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  1. #71
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    National Socialism was attempting to create a Weltanschauung in which all aspects of everyday life would have a code of ethics. In many ways, it was a very romantic movement - a return to Blut und Boden, honoring your ancestors, and returning to medieval aspects of chivalry, bravery, and honor. At the same time, the government should play a role to ensure that an economic system is designed to encourage and foster this return through a progressive turn. That means, you should have the advantages of the past while enjoying the positives of the now. In essence, this idea would have been perfect if it had not been taken to extremes.

    Alas, it WAS taken to extremes - to greater extremes than we have ever known...and combine that fact with the fact that these were times of great unrest and unprecedented development - it was a recipe for disaster.

    Had these ideals been implemented EARLIER it might have happened peacefully; however, this was the last 'go' at romanticism. Everyone sensed it, and so it was taken to an extreme where the romanticism was perverted and turned into grotesque monstrosity.

    However, not everyone embraced this extremity. And I think it would be a mistake to totally disregard every German soldier's sacrifice based on the terrible behavior of some individuals and their fanatical leaders....
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  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by untypable View Post
    This whole thread is a discussion about nazi germany. It would be far more interesting if nazi germany did not exist and what other things come into the equation. How global power is splitted etc and will the war srtill happened.
    Well Lord Curzon remarked at the end of WWI that: "This is no peace; this is only a truce for twenty years."

    So the likelihood of another major conflict happening in Europe was not out of the question. Without the Nazis, it probablly would've taken a different character.

    I just mentioned the German geo-political thinker Karl Haushofer, who envisioned an Eurasian alliance of Germany, Russia, and Japan against the Western powers. This certainly provides food for thought on an alternative course for the war. Especially since there were close ties between the Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union, and the German army was able to train in secret in Soviet territories.

    In spite of Hitler and the Nazis, there was considerable Russophile strains within the German Right, and had been for some time. Throughout the 19th century, it was the German Left who held Russia in contempt for its brutal despotism and suppression of revolutions across Europe. Ironically, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels were among those who held such views. Engels was himself a Pan-Germanist.

    There were also the National Bolsheviks of Ernst Niekisch, along with the pro-Russian sentiments of the Leftist wing of the Nazis - represented by the Strasser brothers.

    So without the Nazis, WWII in Europe would've been more like WWI in many respects. I don't mean trench warfare per se, but rather as far as the geopolitics was concerned. During the final years before the war began, we saw this in play at various times.

    Tatically-wise, it could've been a more mechanized version of the more mobile phases of the First World War, like 1914 or the Eastern Front. Need we forget that for the 1940 campaign, the German general staff at first proposed a rehash of the old Schliffen plan.

    Without the alliance with Germany, Japan probably would not have attacked the United States. Hitler was hoping the Japanese navy would keep the American busy in the Pacific.

  3. #73
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well Lord Curzon remarked at the end of WWI that: "This is no peace; this is only a truce for twenty years."

    So the likelihood of another major conflict happening in Europe was not out of the question. Without the Nazis, it would've taken a different character.

    I just mentioned the German geo-political thinker Karl Haushofer, who envisioned an Eurasian alliance of Germany, Russia, and Japan against the Western powers. This certainly provides food for thought on an alternative course for the war. Especially since there were close ties between the Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union, and the German army was able to train in secret in Soviet territories.

    In spite of Hitler and the Nazis, there was considerable Russophile strains within the German Right, and had been for some time. Throughout the 19th century, it was the German Left who held Russia in contempt for its brutal despotism and suppression of revolutions across Europe. Ironically, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels were among those who held such views. Engels was himself a Pan-Germanist.

    There were also the National Bolsheviks of Ernst Niekisch, along with the pro-Russian sentiments of the Leftist wing of the Nazis - represented by the Strasser brothers.
    This is an EXCELLENT point - most people forget that in using the contemporary cuss word 'Nazi' that it stands for national socialism. For the Strasserians, this was more like national SOCIALISM. Everyone just takes for granted that 'evil' Hitler was there, and everyone loved him and no one had any other ideas, which is just total crap. Don't forget the Night of the Long Knives....when most of these left-wing NS people were....efficiently....done away with...

    One must also not forget that the reds were just as powerful as the browns back then, and there were rabid street fights, etc. I'd venture a guess that if Hitler hadn't come to power, one could make the argument that Germany would have disintegrated into civil riots and maybe even civil war, in which case the Nazis still would have come to power, or the communists, which would have changed the balance of power having a communist country in the center of Europe and would have been center stage for war in any case....It would have been a blood bath either way...And now that Peguy has added additional information to his previous post, I would agree that you could make a case that the shift in the balance of power would have caused another WWI - probably without American intervention, or at least not until much later.
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  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    I'd venture a guess that if Hitler hadn't come to power, one could make the argument that Germany would have disintegrated into civil riots and maybe even civil war, in which case the Nazis still would have come to power, or the communists, which would have changed the balance of power having a communist country in the center of Europe and would have been center stage for war in any case....It would have been a blood bath either way...
    That's a very good point. Either way the Weimar Republic was really screwed by 1933. I remember the incident of the jurist Karl Schmitt suggesting to Hindenburg that he suspend the constitution and deal harshly with the Nazis and Communists. Hindernburg refused, saying that violated the principles of the Weimar constitution. It was from here that Schmitt wrote his arguments about politics being the distinction between friend and foe, and how liberalism was impotent because it refused to acknowledge and deal properly with its enemies.

