December 24, 2010

Learn the Lessons of Hitler's Amazing Rise to Power

World War I involved all of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers.

The German Empire began to mobilise on July 30, 1914. The countries in alliance with Germany, the Central Powers, were Belgium, Serbia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania.

The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during WWI. The key members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire.

The war began with the Austrian attack invasion of Serbia on July 28, 1914, in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Austrian Empire followed with an attack on Serbian allies Montenegro on August 8. On the Western Front, the two neutral States of Belgium and Luxembourg were immediately occupied by German troops as part of the German Schliefen Plan. [Of the two Low Countries, Luxembourg chose to capitulate, and was viewed as a collaborationist State by the Entente Powers: Luxembourg never became part of the Allies, and only nearly avoided Belgian efforts of annexation, at the conclusion of hostilities in 1919.]

The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, following an "unsatisfactory reply" to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral. On August 23, Japan joined the Entente, which then counted seven members.

On May 23, 1915, Italy entered the war on the Entente side and declared war on Austria; previously, Italy had been a member of the Triple Alliance but had remained neutral since the beginning of the conflict. In 1916, Montenegro capitulated and left the Entente, and two nations joined, Portugal and Romania.

The U.S. Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The United States declared war on Germany on the grounds that Germany violated American neutrality by attacking international shipping and because of the Zimmermann Telegram that was sent to Mexico. The U.S. entered the war as an "associated power", rather than a formal ally of France and Great Britain, in order to avoid "foreign entanglements".

The direction of the war changed on April 6, 1917, with the entrance of the United States and its American allies. Liberia, China, Siam and Greece also became allies. After the October Revolution, Russia left the alliance and ended formal involvement in the war, by the signing of the treaty of Brest Litovsk in November effectively creating a separate peace with the Central Powers. This was followed by Romanian cessation of hostilities, however the Balkan State declared war on Central Powers again on November 10, 1918. The Russian withdrawal allowed for the final structure of the alliance, which was based on five Great Powers: United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and Japan.

More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in WWI. More than 9 million combatants were killed, due largely to great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in Western history.

When the war ended in November 1918, many new States were formed over the ruins of the Central Powers. By the end of the WWI, four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires—had been militarily and politically defeated. The latter two ceased to exist. The revolutionised Soviet Union emerged from the Russian Empire, while the map of central Europe was completely redrawn into numerous smaller states. The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict.

The European nationalism spawned by the war and the breakup of empires, and the repercussions of Germany's defeat and the Treaty of Versailles led to the beginning of World War II in 1939.


[Source] [Source]

Third Reich: The Rise (1 of 6)


The German Hyperinflation, 1923

By Eric deCarbonnel, Market Skeptics
December 18, 2009

Before World War I, Germany was a prosperous country with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark, the British shilling, the French franc, and the Italian lira all had about equal value, and all were exchanged four or five to the dollar. That was in 1914. In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.
"My father was a lawyer," says Walter Levy, an internationally known German-born oil consultant in New York, "and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread"...
More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying.
Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks.
"If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
The presses of the Reichsbank could not keep up though they ran through the night.

The flight from currency that had begun with the buying of diamonds, gold, country houses, and antiques now extended to minor and almost useless items -- bric-a-brac, soap, hairpins. The law-abiding country crumbled into petty thievery. Copper pipes and brass armatures weren't safe. Gasoline was siphoned from cars. People bought things they didn't need and used them to barter -- a pair of shoes for a shirt, some crockery for coffee. Berlin had a "witches' Sabbath" atmosphere. Prostitutes of both sexes roamed the streets. Cocaine was the fashionable drug. In the cabarets, the newly rich and their foreign friends could dance and spend money. Other reports noted that not all the young people had a bad time: their parents had taught them to work and save, and that was clearly wrong, so they could spend money, enjoy themselves, and flout the old.

The publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote:
"People just didn't understand what was happening. All the economic theory they had been taught didn't provide for the phenomenon. There was a feeling of utter dependence on anonymous powers -- almost as a primitive people believed in magic -- that somebody must be in the know, and that this small group of 'somebodies' must be a conspiracy."
When the 1,000-billion Mark note came out, few bothered to collect the change when they spent it. By November 1923, with one dollar equal to one trillion Marks, the breakdown was complete. The currency had lost meaning...

