Neither as judges allotting praise and blame nor as avengers seeking out the guilty should we face the past. We seek truth, not guilt; we want to know how things came about to understand them, not to issue condemnations. Whoever approaches history the way a prosecutor approaches the documents of a criminal case — to find material for indictments — had better stay away from it. It is not the task of history to gratify the needs of the masses for heroes and scapegoats.
Ludwig von Mises, Nation, State, and Economy, Leland B. Yeager, trans. (1919, 1983).