70th Anniversary of German Terrorism: The Beginning of WWII

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Sven Sven's picture
70th Anniversary of German Terrorism: The Beginning of WWII

                     

Sven Sven's picture

Of course, the start of WWII preceded September 1, 1939 by many years in the form of ongoing German aggression against its neighbors and flagrant and continuing German violations of the Treaty of Versailles (which was met with vigorous British and French appeasement). But, this date conveniently marks the seventieth anniversary of the final act of German aggression which lead to declarations of war against Germany on September 3, 1939 -- a war, commenced by Germany, which resulted in the deaths of at least 50 million people (an average death toll of at least 700,000 people every month for six long years) and which terrorized millions more.

So, in the spirit of [url=this">http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/64th-anniversary... thread[/url], perhaps we should take a moment today and cast a disapproving eye towards the Germans (and the Italians and Japanese) for the destruction and for the fifty million (or more) who were killed or otherwise terrorized by those countries during the six-year period which began seventy years ago today.

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remind remind's picture

I will also remember the AMERICAN companies and people, some of whom's children and grandchildren went on to become Presidents, who helped Hitler along the way to the autrocities he was able to commit, and who financed Germany's rebuilding,

remind remind's picture

No page there sven.

Sven Sven's picture

remind: [url=for">http://rabble.ca/comment/993648/Okay-Sven-and-remind-both][u... your edification[/url]

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Sven Sven's picture

remind wrote:

No page there sven.

Try it again.

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remind remind's picture

Sven, I never made 1 comment to you, or about you, I was commenting on the thread topic in question.

I do not believe michelle meant we could not address thread topics either of us started, moreover, I do not believe you did/do either considering you have participated in  threads I have started and indeed posted in.

I suspect you did not like my commentary, so you are using this to stop, or deflect from, my commentary on who actually financed Germany.

 

Sven Sven's picture

remind wrote:

I suspect you did not like my commentary, so you are using this to stop, or deflect from, my commentary on who actually financed Germany.

I'm just trying to abide by Michelle's admonition.  It would be good if you did as well.

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Caissa
Sven Sven's picture

Poland suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis.

I do wonder why, however, there is no general hand-wringing about Germany's actions 70 years ago but there is (as the initially-link-to thread above indicates) always annual handwringing about America and Japan?

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I don't have any problem with a thread like this for September 1, but my own preference is to have such a thread for May 8/9. I think that we ought to commemorate the end of Nazi regime rather than any putative beginning.

However, it's only a small point. Discussing the significance of WW2 is still very useful. Carry on.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sven wrote:

Poland suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis.

I do wonder why, however, there is no general hand-wringing about Germany's actions 70 years ago but there is (as the initially-link-to thread above indicates) always annual handwringing about America and Japan?

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Last time I looked the Germans do not proclaim themselves the "leaders of the free world" and deem it appropriate to speak on my behalf as a citizen of a western democracy.  When the evil empire stops claiming to speak on my behalf I will cut them as much slack as other countries that commit atrocities.

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Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Easier to run to the moderators than to deal with remind's point, Sven?

As much as Hitler was a raving racist loony monster who had to be stopped, one must always remember that Hitler's Germany was the creation of repression and retribution after WW1. While almost everyone considers WWII as the necessary and just war, perspective comes from recognizing the roots of it in the first unnecessary and unjust world war, born of imperial intrigue.

No war has ever had noble roots.

remind remind's picture

Exactly kropotkin.

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Easier to run to the moderators than to deal with remind's point, Sven? 

Look, you probably "know" me well enough by now, LTJ, to know that I'm not shy about having a discussion with anyone about any subject.  In this very narrow instance, I'm simply trying to abide by Michelle's wishes.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

As much as Hitler was a raving racist loony monster who had to be stopped, one must always remember that Hitler's Germany was the creation of repression and retribution after WW1. While almost everyone considers WWII as the necessary and just war, perspective comes from recognizing the roots of it in the first unnecessary and unjust world war, born of imperial intrigue.

No war has ever had noble roots.

I tend to agree with that.  It's more like there was one "world war" with a twenty-year interlude slapped in the middle of it.  But, that being said, I think it would be inappropriate to lay most of the blame for WWII on the WWI victors.

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A war of liberation from a predatory invader could be considered a "just war". And the character of a war could change, becoming such a war of liberation, when it was something else to begin with.

However, I can think of at least one example in which the "invader" was less predatory than "the invaded". I mean the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in order to throw out Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The Western countries, despite current denunciations of the Khmer Rouge, were against that invasion and preferred to make "mischief" for the Vietnamese. Furthermore, Jean Bricmont has written about the new ideology of "humanitarian imperialism" in which human rights are the justification for the usual predatory invasions. Canada and NATO in Afghanistan is, in my view, one such invasion/occupation.

