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The U-505 On Display

The U-505 On Display

The U-505 On Display


At the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, Il you will find the WWII German submarine, U-505 on display. The Allies captured her in 1944 and she came to the museum in 1954.  You might expect this post will be about the submarine, with technical specs and telling the story of its capture, but it’s not. That will most likely come later. Today’s post is about something over heard when we were taking in the exhibit.

First off I want to say hats off to the museum on the display. It is breathtaking. As we were moving around from one side of the boat to the other and checking out the various artifacts in the room a young couple was following close behind, parts of their conversation wafted through the hubbub of the cavernous room but plain as day these words were clear, “Why are we looking at a German submarine? We need to get rid of it and all the Nazi stuff…”

Say What Now?

It took a second to realize what she was saying and now fully dropping eaves on the conversation it appeared that the young woman had the impression that anything to do with the Nazi’s needed destroyed or buried deep. Her boyfriend/husband/partner agreed wholeheartedly and as we neared the exit of the exhibit, where a German Kreigsmarine Flag was displayed, they almost ran out of the hall.

Let me get this out there first. The Nazi’s were the bad guys and there is little dispute to that. You can get into the nuances of the politics and such all day but that does not change the facts. If you fought under the Nazi regime, you were not on the side of the angles.

What that overheard conversation brought to mind though is the idea that all traces of the Nazis should be removed, just like some people are looking to remove all traces of the Confederacy. The thing is if you remove or hide all traces of the past, especially the bad things, and bad people or even just things you don’t agree with, you increase the chances of those things happening again.

The Lesson

The U-505 is a reminder of a war that happened. As a relic from the defeated side, we should treated it with the same reverence as an American naval vessel. It is OK to respect your enemy, even if they are “evil”.  Hopefully the couple that came out that day realizes looking into the past does not mean just the good parts. I bet they are the kind of people who jump to the last chapter of a book.  Than judges the entire novel based on the ending. OK, this rant is over, next time you see the U-505 here, we’ll get into the good stuff.