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Is today's German hostility toward the U.S. a new development?

Since 1968, I have written my fingers almost to the bone to warn my fellow Americans through letters to the editor or to influential members of Congress. The subject was the slow conversion of young Germans to Socialism through the German mass media, Germany's school system and the slow collapse of Protestantism in German communities.

Additionally, it was estimated that Germany, as a "front line country" during the Cold War, was being undermined by the infusion of aproximately 50,000 political agents from Communist East Germany.

Another two factors, which made it very hard for Germans to get tough with these people, was German "angst" to repeat the stifling of Democracy as it was done by the Nazis. Furthermore, the U.S. was experiencing itself the same type of revolution during the Vietnam War. What better opportunity for Socialists and Communists to chime in from Europe into this chorus of detractrors of the United States?

In the meantime, we have awakened from our version of that particular nightmare thanks to President Reagan. However, the Germans did not - even to this day!

The West "played 'possum" in view of these developments and considered my warnings and that of others as "overly alarmist". In retrospect, I don't think that my concerns were misplaced.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@ Lou:

You took words right out of my mouth ;-)

Peter.

Mr. Haase's comments are fascinating. I was particularly struck by his side-remark two or three posts ago that Germans hate everybody including themselves. Would you elaborate, Mr Haase?

Peter - Pamela got it right, I did not address your real issue, the Vertriebenen. I had some in my family, and there's every variety from the boy who has cried wolf a bit too often to the girl that never smiled again. I must add that their parents had lived as civilians in Eastern Europe before the war, unlike these of expellee leader Erika Steinbach who is a child of occupation soldiers. Vertriebenenpolitik has been a cold war battle for two generations of adults, but now the last concentration camp apprentices are dying and only the children remain. And thanks to the US push on NATO enlargement, Poland and Czech now are already part of the European Union, and there has been a lot of controversy over an all-European memorial site for the expellees of WWII. Mrs. Steinbach has suggested to put it into an air-raid shelter built by Polish slave labor in Berlin and later used as a refugee transit camp, but a more appropriate place might be the Nazi party palace in Munich from whose balcony Hitler and Chamberlain announced peace in their time. The air-raid shelter better would be used for a museum on the history of aerial warfare before Shock and Awe.

Can anybody ever unwrap the Munich package? Given the political situation of 1938, once one would begin redrawing borders in Eastern Europe, would there be any escape from this? Was there anybody who could have warned of the consequences among the dissidents killed in the concentration camps? Munich has happened, and the only thing that can be done is see through all its contemporary disguises, such as the Mideast Quartet Roadmap, and avoid to open that bottle ever again. If you look at the more present controversy over the right of return in the Arab-Israeli conflict, its seems that in any possible solution such a right can be neither collective nor inheritable. At some point, the visa policies of democratic states living side by side might allow individuals to return and their courts to discuss property claims. Yet before that, Arab states would have to give full citizenship to their Palestinian refugees, such as West Germany did to the Vertriebenen, instead of holding them in permanent temporary camps. Just imagine the UN instead of the US administering Germany in the post-WWII period, I might have been born in a decades-old refugee camp.

The left has a long record of treating the singularity of the Holocaust as their political Holy Grail, but the fact of the matter is that there's a difference between purposeful brutal acts of war, and human sacrifice for the sake of itself. There may be little contrast for the individuals that suffer one or another, but only the latter does permanently change the role of death in culture, at least as permanently as man can. Had Nazi Germany had a little more luck in Russia, the Wehrmacht would have been coming down the Caucasus while Auschwitz ran at its highest rate, and all the Islamists of Arabia and West Asia would have laid at Hitlers feet. Luckily it had not, and the Soviet Union was better dealt with by the Reagan doctrine, but they are still lying there, only that they are no longer kept in their boxes by the cold war, and Germany now is ruled by a Diktatorenversteher rather than by a dictator.

Good stuff. Only thing I will add to this is the fact that I think it may already be too late for sites like this one.

I do not think you can stop the momentum. The Media has set their bit on a course. In germany it seems they must not change course now or they will be forever seen as fools. so they will continue blasting away at anything and everything America does.

The younger people will continue to get innundated with this stuff in their news, music, and even their schools. Now they are taking jobs and teaching the next generation. Some people who post on this site think that there is time to change this. Maybe. But do not bet the farm on it.

If China does invade Taiwan, and the US gets into a shooting war with the Chinese, Americans will look at the weapons being used to kill their soldiers. If they see French and German weapons, developed with American help, being used to kill their own, they/we will not just throw a hissy fit at the UN about it.

this is the mistake I think many are making today. they will try to call me alarmist and poo poo my fears. But I know 911 changed America. If we see Germany and France, after years of demonizing us in thier culture, suddenly arming an enemy...... We will see Germany and France as they enemies they have become.

I dont see America going to war with Europe, but I do see the US and Europe cutting ties that bound us together for centuries. And there is no worse enemy than an old friend. It could get very ugly just 5 years from now.

Steven Den Beste wrote: "In its history, the US has never once been occupied by a foreign power. The last time the territory of the US was occupied was during the Revolution."

Whew. What a couple of startling sentences. The last U.S. occupying troops did not return home until 1876 or so, having spent roughly the same amount of time administering military governments throughout the former CSA as later U.S. troops spent stationed in the Republic of Vietnam.

Non-Southerners do not grasp the different experiences of Southerners, nor how those experiences are remembered and evaluated. Still less can they grasp the role today's "red state" Southerners often see themselves playing as saviours of the USA in the face of Northern "blue state" spiritual deviancy and degeneracy.

The resistance to the public policies Northern Left/Liberalism in today's South is often driven by the deeply satifying and deliciously ironic conviction that the South is today's, so to speak, region of health, the non-gangreneous part of the country.

George E. Lee
Nofolk, VA

Martina - you asked "Pogue Mahone wrote:
> One was war, by a method first deployed by the Germans btw,

Which method?"

The method of total war - air bombardment of helpless cities - like Warsaw and Rotterdam ( and Gurenica too ) to "break" the population

The only reason the Germans didn't do a "Dresden" on London is because they couldn't

The only reason the Western Allies didn't do an Aushwitz on the Germans is because they wouldn't

Peter Haase, I would ask you one question: How would have the issue of 'the expellees' resolved?

As painful as it is for those so impacted, it has ever been thus. Wars draw new borders. If this continues, you risk a Serv/Croat/Balkans/Yugoslavia future. If this continues, descendents of 'expellees' of even older conflicts have claims. Where does it stop?

And will someone please explain to me why Erika Steinbach sued Gabrielle Lasser? The translation I got is not very good.