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Last time I looked the Germans do not proclaim themselves the "leaders of the free world" and deem it appropriate to speak on my behalf as a citizen of a western democracy.  When the evil empire stops claiming to speak on my behalf I will cut them as much slack as other countries that commit atrocities.

So, as I have believed all along, it's not so much about remembering the innocent Japanese victims from August 1945 or even about remembering and analyzing the acts of the Americans in that month as it is about a current hatred of America.  If only America changed its current ways, then we could all forget about August 1945. 

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Nazi concentration/extermination camps in Europe: prisoners and victims 1933-1945. The totals work out to around 10-11 million victims, which does not exactly match the table below. I see, also, that there is an error in typing "Germany < 1939" twice. The second entry should just read ... Germany.

Total victims estimated at around 10-11 million

 

"This table and these figures should be included in school curricula all over the world on a par with the ABCs."

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4607]Profits über Alles! American Corporations and Hitler[/url]

 

>by Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels

 

Quote:
In the United States, World War II is generally known as "the good war."

In contrast to some of America's admittedly bad wars, such as the near-genocidal Indian Wars and the vicious conflict in Vietnam, World War II is widely celebrated as a "crusade" in which the US fought unreservedly on the side of democracy, freedom, and justice against dictatorship.

No wonder President George W. Bush likes to compare his ongoing "war against terrorism" with World War II, suggesting that America is once again involved on the right side in an apocalyptic conflict between good and evil. Wars, however, are never quite as black-and-white as Mr. Bush would have us believe, and this also applies to World War II. America certainly deserves credit for its important contribution to the hard-fought victory that was ultimately achieved by the Allies. But the role of corporate America in the war is hardly synthesized by President Roosevelt's claim that the US was the "arsenal of democracy." When Americans landed in Normandy in June 1944 and captured their first German trucks, they discovered that these vehicles were powered by engines produced by American firms such as Ford and General Motors. 1 Corporate America, it turned out, had also been serving as the arsenal of Nazism.

 

Fans of the Führer

Mussolini enjoyed a great deal of admiration in corporate America from the moment he came to power in a coup that was hailed stateside as "a fine young revolution." 2 Hitler, on the other hand, sent mixed signals. Like their German counterparts, American businessmen long worried about the intentions and the methods of this plebeian upstart, whose ideology was called National Socialism, whose party identified itself as a workers' party, and who spoke ominously of bringing about revolutionary change. 3 Some high-profile leaders of corporate America, however, such as Henry Ford liked and admired the Führer at an early stage. 4

Other precocious Hitler-admirers were press lord Randolph Hearst and Irénée Du Pont, head of the Du Pont trust, who according to Charles Higham, had already "keenly followed the career of the future Führer in the 1920s" and supported him financially. 5

Eventually, most American captains of industry learned to love the Führer. It is often hinted that fascination with Hitler was a matter of personalities, a matter of psychology. Authoritarian personalities supposedly could not help but like and admire a man who preached the virtues of the "leadership principle" and practised what he preached first in his party and then in Germany as a whole.

Although he cites other factors as well, it is essentially in such terms that Edwin Black, author of the otherwise excellent book IBM and the Holocaust, explains the case of IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson, who met Hitler on a number of occasions in the 1930s and became fascinated with Germany's authoritarian new ruler. But it is in the realm of political economy, not psychology, that one can most profitably understand why corporate America embraced Hitler. . .

Sven Sven's picture

N.Beltov, if you then add 20 million dead Russians to the mix, you've got about 30 million dead (and that's just the Russians and the camps).

WWII represented an astonishing loss of life.

Although hindsight is 20-20, German plans could almost certainly have been crushed had France and the U.K. taken concrete steps in the 1930s to stop Germany when Germany started violating the Treaty of Versailles soon after Hitler came to power in 1933.  That is a lesson that should also be learned.

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Fidel

[url=http://www.comer.org/2006/bisz.htm]A Deeper Look at the Bank for International Settlements[/url]

>by William Krehm(Canadian)

 

Quote:

Twenty years ago I came across a booklet in a dusty box in the Robarts Library by Henry Hans Schloss, The Bank for International Settlements: An experiment in central bank cooperation, published by North-Holland Pub. Co. in 1958. In it I found two sensational facts, not widely known: Resolution Five adopted at Bretton Woods in 1944 calling for the dissolution of The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) at the earliest opportunity. The reason: BIS had surrendered the Czechoslovak central bank gold treasure entrusted to it by the Prague Government to the Nazis on their marching into Prague almost before they had even had the time to ask for it. That, in Schloss's judgment was what had led BIS to cultivate a low profile. I took it up from there: that low profile in turn commended it to the international banking community as an ideal bunker from which to conduct its carefully planned strategy for bringing the world back to their control - state of affairs that that had ushered in the depression of the 1930s. But Schloss, without going into further detail, had concluded that the other plentiful accusations against BIS for having served the Nazis before and during the war lacked supporting evidence. . .