    And now that Peguy has added additional information to his previous post, I would agree that you could make a case that the shift in the balance of power would have caused another WWI - probably without American intervention, or at least not until much later.
    Well without Pearl Harbor, there was no real chance that America would've entered the war. Churchill certainly tried to persuade Roosevelt to do so, but Roosevelt kept dragging his feet. This is true even with Lend-Lease, and Churchill often complained about the shipments being late and/or being of low quality.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    That's a very good point. Either way the Weimar Republic was really screwed by 1933. I remember the incident of the jurist Karl Schmitt suggesting to Hindenburg that he suspend the constitution and deal harshly with the Nazis and Communists. Hindernburg refused, saying that violated the principles of the Weimar constitution. It was from here that Schmitt wrote his arguments about politics being the distinction between friend and foe, and how liberalism was impotent because it refused to acknowledge and deal properly with its enemies.
    Indeed, indeed. And one must not forget the lack of a "constructive" vote of no confidence back then. The governments were changing every 3-6 months on average. No government can hope to make any kind of meaningful change within that length of time, but the situation (extremely high inflation in the triple or quadruple digits in the 20s, which wiped out the middle and upper-middle classes, and the extremely high unemployment of over 30% in the late 20s to early 30s, which devastated the lower classes) caused a high degree of instability, and there was NO political structure to facilitate positive change. THAT is in essence what drove the German masses to extreme solutions. And then comes along a party that glorifies and romanticizes the past, a time of great prosperity and development, (the NS party) as well as a party that glorifies the lower, working-class population (KPD) ....and it was BOUND to just give sometime.

    Sadly enough, they needed a strong leader. And if Hitler hadn't gotten too big for his britches and silently or actively condoned mass genocide that took place, he might have been the one of the most beloved dictators in the history of man...
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  6. #76
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post

    Well without Pearl Harbor, there was no real chance that America would've entered the war. Churchill certainly tried to persuade Roosevelt to do so, but Roosevelt kept dragging his feet. This is true even with Lend-Lease, and Churchill often complained about the shipments being late and/or being of low quality.
    Agreed. Roosevelt kept dragging his feet because he KNEW the idea would be totally unpopular with the American people after WWI.

    If you want to be more cynical and conspiratorial about it, which I don't necessarily want to delve into but it is a potential point, American businessmen had invested in Nazi Germany to a huge extent, so there were also economic considerations to be taken into account at a time in which American business needed all the support it could get. So they played both sides (at least before the war, though I am not so sure if it was more one-sided after the declaration of war - I have to look that up) and cashed in the money....maintaining a neutral stance. Of course the best way to increase an economy is a successful war, but if your people doesn't stand behind you, it's all for nothing......
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  7. #77
    Sniffles
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    For those interested in more Typology-related aspects of WWII, I'd highly suggest the series "Warlords". It looks into the different personalities of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin; and the psychological duels they fought with each other which influenced the course of the war.

    Here's a link to the book. And below is the entire TV series on youtube:

    Episode One: Hitler v Stalin, August 1939 - June 1941
    Hitler v Stalin - 1
    Hitler v Stalin - 2
    Hitler v Stalin - 3
    Hitler v Stalin - 4
    Hitler v Stalin - 5


    Episode Two: Churchill v Roosevelt, May 1940 - April 1942
    Churchill v Roosevelt - 1
    Churchill v Roosevelt - 2
    Churchill v Roosevelt - 3
    Churchill v Roosevelt - 4
    Churchill v Roosevelt - 5


    Episode Three: Churchill v Stalin, June 1941 - June 1944
    Churchill v Stalin - 1
    Churchill v Stalin - 2
    Churchill v Stalin - 3
    Churchill v Stalin - 4
    Churchill v Stalin - 5


    Episode Four: Roosevelt v Stalin, July 1944 - April 1945
    Roosevelt v Stalin - 1
    Roosevelt v Stalin - 2
    Roosevelt v Stalin - 3
    Roosevelt v Stalin - 4
    Roosevelt v Stalin - 5

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Sadly enough, they needed a strong leader. And if Hitler hadn't gotten too big for his britches and silently or actively condoned mass genocide that took place, he might have been the one of the most beloved dictators in the history of man...
    Didn't a German historian make that remark, ie if Hitler died in 1940 just after the fall of France?

  9. #79
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    I have just thought about an important point regarding the differences among people in the party, even among the leaders. A good example of this even after the assertion of the right-wing branch of the NSDAP can be seen in the example of Danzig, an area that is now Polish, if I'm not mistaken. (This would be something for you, Peguy! ).

    There were two very different people who were both National Socialist leaders of the Free City of Danzig, now called Gdansk, and Gau Warthegau, who were Albert Forster and Arthur Greiser, respectively. Hitler had basically given the Gauleiter free reign to decide how to "Germanicize" their respective populations. Whereas Forster was mild and extremely generous, Greiser was very hotheaded and quite strict, requiring all manner of tests and documentation to prove Aryan heritage. Forster believed that if he could win over the Danzig population, that would prove more fruitful than treating them as enemies from the start. Greiser believed that he was not living up to his orders or ideology if he did not implement a strict manner of Germanizing the region. The point being that not all leaders were cruel, although admittedly people did get transferred to camps even under Forster's rule; as compared to Greiser, however, this man was an angel. Greiser repeatedly asked for permission to engage in genocide, etc.

    So as you can see, people did not all lead in the same manner. The same was true for German soldiers - some soldiers were cruel without a doubt, but we cannot put them all under the same basket and call them all "Nazi thugs" just because they were fighting for that country under that regime....
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  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Didn't a German historian make that remark, ie if Hitler died in 1940 just after the fall of France?
    That could be, not sure - it was my own thought. Would be interesting to see if that were the case, though....
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