Jim Doherty: I think in Europe the momentum will be more difficult to stop than in the U.S. because I have the sense that the sources on the internet are not yet being used as an alternate news source. In the U.S., the MSM is reeling. At least one cable news show now has a segment that does nothing but cover the blogs.

I think your concerns about China and Taiwan are well-founded. Before 9/11 I literally had nightmares about war with North Korea or China. And Old Europe is playing a fools game if they think we won't fight and hold them as the enemy. But don't forget South America. Spain and Venzuela are in cahoots and Zapatero is playing whore to a despot.

Peter - my responses in CAPS

Pogue, if you think I accept the argument that 11 Million vs. 2.8 Million innocent genocide victims are "incomparable" because they are not "on the same scale in numbers", you are living in the moral vacuum of another planet.

THAT THE NUMBERS ARE NOT EQUAL IS ONLY PART OF THE STORY - THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEAD ARE ALSO DIFFERENT. AND YES - TO BE MURDERED IS A DIFFERENT DEATH THAN TO BE HIT BY A STRAY BOMB WHILE YOUR COUNTRY IS AT WAR

THE MORAL VACUUM IS YOURS SIR - YOUR EFFORT TO PROMOTE THE "SAME SCALE" TO THE DRESDEN DEAD AND THE AUSHWITZ DEAD IS IMMORAL

Besides, the criminals who were responsible for the Holocaust were largely punished and restitutions have been and are still being made as far as possible.

REALLY? HOW MANY GERMANS WERE PUNISHED FOR THEIR ACTIVITIES DURING WW2 - LIKE BEING DEATH CAMP GUARD OR PART OF SONDERKOMMANDO GROUPS? OR THE WEHRMACHT MEN WHO CARRIED OUT THE KOMMISAR ORDER? I'LL TELL YOU - LESS THAN 1 IN 100
I SUPPOSE THAT "LARGELY" TO YOU?

This is definitely not the case with the largest expulsion of peoples in human history.

WELL CERTAINLY THE LARGEST EXPULSION OF ARYAN PEOPLE IN HISTORY - THE INDIA PAKISTAN PARTITION RESULTED IN 15-20 M REFUGEE'S

http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/world/A0860200.html

AND SINCE THE GERMANS HAD EXPELLED OTHERS A FEW YEARS EARLIER ITS REALLY REALLY HARD TO GET WORKED UP OVER THE WHOLE MATTER

Just the contrary is the case, where the very existence of this crime is being swept under the rug since the leftist revolution of 1968 in Germany. These are the very same people who govern Germany today and who accosted our Nation (the U.S.) unjustiably and regularly over our "moral lapses" the world over.

I DON'T DEFEND THE GERMAN GOV'T - JUST OPPOSE EFFORTS TO EQUATE GERMAN SUFFERING IN AND AFTER WW2 WITH THE SUFFERING OF THE VICTIMS OF THE GERMANS

Please, do not try to convince me but the Almighty in Heaven that your attitude in this matter is morally acceptable.

RIGHT BACK AT YA SLICK ;)

Although you might have your own pain to carry as a possible victim of the horrible Holocaust, I seriously doubt that HE will abide by your plea nor can any civilized person on earth.

INTERESTING -
One can all but hear the wheels grinding, "hmmn - he's objecting to the comparison of the Germans in WW2 suffering to the Holocaust - must be a jew"

Sorry - not of the chosen people myself - just an ordinary american who knows enough history to understand that

1) The germans can never be considered "victims" of WW2 in any way close to the real victims of the terror they unleashed

2) the expulsion of 12M, or however many, ethnic Germans at the end of the war was not the largest such act in history and really wasn't all that unfair or unexpected considering they did it first

3) allied bombing of german cities in WW2 was not a war crime no matter what legal notes you dig up International Law ( now there an oxymoron ) is based upon mutual respect for the law Since the Germans didn't obey the law you have cited its not relevant


What I don't hear Peter is you saying "the suffering of the German people from WW2 can not be compared to the suffering they inflicted upon others first and in greater measure"

But then I don't expect you will say that - you don't think that at all

with kind regards,
Pogue Mahone

To: Ps

In answer to your question, in my preceding post I expressed concern about today's German "hate-youth" culture. More specifically, I was referring to their nihilism and leftism as well as the rapid spread of atheism amongst young Germans. The causes are many but one of the major causes was the lack of self respect amongst them as "marked inheritors of a criminal nation" and the general attack within the German media upon all German heroism of former ages. Consequently, you never hear a young German speak of "forefathers" with the same love and admiration as American kids do.

The postwar pro-democratic, anti Nazi brainwashing has been too thorough. It left young people with nothing of their cultural and political heritage from past centuries to be proud of. German history is taught today as mainly starting with Hitler and ending with the partial re-unification of Germany. Anything heroic from the twothousand prior years of German history is only past over in a furtive manner.

My sons attended the German pavillion during the last World Fair at Hannover, Germany. They were confused and alienated to see only statues of postwar German literati and historical figures. It amounted to one of the most poorly designed exhibitions.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that many young Germans would rather want to become Swiss or even Americans than remain German? After all, what young people want to be forever a member of a nation without any greatness? Is it any wonder that people who cannot even love their own heritage are ready to pounce with severe critcism upon others who seem to ignore the UN (which they had been (falsely) taught to think of with the utmost respect?) Germany is in many ways a politically and especially nationally and morally sick nation today.

America bears no responsibility for this extrem result of German postwar "re-education".

Unfortunately, there is a truism in "that a man who disrespects his own country, will seldom learn to respect the country of another." A similar developement brought Germany to the disaster with Adolf Hitler. Will the new generation of Germans be smart enough to return to the path of friendship before it is too late? The lifting of the weapon export embargo to China could be the last straw after which our friendly relationship might be canceled for decades to come.

We have to figure out a way to make this nation our friend again or we can let things lay to see what happens in the long run.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

George Lee,
You raise an interesting subject. There are similarities between our South and Germany. As far as I am concerned, in both cases, very brave people fought, suffered and died for very bad causes. But the South never engaged in the prolonged and neurotic repentances that the Germans have. Fortunately, I think, nobody made them. They could drink to the old cause, sing Dixie, mutter about the 'damn Yakees', and generally (except in one critical thing) stay their splended ornery selves. In fact, in some ways they've quite won us over; 'rebel' is an honored description in the USA, Gone With the Wind is part of our national memory, and need I point out this oddity? The Southern generals who fought us count among our greatest commanders.
Forgive me for speaking this way, but America didn't need castrated milksops, forever ringing their hands over this and that. America needed loyal proud Americans, a resource in which today's South is fertile. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying anybody master-minded this healing; it just happened while nobody was particularly paying attention. And the Germans? I'm afraid we cured them too well for their own good--or ours. Their birthrate will finish the job, but atleast everybody will stop beating the dead horse of World War 2.

