my lifetime I would, first, urge future generations of Europeans to remember my generation as we really were, not as they may wish us to have been.
It is nonetheless important to understand that we were a generation living in fear, and fear makes people do terrible things.
Second, just as there is no such thing as a “Heroic generation”, there is no such thing as a “Heroic nation” – or indeed an inherently malign or evil nation either.
Today’s generation doesn’t have the luxury of being able to argue that it was never warned or did not understand the consequences of where lies will take you.

The orginal article.