Was life in the third reich nice?

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George L Gregory
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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 16 Feb 2021 15:19

wm,

That's a single incident. Do you have any evidence that such things happened to Russian Jews or other Jews who lived in the USSR who wanted to move to another country?

Are you seriously suggesting that Jewish labourers were treated decently in April 1942 by the Nazis?

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by sailorsam » 16 Feb 2021 15:39

nobody is saying Nazi Germany was anything but horrible to Jewish people, as well as certain other groups (Gypsies, gays).

what about the average German working class family? they seem to have done okay.
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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 16 Feb 2021 16:30

sailorsam wrote:
16 Feb 2021 15:39
nobody is saying Nazi Germany was anything but horrible to Jewish people, as well as certain other groups (Gypsies, gays).

what about the average German working class family? they seem to have done okay.
Not at all.

Citizens who were considered to be racially pure enough "Germans" still experienced the lack of freedom of speech, the threat of the Gestapo knocking on their doors at any time of the day, other citizens reporting them for engaging in things considered to be crimes by the regime e.g. a private matter such as as a relationship but if it involved someone of the Jewish faith then the "German" faced persecution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malicious ... s_Act_1933

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treachery_Act_of_1934

By the end of 1934, ordinary citizens had no sense of freedom of speech, etc. The regime was a dictatorship and any opposition was met with violence and often murder.

Wages did increase between 1933-39, but citizens had to work much longer hours. Wages were as low as the worst of the Great Depression. Rationing also existed before WW2.

Seriously, Nazi propaganda did wonders at convincing citizens and foreigners that the Third Reich was a lovely place to live, but the reality was so much different.

The Nazis cared so much (NOT) about the citizens that they prioritised the economy to prepare for war rather than look after citizens.

The Nazi 'miracle' of the economy is a myth.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 17 Feb 2021 12:32

wm wrote:
16 Feb 2021 00:42
As late as 1938 a German Jew could have traveled to Palestine freely and freely could have returned to Nazi Germany convinced that life in Germany was better than in primitive and dusty Palestine. And yes it happened like that.
I forgot to ask you, why should a Jew who had lived in Germany been forced to move to a different country? Many German-Jewish families had lived in Germany for hundreds of years and considered themselves to be both German and Jewish. Many German Jews fought during WW1 and died whilst fighting to defend Germany.

Are you suggesting that because some racist anti-semitic thugs decided that they weren't "German" enough that they should have been forced to leave Germany?

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 13:34

Because according to the Nazis the Jews were a destructive force, a threat to society.

Still, life in Germany was better than in the USSR, even for the Jews.
Personal freedom, freedom of travel, religion, safety were incomparably greater in Nazi Germany than in the USSR.
22 deaths were recorded in Dachau in 1933, 11 in 1936.
The Soviets killed more per hour.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2021 14:04

Hi sailorsam,

There is some discussion on whether Hitler's claimed economic miracle in the 1930s was real or illusory on: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=231738&p=2146112&h ... s#p2146112

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 17 Feb 2021 14:47

wm wrote:
17 Feb 2021 13:34
Because according to the Nazis the Jews were a destructive force, a threat to society.

Still, life in Germany was better than in the USSR, even for the Jews.
Personal freedom, freedom of travel, religion, safety were incomparably greater in Nazi Germany than in the USSR.
22 deaths were recorded in Dachau in 1933, 11 in 1936.
The Soviets killed more per hour.
I don't care what the Nazis thought about the Jews. Their views on Jews were based on pseudo-science, racism, scapegoating, etc - certainly nothing rational.

No, life was not better in Germany than the Soviet Union for Jewish people. You gave an single incident of a Jew who was subjected to torture in the Soviet Union and somehow concluded that was how life was life for Jewish people in the Soviet Union. What utter nonsense! Antisemitism certainly existed in the Soviet Union before, during and after Joseph Stalin's dictatorship.

