They took one wrong fork after another in the 30s and wound up becoming a monster and now have such self-loathing that they are not even reproducing enough to keep themselves going. What a shame; I love modern Germany and Germans in general - I spent so much time there and really have nothing but great memories (though they are rude in the ski-lift lines).
It was often said that in most nations, the nation has a military. In the case of Prussia - the seed of the modern German state - a military had a nation. From the time when the Romans filled their Legions with Germans and on - the German martial tradition was strong and reached its peak with the Prussians. The post-Franco-Prussian War Germany took that Prussian professionalism with them. To this day, those who have worked with the rump-German military can speak of their professionalism - though they are firmly under their nation now days.
In their mid-century descent in to madness, there was one branch of the German military that held its honor the longest - some would say they never lost it; that was the German Navy.
The fact they had the last Jewish officers is one point, they were also the service that held out the longest with the traditional military salute, though with time that faded as more and more officers saw the personal-professional gain by "joining the club" with the fascist salute. Many stuck with it throughout.
There are all sorts of pictures out there where some are saluting normal, and others the fascist salute. I have always wondered about the background story of those who held out the longest. I have read Doenitz, Werner, Cremer, and others trying to get an idea - but nothing really sticks. Perhaps it is better addressed in German literature, but not all that well in English literature.
Knowing I am a history geek, LT B send along a collection of color photographs of pre-WWII Germany from Life magazine. This picture was second from the last.
In it you see one officer, rank and name unknown, who is the last holdout - surrounded my madness. Just a German officer trying to serve Germany - trying to remain beyond politics as those around him folded.
I don't know about you, but when I see that picture all I can think of is sadness. Sadness for the last professional before his nation descended in to suicidal madness.