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WW2: was it (in part) our own fault? watch

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    Now I did GCSE History last year and I noticed something. That there was a link between our actions after WW1 and the beginning of WW2, the rise of the Nazis and the issues that drove the way to WW2.

    After the war the UK, France and America forced Germany into taking the full blame for the war through the Treaty of Versailles despite the fact that they weren't the country who caused the darn thing in the first place (though the American President wanted to be a lot easier on them). To make things worse they then decided to force them to pay reparations to France to pay for the damages Germany and other countries had caused again through the Treaty. There were various other major problems which you may know of if you too did the Life in Germany 1919-1939 topic like myself which led to the war not all of them our fault. In fact quite a few weren't but this is saying we were PARTLY responsible not entirely.

    Unfortunately, this helped lead the country into an economic downfall, though the Wall Street Crash was another problem leading to it as well, leading to the German people looking to one man who gave them a scapegoat for this disaster. His name was Adolf Hitler and well... You know the rest.

    Do you agree with me? Do you like me think that the allies were in part responsible for this disastrous war? As in my last post- You're move. :cool:
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    Don't forget appeasement! We let Nazi Germany overstep the lines we had defined for them too many times, and we even granted them the right to annex Czechoslovakia with the Munich Agreement.
    We portrayed ourselves as spineless.
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    (Original post by Giggy010)
    Now I did GCSE History last year and I noticed something. That there was a link between our actions after WW1 and the beginning of WW2, the rise of the Nazis and the issues that drove the way to WW2.

    After the war the UK, France and America forced Germany into taking the full blame for the war despite the fact that they weren't the country who caused the darn thing in the first place (though the American President wanted to be a lot easier on them). To make things worse they then decided to force them to pay reparations to France to pay for the damages Germany and other countries had caused. There were various other major problems which you may know of if you too did the Life in Germany 1919-1939 topic like myself.

    Unfortunately, this led the country into an economic downfall leading to the German people looking to one man who gave them a scapegoat for this disaster. His name was Adolf Hitler and well... You know the rest.

    Do you agree with me? Do you like me think that the allies were in part responsible for this disastrous war? As in my last post- You're move. :cool:

    First of all there is no "We". I had no part in the actions. If you believe the reperations caused Hitlers push in to power then you have been taught in an incorrect manner, Weimar Germany was recovering well. very well in fact until 1929 with the Wall Street Crash. The treaty of Versailles was more important for the shame and anger at this shame that Germany felt rather than its reperations payments.
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    (Original post by Rational Thinker)
    First of all there is no "We". I had no part in the actions. If you believe the reperations caused Hitlers push in to power then you have been taught in an incorrect manner, Weimar Germany was recovering well. very well in fact until 1929 with the Wall Street Crash. The treaty of Versailles was more important for the shame and anger at this shame that Germany felt rather than its reperations payments.
    First of all no offence but I mean our country in general. NOT us right now.

    I am not putting it all on the reparations. They were only one of many factors in the puzzle. So don't say I was taught wrong. Also the reparations were part of the Treaty anyway. I am editing the post to mention this.

    Also the Wall Street Crash wasn't the only factor on the countries economic downturn as the economy may have become stronger but was weakened by the reparations already causing a larger problem.
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    (Original post by Giggy010)
    First of all no offence but I mean our country in general. NOT us right now.

    I am not putting it all on the reparations. They were only one of many factors in the puzzle. So don't say I was taught wrong. Also the reparations were part of the Treaty anyway. I am editing the post to mention this.

    Also the Wall Street Crash wasn't the only factor on the countries economic downturn as the economy may have become stronger but was weakened by the reparations already causing a larger problem.
    The Wall Street Crash was the major factor, had it not occurred Weimar Germany would probably have been able to pay off the reperations, the Nazi representation in politics would have remained neglible and Hitler might not have got into government. Versailles was more important as a symbol than what it actually dicated.
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    (Original post by Giggy010)
    Now I did GCSE History last year and I noticed something. That there was a link between our actions after WW1 and the beginning of WW2, the rise of the Nazis and the issues that drove the way to WW2.

    After the war the UK, France and America forced Germany into taking the full blame for the war through the Treaty of Versailles despite the fact that they weren't the country who caused the darn thing in the first place (though the American President wanted to be a lot easier on them). To make things worse they then decided to force them to pay reparations to France to pay for the damages Germany and other countries had caused again through the Treaty. There were various other major problems which you may know of if you too did the Life in Germany 1919-1939 topic like myself which led to the war not all of them our fault. In fact quite a few weren't but this is saying we were PARTLY responsible not entirely.

