A recent CNN article says:
Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has asked for Poland's forgiveness 80 years after the start of World War II.
"I stand before you, those who have survived, before the descendants of the victims, the old and the young residents of Wielun, I am humbled and grateful," Steinmeier said during a ceremony in the Polish city of Wielun, the site of one of the first Nazi bombings in the country on September 1, 1939. "I bow to the victims of the attack in Wielun, I pay tribute to the Polish victims of German tyranny and I ask for forgiveness," he said.
But if you travel to Germany, you will find monuments portraying German soldiers of WWII as heroes. Here is an example. The inscription on the monument says, "1939-1945. Sie gaben ihr alles ihr Leben ihr Blut sie gaben es hin mit heiligem Mut für uns." My translation: "1939-1945. They gave everything, their lives, their blood, they gave it for us with their divine courage." (To answer a question raised in the comments below, this particular monument is in Damp, Kreis Rendsburg-Eckenförde, and you can find this monument on this website.)
Here are some German monuments that contain a list of soldier names and dates of death: link1, link2, link3, link4, link5, link6, link7. If you pay attention to the dates of death in these pictures, you will easily find 1941, 1940, and even 1939. We all know that practically all German soldiers who died those years died as aggressors outside their home country. The last two links, namely link6 and link7, show monuments whose inscriptions explicitly refer to German soldiers of WWII as Helden (heroes): the inscription on the first of these two monuments says, "Unseren gefallenen Helden" (which translates as "to our fallen heroes"), and the inscription on the other monument is, "Dem Andenken Ihrer toten Helden aus Dankbarkeit" (which translates as "to the memory of your dead heroes out of gratitude).
My question: Should the apology statements like Steinmeier's be taken as truly representative of the views and feelings actually dominating in the population of Germany?