Steve: Thanks for your post. I was starting to wonder if anyone out there knew the historical facts in regards to both the world wars. Peter's skewed version of the facts went unrebutted a bit too long for my taste.

Peter: Re-read what Steve wrote. That is absolutely how it went down. Unless and until you accept that the government of Germany was responsible for the Second World War, you're going to be dismissed as a kook by anyone with historical knowledge.

But your point seems to be that no matter who was responsible, it wasn't the German people, it was the Nazis. Hitler and the Nazis were at least partially reflecting the genuine desires of the German people. Many may have felt that he went overboard, but the basic thrust of Nazism's thirst for revenge and Jew-hating was the life-blood of popular German thought between the wars.

I dunno Jimmy - when you read this from Peter "The postwar pro-democratic, anti Nazi brainwashing has been too thorough" well it makes ya wonder

At the very least a poor choice of phrase
at worst....

I really need to read your posts more carefully Peter - this is a beauty - "My more casual mention of carpet bombing of German cities, which destroyed 60% of all major towns in the country, was not addressing the U.S. but mainly the night time "artwork" of Britain's "Bomber Harris" who had decided that his life's purpose consisted of the total annihilation of the German people through carpet fire bombing. (He and Mr. Himmler would have made for good partners on the same side of the war.)"

So much to work with here

lets start with some facts - on what basis do you derive that 60% figure of major german towns destroyed?

Please define a town - pop over 100K? Over 20?

Please define destroyed? Apart from Hiroshima and parts of many other cities in Germany and Japan - what was destroyed? Was 60% of Hamburg destroyed? 60% of Berlin?

We all know there was much destruction - but to state as fact that 60% of German major towns were destroyed calls out for some backup

As for Harris's counterpart in Germany - why not Herr Goering? His air force bombed cities far more weakly defended than Mr Harris's forces did - and they did it first

@ Pogue

As long as you try to justify one terror with another, we are talking past each other. Never mind, the sometimes flawed numbers in our quotes.

The unasailable fact remains that both, German war crimes and for instance, Soviet war crimes are simply "crimes" - period. Each one should/would be ajudicated separately in any court and not against each other. That is the way the law works.

None of these crimes become excusable due to the fact that the other party was also in the wrong. That would be the law of the jungle as espoused by Hitler, Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. We Americans say it much simpler as you must well know, "Two wrongs don't make a right".

As most people in the world, I was made very well aware of German war crimes during the past 60 years. Unfortunately, same cannot be said about war crimes by the other side. I have taken it upon myself to balance the books just a little and see what comes out of the woodwork? Yes, people who have an almost similar disrespect for human life as the SS did as long as we are talking about mass killings of innocent "German" civilians. Do you realize how much this sounds like the Nazis when one talks about the nonesense that "one group of people suffered more than the other" instead of condemning all acts of inhumanity without distinction to race, creed, nationality or color? You sure know how to scare people.

Btw, the resettlement of Indians to Bangladesh was a peaceful affair by comparison to the bestial genocide of 2.8 Million East German civilians during the expulsion under this terror of another 12 Million. I have never heard or read anywhere that these two events could even be compared as far as "expulsions" go. So far , the expulsion of East Germans "is the largest in human history" on record.

Your remarks about my probable rassist attitude in conjunction with Bangladesh is herewith energetically rejected as untrue and purely gratuitous in nature. I will, therefore, consider our brief exchange as closed.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@ Pogue

As long as you try to justify one terror with another, we are talking past each other. Never mind, the sometimes flawed numbers in our quotes.

The unasailable fact remains that both, German war crimes and for instance, Soviet war crimes are simply "crimes" - period. Each one should/would be ajudicated separately in any court and not against each other. That is the way the law works.

None of these crimes become excusable due to the fact that the other party was also in the wrong. That would be the law of the jungle as espoused by Hitler, Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. We Americans say it much simpler as you must well know, "Two wrongs don't make a right".

As most people in the world, I was made very well aware of German war crimes during the past 60 years. Unfortunately, same cannot be said about war crimes by the other side. I have taken it upon myself to balance the books just a little and see what comes out of the woodwork? Yes, people who have an almost similar disrespect for human life as the SS did as long as we are talking about mass killings of innocent "German" civilians. Do you realize how much this sounds like the Nazis when one talks about the nonesense that "one group of people suffered more than the other" instead of condemning all acts of inhumanity without distinction to race, creed, nationality or color? You sure know how to scare people.

Btw, the resettlement of Indians to Bangladesh was a peaceful affair by comparison to the bestial genocide of 2.8 Million East German civilians during the expulsion under this terror of another 12 Million. I have never heard or read anywhere that these two events could even be compared as far as "expulsions" go. So far , the expulsion of East Germans "is the largest in human history" on record.

Your remarks about my probable rassist attitude in conjunction with Bangladesh is herewith energetically rejected as untrue and purely gratuitous in nature. I will, therefore, consider our brief exchange as closed.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

Peter -

Consequently, you never hear a young German speak of "forefathers" with the same love and admiration as American kids do.

Could it be that a tradition of liberty is a real void in a culture that is still trying to get out of the Dark Ages? Or who, in your eyes, was the German Washington, the German Jefferson, the German Lincoln?

@ Leo

Since Germany was a monarchy throughout the greater part of its long history its heroes or national leaders were mostly blue blooded. But nevertheless, German or Prussian history was blessed with national heroes like von Bismarck and Frederick the Great who were not only far seeing international statesmen of military genius but also progressive social planners to make Prussian/German juris prudence, science and an almost unassailably "clean" state apparatus the envy of many countries in the world.

You will find that most American history books written before WW I totally agreed with the above assesment. Yes, even the U.S. Congressionat library was build after the model of the Prussian State Library

After the beginning of WW I, however, state propaganda took over and suddenly, oh what surprise and wonder, every German historic figure became highly suspect. Even Dachshunds as "Wiener dogs" became the objects of disgust on the street and playing Beethoven became a national disgrace. :-)

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@ Jimmy,

Please read my post more carefully. There is no doubt that Hitler started the war by declaration. The German people were not asked but rather surprised as everybody else was. I lived there - remember? In other words, the war was not a result of a demand by the German people but by their dictator.