But although the country functioned again,
the savings were never restored, nor were the values of hard work and decency that had accompanied the savings. There was a different temper in the country, a temper that Hitler would later exploit with diabolical talent. Thomas Mann wrote:
"The market woman who, without batting an eyelash, demanded 100 million for an egg, lost the capacity for surprise. And nothing that has happened since has been insane or cruel enough to surprise her."
It was the custom for the bride to bring some money to a marriage; many marriages were called off. Widows dependent on insurance found themselves destitute. People who had worked a lifetime found that their pensions would not buy one cup of coffee.

Pearl Buck, the American writer who became famous for her novels of China, was in Germany in 1923. She wrote later:
"The cities were still there, the houses not yet bombed and in ruins, but the victims were millions of people. They had lost their fortunes, their savings; they were dazed and inflation-shocked and did not understand how it had happened to them and who the foe was who had defeated them. Yet they had lost their self-assurance, their feeling that they themselves could be the masters of their own lives if only they worked hard enough; and lost, too, were the old values of morals, of ethics, of decency."

Learn the Lessons of Hitler's Amazing Rise to Power

The German Hyperinflation, 1923

By Eric deCarbonnel, Market Skeptics
December 18, 2009

Before World War I, Germany was a prosperous country with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark, the British shilling, the French franc, and the Italian lira all had about equal value, and all were exchanged four or five to the dollar. That was in 1914. In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.
"My father was a lawyer," says Walter Levy, an internationally known German-born oil consultant in New York, "and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread"...
More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying.
Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks.
"If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
The presses of the Reichsbank could not keep up though they ran through the night.

The flight from currency that had begun with the buying of diamonds, gold, country houses, and antiques now extended to minor and almost useless items -- bric-a-brac, soap, hairpins. The law-abiding country crumbled into petty thievery. Copper pipes and brass armatures weren't safe. Gasoline was siphoned from cars. People bought things they didn't need and used them to barter -- a pair of shoes for a shirt, some crockery for coffee.Berlin had a "witches' Sabbath" atmosphere. Prostitutes of both sexes roamed the streets. Cocaine was the fashionable drug. In the cabarets, the newly rich and their foreign friends could dance and spend money. Other reports noted that not all the young people had a bad time: their parents had taught them to work and save, and that was clearly wrong, so they could spend money, enjoy themselves, and flout the old.

The publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote:
"People just didn't understand what was happening. All the economic theory they had been taught didn't provide for the phenomenon. There was a feeling of utter dependence on anonymous powers -- almost as a primitive people believed in magic -- that somebody must be in the know, and that this small group of 'somebodies' must be a conspiracy."
When the 1,000-billion Mark note came out, few bothered to collect the change when they spent it. By November 1923, with one dollar equal to one trillion Marks, the breakdown was complete. The currency had lost meaning...

But although the country functioned again,
the savings were never restored, nor were the values of hard work and decency that had accompanied the savings. There was a different temper in the country, a temper that Hitler would later exploit with diabolical talent. Thomas Mann wrote:
"The market woman who, without batting an eyelash, demanded 100 million for an egg, lost the capacity for surprise. And nothing that has happened since has been insane or cruel enough to surprise her."
It was the custom for the bride to bring some money to a marriage; many marriages were called off. Widows dependent on insurance found themselves destitute. People who had worked a lifetime found that their pensions would not buy one cup of coffee.

Pearl Buck, the American writer who became famous for her novels of China, was in Germany in 1923. She wrote later:
"The cities were still there, the houses not yet bombed and in ruins, but the victims were millions of people. They had lost their fortunes, their savings; they were dazed and inflation-shocked and did not understand how it had happened to them and who the foe was who had defeated them. Yet they had lost their self-assurance, their feeling that they themselves could be the masters of their own lives if only they worked hard enough; and lost, too, were the old values of morals, of ethics, of decency."


Then along came Hitler to solve the nation's problems (Source: WikiAnswers):

One of the biggest weaknesses in German political life in the 1920s and early 1930s was the absence of an effective, competently organized, 'mainstream' right-wing political party. This encouraged the rise of a strange, weird and anti-democratic party.

Between 1930 and 1933, Hitler's rise to power was very rapid.
In 1928 the Nazis only had 12 out of 580 seats in the Reichstag; in 1930, when the effects of the Great Depression hit Germany hard, the number rose sharply to 107.

From a political point of view, there was a sea-change in Germany in 1930-33.
It's worth being cautious about the high school/college view of Germany smarting obsessively in 1919-33 under the Versailles Treaty and straining at the leash to undo it. In politics, most voters are much more concerned with basic everyday issues -- like jobs, for example.

The Lessons of Hitler’s Amazing Rise to Power!

