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2017 | 89 | 208-224
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Are sins of past generations inherited? Theoretical reflections on concepts of collective guilt and collective responsibility along with the analysis of their influence on today’s Germany decision-making

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The author of this paper tries to answer the question whether sins, wrongdoings and injustice done by past generations are inherited. The article presents theoretical reflections on the concepts of individuality and collectivity and their relationships; the themes of collective quilt and collective responsibility and the difference between them and the role and importance of collective memory, not only in context of heroic acts but also in the context of shameful past and misdeeds. The scientific theory is compared with empirical research results on today’s Germany decision-making policy in relation to Second World War tragedy. The presented theoretical background and analyzed material gives base to draw conclusions and answer the hypothesis set at the very beginning.
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  • Institute of Sociology, University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland
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