Sven Sven's picture

Yes, Fidel. Your post perfectly illustrate the Unified Theory of Babble (i.e., all threads ultimately lead to the evil United States).

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Last time I looked the Germans do not proclaim themselves the "leaders of the free world" and deem it appropriate to speak on my behalf as a citizen of a western democracy.  When the evil empire stops claiming to speak on my behalf I will cut them as much slack as other countries that commit atrocities.

So, as I have believed all along, it's not so much about remembering the innocent Japanese victims from August 1945 or even about remembering and analyzing the acts of the Americans in that month as it is about a current hatred of America.  If only America changed its current ways, then we could all forget about August 1945. 

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I did not say that anywhere on this forum or any where else so fuck off and stop trying to twist my words.  You do not debate any point you just presume you somehow know everyone's mind better than they do and then you respond to your twisted view.  Try responding to people's actual words instead of your stupid interpretation of others posts. 

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Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I did not say that anywhere on this forum or any where else so fuck off and stop trying to twist my words.  You do not debate any point you just presume you somehow know everyone's mind better than they do and then you respond to your twisted view.  Try responding to people's actual words instead of your stupid interpretation of others posts. 

To steal a quote from LTJ:

~ yawn ~

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Fidel

Sven wrote:

Yes, Fidel. Your post perfectly illustrate the Unified Theory of Babble (i.e., all threads ultimately lead to the evil United States).

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Read William Krehm's article. More than just corporate America were enamoured with Hitler and the Nazis. Support for Hitler went as high as the former governor of the Bank of England and European banksters. The BIS should have been shut-down decades ago. Keynes and others recommended that BIS be disbanded for aiding and abetting the Nazis. Instead they kept a low profile for decades. And at some point later that unelected group of central bankers were advising western governments on monetary policies in the 1980's and 90's, including Canada. I'm not criticizing or even blaming the large majority of Americans, Sven. I heart the large majority of Americans and sincerely want to see all of you evil-wicked devil worshipping pagan Yankees with access to publicly funded health care. Smile

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

I'm not criticizing or even blaming the large majority of Americans, Sven. I heart the large majority of Americans and sincerely want to see all of you evil-wicked devil worshipping pagan Yankees with access to publicly funded health care. Smile

I know, Fidel.  That's why I genuinely like you so much!! Laughing Wink

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Sven wrote:

N.Beltov, if you then add 20 million dead Russians to the mix, you've got about 30 million dead (and that's just the Russians and the camps).

The Russian, and Soviet, dead were not all victims of the camps, so I've left those numbers out. The death camps are in a class of crime by themselves.

A million Leningraders, for example, were estimated to have died in the 900 day siege of that city. I've actually been to Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery where, according to the somewhat unreliable Wikipedia, around 470,000 are buried in 186 mass graves. I can tell you from personal experience that walking past the mounds, each of which has many thousands of dead, where they stretch both ahead and to the sides with many rows of these huge mass graves, is the most sobering and disquieting experience of my life. Each step you feel the hundreds or thousands of dead that you are walking past, and by the time you get to the Motherland statue there is no need for anyone to tell you to show some respectful silence as you are unable to speak in any case.

Quote:
Although hindsight is 20-20, German plans could almost certainly have been crushed had France and the U.K. taken concrete steps in the 1930s to stop Germany when Germany started violating the Treaty of Versailles soon after Hitler came to power in 1933.  That is a lesson that should also be learned.

My nephew recently showed me a role playing game modelled on World War 2. The game is a bit of a perversion of the facts as it represents, not the 2 sides of the Axis and Allies but, 3 sides in the conflict. I asked him if it were possible for the UK, France and the Soviets to come to the aid of CzechSlovakia in 1938 to prevent the war. "You can't do that in this game," said my nephew.

It was CNTL-ALT-DELETE for me shortly thereafter.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frankly Beltov, Hitler was entirely ready for war when he made his gamble at Munich, and was apparently dissapointed that the Allies did not commit to war immediatly. Fall Grun (case green) called for a 2 week invasion of Czecholsolvakia, followed by returning the army to the Frech border in the southern Ruhr, immediatly. It is very doubtful that the Allies could really have done much. I am sure this calculation was large in the minds of people like Neville Chamberlain.

Maybe the game is Heart of Iron III or II?

