People know they are lacking something, they are constantly wanting some kind of spiritual guidance.
But Germany will always suffer, I fear, from the intensely dramatic character of the crimes of the Third Reich.
Margaret Thatcher was fearful of German unification because she believed that this would bring an immediate and formidable increase of economic strength to a Germany which was already the strongest economic partner in Europe.
There are thus great swathes of the past where understanding is more important and reputable than judgement, because the principal actors performed in line with the ideas and values of that time, not of ours.
A genuinely democratic Iraq might well act as a fresh spur.
But it cannot follow that because weapons and troops are now being deployed we are bound to go to war.
History provides no precise guidelines.
It was essentially for self defence that we went to war in Afghanistan and would go to war in Iraq.
There is nothing false or arrogant about German pride in German technical and business skills.
We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgement on the past.
Men like Hitler and Stalin and their immediate lieutenants cannot plead in defence of their actions that these were justified by the accepted values of that time.
There is no consensus even today on the merits of Napoleon - and certainly no agreement on the rights and wrongs of the origins of the First World War.
It is normal for politicians in all countries to profess themselves the pupils of history, anxious to draw the right lessons from her teaching.
People are very interested in politics, they just don't like it labelled politics.
The first two Prime Ministers whom I served, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher drew strikingly different lessons from the Second World War.
The tragedy of 9/11 galvanised the American superpower into action, leaving us in Europe divided in its wake.
We, Britain and Germany, can neither of us be happy about our handling of the Iraq war.
Wisely used history can give pleasure and provide us with a useful tool; but we should not become its slaves.
Despite this lamentable lack of balance in our education I do not believe that either children or adults in my country are permeated by a widespread hostility to Germany.
I may be wrong in that, but not I think in putting the questions. In our modern democracy the government needs not a unanimous but a general support for war before it orders our forces to fight.