Personal freedom was not better in Germany. Were Jews prohibited from having friendly or sexual relations with non-Jews in the Soviet Union? No. Were there laws passed during the Third Reich which prohibited friendly and sexual relations between Germans and Jews? Yes.

I suggest you start reading about the hundreds of laws, decrees, orders, etc, issued against the Jews even during 1933-39 because your post is full of complete ignorance.

You can start here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Jewi ... zi_Germany
1933: [27]

March 24: The Enabling Act was passed. This act brought an end to democracy in Germany. It gave the government the power to govern legislation by decree. It gave them the legal right to make discriminatory policies in the future. Hitler was allowed to make laws that violated the Weimar constitution without the approval of the parliament or Reich President with this act.[28]
March 31: A decree in the city of Berlin said that Jewish doctors were suspended from the city's charity services.
April 7: There was a law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. This law removed all Jews from government service. Also, a law on the Admission to the Legal Profession forbade the Jews from taking the bar exam, which is a test needed to become a lawyer.
April 21: Kosher slaughter outlawed [29]
April 25: A law about over-crowded Schools and Universities limited the number of Jewish students allowed in public schools. The number of Jewish students in one school was limited to no more than 5% of the total population. The schools helped to spread Hitler's ideas. They taught students to love Hitler and to obey the authorities.[30]
May 12: Bernheim petition to League of Nations, based on article 147 of the 1922 German–Polish Accord on East Silesia, leads to vacation of most racial provisions of Nazi laws in German Upper Silesia.[31][32]
July 14: The Jewish people lost citizenship because of a De-Naturalization Law. This took citizenship away from all Jews, including naturalized Jews and "undesirables".
October 4: The Jews were banned from editorial posts by a law on editors.
1934: [3]

The national Nazi Government forbade Jewish actors from performing on the stage or the screen.
Local governments issued regulations on other aspects of Jewish life. The Jews were no longer allowed to slaughter animals, which prevented them from obeying Jewish dietary laws.
1935:

May 21: A law was made on military participation that outlawed Jewish officers in the army.[27]
September 15: The Nazi leaders announced the Nuremberg Laws. These laws excluded Jews from having citizenship and marrying or having sex with German women. They also deprived the Jews of basic political rights such as voting rights, and the right to hold a political office.[33] The laws also restricted the Jews economically by making it difficult for the Jews to make money. The laws reduced Jewish-owned businesses in Germany by two-thirds.[3] Under the Mischling Test, individuals were considered Jewish if they had at least one Jewish grandparent.
1936: [27]

January 11: An Executive Order on the Reich Tax Law forbade Jews from being tax consultants.
April 3: Jews were banned from the veterinary profession by the Reich Veterinarians Law.
October 15: The Reich Ministry of Education banned Jewish teachers from teaching in public schools.
1937: [27]

April 9: The mayor of Berlin ordered public schools not to allow Jewish students to attend until further notice.
July 15: Racial laws applied in German Upper Silesia following the automatic lapse of article 147 of the 1922 German–Polish Accord on East Silesia.[31][32]
1938: [27]

January 5: Jews were forbidden from changing their names by a law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names.
February 5: A law on the profession of auctioneering banned Jews from being auctioneers.
March 18: Jewish gun merchants were excluded by the Gun Law.
April 22: Jewish-owned businesses were forbidden from changing their names. This decree's goal was to protect against the camouflage of Jewish businesses.
April 26: All Jewish people were required to report all property worth over 5,000 reichsmarks.
July 11: The Reich Ministry of the Interior banned the Jews from health spas.
August 17: An executive order on the law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names required all Jews to adopt names. For women, "Sara"; and for men, "Israel".[3]
October 5: The Reich Interior Ministry invalidated all German passports owned by Jews. The only way for the Jews to get their passports validated was to get a J stamped on it.
November 12: All Jewish-owned businesses were closed by a decree on the Exclusion of Jews from German Economic Life.
November 15: All Jewish children were expelled from public schools by the Reich Ministry of Education.
November 28: The freedom of movement was highly restricted by the Reich Interior Ministry.
November 29: The Reich Interior Ministry also forbade Jews from keeping carrier pigeons.
December 14: An executive order on the Law on the Organization of National Work canceled all state contracts held with Jewish-owned firms in order to attack the Jews economically.
December 21: A law banned all Jews from being in the occupation of midwives.
1939: [27]

