Poland suffered massively and horrifically at the hands of Germany in WWII, the Soviet Union finally drove the Nazis out of the country in 1944. By the late 1970s, however, Polish resentment against and dislike of the Soviet Union was far greater than negative feelings about Germany.
This was partly because the Soviets forced the country into an unwanted political, economic and military alliance but the far greater factor was that Soviet misdeeds could not be mentioned in public. Overall Soviet crimes against Poland were far less than Germany’s but Germany’s actions could be openly discussed and criticized while Soviet crimes were not only not discussed, but alternate Soviet fantasy versions about events had to be repeated in public by everyone even though they knew they were lies.
The biggest danger is trying to put this down too early….
It wasn’t until well after the collapse of communism and the withdrawal of Soviet troops and years of finally being able to openly discuss and criticize Soviet actions that Polish dislike of the Soviets (and Russia as the successor to the USSR) lessened. There was even a short period of warming relations brought to screeching halt with the Russian-Georgian conflict of 2011.
This is why I’m not so alarmed by the mass protests in Chemnitz (aka Karl-Marx-Stadt when it was in East Germany). A German citizen was killed (stabbed 25 times) and two other injured by two “refugees”. The absolute normal reaction to those given a safe haven and a major life opportunity is collective anger. A lack of anger in such a situation is far more disturbing than loud public protests. Reports of crowds tracking down random migrants have been, as far as I can tell, exaggerated because…. Germany and Germans have always, do and will always freak out their neighbors.
Part of the problem that gives rise to movements like Pegida or the rise of the AfD is not being allowed to notice or publicly discuss that German’s migration/asylum policy is fundamentally misguided and deeply dysfunctional. Everyday Germans pay the bills (and bear the physical brunt) of this dysfunction and are not allowed to criticize policy in any but the blandest most general terms that allow for no possibility of a change in policy.
As far as I can tell the events in Chemnitz so far are badly needed and should open up more public dialogue that deals honestly with the fact that country has imported several hundred thousand young men that either don’t want or can’t integrate in any meaningful way and too large a number of them are victimizing German citizens. It’s not a random crowd, even if a little violent around the edges, that is a great danger in Germany. The biggest danger is for the frustration of the public to keep building up with no outlet until it explodes.