The proximity of the Nazi regime to Michael’s generation meant that almost all authority figures could be seen as complicit in the Third Reich; indeed, Allied propaganda after the war emphasised this belief. The process of Denazification caused many older people to harbour feelings of resentment, which perpetuated for many years and took a heavy toll on the younger age group. A key element of the student protests in the 1960s was that some of the professors had been heavily involved in Nazi activities, such as producing anti-Semitic writings that the students were not allowed access to. This zeitgeist of wanting-to-forget led to a great burden falling on the younger generation. The following sources explore this issue in greater detail:
This article discusses the role of ex-Nazis in post war Germany.
This discussion from a travel forum explores how Germans today consider the legacy of the Nazi past .
This scene is one which did not appear in the final cut of the film adaptation of 'The Reader', but it shows this painful generation gap very well.