"Our parents had played a variety of roles in the Third Reich"

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.