 

Sven wrote:

Of course, the start of WWII preceded September 1, 1939 by many years in the form of ongoing German aggression against its neighbors and flagrant and continuing German violations of the Treaty of Versailles (which was met with vigorous British and French appeasement). But, this date conveniently marks the seventieth anniversary of the final act of German aggression which lead to declarations of war against Germany on September 3, 1939 -- a war, commenced by Germany, which resulted in the deaths of at least 50 million people (an average death toll of at least 700,000 people every month for six long years) and which terrorized millions more.

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Yes, appeasers like Winston Churchill who actively campaigned and voted against sanctioning Italy for annexing Ethiopia in 1936, at that time Abyssinia, which he said was not "really a country".  Did the European world standby and watch as the world only African president of a country was overthrown by the Italian neo-colonialists? Yes, they did. No matter what pleas Haile Selassie put before the "League of Nations".

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Yes, that's it ... Heart of Iron III. There's enough propaganda trivializing the "small" role the Soviets played in WW2 without participating in a game in which they are not even part of the Allies, much less the major contributor to the Nazi defeat. Gah.

William Shirer, using the numbers of divisions of troops and so on, formed a very different conclusion than that "It is very doubtful that the Allies could really have done much ..." in 1938. Of course what I've outlined is a great big "What if ...?" as the French and especially the British were not willing to discuss practical military arrangements and the Soviet role was contingent on French participation. If the Nazis had had to fight on two fronts in Europe immediately, and not hold that off until June 1944, the duration of the war would have been much shorter I think. I'm not including the fighting in Italy here, as it was away from the main territory of Germany and of less significance because of that.

Sven Sven's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

William Shirer, using the numbers of divisions of troops and so on, formed a very different conclusion than that "It is very doubtful that the Allies could really have done much ..." in 1938. Of course what I've outlined is a great big "What if ...?" as the French and especially the British were not willing to discuss practical military arrangements and the Soviet role was contingent on French participation. If the Nazis had had to fight on two fronts in Europe immediately, and not hold that off until June 1944, the duration of the war would have been much shorter I think. I'm not including the fighting in Italy here, as it was away from the main territory of Germany and of less significance because of that.

Taking action in 1938 may or may not have been too late to avoid a long-term and general war.  But, in 1936 (or earlier), the French and the Brits could very likely have stopped Hitler in his tracks...if they would have had the will to do so.

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thorin_bane

Funny I aked my Meme about that a few years ago. She has no illusions, she said the russian won the war, we only raced to berlin to make sure the whole continent wasn't communist. And that about sums up what happened. We aited till the Nazis had been battered by the russians for 2 years and went against an army that had low morale and low supplies, and we barely won. Meanwhile the russians, not so willingly in some cases put out all the stops and turned the eastern front into  meatgrinder for boths sides.

However they did blunt the attack and inflict severe damage on the Nazi war machine. But the cost was extremely high with 10,000,000 soldiers and equal number of civilians killed. More than everyone else combined IIRC.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Related to the role of the Soviet Union in WW2: Burt Lancaster was host and/or narrator of a TV series called "The Unknown War". This series covered the Nazi-Soviet front of the war. Unfortunately for the Soviets, the series came out shortly before they got involved in Afghanistan, and a lot of goodwill was urinated away. Much of the footage came from Soviet sources.

If anyone knows how I can get a copy of this, short of buying it in the US and bringing it up here, especially through a library loan, I would appreciate a PM or such. Thx.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Although hindsight is 20-20, German plans could almost certainly have been crushed had France and the U.K. taken concrete steps in the 1930s to stop Germany when Germany started violating the Treaty of Versailles soon after Hitler came to power in 1933.  That is a lesson that should also be learned.

Since Washington wasn't bombed in order to stop the USA from launching an unprovoked attack based on outright lies*  on Iraq, we can assume the lesson hasn't been learned. 

To Sven's credit, he at least acknowledges that the war started in 1939, not in December 1941.  On the other hand, is there some official USian policy aimed at making the word "terrorism" useless?

*I don't know which lie was cruder, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" or "Polish infiltrators."

 

Quote:
One operation remains relatively well-known: the August 31 seizure of a radio station just inside Germany by men dressed in Polish military uniforms.

The purported attackers - including prisoners who had been tricked with promises of freedom - took control and announced on air in Polish that the station at Gleiwitz (now Gliwice, in western Poland) was in their hands.

Several were then gunned down by accompanying Nazis, with their bodies left as proof of the "Polish invasion," news of which was fed to the world's media.

Similar attacks by bogus Poles took place the same day at a nearby German customs post and a forest guard's post.

