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Old 03-15-2001, 09:39 AM   #1
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Treaty caused WW2?

I floated this concept in a poll a while back, that I thought the terms of the treaty of versailles were the worst thing to happen to the world this century, for they led to the rise of Hitler, WW2 and in turn the nuclear arms race.
I firmly believe that the vindictiveness of the allies in blaming Germany solely for causing the war and their subsequently astronomical demands for territiorial concessions and war reparations brought germany to a seething level of humiliation that was just ripe for hitler's devilish ideals...any thoughts?
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Old 03-15-2001, 02:16 PM   #2
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Appeasement.
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Old 03-16-2001, 03:11 AM   #3
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Does anyone else give a stuff? lol

Bama, the allies' policy of appeasement pre ww2 was, in hindsight, stupid, but was quite understandable at the time imo. They simply didn't know where Hitler's ambition ended, plus they were desperate to appease the people of their nations by avoiding another war so soon, of course if they had acted b4 the nazis got up to strength, eg when the rhineland was entered it is possible that Germany coulda been quickly crushed, but world leaders were so petrified of lighting another escalating fire that they let it go.

However that doesn't dispute the theory that a better balanced versailles treaty would've prevented the explosive nazi backlash to its terms...
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Old 03-16-2001, 05:37 AM   #4
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I don't think it's fair to blame the Allies for Hitler's "devilish thoughts". If Hitler was retaliating against the Treaty, why would he need to form a hate against the Jews? Well, to me, that doesn't correlate. Clearly, Hitler's wrongdoings were a result of his own perverse way of thinking, not the Allies.

I'm not very coherent here, am I? Just got back from a party... be kind


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Old 03-16-2001, 06:34 AM   #5
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foray,
what I meant was that the terms of the treaty created a feeling of humiliation, powerlessness and resentment among the German nation. This feeling made German ears all the more receptive to hitler's calls for Germany to reinstate itself at the head of all nations and to overturn the hated treaty. Hitler did not put into action his genocide until he was too enscoced to be removed- all possible opponents were obliterated b4 they could rise.
I don't blame the allies for Hitler's warped mind, just for creating an atmosphere where his nationlistic and vengeful appeal could be allowed to flourish in a spurned nation...
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Old 03-16-2001, 09:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by brettig:
Bama, the allies' policy of appeasement pre ww2 was, in hindsight, stupid, but was quite understandable at the time imo. They simply didn't know where Hitler's ambition ended, plus they were desperate to appease the people of their nations by avoiding another war so soon, of course if they had acted b4 the nazis got up to strength, eg when the rhineland was entered it is possible that Germany coulda been quickly crushed, but world leaders were so petrified of lighting another escalating fire that they let it go.

Brettig:

I don't necessarily think appeasement was "stupid," it's just that at the time, Lord Chamberlain (and other allied leaders) underestimated Hitler's imperialistic desires and tyrannical character (which we would all later learn went hand in hand). I don't think there is a one-sidedness of Versailles that frustrated Hitler to the point of tyranny and imperialism; I think he had those elements from the beginning. He garnered a redneck-style mob support with
the Nazis which evolved into a nationalist front, and as nationalists, they would view any treaty from a war they lost with suspicion. He was anti-Versailles, sure, but because he was on the losing end of it, and used it to build his support base, just as he used his anti-semitism.
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Old 03-16-2001, 11:48 AM   #7
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had the terms been more geared at creating a lasting peace rather than gutting germany, the brewing discontent would never have allowed hitler the opportunity to be heard- he woulda been just another lunatic on 'speakers corner' as it were. without the treaty- no support base could've existed...
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Old 03-17-2001, 12:30 AM   #8
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Roger that, brettig


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Old 03-22-2001, 10:42 AM   #9
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Come on, what about the Poles? Versaille gave a lot of nation states and the peoples borders they wanted and independence that did not exist in the times of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. And demilitarising the ruhr was reasonable. Maybe the war reparations were over the top, but understandable at the time - your country has just fought a ludicrous war for 4 years and lost massive numbers of people...Its always easy in hindsight...
I don't think versailles drectly resulted in antisemitism, a superior race or the lethal killing machine of the reich. That was due to the personality cult of the nazi leadership.
This arguement actually transposes to iraq today...are we generrating a hate machine among iraqi people that will come back to haunt us? Or is it the present leadership that generates such feelings
We could also argue that the worst thing to happen for the last 500 years was Columbus... cause now we have that modern day curse "america" to thank him for...!
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Old 03-23-2001, 12:34 AM   #10
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actually, brett, i agree with you

what scares me a bit is that i think this is similar to what is happening now with iraq, and hussein scares the crap out of me

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Old 03-23-2001, 12:45 AM   #11
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Good points zoomerang- but i still think that the harshness of the terms and the wave of humiliation and anger they created among Germans was what gave Hitler the opportunity to be heard and accepted as a path out of the post ww1 chaos in Germany.

also i reiterate my point that anti-semitism, the aryan supermen cult and the massed power of the nazi military could not have been factors without Hitler's successful rise- a rise that can be greatly attributed to the terms of versilles. Remember, Hitler's pitch for power was based almost entirely on how he was going to disregard and overturn the terms of a treaty which had 'shamed the German people'.
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Old 09-18-2001, 06:47 PM   #12
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To answer brettig, I agree with you. The Treaty of Versailles was the main cause of World War II, and did lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

To answer foray et al., Hitler was a lifelong anti-Semite--but so was most of Christianity in the late 19th century, early 20th century in which he lived, which also stretched back since the time of the early Church (c. A.D. 100). Anti-Semitism, in essence, was socially acceptable in Hitler's day. In fact, it took something as horrific as the Holocaust to wake people up to the silliness of tying inherent anti-Semitism to the New Testament, and, hence, inherent in a "true Christian."

Hitler also was a rabid anti-communist. How does this tie in? Hitler believed that the Weimar Republic, created out of the remnants of the German Empire in the wake of the Treaty of Versailles, was run by Jews. I don't know my history enough here to know if that's true, but Hitler wholly believed this. In addition, the leaders of the Weimar Republic--i.e., "the Jews" to Hitler--were often advocating socialist / communist ideals, further angering him. What further angered Hitler was the Weimar Republic's concessions to the European Allies, including hyperinflation and demilitarization. The final straw, to Hitler, was that, while Germans were languishing in poverty and unemployment, "the Jews" were living highly and even capitalizing on this. Once again, I don't know my history enough here to know if this is true, but Hitler believed this.

Hitler was successful because he echoed the sentiments of the German people during his early years of the rise to power. They were humiliated, poor, and, essentially, defenseless. The people wanted a visible scapegoat for their problems, and they found it in Judaism--"the leaders of the Weimar Republic."

The German people, however, had no idea, overall, that Hitler had actually planned on genocide, until after the Allies liberated Germany at the end of WWII. I think they expected it to be done in the way of their forefathers: ghettos and harrassment, interspersed with work camps; once again, for their time, it was perfectly acceptable in their eyes. Obviously, we should now know better.

It is unfortunate that such an event in history took place, but we cannot erase what has happened. It is our obligation to learn from it and to ensure that it never happens again.

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