The rationalization of the German response to Versailles is personal and petty in the extreme. What did your family, which owned a big civil shipping company since Napoleonic times, traded, carried passengers and hunted whales, do to prevent the war, or to stop German atrocities during the war? In what way was their burden worse than that of other, poorer, less prominent families? In what way, actually, was their contribution to peace more than that of other, poorer, less prominent families? And how did your family's personal misfortune become a justification for National Socialism?
If these were not issues which demanded war, somebody in Germany was responsible for three wars before 1914.
If it is your underlying point that only some in Germany were guilty, not all, it is surely up to Germans to have prevented that situation in the first place. If Germany's people failed to stand up to the princes, to Prussia and to the machinations of a Chancellor, then who else should be assigned responsibility for the many reasons why the events of the Great War demanded retribution?
Anything against German interest is automatically an outrageously unjust arrangement.
Would you care to point out how the Treaty of Versailles materially differs from:
The Treaty of Vienna, 1864;
The Peace of Prague, 1866;
The Treaty of Frankfurt, 1871.
About the last, this has been said in a popular, on-line resource:
The Franco-Prussian War can be seen as directly setting up World War I. The war revolved around the ancient Franco-German tension that had started when the Carolingian Empire of Charlemagne's heirs was broken up in the Treaty of Verdun in 843. Also, French pride was badly hurt in the war, and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine was humiliating. Bismarck tried to deprive the French of allies, but the German Emperor Wilhelm II dismissed him and allowed an alliance with Russia to lapse (letting France ally with Russia) and ultimately supported Austria in the 1914 crisis that directly led to World War I.
Apparently, Wilhelm II was well-acquainted with the Lotus position. I am unable to comment on his knowledge of Vishnu.
Last edited by Joe Shearer; 07-23-2012 at 07:03 AM.
The Danes had to pay, by reparations and through loss of territory, for the war that was thrust on them by Prussia and Austria.
The Austrians had to pay, by reparations and through loss of territory, for the war that was thrust on them by Prussia.
The French had to pay, by reparations and through loss of territory, for the war that was thrust on them by Prussia.
The Germans, on the other hand, after thrusting a war on Belgium and attacking France, and causing the loss of thousands of lives, and irreparable damage, were obviously not liable to pay, at the popular level or at the state level.
How silly not to realize that all that the poor Germans did was forced on them by manifest destiny. They were not responsible for their actions; they were impelled to do it by higher forces, is it not?
Fighting wars of aggression, and inflicting punishing treaties, which involved reparations (like in Versailles), loss of territory (like in Versailles), and the dissolution of the defeated state (like in Versailles), was something Germany was polished at doing. What happened at Versailles was a reversal of fortune. Germany, and Germans, complained bitterly, without for one moment looking at their own track record.
Having inflicted war, and grievous wounds during the course of that war, Germany was sought to be reduced in strength so that she could not do so ever again.
The Allies miscalculated. They erred on the side of weakness. Only partition, and occupation for decades, finally managed to put the German genie back in the bottle. Versailles was not sufficient to keep Germany out of mischief.
Most of the answers are contained in my posts above.Originally Posted by HÖLDERLIN;
Germany had every opportunity to seek peace. She thrust them aside.
She could have renewed her alliance with Russia. She chose not to, allowed Russia to be wooed and taken into alliance with France, and effectively sat cross legged, with or without the benefit of prayer - it is doubtful that the Hohenzollerns knew about the existence of Vishnu - without much care about the safety and security of East Prussia. Apparently, her answer to every situation was war.
She could have pulled back Austria-Hungary from the repressive measures that led to Serbian resistance and the growth of terrorism. She had sufficient influence to do that. Instead, she chose the 'blank cheque'. Her answer to every situation was war.
With her hugely superior forces, she could have kept the French at bay indefinitely. But no, it had to be war a'outrance, the Schlieffen Plan, the young Moltke repeating what the older Moltke had done. It had to be 1870 or nothing. Her answer to every situation was aggressive war, not merely war.
Last edited by Joe Shearer; 07-23-2012 at 07:01 AM.
That was a great and interesting read. I never looked at the matter that way. Although I have my problems to compare the preconditions, purposes and realizations of the treaties of Vienna, Prague and Frankfurt to that of Versailles and to see a continuity from the Holy Roman Empire to the German Empire of Wilhelm ll. Furthermore it requires a rather anti-German comprehension of history to declare the three mentioned wars as "thrusted on their enemies"; eventhough German leadership was more than happy to seize the opportunities to become a self-determined central European power capable of acting. All apart, of course, from the difficulty of one injustice abolishing another.
I don't think it was partition and occupation, which "put the German genie back in the bottle", but rather the integration into the European community of states via the European Recovery Act and forerunners of the European Union, instead of crippling Germany for immeasurable eternity while Great Britain and France enjoyed special rights - like at the end of World War I.
