I'm not accusing you of the teleological fallacy. Perhaps you indeed understand it better than anyone else I've discussed things with so far on this board and it's one of my pet peeves.
I just disagree on certain conclusions, that's all. Let's take your points and contrast my views.
a) Germany had long-term plans for control and utilisation of these territories
Very long-term if at all and and not exactly written in stone.
b) Intended to cleanse them of the vast majority of their population
I don't think so, but the lands might be colonized and annexed and Germanized to some degree. It was absurd to compare this to conquering/settling the American frontier, and not the least in demographic terms. And I disagree with a "Genocide approach" to historical problems in general (not that this is your stance).
c) The matter of whether these lived or died as a result of German policies was entirely without interest
Perhaps, but I submit that military planners have other priorities in wartime. Only rich countries like the United States can employ humanitarian propaganda effectively because they have the gravy (and guns) to do so.
d) That the intended policies would in all probability lead to the death of 10 million or more
I'm sorry but I'm going to have to wax skeptical on this. At any rate, it was in the context of a war which easily killed 50 million. The "Spanish" Influenza pandemic of 1918, which likely would not have happened without the population disruptions of the First World War, killed 40 million, and even orphaned my grandfather in Idaho, about as far away from the Kaiser's "rape of Belgium" as you can get. I just think that even well-intentioned moralizing is specious in the extreme.
I didn't say that I would throw out the Table Talks. But, nevertheless, I don't consider what Hitler's critics, his opportunists, and postwar sensationalists wrote about Hitler's ruminations between the cabbage and the alfalfa course to be a primary source of his views. That's just my opinion, and I'm just not going to weigh it so heavily. However, I recognize that history is an art as much as a science and a lot of interpretation is subjective, which doesn't necessarily make it wrong.
Now, you mentioned Himmler's 1943 Posen speech, but it may not even be genuine. I might be inclined to accept it if there were electronic analysis of the recording collection. But considering the source of the material (a phonograph disk found in the executed Rosenberg's office) by the Allied prosecution, no less, I'm just not going to see it as a smoking-gun. Sorry. We might as well include exhortations to disembowel Japs and use their guts to grease the treads of our tanks.
Now, you mentioned Roberto. My problem with his dogmatic Is-Too/Is-Not approach is that he basically takes the views of his favorite Genocide historians and argues their case BLINDLY and without any analysis of his own. If he can think outside of the box he hasn't shown it to me. I don't like History by Holo-site or by search-engine. I prefer to read what I will and form my own opinions, and I don't think they are more wrong because I don't bother to cite Ph.D.s. with their own axes to grind.
You accuse me of abdication of discussion. Well, I am just a humble, lovable shoeshine boy. I post here because it makes life a little easier to bear by having intelligent discussion and a little fun. If I were publishing it might be a legitimate criticism. But even if I got twelve monkeys to agree with my opinions, that doesn't make them more or less true. Complicated matters such as a person's motivations are extremely difficult to unravel anyway. I don't know of a suitable way to empiricize it. I am not going to be satisfied with the standard story, however, that we fought the Good War, because that's not what I think we did--however popular that view is, or may become. That's my bias and I am upfront with it.
Qvist wrote: Scott wrote:
Qvist wrote:this though is especially rich:
Hitler was a pan-German FIRST but a pan-European second.
Logically, you simply cannot be both, that is unless the latter is simply reducible to the former.
I don't think they are logically exclusive. The USA synthesized this with its melting-pot myth. Besides, pure German nationalism reluctantly gave way to the latter (albeit imperfectly).
If it is, they both translate into exactly the same thing: A Germany of hegemonic power in Europe, with the rest of Europe firmly bound to the German orbit.
A superpower exercises de facto hegemony just by the gravity-well of its economic and cultural power. All "satellite" states are not RULED by Berlin but are certainly influenced by her, and the foreign intelligentsia educated in German universities. And we haven't even discussed German military power yet.
This is of course European unity of a sort, it is the unity of hegemony, and in this case of a hegemony achieved through conquest if not annexation. Personally, I call that empire.
I wouldn't call it an empire unless it directly meant the RULE of non-German peoples (taxation/tribute and the whole works). With World War, yes, Hitler's national objectives were swamped by the immediate demands of empire--and without that cordon sanitaire, she had no hope of surviving a war-of-attrition.
If you wish to call it something else, go ahead. But that doesn't change the reality of what it was, any more than an added "Pan-European" dimension had any bearing whatsoever on the real content of German policy and aims.
Here are some definitions in my desk dictionary:HEGEMONY: The predominate influence of one state over others.
(My emphasis.) This does not necessarily mean rule.EMPIRE: A political unit, often comprising a number of territories or nations, ruled by a single supreme authority.
