1968

► April 11th. Students protests. Rudi Dutschke got shot. The end of the 60s was marked by the rebellion of the first post-war generation. In the western part of Europe and in the United States people sought to change the obsolete state structures and liberalize society, they protested against the Vietnam War and created hippie groups. Protests swept across the Federal Republic of Germany as well, where the young generation had to struggle also with their parents Nazi past.

Rudi Dutschke speech at a rally against the Vietnam War, 18 February 1968 (source:    http://historia.org.pl/2013/08/10/rok-1968-w-republice-federalnej-niemiec-i-jego-skutki/  )

Rudi Dutschke speech at a rally against the Vietnam War, 18 February 1968 (source: http://historia.org.pl/2013/08/10/rok-1968-w-republice-federalnej-niemiec-i-jego-skutki/ )

Generation '68 felt like carrying a birth mark because their parents lived in the Hitler's time but because they were not personally responsible it gave them the courage to speak up about the parent's guilt. Troublesome past was additionally highlighted by disclosed cases of former Nazi Party members holding leadership functions in the country, such as the Secretary of State Hans Globke, co-founder of the Nuremberg laws or the head of the Federal Intelligence Service Theodor Oberländer, a former Wehrmacht general.

The unrest escalated when on the 11 April 1968 Rudi Dutschke, charismatic leader of the student movement, was shot. A month later a march was held in Bonn, attended by approximately 60,000 people from all over the country. However the elimination of Rudi Dutschke and introduction of parliamentary laws restricting civil liberties led to a split in the '68 movement in Germany and creation of numerous autonomous groups instead. Increasingly these little formations changed into terrorist or paramilitary organizations. Within two years the common ideological basis disappeared.
► November 7th. Beate Klarsfeld, German journalist known for her work to disclose and account for the Nazi past, publicly slapped Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesenger in his face .

Beate Klarsfeld in the Bundestag, 1968 (source:    www.rp-online.de   )

Beate Klarsfeld in the Bundestag, 1968 (source: www.rp-online.de)

In 1968 a wide echo bounced off her demonstrations against the German Chancellor - a former Nazi dignitary. In April during the debate in the Bundestag, Beate Klarsfeld stood up from the stands for the audience and shouted "Nazi, resign" (German Nazi, Tritt zurück), afterwards she was removed from the room. On the 7 November 1968 during the CDU party congress in West Berlin Klarsfeld slapped Kiesinger shouting Nazi, Nazi, Nazi! The same day she was sentenced to one year in prison, reduced later to suspended sentence four months in prison.

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld with President François Hollande after the official ceremony of decorating the couple with insignia of the Legion of Honor at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 20 July 2014 (source:    www.liberation.fr   ; picture: Philippe Wojażer. AFP)

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld with President François Hollande after the official ceremony of decorating the couple with insignia of the Legion of Honor at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 20 July 2014 (source: www.liberation.fr; picture: Philippe Wojażer. AFP)

Beate Klarsfeld and her husband Serge led to the conviction of criminals such as Kurt Lischka, Herbert Hagen and finally Klaus Barbie. In 1986 US-French movie based on Beate Klarsfeld's biography was released titled Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story with Farrah Fawcett in the main role.
► November 26th. In the view of approaching 20 year time-bar for proceedings of Nazi crimes as per the Penal Code from 1932, honoring the Nuremberg principles, in 1965 Poland presented to the United Nations an initiative for non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The convention was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by United Nations General Assembly resolution 2391 (XXIII) of 26 November 1968. The Convention stated that the undertaking states must adopt the internal legislative measures to allow the extradition of the perpetrators of these crimes regardless of the date they were committed. The German Bundestag decided not to participate to the UN Convention.

A year later the Bundestag extended the limitation period from the existing 20 to 30 years. It was not until 10 years later, on the 3 July 1979 that the law was passed, introducing non-applicability of statutory limitations to genocide crimes. The amendment was passed by a small majority - 255 votes in favor (SPD) and 222 votes against (CDU).