This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Oktobermann wrote:Well, Scheidemann's words leave scarcely any doubt that as a result of the "vae victus" of the governments of the Allied and Associated powers, Germany's very existance as a prospersous and unified nation was brought into question.
As far-sighted men of the time correctly observed, the Constitution of the "Weimar Republic" (1919-1933) was, in a real sense, not the one the German parliament formally adopted on August 11, 1919. It was rather imposed by the dictated Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.
As a result of the Treaty, each of the numerous governments of the "Weimar Republic" was inevitably faced with the same insurmountable problem. Each administration was obliged to carry out the Treaty's countless oppressive and devastating conditions, and thus act as an "agent" of the victorious powers. Each new government thus unavoidably discredited itself in the eyes of the people it represented, and therefore committed a kind of political suicide.
One political leader, though, defiantly vowed from the outset never to permit himself or his party to be blackmailed. This man was Adolf Hitler, and like many of his fellow citizens, were appalled and deeply shocked by the conditions that had developed in Germany, and he resolved to fight the "Diktat" of Versailles. The catastropic state of affairs he found in Munich after his return from the front defied his ability to describe them. Like most of his comrades, Hitler was drawn into the war in 1914 to fight for a free, strong and proud Germany. Now, in 1919, the 30 year old Hitler had to witness the establishment in Bavaria of a "Soviet republic" headed by communists and Jews. In his eyes, military defeat had given way to national catastrophe.
My personal opinion is that the Germans decided they weren't going to pay if they could avoid it - and to a large extent they did avoid it.
Contrast this with the huge amounts of money Germany has voluntarily put into the EEC and EU since 1955.
Actually, Germany paid some money for WW1 reparations until last year. At least there were some news in the press about the end of such payments.
JLEES wrote:Everything that everyone is saying is basically true, however, one shouldn't leap to the conclusion that the Germans were innocent victims at Versailles. There is a well established amount of history that indicates they were desirously looking at other peoples lands and would have acquired them had they won. Yes, much of the territory stripped away from the Russians at Brest-Litovsk was not inhabited by Russians and some of the territory stripped away from Romania was not inhabited by Romanians, but there was also very harsh repartition payments and territorial losses stripped away from the vanquished foes. I don't think anyone living in 2013 would want to launch the argument they were just treaties, as they simultaneously condemn the Versailles Treaty for its harshness. Germany also had its eye on acquiring territory with no Germans living on it prior to their loss in 1918. I think when objectively looking at Brest-Litovak, Bucharest and Versailles treaties one can come to the conclusion non of them were fair and just settlements. Otherwise, one would completely miss the higher cognitive point of this discussion.
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