WW1 The question of German guilt
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16-02-2014, 07:15 AM
WW1 The question of German guilt
Quote:This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the 75th of the start of World War II. Questions over the degree of German guilt remain contentious among historians, who have been fighting over the issue for years.

link to article:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/worl...53173.html

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16-02-2014, 08:10 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
Any justification for German guilt pales into insignificance compared to other countries. I've never seen any country address and face up to its past mistakes as much as Germany. Meanwhile, much of the UK still thinks the British Empire was a good thing despite the slaughter and exploitation they brought to half the world.

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16-02-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
Some may have done more than others but all countries commited atrocities. Given my views on the world stage now today, without getting too conspiratorial I do wonder of the intricate details of how it started and how it ran its course. Im sure the history records are accurate however there was probably more to it.

Like I always do on its anniversary I remember the people, however I do not remember them in the angle most countries go with of "sacrifice". All of those who died were equally pawns coerced into fighting through various means... just like today, nothing has changed. Which is the crux of my viewpoint.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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16-02-2014, 09:13 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
To the victor go the spoils. In the Treaty of Versailles Germany had to accept a ‘war guilt’ clause which explicitly stated that the war was Germany’s fault. At the time war seemed inevitable and all the major powers were prepared to fight a war.

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16-02-2014, 09:35 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
(16-02-2014 08:10 AM)Elder Cunningham Wrote:  Any justification for German guilt pales into insignificance compared to other countries. I've never seen any country address and face up to its past mistakes as much as Germany. Meanwhile, much of the UK still thinks the British Empire was a good thing despite the slaughter and exploitation they brought to half the world.

Is that true about the UK? I have lived in the UK all my life (51 years) and have never heard anyone voice that opinion.
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16-02-2014, 09:40 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
(16-02-2014 09:35 AM)joben1 Wrote:  Is that true about the UK? I have lived in the UK all my life (51 years) and have never heard anyone voice that opinion.

Different generations I suppose. I'm in the UK and have been all my life. I'm 33 and I agree. The British Empire was the same as america's world role today.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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16-02-2014, 09:54 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
It's not like the pre-war Austro-Hungarian or Russian governments still existed to blame afterwards.

The German command was not particularly worse than their contemporaries, although it's certainly their specific actions (the blank cheque to Austria, the invasion of Belgium) which ended up looking worse.

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16-02-2014, 10:53 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
It seems to me that it became an imperative to blame Germans for the first world war by all authorities which had not lost power in the conflict. This I would say is because in admitting all powers shared some responsibility, would automatically lead to questions of: If those in authority could lead people into that butchery for no purpose, then why should they be left in power?
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16-02-2014, 10:59 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
(16-02-2014 09:54 AM)cjlr Wrote:  It's not like the pre-war Austro-Hungarian or Russian governments still existed to blame afterwards.

The German command was not particularly worse than their contemporaries, although it's certainly their specific actions (the blank cheque to Austria, the invasion of Belgium) which ended up looking worse.

A scapegoat was needed and well sucks to suck but Germany got to play that role since well they lost. Of course in hindsight this was a horrible travesty and helped to set the stage for WW2 and the rise of Fascism (among many other factors) WW1 is one of these events in history that just make you shake your head. The war was inevitable because all the nations of Europe felt war was inevitable. I think the best portrayal of the pointlessness of this conflict was All Quiet on the Western Front it had a profound affect on me when I read it in high school.

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16-02-2014, 11:18 AM
RE: WW1 The question of German guilt
(16-02-2014 10:59 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  A scapegoat was needed and well sucks to suck but Germany got to play that role since well they lost. Of course in hindsight this was a horrible travesty and helped to set the stage for WW2 and the rise of Fascism (among many other factors) WW1 is one of these events in history that just make you shake your head. The war was inevitable because all the nations of Europe felt war was inevitable. I think the best portrayal of the pointlessness of this conflict was All Quiet on the Western Front it had a profound affect on me when I read it in high school.

It's all well and good to say "everyone was at some fault", but that's almost as incredibly useless a piece of analysis as to say "war is bad"...
Wink

It was Austria who wanted to de facto annex Serbia in response to something Serbia didn't do; Russia who felt obliged to interfere first; Germany who suggested the Austrians double down and Germany who first attacked neutral countries.

Which again isn't to say were better or worse places at the time (after all, even the Ottomans had a parliament - and it represented the entire empire, which is arguably more democratic than the western European states). And of course everyone said "we are defenders of freedom and the other guys are literally Satan" in wartime propaganda. S'just that one side won, and their message was obviously longer lasting. That and the conflation with the sequel, I grant, in a lot of peoples' pop understanding - but of course, at the same time, if someone doesn't see a clear moral distinction in WW2 then they're pretty darn hopeless.
Tongue

I think people forget - or rather, just don't realize - there were a lot of people (just everyday people) who figured a war might turn out okay or was perhaps a necessary evil. And that's not because of some ludicrous paranoid-delusion Shadowy Cabal of Global Elites (Reptiloids, probably); that's just a matter of people having emotions and lacking perfect knowledge.

Fun historical bonus fact: Theodore Roosevelt was almost asked to mediate the then-July Crisis (in particular the Russians remembered his role in 1905); if he had won the 1912 Republican nomination he would have been President at the time and that almost certainly would have happened. In which case the war would probably have been averted, Serbia having already accepted Austria's ultimatum almost in its entirety, and Austria saying that wasn't good enough only with German backing in the face of Russian agitation.

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