February 21: A decree required Jews to surrender precious metals and stones that they owned.
August 1: The president of the German Lottery outlawed the sale of lottery tickets to Jews.
Yeah, so much freedom for German Jews living in Germany between 1933-1939. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 15:43

Till 1939, in Nazi Germany, the Jews enjoyed more freedom than the Jews in the USSR, and that's included freedom of travel and business freedom (till the end of 1938.) It was better to be a Jew in Germany than a peasant in Poland.

And that the Jews weren't forced to serve in the Army (like the ordinary Germans) wasn't especially onerous I suppose.
Anyway, at the end of the thirties, a Jew per thousand citizens lived in Germany. The inconveniences they suffered had nothing to do with the question "was life there nice."
You prioritizing well being of a small group over well being of an entire nation. And you willingly gloss over the Soviet genocide by millions and the suffering of tens of millions in the hands of the Soviet regime.
In February 1934, [...] I was taking my annual month's rest at the Marino Sanatorium in the province of Kursk, Central Russia. Marino was once the palace of Prince Buryatin, the conqueror of the Caucasus. The palace was in the resplendent style of Versailles, surrounded by beautiful English parks and artificial lakes. The sanatorium had an excellent staff of physicians, athletic instructors, nurses, and servants. Within walking distance of its enclosed grounds was the state farm where peasants labored to provide its guests with food. A sentry at the gate kept the peasants from trespassing on the enclosure.
One morning soon after my arrival I walked with a companion to the village where these peasants lived. The spectacle I beheld was appalling. Half-naked little brats ran out of dilapidated huts to beg us for a piece of bread. In the peasants' cooperative store was neither food nor fuel—nothing to be had. Everywhere the most abject poverty dismayed my eyes and depressed my spirits.
That evening seated in the brilliantly lighted dining hall of Marino, everyone was chatting gaily after an excellent supper. Outside, it was bitterly cold, but within, a roaring fireplace gave us cozy warmth.
By some chance, I turned suddenly and looked toward the window. I saw the feverish eyes of hungry peasant children - the bezprizornii - their little faces glued like pictures to the cold panes. Soon others followed my glance and gave orders to a servant that the intruders be driven off.
There were millions of such children in the USSR.
It was an icy morning when I reached Kursk on my way home from Marino. I entered the railway station to await the arrival of the Moscow express. After eating a hearty breakfast in the lunchroom, I still had time to spare, and I wandered into the third-class waiting room. I shall never be able to obliterate from my mind what I saw.
The waiting room was jammed full of men, women, and children, peasants—about six hundred of them—on their way like a herd of cattle from one prison camp to another. The scene was so frightful that for a fleeting instant I thought I saw bats flying over these tortured beings. Many of them lay almost naked in the cold room. Others were manifestly dying of typhus fever. Hunger, pain, desolation, or just dumb half-dead submissive suffering, were on every face. While I stood there, bard-faced militiamen of the OGPU undertook to rouse and herd them out like a drove of cattle, pushing and kicking the stragglers and those almost too weak to walk. One old man, I saw as I turned away, would never rise from the floor.
In Stalin's Secret Service by Walter G. Krivitsky

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 15:47

From Strength through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich by Shelley Baranowski
Travel permitted German tourists to observe the lives of foreigners first hand, resulting in the unanimous agreement as to the superiority of Germany's living standards. [...]
[T]he comparative well being of Germans hind others provided a consistently lively topic of conversation.
Because KdF journeyed often to economically less well-developed European nations with large poverty-stricken regions, or as in the case of Poland traversed through them, its foreign tourism facilitated such conclusions.

