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02 January 2011

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Clifford Kiracofe

Well we should take note of:

1. the longstanding German "Mitteleuropa" strategic concept developed pre-WWI

2. the rise of "anti-Communist" Fascism generally in Europe in the 1920s/30s to include the UK (and not just Mosely).

3. the rise of "Pan-German" ideology in high German circles from the late 19th century (Germany plus Austria plus Sudentenland and etc.)

Hitler, an AUSTRIAN exposed to the Pan-German ideology, was a convenient focus of all this for those in the financial-industrial-military complex backing him. We can think of the Keppler circle, for example. We can also recall the operations of the Stinnes Group during and after WWI. Given Soviet intelligence capabilities of the era, it would seem possible that they had information on the designs of various Western circles.

I would note that leading financial-industrial circles in the UK, France, the US and etc. supported the concept of a Nazi Germany against Communist-Bolshevist Russia.

One should not blame everything conveniently on an evil and demented Hitler as if there were no larger forces behind him. This only serves to whitewash and hide the real powers in the game.

It is also worth noting that the abovementioned financial circles in Europe and the US included Jewish bankers among the gentiles. We can consider the Warburgs, for example, up to about 1938 or so. We can consider the role of Sal. Oppenheim bank which held the secret SS funds and etc....

Lysander

David, very informative. Thanks for that.

Ken Hoop

There was a strain of National Socialism called Strasserism (see wiki) which emphasized socialism while retaining a less extreme ethnic chauvinism.
Gregor Strasser and others indeed favored a permanent
pro-Russian bloc against England whereas Hitler wanted Englad to retain its Empire if given a free hand in the East.

Today, Alexander Dugin's Eurasianism and National Bolshevism is akin to Strasserism but with Russia as the dominant power.

FB Ali

David Habakkuk,

On the issue raised by Lysander regarding the likelihood of Stalin attacking Hitler around 1943 if the latter hadn’t launched Barbarossa, I think you are right in pointing out the various factors that would have militated against such action. It would have suited Stalin to have Hitler and the West involved in a long debilitating war, rather than try to end it by attacking one side.

The evidence of the Soviet military deployments in June 1942, and the reports about Stalin’s reaction to the attack, would indicate that Stalin was quite happy with the pact with Hitler and had no reservations regarding it. He certainly wasn’t prepared for Hitler scuttling it.

Lysander

General Ali, Neil Richardson et al,

In your opinion, if Germany had avoided war with the USSR, could an Anglo-American force have defeated it in a conventional war? If your answer is no, what role would nuclear weapons have had?

As I see it the problem is this: Would the US have entered the war in 1942 against Germany if it had ONLY been a contest between Germany and England? Perhaps under the circumstances, US political and military leaders may have considered England a lost cause? English leaders, whose only purpose in 1940-41 was to hold out until the Americans and Russians entered the war, might have sued for peace if they despaired of any help ever coming.

While Nuclear weapons seem obvious now, how much did US policy makers know about them in 1941-42? Could anyone have assured Roosevelt that a magic weapon would be forthcoming in the next 3 1/2 years?

Another factor to consider, if the Germans had devoted even a small portion of their Barbarossa resources to their AfrikaCorp, would they not have seized Egypt and the Suez Canal? If so, what would that have done to English resistance? How would it have affected any US decision to enter the war?

Under these circumstances, a German offer of armistice would have seemed quite attractive.

But in history as it was, Germany lost in June 1941. Alan Clark's book "Barbarossa" (read it years ago and I don't have 1/10th the knowledge that you gentlemen do) argues very persuasively that Germany did not ever have a true chance of defeating the Soviet Union. Granted, the Germans made mistakes in 1941, but then so did the Russians, and it is unrealistic to replay history where one side benefits from flawless decision making while the other goes on to make the mistakes it made.

Patrick Lang

Lysander

"Would the US have entered the war in 1942 against Germany if it had ONLY been a contest between Germany and England?"

You seem to forget that Japan attacked the US in December, 1941 and then Germany declared war on the US in compliance with its treaty with Japan.

If Germany had not attacked the USSR and then declared war on the US the world would be a different place. pl

Patrick Lang

All

I am getting to be weary of academical condescension and pretentious citations concerning how many books you have read (or written). This is a place for thinking, not preening. Understand? pl

LeaNder

The idea that it was all Hitler's fault was the comfortable standard in post WWII Germany.

But obviously no one, not even Hitler comes out of a void.

In a way he exploited as Clifford suggests the fear of Communism in the West. That was the basis of his financial support by leading industrial and other elites.

Interesting in our context, war against Russia, could be Russian White emigrés, that had their very special interests looking for support for some kind of counter-revolution. Are they the international far-right network that spread the Protocols in the early 20's? Sounds convincing. An Extreme Right International the Janus Face of the Communist International?

