Skip to main content

View Diary: "Would You Like To Buy A Pen?" She Asked Me (94 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Wounded pride not austerity brought Hitler (0+ / 0-)

    Completely agree w your general sentiment, and here in the USA austerity COULD be used to promote new-and-improved Fascism  ... but I feel 1920's Germany's suffering was:

    1) Extremely uneven--the working poor got the worst.

    2) Greatly accentuated by feelings of unfairness, that may have been quite disproportionate ...

    from Wiki (bless them)

    In January 1921, the total sum due was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission and was set at 132 billion gold marks. However, the actual amount of reparations that Germany was obliged to pay out was not the 132 billion marks cited in 1921 but rather the 50 billion marks stipulated in the A and B Bonds. The historian Sally Marks stated the 112 billion marks in "C bonds" were entirely chimerical—a device to fool the public into thinking Germany would pay much more. The actual total payout from 1920 to 1931 (when payments were suspended indefinitely) was 20 billion German gold marks, worth about $5 billion US dollars or £1 billion British pounds. Of this amount, 12.5 billion was cash that came mostly from loans from New York bankers. The rest was goods like coal and chemicals, or from assets like railway equipment. The total amount of reparations was fixed in 1921 on the basis of an German capacity to pay, not on the basis of Allied claims. The highly publicized rhetoric of 1919 about paying for all the damages and all the veterans' benefits was irrelevant to the total, but it did affect how the recipients spent their share. Austria, Hungary, and Turkey were also supposed to pay some reparations but they were so impoverished that they in fact paid very little. Germany was the only country rich enough to pay anything; it owed reparations chiefly to France, Britain, Italy and Belgium; the US received $100 million.[1]
    in comparison :
    After the Franco-Prussian War, according to conditions of Treaty of Frankfurt (May 10, 1871), France was obliged to pay a war indemnity of 5 billion gold francs in 5 years. German troops remained in parts of France until the last installment of the indemnity was paid in September 1873, before the obliged date.[citation needed]
    So German choices, including shielding their Rich but abandoning their Working Poor and aspiring Middle-Class seeking new jobs with a future  (sound familiar?) .
    PLUS the PERCEIVED grievance of the Versailles treaty reparations (that were blamed out of proportion to their true weight by the German people at the time -- and by most people today) made people desperate for hope -- and walking around with a chip on their shoulder ...

    Enter a charismatic and self-assured Hitler, with all the Nazi's promise of national pride and vindication, plus jobs and price stability. The Greater Reich was also something larger to take pride in and work together on, to create History not merely endure it.

    Two Nazi myths I will not support:

    a)that Germany lost WW ! because it was "stabbed in the back" by traitorous leftist politicians on the 'home' front
    (actually their High Command had a Panic Attack and their front-line was getting increasingly less linear by the day ...)

    b)that Germany's post-war economic woes were due to overwhelming debt payments to the vindictive victors of Versailles, sucking poor Germany dry of all its economic life-blood and leading to the despair and restlessness that drove Germany over the brink.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site