Portuguese soldiers begged for cigarettes, remarked surprised tourists on a Madeira trip, a phenomenon that grabbed their attention even amidst the poverty of Madeira's fishing villages.
A trip from Berlin to Konigsberg through the Polish Corridor aroused great interest ... for no one could help notice deteriorating train stations, unkempt and untended forests, and the impoverished misery that ended only with the train's approach to Danzig.

To be sure, fewer tourists traveled abroad with Strength through Joy where the most revealing comparisons between standards of living arose, in contrast to those who traveled with it at home.
Nevertheless, the number who took sea voyages was significant, having peaked at 140,000 in 1939, and such numbers almost certainly sufficed to have produced a ripple effect.
Thus for Maria Forster, occupation unidentified, a cruise around the Italian peninsula fulfilled a long-time yearning to travel and the triumph over social barriers.
"It is strange how quickly every mistrust fell," she exclaimed, "for it lasted only a few hours, and then what emerged was a great and trusting comradeship. . Here sits the factory worker next to the young office employee, the country woman next to the city woman. There are no differences."
The upending of normal social distinctions overwhelmed Else Dirks: the solicitude that her ship's captain and crew showed toward her, although she was neither a government minister nor the famous movie star, Greta Garbo, left her rapturous. Her enthusiasm for the royal treatment extended to her and to other passengers of equally modest background glided smoothly into expressions of national pride.
"Nowhere does a German need to be ashamed any longer to be German. We have our freedom. We once again have our honor."
For a Krupp ironworker, a cruise on the steamer Oceans also fulfilled a lifelong desire that he finally realized under National Socialism. From the departure of his train from Essen to his return to the same station, vacationers behaved more like a family than a collection of strangers, dancing together and sharing their food and drink. He praised the accommodations and food on board ship, noting that the allocation of the former encouraged a welcome democratization. He, after all, shared a cabin with a champion sprinter.
The cruise allowed him to see sights that deepened his love for Germany and his faith in the current regime.
Observing the yacht of an "American millionaire" in the Hamburg harbor, which he was told had a crew of 120 for six people, caused him to ask, "Will this woman with all her money be happier than we who are on this marvelous trip? I hardly think so." As for the English Channel and the Isle of Wight, he commented that "almighty Albion" was certainly beautiful, but no place was as captivating and orderly as Germany.
Lying in a deck chair, the ironworker recalled the words of the Social Democratic party "boss" and the first chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Philipp Scheidemann, who once promised workers tourism and automobiles. Yet only Hitler had come through.
The Siemens worker, Maria Hohensee, one of nine Siemens employees from Berlin chosen for a three-week cruise to Lisbon and Madeira at company expense, found the exoticism of the sites she visited as central to the quality of vacationers' experience and to their perceptions of German distinctiveness.
Visiting a foreign land strengthened the common identity among the ship's passengers; indeed so much so that regardless of what part of Germany they hailed from, passengers collectively experienced a national pride. [...]
If the bond with other passengers strengthened her Germanness, however, her gender sharpened her perceptions of difference. During a side tour on Madeira, one led by Ley and the German consul, who introduced the vacationers to local customs, Hohensee was amazed that unmarried women were not allowed on the streets unless accompanied by their mothers.
In her eyes the Third Reich was not a repressive dictatorship; rather, it combined individual freedom and community. For another Siemens worker, Herta Politz, who sailed to the same sites several years later, her ship the Saint Louis appeared to be a "floating hotel" with comfortable accommodations and fine food.
Yet more than that, the ship's concerts, films, dances, poetry readings, and chess-playing forged a genuine comradeship, which meeting German ex-patriates in Lisbon only strengthened.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 17 Feb 2021 17:26

wm wrote:
17 Feb 2021 15:47
From Strength through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich by Shelley Baranowski
Travel permitted German tourists to observe the lives of foreigners first hand, resulting in the unanimous agreement as to the superiority of Germany's living standards. [...]
[T]he comparative well being of Germans hind others provided a consistently lively topic of conversation.
Because KdF journeyed often to economically less well-developed European nations with large poverty-stricken regions, or as in the case of Poland traversed through them, its foreign tourism facilitated such conclusions.