Chincinski noted that in an August 22 speech, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler told top military and SS leaders: "I will provide a propaganda reason to start a war, no matter whether it is credible. Later, no one will ask the victor whether he had spoken the truth or not."

Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearl, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and Dubya apparently learned nothing from history either.  They're lucky they haven't been hanged, as the war criminals at Nuremburg were.

Sven Sven's picture

With regard to the question of could WWII have been avoided if France had acted decisively in the mid-1930s, in today's Der Spiegel ([url=Why">http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,645707,00.html][=... Wasn't Hitler Stopped?)[/][/url]:

With regard to German's illegal militarization of the Rhineland (in violation of the Treaty of Versailles): "Today, we know that a single [French] division would have been sufficient to drive out Hitler's soldiers.  'I have never really endured such fear … If the French had been truly serious, it would have been the greatest possible political defeat for me,' Hitler later told a confidant."

 

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al-Qa'bong

That's common knowledge, but if it gives you a chance to do some Frog-bashing, by all means, go for it.

 

The Two Ronnies had a joke that went, "A US official, in answering questions as to why his country is so bellicose, said, "We were late in joining the last two world wars, so we want to be first into World War III."

Sven Sven's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

That's common knowledge, but if it gives you a chance to do some Frog-bashing, by all means, go for it.

"Frog" bashing??

I am not interested in bashing anyone, including the French.

I'm merely pointing out something that apparently isn't "common knowledge": Pre-emptive military action can make sense: Such action by the French (or the Brits or the Russians -- or some combination of those three countries) in 1936 would have crushed Hitler before he had a chance to do any meaningful mischief.

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al-Qa'bong

But what about Dubya?

 

Should the PPCLI have burned the White House to the ground to stop the mad dogs in Washington from invading Iraq?

Cueball Cueball's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

Yes, that's it ... Heart of Iron III. There's enough propaganda trivializing the "small" role the Soviets played in WW2 without participating in a game in which they are not even part of the Allies, much less the major contributor to the Nazi defeat. Gah.

Well, I know the HOI series pretty well, and it is probably the best overal strategic game about WWII that you can get, made by an excelent little company out of Sweden called Paradox Interactive. They are best known for Hearts of Iron, but there best games are actually the Europa Universalis games, which unlike most games take as there theme the creation of the nation state in europe between 1414 and 1814. Anybody who decided to make a game about that certainly has a little more going on than your average video game producer.

I am not really sure if HOI III is up to snuff, but HOI II was certainly a pretty good strategy game. Its not a "role playing" game by the way but a war game, like any of the old Avalon Hill board game like Axis and Allies", or Diplomacy. but I am pleased as punch that people are finally buying these games in North America, since they take as there subject matter more serious stuff than that which is shovelled down our throats by Blizzard entertainment.

In anycase, the alliance structure of HOI III is the way it is because the game is meant to be an engine that goes beyond WWII and and continues into the Cold War, where as we know the one time "Allies" soon became not so great friends. So in this case the reason that the "Comintern" and the "Allies" operate as distinct political entities is because the game also recognizes that these strange bedfellows also pursued the war with an eye toward the post-war outcomes on a competative basis. At least I hope we can agree on that. The race to Berlin and the late war Soviet intervention in the Pacific war were as much about post-war outcomes, as they were about defeating the Japanese and the Germans.

We can also agree I hope that while the US entered the war in some degree because it had a positive political agenda, it also did so with an eye toward its own interests.

So, the alliance relationship between the USA and UK, is quite a bit different, I think, historically speaking than the alliance between the UK/USA and the Soviet Union.

It is also the case that the game allows for a secondary status which is not quite an "alliance" but an "accomdation". Italy's relationship to Germany was a lot tighter than the relationship between those two and Japan, and so for game purposes, I believe Japan is not in the "Axis" alliance, but an associate of they Axis. Certainly, Japan was not in it for the good of Adolph Hitler, and Benito Mussolini.

These relationships were largely relationships of convenience, as we know.

Also, having Britian, France, Russia and the USA squash Germany in 1938 would not really make much of a WWII game, when it comes down to it. So in game terms, I completely understand why they chose to limit those possibilities. Lets not forget that those possibilities were not simply an open ended set of possibilities, but ones severly limited by political realities.

Anschluss, and the Treaty of Munich are really prelude to the game itself, which is a set up for World War II. The game therefore more or less apes the generally agreed upon details as set up by Sven in the OP. which is really very shallow, biased and glosses over the messy details that many don't want to talk about because they interfere with the comforting illusions about the foundational moral theology upon which the Soviet empire was justified and the American empire is still justified. For example, the idea that Chamberlain was an appeaser, and Churchill not is an idea that needs serious interogation, since it is one that appeals to the Conservative mythologies about the war. Regardless, allowing the USA and the USSR to follow seperate agendas by not making them explicitly "allies" is more right then wrong in the grand scheme I think. True, any game is going to express latent ideological bias of some kind or another, just in the way it is structured, but if there is a vision represented it these Paradox games it is cynicism, based in real-politick as opposed to an strong ideological bias.