If you think that Germans had enough knowledge about the intricacies of international affairs to simply stay at home when the orders came, you are totally misunderstnading the powers of a state under a dictatorship. If you do not have absolut proof that the dictator is wrong, you are done. Even in case of the latter, your life expectancy and that of your loved ones would be considerably shortened.

The explanation for the war by Hitler made sense to most Germans since the Allies had delivered nothing but lies (e.g., Wilson's 14 points??) and hateful revenge toward the German people since the Versailles Treaty after WW I. Nobody trusted the French and British anymore - let alone Stalin and the USSR which was fast drowning in the blood of its own people.

Today's American historians agree with that. Please go ahead and do your own home work if you wish to recheck my posts. You cannot expect me to give you proof for every quote from history that I have discovered over the past 50 years. Most of it is acommon knowledge by now. Just as I cannot provide people in Germany with every quote in America about the Iraq war.

I provide you with my findings with the certain knowledge that you will find the same answers if you dig deep enough below the obvious stereotype answers about WW I or WW II. You are not asked to believe it if you suspect behind it any other motive but the desire for a better understanding amongst our nations.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

Peter,
There was no "long German history of monarchy", unless you are referring to Prussia. And if you are, your earlier post suggests that equating Prussia with Germany is a mistake, so I think you are being inconsistent there.

Germany was a very loose collection/conglomeration of mostly very small principalities, fiefdoms, etc., with some larger entities (Prussia being the most significant) that were nowhere close to being unified. Napoleon actually did the most for German reunification, when he consolidated the (these numbers may be off slightly) the 450+ from above into about 40. There was no history of Germany, per se, until later under Bismarck and the last two Kaisers. And I believe that is part of the background that made Hitler's rise to power a possibility.

Peter,
Meaning no disrespect, but the " I lived there - remember?" re the declaration of war in your response to Jimmy is of questionable value. You were 12/13(?) in 1939, if I'm calculating correctly (you mentioned earlier that you were 16 during the Allied bombing raids on German cities.) I doubt that you were that attuned to the international political scene to be able to personally judge the reaction of the German populace. As far as "The explanation for the war" by Hitler making sense, that needs to be put in the context of his constant diatribes/campaigns blaming the Jews, and to a lesser extent the Communists, for much of what had happened to Germany. If the German populace bought into that, which they obviously did for the most part, of course anything that Hitler said would make sense.

@ Mike

I was 11 years old when WW II broke out. We were not the average American boys but constantly politically aware members of the Hitler Youth (Jungvolk) since age 10. Since the war started only a few miles from my hometown, Koenigsberg, of course, I became very concerned about the beginning as well as the outcome for the entire 6 year period of the war. It became part of the unforgettable nightmare this war was for all mankind - the victors as well the vanquished.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@ Mike,

Oh boy, have you ever heard of the "Holy Roman Emire of the German Nation?"

Please find it on the internet and then tell me again that Germany had no overall monarchy until Prussia.

The Prussians founded under their monarchy only the 2.German Reich. The first German Reich lasted for many hundreds of years before that into the middle ages and beyond the Renaissance. All kings and feudal lords of Germany had some independece but had sworn allegiance to their Holy Roman German Emperor. Sorry about that.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

Peter,
Your response makes me even more questionable about your understanding, at the time, of the events. You were only 11, and had been indoctrinated by the Hitler Youth for at least a year; that is hardly a background and age for having an accurate perception of the realities of the political situation.

To give some background on myself, so that you understand I am not coming at this from an anti-German backgroung: all of my great-grandparents and one of my grandmothers were born in Germany; my older uncles and aunts spoke German before they spoke English, even though they were all born in the United States. I used to be speak/read/write German fluently. (But 20+ years with little practice has taken much of that away.) I took part in several relatively short exchange programs with the German Navy while I was in the Navy. And, purely by coincidence, my college roommate and long-time best friend is the son of parents who have very similar backgrounds to you. (His father served in the German Army during the war; they came here in the 50's which is where they raised their family.) And my friend's father has similar views to you in many respects.

Leo: Maybe the American standard of liberty is too high to measure Germany or anybody else by. For example, by our 1st Amendment, I can stand on a corner with a bullhorn and shout Hitler Was The Nicest Guy Who Ever Lived! In Germany, France, UK, gentle Canada, in every other nation on earth, I'd be in the slammer. Are they then trying to get out of the Dark Ages too? For that matter, who is Europe's Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln? Certainly not the people who wrote your interminably minute and dull EU constitition. (Is it still pushing the crock that Europe owes as much to Islam as Christianity?) Then there's your Euro currency, bearing engravings of bridges, walls, doorknobs and the like, all very neutral subjects. It's as if all Europe knows the mark of Cain on one another's forehead. Everybody there has some ancient grievance against everybody else, Germany's crimes being the freshest in the collective memory. It all makes me very grateful to be an American.

To Mr Haase:
I very much hope you haven't been driven from this forum by our World War 2 buffs. You offer a much needed perspective. As you know, a famous American patroit once said "My country--right or wrong". Having been there, can you comment on whether the Germans at that time felt that way too? And if what you say about the current spirit of Germans is true, shouldn't we simply delete them from our international calculations? They are too weak to help, too soft to harm.

To the World War 2 buffs:
Might it be that after the 30 years' War where foreign armies criss-crossed the Germanies, destroying and destroying again, that after the Wars of Louis XIV where foreign armies returned and devastated the Rhineland region, that after the Napoleonic Wars, 10 years of still more foreign armies, still more battles, still more destruction, don't you think that the Germans might have picked up some of their bad habits from such role models? A German back then might very reasonably have drawn the conclusion it's better to be the invader than the invaded, and always better to have the baddest army. This proved not to be correct, and many millions, Germans and non-Germans, paid for it. This is not to vindicate or deny, but to give Gibbon the final word: History is nothing but the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind. Or something like that.

Peter,
To call the history of the Holy Roman Empire a history of Germany is disingenuous. The HRE began under Charlemagne, included what is now Switzerland, Austria, significant parts of France; the French portions of it broke off sooner than the others. The "emperor" was also the emperor of Italy. It was only an extremely loose collection of various entities. It never came anywhere close to real political unity.

I see Peter has failed to answer the question I posed: How would you resolve the issue of the 'expelleees'?

@ Mike

In answer to your question about the expulsion, first we have to understand that none of the expellees wish for any kind of revenge. Below you will find the 1950 Charta of the German expellees in many languages.