Portuguese soldiers begged for cigarettes, remarked surprised tourists on a Madeira trip, a phenomenon that grabbed their attention even amidst the poverty of Madeira's fishing villages.
A trip from Berlin to Konigsberg through the Polish Corridor aroused great interest ... for no one could help notice deteriorating train stations, unkempt and untended forests, and the impoverished misery that ended only with the train's approach to Danzig.

To be sure, fewer tourists traveled abroad with Strength through Joy where the most revealing comparisons between standards of living arose, in contrast to those who traveled with it at home.
Nevertheless, the number who took sea voyages was significant, having peaked at 140,000 in 1939, and such numbers almost certainly sufficed to have produced a ripple effect.
Thus for Maria Forster, occupation unidentified, a cruise around the Italian peninsula fulfilled a long-time yearning to travel and the triumph over social barriers.
"It is strange how quickly every mistrust fell," she exclaimed, "for it lasted only a few hours, and then what emerged was a great and trusting comradeship. . Here sits the factory worker next to the young office employee, the country woman next to the city woman. There are no differences."
The upending of normal social distinctions overwhelmed Else Dirks: the solicitude that her ship's captain and crew showed toward her, although she was neither a government minister nor the famous movie star, Greta Garbo, left her rapturous. Her enthusiasm for the royal treatment extended to her and to other passengers of equally modest background glided smoothly into expressions of national pride.
"Nowhere does a German need to be ashamed any longer to be German. We have our freedom. We once again have our honor."
For a Krupp ironworker, a cruise on the steamer Oceans also fulfilled a lifelong desire that he finally realized under National Socialism. From the departure of his train from Essen to his return to the same station, vacationers behaved more like a family than a collection of strangers, dancing together and sharing their food and drink. He praised the accommodations and food on board ship, noting that the allocation of the former encouraged a welcome democratization. He, after all, shared a cabin with a champion sprinter.
The cruise allowed him to see sights that deepened his love for Germany and his faith in the current regime.
Observing the yacht of an "American millionaire" in the Hamburg harbor, which he was told had a crew of 120 for six people, caused him to ask, "Will this woman with all her money be happier than we who are on this marvelous trip? I hardly think so." As for the English Channel and the Isle of Wight, he commented that "almighty Albion" was certainly beautiful, but no place was as captivating and orderly as Germany.
Lying in a deck chair, the ironworker recalled the words of the Social Democratic party "boss" and the first chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Philipp Scheidemann, who once promised workers tourism and automobiles. Yet only Hitler had come through.
The Siemens worker, Maria Hohensee, one of nine Siemens employees from Berlin chosen for a three-week cruise to Lisbon and Madeira at company expense, found the exoticism of the sites she visited as central to the quality of vacationers' experience and to their perceptions of German distinctiveness.
Visiting a foreign land strengthened the common identity among the ship's passengers; indeed so much so that regardless of what part of Germany they hailed from, passengers collectively experienced a national pride. [...]
If the bond with other passengers strengthened her Germanness, however, her gender sharpened her perceptions of difference. During a side tour on Madeira, one led by Ley and the German consul, who introduced the vacationers to local customs, Hohensee was amazed that unmarried women were not allowed on the streets unless accompanied by their mothers.
In her eyes the Third Reich was not a repressive dictatorship; rather, it combined individual freedom and community. For another Siemens worker, Herta Politz, who sailed to the same sites several years later, her ship the Saint Louis appeared to be a "floating hotel" with comfortable accommodations and fine food.
Yet more than that, the ship's concerts, films, dances, poetry readings, and chess-playing forged a genuine comradeship, which meeting German ex-patriates in Lisbon only strengthened.
How many of those people were German Jews? None. The Strength Through Joy programme was there for only people considered to be Germans.