Hitler came to power as a result of the humiliating conditions imposed on Germany based on the infamous treaty of Versailles as well as the suffering of the German people during the inflation of the 1920's and then the economic depression which hit Germany much harder than it hit any other country. Was it fair ti put the sole blame of the war entirely on Germany as if Germany was the only participating faction? Was it fair to milk the German people of their wealth, their dignity, and their future through enslaving them to pay off the war reparations?
Did the French, British, Russians, and Serbs not commit atrocities during the war?
Hitler was just a Soldier in WW1, a patriot along with millions of other German soldiers returning home to a defeated Germany crippled by economic sanctions, humiliatingly unfair conditions, and immense debt imposed on it by the victors. He saw first hand the lawlessness, the drugs, the rape, and civil strife within German cities. He saw how the communists were taking advantage of the German masses by misleading them through their false promises of hope and equality when in fact they would have done to Germany and the German people what they did to millions of Russians and Ukrainians by mass murder and mass starvation.
Berlin became the drug capital of Europe where moral decadence prevailed, where the reds terrorized German Christians and patriots, where shots were fired in every street corner and in some parts of the city it was unsafe to even venture in daylight. Words cannot even begin to describe the sad state of Germany during that time. It was Adolf Hitler who along with his fellow National Socialist brought change to Germany and put it back upright on its feet. Within six years Germany became a economic powerhouse of Europe, within six years under Hitler's reign Germany went from having the largest number of unemployed in Europe in 1933 to a labor shortage in 1938.
Heck, even Hitler's enemies from abroad could only admire his and the German nations tireless efforts and the fruits which Germany reaped as a result:
Epic: The Story of the Waffen SSEven Churchill, the most fanatic German-hater of them all, had in 1938, a year before the war, sent a letter to Hitler in which he wrote: "If ever Great Britain was plunged into a disaster comparable to the one that afflicted Germany in 1918 I would ask God that He should send us a man with the strength and the character of your Excellency."
Hitler was no ordinary man, neither was he a warmonger as he is portrayed by the mainstream media.
in 1939 Britain alone ruled more than 500 million people worldwide under its empire, France to had colonies in Southeast Asia and North Africa, yet Germany is made to look as the example of all evil.
British Empire in 1939
French Empire in 1939
Last edited by Desert Fox; 07-23-2012 at 01:17 AM.
May I sincerely recommend to you the book by Julien Benda, "La Trahison des Clercs"? I keep suggesting it to people, in the forlorn hope that someone might actually read it, and understand its powerful message, but to no luck so far.
Why do you say so? The war with Denmark was the second; they had fought briefly less than two decades earlier, with rather different results. Only a disposition to reverse the result could have led to another in such quick succession, surely?Furthermore it requires a rather anti-German comprehension of history to declare the three mentioned wars as "thrusted on their enemies"; eventhough German leadership was more than happy to seize the opportunities to become a self-determined central European power capable of acting. All apart, of course, from the difficulty of one injustice abolishing another.
It is true that Danish constitutional reforms led to a casus belli, as the Duchy of Holstein refused to endorse it, a constitutional necessity in Denmark. But it was not necessary for Prussia to pounce on the opportunity, and declare war in a matter for the consideration, strictly speaking, of the Holy Roman Empire. Neither Schleswig or Holstein was ever a Prussian protectorate.
The war with Austria-Hungary, at the time of the war the Holy Roman Empire, was rather obviously at the initiative of Prussia, was it not?
Finally, all room for reasonable doubt vanishes in the case of the French. That was an out-and-out entrapment, to the extent of fabrication and forgery. I was not aware that it was viewed as a war with equally culpable protagonists.
A point of view, a legitimate point of view in hindsight, as we enjoy the superior position of seeing the future turn into the past.I don't think it was partition and occupation, which "put the German genie back in the bottle", but rather the integration into the European community of states via the European Recovery Act and forerunners of the European Union, instead of crippling Germany for immeasurable eternity while Great Britain and France enjoyed special rights - like at the end of World War I.
At the time of the cessation of the war, however, perspectives were rather different. All of Europe, except for bits of Scandinavia and Switzerland, had been under dictatorial and fascist repression for various lengths of time. The repression practised on the captive population exceeded even the pleasantries of Europeans with their colonial subjects, and that is saying a lot.
With this background, only the partition and stern domination of both parts seemed to have sufficient force to prevent a German revival such as the one that the world had already seen.
Since you mention the importance of integration into the European Community as being the critical factor in the harmonisation of Germany with the rest of Europe, you must already be familiar with the history of the formation of the community, and must have noted the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community first, incorporating the important coal- and steel-bearing areas of West Germany into a common union before all other measures. The parallel with the French occupation of the
Saar in the earlier instance is presumably clear.
It was possible to deal with Germany through legislation and pact because it was a truncated Germany. It is an idle historical speculation whether such a course would have been possible with an undivided Germany, however enfeebled.
Please note my editing of the two statements you have referred to. I regret having made them.Originally Posted by HÖLDERLIN
Hindus are regularly insulted in this forum, in egregious terms. Skins have been hardened by repeated exposure to such insults. It was unexpected, however, to encounter such an attitude from other quarters, and did provoke strong feelings for a while.
For the record, I am agnostic.
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