    Unfortunately, this helped lead the country into an economic downfall, though the Wall Street Crash was another problem leading to it as well, leading to the German people looking to one man who gave them a scapegoat for this disaster. His name was Adolf Hitler and well... You know the rest.

    Do you agree with me? Do you like me think that the allies were in part responsible for this disastrous war? As in my last post- You're move. :cool:
    I don't see a problem with German war reparations at all. Considering the peace treaty they forced on the Russians, what the Germans planned for France if they won and the sheer amount of damage Germany actually caused during the war, if I was the British or French at Versailles I would have told the German delegation to cry me a river when they complained. I have no sympathy with Germany at all in that regards.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    I don't see a problem with German war reparations at all. Considering the peace treaty they forced on the Russians, what the Germans planned for France if they won and the sheer amount of damage Germany actually caused during the war, if I was the British or French at Versailles I would have told the German delegation to cry me a river when they complained. I have no sympathy with Germany at all in that regards.
    Whether or not the war reparations were deserved or not is a whole other issue, but the fact remains that the reparations payments led to a great deal of public anger in Germany; this coupled with the huge reliance of the German economy on US loans meant that once the Great Depression hit Germany was especially vulnerable and was very badly affected. The original anger due to the reparations then exacerbated the need for a solution to the economic crisis, and the German people were so desperate and disillusioned by the failure of the Weimar Republic to come up with a solution that they voted for the NSDAP. Hitler becoming Chancellor, then Fuhrer was actually more due to government structure and underhanded dealing than people actually voting for him.

    It would be too simplistic to say that the reparations were the only cause of WW2, but it certainly played a large role in Hitler's rise to power, especially when compounded with global political and economic issues at the time.
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    How very post-Modernist. After WW1, Jerry re-invents himself as a fascist state and goes for the sequel, and the question is "is this our fault?"
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    Britain were hardly pushing for the harshest terms during the Treaty of Versailles, you have the French to blame for that.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    How very post-Modernist. After WW1, Jerry re-invents himself as a fascist state and goes for the sequel, and the question is "is this our fault?"
    You may mock, but people don't just turn to extremism for no reason. The terms of the treaty of Versailles made living conditions for the German people terrible, and when living conditions are squeezed people tend to look for extremist answers in solution to these problems (look at the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece). Germany was one of the most advanced nations in the world, and suddenly there was massive rallies of people with their arms in the air shouting "seig heil"? We should all be ashamed, as part of the human race, that we let that happen. There's a reason that the victors of WW2 actually gave Germany a shedload of money to rebuild itself.
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    (Original post by Rational Thinker)
    First of all there is no "We". I had no part in the actions. If you believe the reperations caused Hitlers push in to power then you have been taught in an incorrect manner, Weimar Germany was recovering well. very well in fact until 1929 with the Wall Street Crash. The treaty of Versailles was more important for the shame and anger at this shame that Germany felt rather than its reperations payments.
    It's been around a decade since I was taught this material, so apologies if I get this wrong, but I seem to remember that before the Wall Street Crash hit, Germany went through terrible inflation, mainly because the Government began printing money in order to help pay the reparations. I remember hearing a story where employers began paying their workers in wheelbarrows full of money, and one worker had the wheelbarrow stolen, but the thief left the (worthless) money.
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    (Original post by Swanbow)
    Britain were hardly pushing for the harshest terms during the Treaty of Versailles, you have the French to blame for that.
    I agree that Britain didn't come up with the ideas with some of the harshest terms but they were certainly in support of them.
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    No, because Germany should have had the brains to notice what was happening, having already done it previously within the same generation. But of course they went ahead with it anyway
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    Absolutely not!

    Kaiserreich deserved to be punished harshly after WWI. Indeed it would be ridiculous to agree upon a status quo ante bellum treaty.

    It is only the German people who are responsible for being carried away in their nationalist populist movements and thereby electing the nazi party to establish yet another Reich.

