If Germany had won World War I - Page 3




 
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April 25th, 2010  
Jeff Simmons
 

Topic: Another good answer


I think this round belongs to Blitzmadel of Denmark. She seems to have the most fact-filled, historically-logical arguments.
April 25th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Simmons
I think this round belongs to Blitzmadel of Denmark. She seems to have the most fact-filled, historically-logical arguments.
I disagree, it is a "what if" question based on something we know didn't happen and as such there is no "correct" answer.

To look at it logically is almost impossible because there are thousands of permeations that could have happened but my personal belief is that using the failings of the Wiemar Republic as a cause of the rise of the Nazi party misses one huge point and that is that the Wiemar Republic was instituted to replace the Imperial government and had Germany won WW1 I am not certain they would have replaced the Kaiser in the first place nor are we even certain there would have been a depression or that Germany would have suffered as much as it did due to mismanagement during the Wiemar Republic (because it may not have existed).

When discussing this you can not take events that happened post 1918 and use them as a justification for things that may have happened had the war continued on to a German victory for example there is nothing to say Hitler, Goering and co would have even survived a protracted war to rise to power later on.
April 26th, 2010  
Blitzmädel
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
To look at it logically is almost impossible because there are thousands of permeations that could have happened but my personal belief is that using the failings of the Wiemar Republic as a cause of the rise of the Nazi party misses one huge point and that is that the Wiemar Republic was instituted to replace the Imperial government and had Germany won WW1 I am not certain they would have replaced the Kaiser in the first place nor are we even certain there would have been a depression or that Germany would have suffered as much as it did due to mismanagement during the Wiemar Republic (because it may not have existed).

When discussing this you can not take events that happened post 1918 and use them as a justification for things that may have happened had the war continued on to a German victory for example there is nothing to say Hitler, Goering and co would have even survived a protracted war to rise to power later on.
I agree that to a ”what if” scenario there is no ”correct” answer as such.

To look at it logically is possible, because it’s the only way to do it.

As I have said before

The GermanWeimarRepublic (Despite its political form, the name WeimarRepublic was never used officially Germany. It was still known as Deutsches Reich.) was doomed from the start. Germany had no democratic tradition, and in fact many parties were deeply opposed to the creation of a democracy. These included old monarchists, the Army, the industrialists, the Nationalists and several other conservative parties. Many, like the Nazis to come, were not so much members of the Republic as they were conspirators to overthrow it. When it came time to create the Republic, the conservative parties took no part in the process. They left that responsibility to the Social Democrats, who were not enthusiastic about building a Republic either, but did so anyway, by themselves.

Yet it is important to remember that the unfortunate gambles of Franz von Papen and Hindenburg in 1933, the passage of the Reichstag fire Decree, and the Enabling Act might never occurred had the German economy not gone into freefall as a result of the Great Depression.

Weimar culture would have happened even if there had been no WeimarRepublic, since all the major themes of the Weimar period, the new art and revolutionary politics and sexual liberation, all began before the war. These things were simply extensions of the trends that had dominated German culture for a generation

If Germany had won and the Allies lost, the emphasis in these developments would certainly have been different, but not the fundamental trends.

For those seeking a comprehensive overview of the Weimar period, an excellent start is Richard Evans’s impressive The Coming of the Third Reich.

If you are interested in the cultural history of Weimar you would be well advised to start with Walter Lacqueur’s Weimar: A Cultural History, 1918-1933 and Alex de Jonge’s Weimar Chronicle: Prelude to Hitler.
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April 26th, 2010  
Blitzmädel
 
 

Topic: Weimar Culture


The personal freedoms often associated with Weimar culture – whether seen as an inevitable, pendulum-like reaction after decades of Wilhelmine authoritarianism, or as a flowering of postwar expression – led to a period of unparalleled vibrancy in literature, the arts, architecture, and philosophy. Professor Eberhard Kolb described the period as “the eruption of a new vitality, the liberation of creative forces in a short decade of unbounded intellectual and artistic freedom.” Moreover, the Weimar period witnessed significant leaps forward in the emancipation of women, and it is not without considerable merit that many pundits have described Weimar Germany as the first modern culture.

Yet these sudden cultural changes were far from being universally accepted by the average German, and groups on the right as well as the left decried what was perceived by many as the power of destructive internal forces. Leftists tended to focus on the bourgeois infatuation with base materialism, while many conservatives believed that republican Germany was becoming a morally decrepit nation. Hitler himself played off such sentiments in his speeches, using widespread perceptions of decadence and disaffection with modernity as springboards for his anti-Marxist and anti-Semitic philosophies. In his first public speech after accepting the post of Reichskanzler, Hitler blasted those whom he believed to have quickly led Germany to moral decay.

Chief among the evidence for the supposed moral decline cited by contemprary critics of Weimar culture was the open sexual freedom proclaimed by many younger Germans, especially in the larger cities. Berlin, in particular, became something of an international destination for people seeking its wide variety of sexual subcultures. Henig argued that the “bright lights and avant-garde cultural attraction of Berlin incurred the hostility of traditional communities in rural areas.” The Weimar era, maintained Mommsen, was a period “that was characterized by the tension between extreme modernity in a few cultural centers and the relatve backwardness of life in the provinces.” Kolb noted that “confrontation in cultural matters still further exacerbated the basic political discord among Germans in the Weimar period.” Lacqueur observed that many German artists were seemingly clueless of just how far removed their work was from the sensibilities of the average German citizen.

Those who emphasize the cultural decadence of Weimar Germany, of course, run the risk of sounding prudish, or even worse, as apologists for the fascist regime that followed the demise of the Weimar Republic. Still, it is important to note that the perception of moral decay by many comtemporary Germans – on both the political right and left – was a contributing factor in the moving away from mainstream political parties by German voters and toward extremist factions such as the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei and Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands.

