One of my favorite WWII related literature is "Listen, Hans" by U.S. author and reporter Dorothy Thompson, published in 1942. The book contains transcripts of weekly radio broadcasts to Germany in 1942. "Hans" is a German pre-war acquaintance of Dorothy Thompson.
Dorothy Thompson made some experience based remarks on Germany and the U.S., which ring a familiar bell:
Germany since Bismarck has been a Fuersorge Staat (the providential state), with ist industries organized in cartels, its workers in either unions or, even under Hitler, a "Labor Front", all workers protected by immense social insurances and the whole drift towards socialism. What an ordinary American Republican thinks is "normal" is inconceivable, not only to the German mind, but to the mind other Europeans.
To propose an American version of capitalism to a German would be to fill him with doubt and alarm. ...
The Germans, like the Italians, know little about our history and our political and economic institutions, and what they know about the latter is not very impressive to them.
The German view of our society has been largely influenced by Hollywood films, by American novels of the twenties, and by the descriptions of Doctor Goebbels. ... He (the average German) is not interested in our elections, which he supects - judging from his own experience under the Republic - are manipulated by machines, with candidates selcted for their party reliability or their subservience to powerful economic or group interests.
He believes that we are a plutocratic country, ruled for the most part by Big Business.
The childish idea that America will break up because of internal strains simply shows that he (Hitler) knows nothing of America. This is the most fiercely patriotic country on earth. Americans say, "This God's country." Americans selected this country for themselves. They chose it. We are a turbulent and opinionated people, in peacetime. But if America is ever threatened, there is a herd instinct here which is terrific. ...
I am full of optimism. America is full of optimism. We are realists. We know the task we have to do - and how terrible a task it is. We know that we are not doing it as well as we should; and we know that we shall have to pay for our neglience, and our selfishness, and our self-staisfaction.
Yet our war is cleansing us of a feeling of guilt. It is not loading us with one. We see with clarity the kind of world we want to live in, and the kind of world we can live in, and the kind of world we intend to live in - and it makes us happy, because we know it is the kind of world everybody wants to live in.
If we intended to conquer; if we intended to steal: if we intended to crush this civilization or that, destroy this nation or that, in order that our own might somehow be fertilized by the manure of what we had destroyed - then we, too, should be in despair. Be we go to liberate, and therefore we fight with laughter.
We as a nation are not so greatly talented - not more talented than you. We are not so pure - we share all the vices of mankind. But it is the best of us that goes into this war - not the worst of us. It is the best in our motives that impels us - and not the worst. It is the most generous of our instincts that drives us - and not the most mean. We are not governed by the scum of America - as Germany is governed by the scum of Germany. If we spill blood, it will not be spilled by hands systematically trained in spilling the blood of their brothers. ...
And we will win the war, because we are not afraid of our victory. We will be loved for our victory, and therefore we shall have it.
Cheer up, Hans. The world is not coming to an end. It is about to begin a new life! (emphasis added)
And here's another quote by Dorothy Thompson, one I found by chance:
When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.
Here's the European version:
When liberty is taken away by force it can only be restored by multilateral diplomacy, by treaties and by concessions. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it will be recovered because of the good will of dictators.
I'd rather go with Dorothy Thompson's version...