It was coined by western scholars as one of the most peaceful human documents from any people who were similarly mistreated:

http://www.bund-der-vertriebenen.de/derbdv/charta-en.php3

The first step would be the long overdue plebiscite held according international under UN auspices to determine how many expelles would vote for annexation of their homeland by Russia or Poland. (Only few would chose to return even if Poland or Russia would guarrantee their safety and freedom of minority expression.)

The next step would be a request to name all former German cities and towns in two languages in honor of the long cultural heritage of the original natives of these territories.

Most of these steps would have to be settled amongst the new settlers and the original inhabitans of the land under UN auspices. The trust in the German government as honest broker has totally evaporated amongst the expellees after its agreement to have the land annexed illegally without giving the expellees any voice in the matter.

I hope that I have answered your question to your satisfaction.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@Rofe: "But there are plenty of voices of moderation here, too, and cherry-picking the most over-the-top examples of anti-Americanism, while satisfying at some level, doesn't prove anything we don't already know (that a big chunk of Germans have an unfavorable view of America(ns))."

The issue isn't whether anti-American or anti-German attitudes exist, it's whether those attitudes are influential in the respective countries policies and whether those attitudes are instigated through biased, sensational and evil media reporting.

So, Rofe, if there are plenty of voices of moderation, please supply us with several links, so we can experience that moderation too.

@ Mike

I have not said that I was as "experienced" in politics or history as the grown ups surrounding me. However, I was well equipped to judge if German people generally were happy about the war or deeply concerned. It dovetails with what most historians write on the subject today. Especially, since it was such a contrast to the naive celebrations by all nations at the start of WW I. We used to say that we were the generation who had to grow from 15 to 80 years of age in months.

If some of what I write sounds like an apology for the German people (nota bene: NOT the Nazis) it is only that after all the killing was done and nothing was left, I resolved never to condemn another whole nation of people - be they Americans, Russians, Jews, Poles or even Germans because I have paid for bitter lessons on the subject as a child.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

@Peter: "The causes are many but one of the major causes was the lack of self respect amongst them as "marked inheritors of a criminal nation" and the general attack within the German media upon all German heroism of former ages. Consequently, you never hear a young German speak of "forefathers" with the same love and admiration as American kids do."

I agree. I was in Germany as a student in '75-76 and again in '80-82 in business. I thought the continuous destruction of anything German was sick and would lead to a backlash. People are not going to do something positive, if they believe their nation is evil and was always evil. I thought then, that Germany needed a healthy patriotism. One way to start to build that is to fight and work for other people's liberty.

Jabba the Tutt

>> One way to start to build that is to fight and work for other people's liberty.

Watch what you wish for. They're liable to fight Israel to free the Paleos.

'..one of the major causes was the lack of self respect amongst them as "marked inheritors of a criminal nation" and the general attack within the German media upon all German heroism of former ages.'

I agree too, the natural psychological reaction to such nagging indoctrination is counter productive and ultimately dangerous.
I was startled when living in Germany that a German friend was ashamed that the wonderful giant statue of the Kaiser at the Deutsche Ecke in Koblenz had been reconstructed.

thanks for your commentary Peter Haase. you've offered some interesting perspectives throughout this long post, and i appreciate them.
i think, perhaps, the common mistake among all involved is to assume that 'the other side' is some other species,.. not human. that 'the other's' tragic failings are not possible among our own. i'm a big believer in universal human nature, and much of it isn't pretty.
anyway, peter, if you're up to it, i'm in boca about once a month if you want to catch a beer and chat for spell. gimme an email if so.

henry
jimmmy AT gmail DOT com

"I'm sure that there's a significant chunk of Americans who have an unfavorable view of Germans (beer-swilling appeasement monkeys, or some such), and just because that sentiment doesn't make it into the US media as frequently as the opposite does here doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

A lot I could respond to, but it's pretty late so I'll address this.

Quite frankly, there's not. There's a small minority of people like me who make it our business to dissect the trans-atlantic alliance. The vast majority either do not care whatsoever about Europe, or believe it is just a temporary pause, because our media doesn't make a point to demonize you. In fact, the majority of news dialogue on the transatlantic is used to blame Bush (and therefore the US) for the disagreement.

The one exception is the French, but even that is more of a populist "who cares, they suck - next". No really serious.

This hatred (and I don't presume to say it is all of Europe, but I hesitate even to say definitively that it is a minority anymore...) is a European phenomenon. It isn't reciprocated over here.

A couple of notes regarding comments from Jabba the Tutt and Cutler.

Jabba: I agree with your first sentence wholeheartedly. And like I said in my comment, America-bashing in the German press drives me nuts. Like I also said, I just discovered this site and I'm afraid I don't have any handy links as 'proof' (nor do I have the time to look for some right now). However, if you're willing to accept that I'm arguing in good faith (versus simply trolling), I'll be happy to collect some hard contra-examples of the kind you asked for.

In the meantime, a couple of things come to mind. As you probably know, earlier in the year Germans were debating whether or not to levy tuition fees on university students. Die Zeit (if I recall correctly) had a very good article about the benefits of the American model.

Not a particularly political topic, granted, and one article inexactly remembered doesn't prove anything. But I think you'll find that (particularly) when you move away from foreign policy there's plenty of recognition of America's strengths.

Second, I don't know if "Bild" gets much play on this site, but I've found that its editorial line is generally sympathetic to American interests. And before anyone chokes while laughing, don't forget that "Bild" is Germany's largest-circulation newspaper. Substance and influence ? Nope, I'm not arguing that at all. But when I'm arguing against the "Germans think XYZ" mindset, then the massest market publication of them all should come into play.

Or take the flip side of that thought. Who, exactly, does "Stern" influence ? I know some very bright Germans (America-skeptics, at that) who laugh at "Stern" as a 'serious' news publication as well. So if "Stern" is simply preaching to the converted, shouldn't that be factored into the equation ?

Cutler: I may be wrong, but your choice of words like "demonize" and "hatred" may point to the source of our disagreement. I don't know what American press you read, but I know that the financial press (WSJ, Business Week, etc.) is full of articles criticizing Germany, at least in a commercial / economic sense. Beyond that, it's practically an article of faith that the German labor market is too rigid, that Germans study too long, vacation too much and retire too early. I'm sure you've read as much in your dissecting, too.

Of course, there's evidence to back up those statements and I'm not saying they're inaccurate. But they're not very flattering and they get plenty of play. Hatred and demonizing ? No, but I never argued that in the first place.

And, maybe, some of the less-over-the-top criticism of America has some validity as well. I remember reading plenty of commentary here doubting the weapons of mass destruction rationale. I argued against the doubters. Turns out I've been proven wrong.