In anycase, to bring this back on topic, the fact is that in 1938, the court was truly out on where the Soviet Union would be in the grand scheme of political power in Europe, as the Molotov Ribbentrop pact shows us. In fact, many in the west were quite vocal in their belief that the Soviet Union was a more serious threat, and Hitler an ally in the anti-communist cause. Churchill was among these, and spoke in this fashion, even after the invasion of Poland, and indeed he advocated for the invasion of Norway, in part to support the Finns against the Soviet Union during the "Winter War". Quite clearly after Poland many were convinced that an "unholy alliance" between the Soviet Union and Germany was in the cards. Quite a different picture than the one we see today. On the other side, Stalin, as we know openly blustered about the British Imperialists long after the Nazis took over Germany.

The idea of a firm agreement between Russia and the United Kingdom was indeed as extraordinary as that of an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

So, in fact, I would say that having the "Allies" who were not actually allies in 1938 gang up on Germany in 1938, would be a historical possibility at the extreme extent of the counter-factual, since no one seemed to be quite sure who would land where in the geo-political power game. In hindsight it seems different, but at the time things were a lot less clear.

Indeed the Soviet and German deal on Poland really shows us how muddy these waters really were. In the light of the Molotov/Ribbentrop deal it is really hard to make a strong case that Stalin was going to step up to the plate on the Munich deal in accord with England.., to protect Czechoslovakia? In fact, I read somewhere that the Soviets were quite miffed at being left out of the diplomatic picture on Munich when Mussolini set up the meeting. Russia had indeed guaranteed the independence of Czechoslovakia, just as England had, but did not act on that treaty when the cards were down, either, and instead signed up for half of Poland.

And in this here we see very much the kind of politicking that made Adolph Hitler's intitally successful: he effectively played both sides against the middle, from the middle. Germany's historical posiition, as it has been since it became "a nation" and Bismark fell out with the Czar.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sven wrote:

N.Beltov wrote:

William Shirer, using the numbers of divisions of troops and so on, formed a very different conclusion than that "It is very doubtful that the Allies could really have done much ..." in 1938. Of course what I've outlined is a great big "What if ...?" as the French and especially the British were not willing to discuss practical military arrangements and the Soviet role was contingent on French participation. If the Nazis had had to fight on two fronts in Europe immediately, and not hold that off until June 1944, the duration of the war would have been much shorter I think. I'm not including the fighting in Italy here, as it was away from the main territory of Germany and of less significance because of that.

Taking action in 1938 may or may not have been too late to avoid a long-term and general war.  But, in 1936 (or earlier), the French and the Brits could very likely have stopped Hitler in his tracks...if they would have had the will to do so.

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In 1936 Churchil said of Abyssinia that it was a "wild land of tyranny, slavery and tribal war. ... No one can keep up the pretense that Abyssinia is a fit, worthy and equal member of a league of civilized nations," sounds like some Americans talking about Iran or Iraq. Regardless it is what Winston Churchill was saying about why the league of nations should not intervene to prevent the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, since of course the Italians were civilizing the heathen rogue state.

 

 

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

Sven wrote:

remind: [url=for">http://rabble.ca/comment/993648/Okay-Sven-and-remind-both][u... your edification[/url]

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lol that makes you look like a punk thats from march hold urself down

Frmrsldr

It surprises me that a progressive site like rabble is playing the racist card to blame Germany for starting WW II and blaming the U.S.A. for the use of nuclear weapons on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945 and NOT the underlying causes (nazism, fascism, militarism, racism, greed, etc.,) of both these atrocities. Since Aug. 9, 1945, we are ALL (not just the U.S.A.) guilty of morally approving the use of nuclear weapons: all our mainstream media either simply repeats the facts and stats of the attacks or explicitly or implicitly rehashes the arguments used to justify the use of those weapons.

It has been 70 years since the outbreak of WW II and 65 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet our cultures are no closer to outlawing and banning war and creating a nuclear weapons free world. We (as world cultures, I mean) can do better than that. A lot better. Shame on us.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Yes, mostly agree, with some caveats.

Cueball wrote:
So, in fact, I would say that having the "Allies" who were not actually allies in 1938 gang up on Germany in 1938, would be a historical possibility at the extreme extent of the counter-factual, since no one seemed to be quite sure who would land where in the geo-political power game. In hindsight it seems different, but at the time things were a lot less clear.

