SPARE THE INSULTING LANGUAGE.
I remember seeing a display at around Anzac Day, 1994, where a child from my old primary school said, “If they had just talked to Turkey.” For a child’s comprehension of war, that sounds plausible, but what it demonstrates is, they were unaware of the machinations at play. It wasn’t simply a case of talking to Turkey, when the causes of the war were in Sarajevo, Serbia.
Now, we have the talk from the ridiculous doctor who talks of friendship, whereby he says that he came from Germany after two world wars and that they weren’t about friendship. Well, this project wasn’t for a group of preschoolers but for educated adults and educated adults who’ve studied the history of the two world wars wouldn’t describe the causes as being a lack of friendship, but rather, ethnic and national chauvinism and an alliance system. The Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was sent into Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, an incident that was described by the Serbians as “a studied insult.” This, in turn, caused an angry and radicalized young man, Gavrilo Princip, to assassinate him, which precipitated a list of demands from the Austro-Hungarians. Italy pulled the pin on the Triple Alliance, as it didn’t want to go to war against Britain, and Turkey joined. Britain, France and Russia were in the Triple Entente and Germany, facing a bifrontal attack (the Russians began mobilizing from the East) attacked Belgium’s neutrality by invading to attempt to knock out the French from behind and then get the troops back to the front line.
The Austro-Hungarian Royal Family, with its act of arrogance, would hardly have sat back and said to Serbia, “Oh, it’s okay. You just say sorry and all will be forgiven.”
Furthermore, the narrative that this ridiculous doctor gave as to how Hitler came to power ignored multiple factors, not just fear. The Peace Treaty of Versailles was more about vengeance than justice as far as the French were concerned. Yes, French farms were laid waste and the like, but a reparations bill that would have taken until 1988 to pay off was too much.
Then, factor into it the Great Depression, and the scapegoating of Jews, Gypsies, communists, socialists and pacifists. AND, another factor that this ridiculous doctor ignored is, and I’ve seen people ask how such a cultured society as Germany could have seen Hitler come to power is, Germany was used to charismatic leaders, like Otto von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm the Second, yet an unconditional democracy was imposed upon them by the victors at the Versailles Peace Conference! Germans were not accustomed to this.
Hitler was not a physically charismatic man (he was diminutive in stature and he’d had a full moustache earlier but shaved in to make him stand out), but he was a capturing orator with his gestures and ways of speaking, even though he wasn’t tutored in the art. And the framework of Weimar wasn’t strong.
This ridiculous doctor is using condescending and insulting language and for someone who is supposedly passionate about history and ethnography, his contributions would only have impressed a prep school teacher owing to their lack of contextual understanding.