    In terms of our part, we should not even allow these extremists to militarize Rhineland again.
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    The Germans turned to the Nazis out of desperation. They were desperate because they were impoverished. They were impoverished because of the mountainous punishments imposed on them by the Allied forces at Versailles. I know it's not as simple as that but I think there is a definite causal link there. Mind, I'd say the severity of the punishments was largely down to Clemenceau and the French. Wilson was pretty lenient and Lloyd George was fairly conciliatory. I don't buy the anti-appeasement argument though: we needed time to build our forces before we could have quashed Hitler. WWI took it out of us pretty badly.
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    (Original post by MelonSponge)
    Don't forget appeasement! We let Nazi Germany overstep the lines we had defined for them too many times, and we even granted them the right to annex Czechoslovakia with the Munich Agreement.
    We portrayed ourselves as spineless.
    I think this may have played a part, even if the outcome might have been Hitler just delaying the invasion of Poland by a while. I am sure the memories of the huge number of deaths in the trenches of World War I may have had an influence in that no-one wanted a repeat of those horrors.

    Even though the British Union of Fascists had little influence and no sizeable vote, don't forget there were people who admired Hitler in the UK in the 1930s, such as (it has been alleged) the Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII) and the Daily Mail.
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    (Original post by Mechie)
    You may mock, but people don't just turn to extremism for no reason. The terms of the treaty of Versailles made living conditions for the German people terrible, and when living conditions are squeezed people tend to look for extremist answers in solution to these problems (look at the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece). Germany was one of the most advanced nations in the world, and suddenly there was massive rallies of people with their arms in the air shouting "seig heil"? We should all be ashamed, as part of the human race, that we let that happen. There's a reason that the victors of WW2 actually gave Germany a shedload of money to rebuild itself.
    That is the exact opposite of what people believe today.

    Today, if there are massive rallies and people being extremists (just of a different flavour) we don't don't ask "Why did we let this happen?" we say "Oh dear - these people clearly have a right to exist like this - we'd better appease them"

    If someone starts a war destroying half of Europe and killing millions of people - the answer should have been what? To say "thanks for the fighting guys - now here's a load of money so that you don't do it again?" In today's currency, that's the biggest incentive ever to carry on starting wars.

    Let's say North Korea goes for part deux. Are you suggesting that the world should sit back and let a genocidal god-complex maniac attack another country - and then when it's all over give them a ton of money for their trouble? What exactly does this teach lunatics and fanatics?

    It teaches them:
    1. Attack "the West"
    2. Kill a load of their people.
    3. They kill loads of your people - don't worry, just expendables.
    4. Get beaten.
    5. Profit.
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    (Original post by askew116)
    It's been around a decade since I was taught this material, so apologies if I get this wrong, but I seem to remember that before the Wall Street Crash hit, Germany went through terrible inflation, mainly because the Government began printing money in order to help pay the reparations. I remember hearing a story where employers began paying their workers in wheelbarrows full of money, and one worker had the wheelbarrow stolen, but the thief left the (worthless) money.
    Indeed there was terrible inflation but Weimar Germany recovered and was enjoying an economic boom before the impact of the Wall Street crash.
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    (Original post by TheHolubowskyj)
    Whether or not the war reparations were deserved or not is a whole other issue, but the fact remains that the reparations payments led to a great deal of public anger in Germany; this coupled with the huge reliance of the German economy on US loans meant that once the Great Depression hit Germany was especially vulnerable and was very badly affected. The original anger due to the reparations then exacerbated the need for a solution to the economic crisis, and the German people were so desperate and disillusioned by the failure of the Weimar Republic to come up with a solution that they voted for the NSDAP. Hitler becoming Chancellor, then Fuhrer was actually more due to government structure and underhanded dealing than people actually voting for him.

    It would be too simplistic to say that the reparations were the only cause of WW2, but it certainly played a large role in Hitler's rise to power, especially when compounded with global political and economic issues at the time.
    It's not another issue, it's integral to the issue, especially regarding the OPs logic. Did war reparations play an important part in causing WW2, of course. Was it our fault though? No. How Germany proceeded to deal with the reparations is on them, not us.
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    (Original post by Mechie)
    You may mock, but people don't just turn to extremism for no reason.
    Just because someone turns into an extremist, it doesn't validate or justify their grievance. How the Allied Powers dealt with the aftermath of the war needs to be critiqued on its own merits, not measured by how the German people later reacted to it. Just because the German people didn't like the fact that they had to pay reparations isn't how we should judge the merit of the reparations.
 
 
 
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