Try again.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by George L Gregory » 17 Feb 2021 17:36

wm wrote:
17 Feb 2021 15:43
Till 1939, in Nazi Germany, the Jews enjoyed more freedom than the Jews in the USSR, and that's included freedom of travel and business freedom (till the end of 1938.) It was better to be a Jew in Germany than a peasant in Poland.
Post some decrees and laws passed in the Soviet Union which were even close to those passed in the Third Reich.
And that the Jews weren't forced to serve in the Army (like the ordinary Germans) wasn't especially onerous I suppose.
Anyway, at the end of the thirties, a Jew per thousand citizens lived in Germany. The inconveniences they suffered had nothing to do with the question "was life there nice."
You prioritizing well being of a small group over well being of an entire nation.
A “small group” of people who had assimilated and were citizens of Germany before the Nazis passed laws which stripped them of their citizenship. At the end of the 1930s German Jews had been completely ostracised from German society and made to feel like strangers in their own country. Why should the German Jews not be included to determine whether or not Germany was a nice place in the 1930s?

By the way, I want to ask you, are you anti-Semitic? That’s certainly what I’m thinking when trading your posts which seem to try and justify the Nazis’ actions.
And you willingly gloss over the Soviet genocide by millions and the suffering of tens of millions in the hands of the Soviet regime.
Strawman argument.

Quote me when I have ever done such a thing.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 18:53

So you are saying that life in the USSR was nice because the Jews could serve in the Army, and in Germany they couldn't.
Because there were Jewish civil servants in the USSR, and in Germany weren't any.
Because Russian Jews could have married "natives" and German Jews couldn't.

And that magically cancels the fact the Stalinist USSR was a genocidal state, killed millions, ruined lives of tens of millions.
That's nice but still morally reprehensible.

Of course, the USSR had its own "Jews,"(although their lives, their fate were far worse than pre-Holocaust German Jews) and millions of them. They were called the Lishenets or/and "former people."

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2021 19:05

Hi Guys,

The scale of internal deaths in the USSR was higher than in Nazi Germany, but it should also be considered that the USSR had a much higher population and longer to inflict its misery.

However, the Nazi persecution of the Jews ended up more implacable. In the USSR, if one was part of a victimized population group there was always a possibility of survival. One might recant, inform on others, survive the Gulags, accept internal exile, etc., etc. These options were not available to Jews in German hands from 1941. One couldn't recant one's Jewishness or mitigate one's ethnicity under the Nazis.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2021 19:13

The question is "was life in the third reich nice," presumably in pre-war Germany, because obviously during the war "nice life" meant nothing.

Even more without the war, caused by Hitler's personal ambitions, there would be no Holocaust.
But the Soviet crimes would continue unabated.

The answer to the question is best summarized by this:
Travel permitted German tourists to observe the lives of foreigners first hand, resulting in the unanimous agreement as to the superiority of Germany's living standards.

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Re: Was life in the third reich nice?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2021 19:25

Hi wm,

"The question is "was life in the third reich nice," presumably in pre-war Germany, because obviously during the war "nice life" meant nothing." Well, that is not what either the thread title or original post says.

You post, "Even more without the war, caused by Hitler's personal ambitions, there would be no Holocaust." That is certainly possible, but we know there was a war and that the so-called "Holocaust" did occur.

You post, "But the Soviet crimes would continue unabated." Well, again we know that that is not true. By the 1960s Soviet life was massively better than it had been in the 1930s and the mass deaths of millions had been greatly reduced. Still wouldn't want to live there, though!

In the end, a pissing contest between Hitler and Stalin doesn't make the other one any better. Nazi Germany, even in the 1930s, was a vile place to live if you were Jewish, gay, a Jehovah's Witness, congenitally disabled, a principled Catholic priest, a political opponent, a Romany, a conscientious objector, a pacifist, etc., etc. I wouldn't want to live there, either!

Cheers,

Sid.

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