Indeed the Soviet and German deal on Poland really shows us how muddy these waters really were. In the light of the Molotov/Ribbentrop deal it is really hard to make a strong case that Stalin was going to step up to the plate on the Munich deal in accord with England.., to protect Czechoslovakia? In fact, I read somewhere that the Soviets were quite miffed at being left out of the diplomatic picture on Munich when Mussolini set up the meeting. Russia had indeed guaranteed the independence of Czechoslovakia, just as England had, but did not act on that treaty when the cards were down, either, and instead signed up for half of Poland.

In 1938 the Soviets were signed up to defend CzechSlovakia ... provided the French did. That's very important because, as it turned out, the French, along with the British, betrayed the Czechs in Munich and, as you've noted, left the Soviets out altogether.

Later, in August 1939, when the Soviets and Nazis formed the in/famous Molotoff-Von Ribbentrop Pact,  just befire the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Soviet-British/French negotiations had bogged down over the unwillingness of the Brits to discuss practical military details. The Brits were pissing around and wasting time, still looking to make the Nazis go east. The issue of Soviet troops using the territory of Poland and Romania to fight the Nazis could not be resolved; the Polish and Romanian regimes had made it clear that they would rather be overrun by the Nazis than use the Soviets in this way. Millions of Polish Jews and Poles in general suffered the consequences of that decision. Anyway, the Brits refused to intervene and tell either the Poles or the Romanians to go along.

There are all kinds of problems with the M-VR Pact, some exaggerated, but one of the great pluses for the Soviets was that they were not sucked into fighting a war on two fronts as the Nazis were to later on. Heaven and earth were moved to get the Nazis to go east - appeasement, the phony war, etc. - and these efforts were eventually successful.

Anyway, with all this I merely wished to underline that the sequence of events in 1938-1939, on the eve of the War, were not cast in stone and the world might well have been saved many, many lives if the alliance of the Allies had formed sooner rather than later as it did. It is a lesson the world has apparently not learned - especially with the very bellicose USA, which continues to participate in invasions and occupations on the basis of the most spurious, and criminal, reasoning. Millions of Iraqis and Afghan dead could attest to that were they still alive.

No doubt Sven would object to such conclusions but I really don't see where the flaw in the reasoning would be.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

It has been 70 years since the outbreak of WW II and 65 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet our cultures are no closer to outlawing and banning war... 

How is it possible to outlaw and ban war?  That would be akin to "outlawing" greed, lust, envy, etc.

The only way to prevent war is for peaceful nations to collectively have arms of sufficient strength to be able to quickly crush a country which wishes to engage in a war (and there will always be countries, for a variety of reasons, who will wish to engage in war).

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Something else that did not happen, even at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, was that those who funded - and financially benefitted from the Nazi regime - were not prosecuted. It would have meant prosecuting many powerful people outside of Germany.

Another way to address the scourge of war is to undermine the basis for people enriching themselves through war ... just as, say, decriminalizing many drugs undermines those who enrich themselves by the sale of illegal drugs. The Command in Chief of the Allies on the Western side - Gen. Dwight Eisenhower - pointed out the dangerousness of the "military-industrial complex" in his very famous parting speech when he left the Presidency. His advice has not been followed and the MIC continues to pollute American political life.

Sven Sven's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

Anyway, with all this I merely wished to underline that the sequence of events in 1938-1939, on the eve of the War, were not cast in stone and the world might well have been saved many, many lives if the alliance of the Allies had formed sooner rather than later as it did. It is a lesson the world has apparently not learned - especially with the very bellicose USA, which continues to participate in invasions and occupations on the basis of the most spurious, and criminal, reasoning. Millions of Iraqis and Afghan dead could attest to that were they still alive.

No doubt Sven would object to such conclusions but I really don't see where the flaw in the reasoning would be. 

I agree with you (see my most recent post above) that in order to prevent a war a collective of peaceful nations must have the military strength -- and the will to use it -- to stop a country (any country) from engaging in war.

The contrast I would make between Hitler and the current American policy is that Hitler was intent on permanently acquiring control over Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, the U.K., etc., etc., etc., etc.  An analogous American policy would be to permanently control, through military force or threat of military force, Canada, Mexico, the Central American countries, and perhaps the South American countries.

In the case of Afghanistan, I personally feel that the war is unwinnable.  But, even if it was winnable, I don't believe that Obama (nor Bush before him nor the American people generally) have any interest in permanently controlling and running Afghanistan.

But, the more general point remains: If the peaceful countries of the world (whoever they may be) want to prevent war, then they must have the military strength and the will to use that military strength to stop a country from starting a war.