I'll end with this. You can certainly find a German who hates X about America. And you won't have to look very hard to find a German who mocks the easily mockable in America. Yet you can just as certainly find a German who reads about America, knows a lot more about America than Joe Main Street knows about Germany, has visited America and has had a few of his stereotypes trashed in process. Often, all of this occurs in the same German. The evolution of Germany's post-war thinking on America is a complex thing, and simplifying it down to the ugliest common denominator does a disservice to anyone trying to understand it.

To Rofe:

I know you are right that many of the middle class Germans are basically CDU voters and are dissatisfied with Red-Green government.

They also are critical about the common anti American trend in the mass media with sometimes outrageously concocted lies about us.

So, we can agree thay not all Germans are anti Americans by a long shot. Yet, the overall trend is worrysome. Frankly, I am shocked to find verbatim quotes of Nazi war-time newspapers about America. I surely felt that this kind of thing was behind the Germans forever.

Again, the suppression of all national, historic pride and onsesided criticism of German war crimes by liberals within Germany and their associated media power has led to an extrem patriotic fervor reaction by so-called "Neo-Nazis" (those wannabe "Nazi-babies" would be scared to death if they would meet for once the "real article" today which was the one I grew up with.)

The question is how to cure the problem. Any ideas?

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

rofe wrote "The evolution of Germany's post-war thinking on America is a complex thing, and simplifying it down to the ugliest common denominator does a disservice to anyone trying to understand it."
Wow, so this new german thinking is "complex" you say? And you fear breaking it down to it's lowest denominator does a "disservice" to anyone trying to understand it???
I call that pure drivel. This situation is meant to be SOLVED not simply "understood". One cannot "understand" madness, nor can one ever hope to understand the current german psycho-social blather.
It is something that needs to be SOLVED, not eternally discussed, buried or stroked over as is eu habit.
To NOT break a problem down to it's smallest component in order to address "root causes" is imbecilic at best and truly indicative of what has destroyed so many minds (young and old) within the old incontinent continent.
It seems so true that when a european sees anything of great complexity they run for whats left of the forest to hide in. And it is from there that they shout their cowardly distain for the US while listening to Michael Hasselhoff on their iPOD. or an asylum seeker)

Good morning. I want to add a description of the American bombing of Japanese cities in W.W.II. This truncated passage is from historian Victor Davis Hanson in his book “The Soul of Battle.” Hanson’s father was a gunner on one of the airplanes participating in the bombing:

<...> a year after his enlistment, on March 9, 1945, 344 B-29s left their Marianas bases, 3,500 newly trained men crammed in among the napalm. The gigantic planes each carried ten tons of the newly invented jellied gasoline incendiaries. Preliminary pathfinders had seeded flares over Tokyo in the shape of an enormous fiery X to mark the locus of the target. Planes flew over in small groups of three, a minute apart. Most were flying not much over 5,000 feet above Japan. Five hundred pound incendiary clusters fell every 50 feet. Within thirty minutes, a 28-mile-per-hour ground wind sent the flames roaring out of control. Temperatures approached 1.800 degrees Fahrenheit. The Americans flew in without guns, and LeMay was not interested in shooting down enemy airplanes. He instead filled the planes with napalm well over their theoretical maximum loads. He wished to destroy completely the material and psychological capital of the Japanese people, on the brutal theory that once civilians had tasted what their soldiers had done to others, only then might their murderous armies crack. Advocacy for a savage militarism from the rear, he thought, might dissipate when one's house was in flames. People would not show up to work to fabricate artillery shells that killed Americans when there was no work to show up to. Soldiers who kill, rape, and torture do so less confidently , when their own families are at risk at home.

The planes returned with their undercarriages seared and the smell of human flesh among the crews. Over 80,000 Japanese died outright; 40,918 were injured: 267,171 buildings were destroyed. One million Japanese were homeless. Air currents from the intense heat sent B-29s spiraling thousands of feet upward. Gunners like my father could see the glow of the inferno from as far away as 150 miles as they headed home. The fire lasted four days. My father said he smelled burned flesh for miles on the way back to Tinian. Yet, only 42 bombers were damaged, and 14 shot down. No single air attack in the history of conflict had been so devastating. <...>There was to be no public objection to LeMay’s burning down the industrial and residential center of the Japanese empire- too many stories about Japanese atrocities toward subjugated people and prisoners of war had filtered back to the American people. To a

democratic nation in arms, an enemy's unwarranted aggression and murder are everything, the abject savagery of its own retaliatory response apparently nothing. <...> Quickly, he upped the frequency of missions, sending his airmen out at the unheard-of rate of 120 hours per month-the Eighth Air Force based in England had usually flown a maximum of 30 hours per month-as they methodically burned down within ten days Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, and Osaka before turning to smaller cities. His ground crews simply unloaded the bombs at the dock and drove them right over to the bombers, without storing them in arms depots. Between 300 and 400 planes roared out almost every other day, their crews in the air 30 hours and more each week. Missions over Japan, including preliminary briefings and later debriefings, often meant 24 consecutive hours of duty. Benzedrine and coffee kept the flyers awake. In revenge for the unprovoked but feeble attack at Pearl Harbor on their country, American farmers, college students, welders, and mechanics of a year past were now prepared-and quite able-to ignite all the islands of Japan. Their gigantic bombers often flew in faster than did the sleek Japanese fighters sent up to shoot them down. <...> So much for the Japanese myth that decadent pampered Westerners were ill equipped for the savagery of all-out war. Even in the wildest dreams of the most ardent Japanese imperialists, there was no such plan of destroying the entire social fabric of the American nation.

(continued from above)
less confidently , when their own families are at risk at home.