(Emphasis mine.) This was certainly the case during the war but it does not follow that this was Hitler's goal. I maintain that Hitler eschewed the thought of empire.SUPERPOWER: A powerful and influential nation, especially one that dominates its satellites AND allies in an intenational power bloc.
(Emphasis mine.) I'm arguing that this is closer to Hitler's aspirations and what the Versailles treaty most especially sought to prevent. There was also a certain amount of economic rivalry at work here that is ingrained so deeply between the English and the Germans that containing the Russians in either the 19th or the 20th century pales by comparison. The German cousin is the mortal enemy in the Anglo-Saxon mentality after 1871 (but by 1910 at the latest).BALKANIZATION: To divide (a region or territory) into small, often hostile units. From the political division of the Balkans in the early 20th century.
This is Albion's traditional foreign policy. If properly arranged it allowed her to concentrate on her overseas empire in "splendid isolation" from the continent. German unification in 1871 and the Kaiser's naval arms race shattered that dream and the new objective until 1945 was German containment.
That's because Germany was losing the war and it's hard to get allies when you are losing. So what if it meant "Zip"? That doesn't make Hitler's aims insincere, just unfulfilled.
I mean it meant zip in the sense that it did not alter the role Hitler had in mind for the rest of Europe if the crusade should succeed. His "Pan-Europeanism" was simply an appeal for involvment in the war against the Soviet Union - it did not entail a more equal role in his European order for the occupied countries, then or in the future, it did not entail any willingness to submit German interests or ambitions to those of Europe at large.
That is one of the reasons why Hitler was so reluctant to resort to it--even if he could have adequately armed non-Germans for a pan-European crusade against Bolshevism, which he couldn't--he would have to negotiate with them as equals and he hoped in the short-term to exploit non-German territories. Hitler was more than willing to negotiate with foreign allies as equals, if they were worthy of his respect. That is why he admired Degrelle so much. However, mostly he found his Latin allies/associates to be greedy and unreliable fair-weathered friends, and certainly of no use to him against the riches of the Albionese Empire, let alone the Soviet Union. Having more resources to boost foreign sympathizers would have been helpful but not decisive, IMHO.
Not only in practical terms but also in essence it in fact entailed exactly the same thing as "Pan-Germanism" - European interests would be determined by Germany and were identical to German interests. If you disagree, could you point out just what Hitler wanted to fulfill, but couldn't?
I'm not sure that I understand the question. Hitler couldn't arm the Ukrainians, for example, although the SS was interested. I admit that he was reluctant to do it. But he couldn't have done it anyway. This does not however mean that he wanted to "ethnically cleanse" them so that Germany could take the land or enslave them in a sort of postwar Teutonic-Slav feudal system. I think that is hyperbole. What is even worse, is the notion that Hitler planned this from his Genocidal Beer Hall days.
Scott wrote:Bismarck's Imperium, the Second Reich, was GERMAN; it was not multiethnic. Thus, it was a NATION--as Hitler considered the basis of nationalism to be kindred-blood and common-language. He wanted all Germans, whether from Austria or the Volga, to be "returned" to ONE Reich, with ONE State, and under ONE Führer.
I have said this before, but shall say it again. Nobody claims that Hitler wanted to create something akin to the Habsburg empire by annexing France or whatever. But consider the implications of his project such as you yourself have described it.
It means simply that Europe can't be balkanized by Great Britain/USA. Yes, Germany will have the commanding voice, as did the USA in NATO.
Hegemony in Europe - meaning, through whatever structural arrangement, the power for Germany to dispose of European affairs as it liked. This presupposes inability of other great European powers to oppose Germany on any issue in Europe, this again presupposes war against same.
And this is only a problem when Germany does it--not France or Albion? I don't think so. The Allies were quite willing to turn Europe over to the Communist Russians as long as Germany was neutered. They sought a repeat of 1648 and didn't care about the consequences. The USA just wanted to inherit the Japanese and British empires to expand financial markets and held strange romantic notions about the Soviets for far too long.
All ethnic Germans collected in one Reich - you had ethnic Germans in Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, the Baltic and the Soviet Union. Since presumably he did not intend to evacuate these from the territories in which they lived, how might they then be brought into the Reich? What does this ambition translate to for the countries in question? Especially as there was also a policy of expulsion and partly starvation for other ethnicla groups who happened to be living on the same territory?
This is just reductio ad absurdum. Hitler was willing to "sacrifice" some German minorities for larger issues. He did so with the South Tyrol. He did not claim anything from France before she declared war on Germany, but if he could have gotten a permanent understanding with them after an English armistice (i.e., an end of the war) then he might have been willing to seriously renounce claims to German-speaking Alsace-Lorraine, especially if these populations were cool to the Reich, as might be expected anyway after anti-Germanization measures from 1919-1940.
A German fleet is a clear moral threat to the world!
(Read: A threat to English supremacy and politico-economic interests.)