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Frmrsldr

Sven wrote:

Frmrsldr wrote:

It has been 70 years since the outbreak of WW II and 65 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet our cultures are no closer to outlawing and banning war... 

How is it possible to outlaw and ban war?  That would be akin to "outlawing" greed, lust, envy, etc.

The only way to prevent war is for peaceful nations to collectively have arms of sufficient strength to be able to quickly crush a country which wishes to engage in a war (and there will always be countries, for a variety of reasons, who will wish to engage in war).

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Greed, lust, envy, etc., are emotions that are part of the human psychology.

"War" is not. War, unlike the above emotions, is an activity. A bad habit, if you will - polluting in the present or the "institution" or "culture" of slavery in the past.

We've (nearly) eradicated the historical slavery (the not Marxist "wage" slave variety, I mean). Don't you agree with me that war can eventually be eliminated just like, eventually, pollution and human caused global environmental degredation?

These are hopes that motivate my actions.

Sven Sven's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Greed, lust, envy, etc., are emotions that are part of the human psychology.

"War" is not. War, unlike the above emotions, is an activity. A bad habit, if you will - polluting in the present or the "institution" or "culture" of slavery in the past.

We've (nearly) eradicated the historical slavery (the not Marxist "wage" slave variety, I mean). Don't you agree with me that war can eventually be eliminated just like, eventually, pollution and human caused global environmental degredation?

These are hopes that motivate my actions.

That's a good distinction.  Although, greed, lust, fear, egomania, xenophobia, etc. are all root causes of war.

So, I guess my point would be that you could eliminate war if you would eliminate those human emotions which underlie war (and that's not likely -- or, to put it another way, it's about as likely as preventing humans from engaging in crimes).  So, I think the only practical means of preventing war is for those who want to prevent war to be sufficiently armed -- and willing to use those arms -- to crush any country who wishes to engage in war.

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Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
An analogous American policy would be to permanently control, through military force or threat of military force, Canada, Mexico, the Central American countries, and perhaps the South American countries.

Military force is currently in use in Colombia and Nicaragua, Sven. And why would your elites resort to military force with Canada when it has proven so easy to buy acquiescence through our antiquated political system, and to purchase our media, or at least its silence?

Jingles

Quote:
But, the more general point remains: If the peaceful countries of the world (whoever they may be) want to prevent war, then they must have the military strength and the will to use that military strength to stop a country from starting a war.

Glad to see you make that argument. So when Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq join together to defeat Israeli aggression and terrorism, we can count on you to lead the cheering.

Your position uses the same failed logic as those open-carry gun nuts. If everybody has a gun, the thinking goes, then there won't be any crime! The problem is, if everyone has a gun, the likelihood of its use goes up. We hear this every time some kid shoots up a school or employess shoots up his workpalce. But there is not a single example of a mass shooting in which the guy doing the killing is stopped by an armed citizen, even in the most heavily armed nation on earth. The shooter keeps going until he runs out of bullets, kills himself, or is killed by police.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Military force is currently in use in Colombia and Nicaragua, Sven. And why would your elites resort to military force with Canada when it has proven so easy to buy acquiescence through our antiquated political system, and to purchase our media, or at least its silence?

Perhaps the distinction is degrees of magnitude.

The U.S. could "influence" Canada through non-militarily means or through military conquest.  But, to assert that those means of action are functionally equivalent would be to boil the question down to this: Does U.S. action (generically) "influence" Canada?  Presumably, any U.S. action (military or non-military) directed towards Canada "influcences" Canada.  But, I suspect that if the U.S. militarily invaded Canada, Canadians would likely view that degree of influence as being much more invasive of Canada's sovereignty than current non-military influence and that the degree of such influence would be much more acute.

Same with comparing Hilter's military conquests in Europe with current U.S. policies, viz., Canada.

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Sven Sven's picture

 

Jingles wrote:

Your position uses the same failed logic as those open-carry gun nuts. If everybody has a gun, the thinking goes, then there won't be any crime! The problem is, if everyone has a gun, the likelihood of its use goes up. We hear this every time some kid shoots up a school or employess shoots up his workpalce. But there is not a single example of a mass shooting in which the guy doing the killing is stopped by an armed citizen, even in the most heavily armed nation on earth. The shooter keeps going until he runs out of bullets, kills himself, or is killed by police.

Your analogy is faulty.  To make your example truly analogous to a completely disarmed world, even the police would have to be disarmed.

And do you seriously believe that that would prevent crime?

At a macro level, let's assume all countries of the world were to magically agree to disarm today - and then actually do so tomorrow.  Does anyone really think that that would stop a country from subsequently re-arming and thus prevent war?

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