The planes returned with their undercarriages seared and the smell of human flesh among the crews. Over 80,000 Japanese died outright; 40,918 were injured: 267,171 buildings were destroyed. One million Japanese were homeless. Air currents from the intense heat sent B-29s spiraling thousands of feet upward. Gunners like my father could see the glow of the inferno from as far away as 150 miles as they headed home. The fire lasted four days. My father said he smelled burned flesh for miles on the way back to Tinian. Yet, only 42 bombers were damaged, and 14 shot down. No single air attack in the history of conflict had been so devastating. <...>There was to be no public objection to LeMay’s burning down the industrial and residential center of the Japanese empire- too many stories about Japanese atrocities toward subjugated people and prisoners of war had filtered back to the American people. To a

democratic nation in arms, an enemy's unwarranted aggression and murder are everything, the abject savagery of its own retaliatory response apparently nothing. <...> Quickly, he upped the frequency of missions, sending his airmen out at the unheard-of rate of 120 hours per month-the Eighth Air Force based in England had usually flown a maximum of 30 hours per month-as they methodically burned down within ten days Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, and Osaka before turning to smaller cities. His ground crews simply unloaded the bombs at the dock and drove them right over to the bombers, without storing them in arms depots. Between 300 and 400 planes roared out almost every other day, their crews in the air 30 hours and more each week. Missions over Japan, including preliminary briefings and later debriefings, often meant 24 consecutive hours of duty. Benzedrine and coffee kept the flyers awake. In revenge for the unprovoked but feeble attack at Pearl Harbor on their country, American farmers, college students, welders, and mechanics of a year past were now prepared-and quite able-to ignite all the islands of Japan. Their gigantic bombers often flew in faster than did the sleek Japanese fighters sent up to shoot them down. <...> So much for the Japanese myth that decadent pampered Westerners were ill equipped for the savagery of all-out war. Even in the wildest dreams of the most ardent Japanese imperialists, there was no such plan of destroying the entire social fabric of the American nation.

For history buffs:

During the past 50 years, I have read several articles from historians and futurists about history since WW I. For instance, what would have happened if America had not entered WW I to "preserve" Democracy throughout the world?

Let's say the "shame reason" for the war would have been discovered then as it has been by today, in that in the meantime American divers discovered that the German U-Boat in question did not fire "two" torpedoes to "expedite" the sinking and loss of life from the Ocaen Liner Lusitania.

Let's say, it would have also been disclosed that the British Admiralty knew of U-boat packs in the particular area of South of Ireland but continued to load ammo and war material onto the passenger liner Lusitania as internationally forbidden contraband.

Let's say, it would have been disclosed that Winston Churchill, nemesis of all Germans in the British Admiralty at the time, purposely "neglected" to warn the captain of the Lusitania about impending danger of U-boats in the particular area to definitely cause the sinking of the Lusitania as the best way to involve an enraged American populace into the war against Germany (Btw, Churchill is supposed to have also played a similar role during the attack upon Pearl Harbor by neglecting to inform Roosevelt about an impending attack upon the 7th US Fleet at Pearl Harbor as it was dicovered by British MI-5 intelligence!)

The German ambassador had warned the Lusitania not to leave NY harbor with its (for German soldiers) deadly cargo!!

If America would consequently not have entered WW I, Germany would have won the conflict hands down without question.

What would have happened to France and England? The Germans would have withdrawn their exhausted troops from France and the Benelux countries as they always had during preceding wars. Germans had more than enough of this useless war. Territorial enlargement was certainly not on anyone's mind in Germany!

Both, England and France would have had to pay some war reparations to the Central Powers for their rather "superfluous" declaration of war. The German government would have stayed in place except for their intelligently "challenged" Kaiser.

His son, the far more internationally sensitive and talented Crown Prince of Prussia, would have taken over the rains.

Hitler would have never made it to come upon the scene since Germans would not have suffered undue hardships under a Versailles Treaty.

The borders of Europe would have stayed inviolate.

The Russian revolution would have fizzled in light of a strong, united Europe and America.

The Chiness revolution and all other Communist expansions would also never have taken place or be crushed by a Europe and America united and at peace with itself.

It is hard to totally ignore this as a lesson of history but that, unfortunately, it never had a chance to happen?

It is most encouraging that since WW II, America has chosen the totally new path of reconciliation and rebuilding a former enemy in Germany as well as anywhere else. Most people choose peace over war and friendship over hate if they are permitted to choose freely.

Notes asides:

U-boat warfare started in WW I in a rather chivalrous fashion. All European powers had agreed that U-boats of any war-time nation had the right to stop neutral or enemy freighters/ passenger liners to inspect them for contraband (i.e war material.)

Well, this agreement did not last long. Great Btitain introduced concealed artillery on its freighters. As soon as the conning tower of a German submarine broke the surface to send a commando of German sailors to inspect the ship for contraband, concealed canons were uncovered and the German U-boat was sunk unceremoneously.

The expected result was that German U-boats shot first and asked questions thereafter. Of course, this was also added by the Allies to the long list of "German Barbarisms" during the war.

Nevertheless, German submariners had not forgotten the lessons of WW I and continued to shoot first and ask questions later during WW II.

Again, please take this as the output of a mix of European and American historians/futurists and forget about "shooting the messenger" if you violently disagree :-)

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

For those of you who really profess an interest in the aftermath of WW II, here is an address you don't want to miss:

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/

Dear Peter

"What ifs" can drive us crazy. While there certainly are degrees of complicity in the events leading up to the World Wars, most reasonable people can agree that few governments had clean hands and frequently had selfish motives. People love conspiracy theories because, arguably, there is often an element of truth in them. What did they know, and when did they know it? Have you heard that one before? Add mistrust, anger, desire for revenge, national pride, perceived insults, perceived threats, and you have the story of the 20th century.

Peter:

I'm convinced that your heart is in the right place so I'll go easy here in response. I'll also echo your sentiment that the Soviets committed massive war crimes against Eastern Europeans especially Germans that they have yet to be punished for (and probably never will since the perpetrators are either dead or soon to be). I will only add that since the Soviets were on the winning side if they had been punished it would have been the first time in the history of warfare that a victorious power charged a large body of their own troops and leadership with war crimes. To be clear, I'm not saying that justice was served, just pointing out that historically, winners don't go to jail.

Where we part ways is in your conception of the German peoples' collective guilt for the commencement and prosecution of the war. As you note, Hitler started it. What you don't seem to want to face is that Hitler rose to power and consolidated that power through the democratic process. While the Nazi party only received something like 30% of the vote in the 1933 election that eventually saw Hitler become Chancellor, a later vote in 1934 saw 90% of the 42 million who voted give him outright dictatorial powers. The people of Germany knew the thrust of Hitler's policies: return Germany to its rightful place as premier nation of Europe and shun/forcibly emigrate/"punish" German Jewry. The details of the plan were written down in Mein Kampf and however much some would like to think that it was "old news" it wasn't like Hilter had denounced the book or stated he was a changed man in some way. Call it selective ignorance if you'd like but the evidence was there to see for anyone who was interested to learn Hitler's motives.

But the collective guilt of WWII-era Germans in my mind should really only be instructive for the current generation of Germans (ie. learn from other's mistakes). I do not blame current Germans for the actions of their forefathers just as I reject blame for slavery (being a Texan). The past is instructive, important, and not the source of an intergenerational guilt trip. Luckily, I think we agree on this point.