Combined with political instability and deleterious economic conditions, the concerns of many Germans about moral decline and social decay began to be expressed in the electoral results of 1930-32 and the eventual collapse of the republic-supporting Weimar Coalition.

BTW: Professor Kolb is mandatory reading for all students of modern German history in Germany.

And with this Gentlemen;
I rest my case.
April 26th, 2010  
Jeff Simmons
 
Wow, Blitzmadel. I've learned more about Hitler's rise to power from your various posts on this thread than I ever learned in my college courses on World War II. If you haven't yet, you should set a goal on getting your work published.
April 26th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzmädel
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]

BTW: Professor Kolb is mandatory reading for all students of modern German history in Germany.

And with this Gentlemen;
I rest my case.
The problem still remains that what you say is only an option in a specific circumstance, had you question been "what if Germany had won WW1 but everything else remained the same, would the Nazis have still come to power" then I would agree with you 100% but the problem is that many of the events that you claim as validation of your argument only came about because Germany lost WW1.

I also think your arguments on the German economic system and recovery are flawed (Well not so flawed but perhaps too simplistic to be accurate) and the existence of the entire Wiemar Republic is in question had Imperial Germany won, on the whole I just do not believe that had the conditions for the Nazi rise to power been removed that history would not be different.

As for the logic part, answer these questions:
1) How do you know Hitler would have survived WW1 or its senior leaders (as they may not have survived the extended war either)?
2) What would the Nazi Party have been like without him?
- Would it have even existed.
3) Why would Germany have changed its entire system of government had it won WW1?
4) Would Germany have suffered as much had it won?

We could go on and on with specific questions but I am sure you see the point that certain things required certain triggers and if one of those triggers is removed you get a completely different result.
April 27th, 2010  
Blitzmädel
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The problem still remains that what you say is only an option in a specific circumstance, had you question been "what if Germany had won WW1 but everything else remained the same, would the Nazis have still come to power" then I would agree with you 100% but the problem is that many of the events that you claim as validation of your argument only came about because Germany lost WW1.

I also think your arguments on the German economic system and recovery are flawed (Well not so flawed but perhaps too simplistic to be accurate) and the existence of the entire Wiemar Republic is in question had Imperial Germany won, on the whole I just do not believe that had the conditions for the Nazi rise to power been removed that history would not be different.

As for the logic part, answer these questions:
1) How do you know Hitler would have survived WW1 or its senior leaders (as they may not have survived the extended war either)?
2) What would the Nazi Party have been like without him?
- Would it have even existed.
3) Why would Germany have changed its entire system of government had it won WW1?
4) Would Germany have suffered as much had it won?

We could go on and on with specific questions but I am sure you see the point that certain things required certain triggers and if one of those triggers is removed you get a completely different result.
What events only came about because Germany lost WW1..?

I can assure you that my arguments on the economic system and recovery are absolutely correct. They are based on my German textbook in German on pre-WW2 Germany and also on the book "The German Economy in the Twentieth Century” by Hans-Joachim Braun. Also, you can read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Nazi_Germany

Weimar culture (and the key word here is culture; not Weimar) would have happened even if there had been no Weimar Republic, since all the major themes of the Weimar period, the new art and revolutionary politics and sexual liberation, all began before the war. Please read my post #24

I think, that what you do not understand is what kind of a society Germany was before 1933.
April 27th, 2010  
Blitzmädel
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Simmons
Wow, Blitzmadel. I've learned more about Hitler's rise to power from your various posts on this thread than I ever learned in my college courses on World War II. If you haven't yet, you should set a goal on getting your work published.
Glad to hear it

I guess that history teaching in Europe is far More detailed. At least it is in Germany.

I went to 2 years of college in Germany and we learned a lot about why and how National Socialism could arise in Germany

Being half Danish and half German and having German ancestors who have served in WW1 and WW2, the history of Germany from pre-WW1 to the end of WW2 has always been a great interest of mine.

Cheers
Kristina
April 28th, 2010  
Partisan
 
 
I agree with Jeff, I love the detail that you bring to the debate. However, and there always is one I still agree with MontyB.

Although there were liberal trends emerging in pre WWI Germany they were not fully nascent, I feel that the despair brought about defeat helped these to emerge, had Germany won, I do not think that the "decadence" of the Weimar would've occurred, in such a compressed time, especially given that a victory would have reinforced the Imperial role, probably keeping the royals firmly in control. Coupled with the fact that Germany would not have had the rampant inflation that followed WWI.

Additionally I'll come back to my original point, Germany innovated out of desparation, had it had the whip hand I do not think that it would've evolved military strategy and tactics to such a degree. I think that we would all be more familiar with the term insurgency before the end of the century had this been the case.

Keep the detail rolling.
April 28th, 2010  
Blitzmädel
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partisan
I agree with Jeff, I love the detail that you bring to the debate. However, and there always is one I still agree with MontyB.

Although there were liberal trends emerging in pre WWI Germany they were not fully nascent, I feel that the despair brought about defeat helped these to emerge, had Germany won, I do not think that the "decadence" of the Weimar would've occurred, in such a compressed time, especially given that a victory would have reinforced the Imperial role, probably keeping the royals firmly in control. Coupled with the fact that Germany would not have had the rampant inflation that followed WWI.

Additionally I'll come back to my original point, Germany innovated out of desparation, had it had the whip hand I do not think that it would've evolved military strategy and tactics to such a degree. I think that we would all be more familiar with the term insurgency before the end of the century had this been the case.

Keep the detail rolling.
Thanks!

Well we’ll never know!

But sometimes it’s fun to speculate on “What if”

And now I think I’ll let the story end here. A new story is on the way.

Cheers

Kristina
 


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