By Robin A. Brace, UK Apologetics
Originally Published in 2006

"Five years prior to Adolf Hitler becoming German Chancellor, the National Socialists were considered almost a joke, rejected by 97% of German voters..."

How was it possible for Adolf Hitler to achieve power in Germany so suddenly?

In the 1928 German Election, the Nazi Party only achieved 2.6% of the national vote, this means that an amazing 97% of Germans clearly did not want Hitler to be their Chancellor. The Nazis were looked upon as a fringe party and were almost a joke—yet just five years later Hitler was Chancellor of Germany! How could this have happened?

The liberal Weimar government of 1919-1931 were certainly committed to democracy, unfortunately they were also weak, often rudderless and they presided over widespread and unprecedented corruption right across German life. Being a liberal democracy, widespread corruption did not unduly worry the Weimar architects, but it worried and upset many German people who longed for a return to a respect for law and order right across the land and right across German life.

Of course, as we know, it was a major economic crisis which finally opened the door for Hitler. When Weimar failed, people did not want another liberal democracy, which they blamed for the moral confusion and chaos of German life.

Germany had been greatly affected by the repercussions of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. In 1931, five major German banks crashed. From its former position of being a great nation, Germany actually became—by far—the weakest nation in Europe and actually weaker than most African countries!!

Confusion and chaos were now no longer simply of a moral nature, but were of a devastating economic sort, which saw thousands of unemployed men forming lines to receive a tiny handout that could never be enough to feed their families. Many committed suicide; others simply abandoned their families.

Panic gripped thousands of Germans, and they cried out for a strong leader who could lead them out of this chaos!


Both Communists and National Socialists prospered in this climate in which the common people powerfully rejected the whole concept of a liberal democracy.

Order Out of Chaos?

In the 1932 election campaign, Hitler put himself forward as the strong and decisive leader which the Germans had been longing for. As many have commented, all the Nazi Party really offered was order, discipline and authority since they had not drawn up any detailed policies; however, it was indeed the order, discipline and authority which the Germans were longing and craving for! Moreover, the Nazis made it clear that, when elected, they would form a dictatorship—not a democracy, but this, again, was exactly what the people wanted!

So it was economic catastrophe which turned the Nazis from a party which 97% of Germans had rejected in 1928 to a major party just 4-5 years later. In 1932, the Nazis had 37% of the vote—the biggest single German party. German leader Hindenburg originally did not want Hitler to be chancellor because he believed that he would bring even more chaos.

It was thousands of bankers and businessmen who petitioned for Hitler to become chancellor. They longed for stability, security and a return of confidence to German business life, and they saw Hitler as the strict no-nonsense disciplinarian who could provide it. The only strong radical alternative to Hitler were the communists who were obviously absolute anathema to bankers and businessmen!

Many more moderate German conservatives thought they would be able to control Hitler when he went into government through the processes of parliament, but what nobody had accounted for was National Socialism's zeal in changing laws and bringing in new laws to suit themselves and to radically change German life.

There is no doubt that Hitler did stabilise all of German life and brought new economic confidence to the ravaged land. For this achievement, ordinary Germans wholeheartedly threw themselves behind Hitler and the Nazis.

What is the lesson of all this?

Five years prior to Adolf Hitler becoming German Chancellor, the National Socialists were considered almost a joke, rejected by 97% of German voters, but when economic disaster struck, the people—in their tens of thousands—simply wanted a strong leader amidst a sea of watery ineffectual liberals! They were prepared to accept some really dangerous and offensive policies just in order to get a strong and dynamic leader elected—we should never think that this could never happen again!

It has been said that those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

Modern Britain, Europe and much of North America is being paralyzed by politically-correct permissive liberals. Concerns about "civil liberties" with its desire to protect criminals and illegal immigrants, and the push to eradicate the last vestiges of censorship and national pride, are being aggressively pushed forward by people who were encouraged and persuaded to revere arch-atheists Marx, Freud and Nietzsche in the universities of the 1960s-1980s.

The trend has been quietly going on and growing for several years, and this will surely eventually lead to a powerful right-wing backlash as ordinary people grow increasingly sickened at the moral corruption and erosion of former strongly Christian-influenced standards! The moral weakness of liberal governance means that parents are no longer even allowed to impose their own standards in bringing up their own children.

If the West should hit a major economic crisis which should lead to thousands or even possibly millions losing their sources of income, a huge backlash will be certain indeedat such a time and in such a climate, a powerful right wing leader will be sought. This could be extremely dangerous for the whole world and could even lead to global conflict...

Third Reich: The Fall (1 of 6)

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