Finally, I still feel like I need to re-emphasize Steve's points about what you seem to term as German defensive actions during the war. As Steve points out, German actions were most certainly not defensive but offensive actions directed for the most part against countries that would have happily remained neutral if Germany had given them a chance. Information coming out of the Soviet Union after the war is even more confirmatory of the position that the Soviets were happy watching the Nazis eviscerate the western democracies and bide their time. They were most certainly not about to launch an invasion into occupied Poland and East Prussia.

Not to be too geeky about it but Stalin was chastened by the Winter War debacle and the Soviet High Command was in the process of trying to restructure the army based on lessons learned from Germany's surprising successes of the first years of the war. More importantly, there is no evidence that the German High Command, Hitler, or anyone for that matter seriously considered a Soviet invasion a possibility in the near future. Hitler launched Barbarossa to get more lebensraum for Germany, not as a pre-emptive strike against a dangerous or threatening foe. End geekery.

Peter, I am glad that we can discuss this calmly and rationally. You seem genuine and your attitude toward the current state of Germany is pretty much what mine is. I offer these thoughts to try to strengthen your arguments. In the end, claiming an unorthodox and, in my view, false view of World War II will only weaken your overall argument. Thanks for your repsonses.

Peter - Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 now is the anthem of Europe, and there's a great Stanley Kubrick movie on this theme which explains its psychology to outsiders. I must say I still like the good ol' Ludwig Van. Though it's hard to grow up in a culture that wounded itself so much. Charlemagne needed a few centuries, the Kaiser some decades, and Hitler merely years to fail with their respective reclamations of the crown of Cesar, and the faster they fell the higher the cost. Maybe it's that the Roman heritage of the West cannot survive without its Jewish heritage, and both of them do not belong to Europe alone.

Speaking of Prussia, I must say though this year the sponsors are mousy due to the war, I prefer the Loveparade to the zombie Prussianism in places like North Korea, and think it's redundant for Joschka Fischer to brag to England that Germans were no goose-steppers any more. What remains of Bismarck is his secular revival of the church's earlier indulgence business in the idea of the redistribution state, which still unites collectivists around the world in their backwards anticapitalism. And Wilhelm II. was a closet Islamist who stopped only short of declaring Allah a German at his 1898 visit to Saladin's grave in Damascus 1898. Not to mention when this gravedigger of the Prussian enlightenment saw his secret plan to prod Mexico into a war against Texas leaked by British codebreakers, he railwayed Lenin into Russia, just like France later airlifted Khomeini into Iran, and dealt him the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in comparison to which Versailles was a gentleman's agreement.

When I look for a positive understanding of European history, the outstanding detail is that, before the creation of technology, this continent was the oasis of the Old World where despots couldn't enslave their serfs with thirst. You can't have a Gutenberg revolution where the individuals are going to die with thirst in the desert, while they do their own reading of the religious text from which despots legitimize their power. But in an oasis, theocracy can fall into pieces in a Thirty Years War, and an island can be sovereign enough to remake Cuius Regio Eius Religio from a preemption doctrine into the universal principle for a new continental peace. However, when putting the fragmented pieces back together into a whole, such as in the German unification of 1848 and the three ensuing European wars, or now in the building of the European Union, you also have severe risks of them being put back together in the wrong way by the wrong people in the wrong places at the wrong time.

For example, it is criminal to display a swastika in the German street - unless you paint an Israeli or American flag underneath, then it becomes fair game criticism. Holocaust denial is punished, but Ernst Zündel and Mahmoud Abbas are treated differently for the same crime. And government still works by the principle If you can't convince them, surprise them with a needle in a haystack. As that Spanish minister said, you don't need to read the small print of the constitutional draft before you vote for it. I'd like to see a public solicitation for an European constitution, and he who can achieve most functionality with the fewest words wins, cribbing explicitely allowed. And know what? I believe one day your space dream will become true.

After all is said and done, I have to return to a supposedly member of my family, Immanuel Kant.

As a young citizen of Koenigsberg, East Prussia I was well familiar with his "Categorical Imperativ".

It said in lose translation: That each one of us should live as if the best of our efforts could be accepted for the creation of an international law!

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

Peter Haase: Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, my answer won't be very original. Constant monitoring by the authorities, exposure in the media of the speciousness of neo-Nazi propaganda, and grassroots opposition when the neo-Nazis march. I think it's accurate to say that all of this is happening already.

Germans (liberal and conservative alike) condemn the neo-Nazi movement. Some argue for an outright ban on the NPD, others say that forcing it underground will only add to the movement's allure and hide its perniciousness. But the debate can't be removed from Germany's historical precedent of banning parties as well as the current constitutional issues that regulate such action.

Then there are the root causes. I don't think I buy your thesis that liberal-enforced guilt has generated this much of a backlash. I think the basic economic situation is the real problem, helped along by an overreliance on the state to come up with economic solutions. Therefore, the state is an easy target and neo-Nazism provides an 'outlaw' vehicle to get even.

Ultimately, reforming the economy to include a stronger laissez-faire approach would be a strong countermove to the neo-Nazi threat, not to mention progress for Germany.

Pato: On further review, I'd grant that my last sentence (my previous post) edges toward drivelly. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I want to enroll in your school of David Hasselhol, iPod robustness.

@ rofe

You don't have to choose or do anything. Least of all, buy into my philosophy about WW I or WW II.

I just mentioned my observations in answer to my peronal demand to speak the truth.

I know full well that many generations hence you will come to the same conclusions. This was meant as a comment from an old former Prussian citizen. It is submitted to you for your ultimate judgement

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, florida
USA

Peter,
In your post re "what if America had not entered WWI", you make the same mistake I did a few weeks ago on this site in another discussion similar to this. I completely ignored the eastern front; if you look at the treaty that Germany signed with Russia, there were very significant territorial concessions made to Germany. That treaty would have stayed in effect had Germany won in the west. And in the west, Alsace-Lorraine would have stayed Elsass-Lothringen, and that would likely still be the case today. And I strongly suspect that Austro-Hungary would not have stayed in its ante bellum boundaries, either.

@ Mike

As I pointed out, these "what if" situations about a different outcome of WW1 and subesquent avoidance of WW II are not a product of my thinking but rather a projection of professionals in the matter.

As far as I know, Russia had only to give up the province of Poland and reinstate it as a free country. It was part of the peace treaty at Brest Litovsk. Btw, it happened at the insistance of Kaiser Wilhelm II (boy, did he ever get big "thank you" from Poland for that?) I am not aware of any territorial gains by Germany as part of the peace treaty between Germany and Russia in 1917.

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida
USA

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