In our context, war against giant Russia, they may well have been influential:

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=12282

Patrick Lang

LeaNder, J et al

you do not understand. I am not in any way absolving the Germans generally, the industrialists, etc. What I am saying is that without Hitler the Germans, industrialists, bankers etc would not have invaded the USSR and run Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz-Birkenau, etc. they would have some other less awful thing instead. Nobody forced Hitler to do these things. pl

LeaNder

please, don't misunderstand. Maybe the first sentence was a bit too loaded with my teen experiences, but it surely wasn't directed at you. I had to made it short.

Obviously there has to be a "leader" that allows people to act according to their base instinct and even today topics around these base instincts gain votes in some quarters.

ex-PFC Chuck

Per Lysander:

Another factor to consider, if the Germans had devoted even a small portion of their Barbarossa resources to their AfrikaCorp, would they not have seized Egypt and the Suez Canal? If so, what would that have done to English resistance?

This is something I've wondered about, how events might have unfolded if in the second half of 1940 the Germans had concentrated their resources in the eastern Mediterranean instead of considering invasions of Britain and/or the USSR. Could they have overcome British naval strength in that sea? Or outflanked it by convincing/coercing Turkey to allow Wehrmacht units to pass by land? IIRC the really huge petrol deposits in Saudi Arabia (i.e. the Ghawar Field) was not discovered until the late '40s. But even without it and other later discoveries and exploitations they could have solved their petrol problems for generations, and cut off the British from their suppliers in Iran and Iraq.

Patrick Lang

LeaNder

Yes! If Hitler had died of blood poisoning or some other desirable malady in 1933 would Germany have taken the path that it did? pl

Clifford Kiracofe

LeaNder,

1. The book review indicates skepticism to say the least per the White Russian thesis. This is a complicated topic.

That there was a climate of anti-Semitism in Russia and in Europe is nothing new. It was well entrenched throughout Europe BEFORE WWI. Some Ohkrana operations in Europe were taken over by the Cheka. One can argue certain White Russian circles were agents provocateurs/false flags for the Cheka...there is the issue of "The Trust" and its ops.

2. IMO there are three related issues here:

First, the pre-existing Pan-German geopolitical schemes involving "Mitteleuropa" and beyond. These date from the late 19th century and materialized in WWI and WWII (phase 2 of WWI).

Second, the rise of various forms of anti-Semitism in Europe in the 19th century. Hitler,the Austrian, imbibed elements of the hardline anti-Semitism and Pan-German concepts of Schoenerer, a fellow Austrian. Many did.

Third, Hitler the "Leader." The Fuhrer Prinzep was developed by Haushofer (and others) to substitute for the deposed Emperor post WWI. Hitler was noticed, picked up, and backed by the Keppler Circle etal. Is it not possible that another individual with the same "Nazi" ideology could have come along and done what Hitler did? If not, then why not?

Patrick Lang

Clifford Kirakofe

-- I am the owner of this blog. Do not presume to act as though I am not here.

"Is it not possible that another individual with the same "Nazi" ideology could have come along and done what Hitler did? If not, then why not?" This is not much of an argument.
Hitler did what he did. Who would you suggest might have been the "other "Hitler, another Austro-German anti-Semite who would have successfully seized control of the German state and then set out to massacre Europe's Jewry and invade the soviet Union? pl

walrus

I've posted elsewhere that it is not the individual but the vision that matters.

The vision Hitler synthesised was original, but its components - Anti - Semitism, Slavophobia, contempt for democracy, etc. were not.

Of course Hitler did what he did, however once the vision was entrenched and accepted, it wouldn't have mattered much if one of the early assassination attempts had succeeded. The elements of the vision would have ensured that something like WWII would have occurred, unless there was someone smart enough to reinterpret the vision.

Patrick Lang

walrus

"It wasn't Hitler who created the shoah, it was his vision he created of a vast Jewish existential threat."

You really believe that? amazing. It is one thing to dislike people. It is another to create a system that murders people as fast as they can be unloaded from trains and then to persist in that effort. amazing!! and some other Frenchman would have invaded Russia? pl

Clifford Kiracofe

pl,

I presume nothing.

Theories of 'economic", "biological"or other kinds of determinism, can be misleading. The theory of a single unique "Leader" ("decisionmaker") as a sole explanation of historical phenomena can be misleading.

Carlyle and Spencer argued over the "Great Man" theory back in the 19th century.

Political history comprehends many individuals acting in many ways, and in many combinations, for an array of various interests, personal and other. I do not think political history can be reduced to economic or biological theories, that's all.

Have no suggestions about another Austrian, or German, who could have played the Hitler role.

walrus

Col. Lang:

"It wasn't Hitler who created the shoah, it was his vision he created of a vast Jewish existential threat."

You really believe that? amazing. It is one thing to dislike people. It is another to create a system that murders people as fast as they can be unloaded from trains and then to persist in that effort. amazing!! and some other Frenchman would have invaded Russia?"


I don't know enough about Bonapartes ideology to answer the latter question, however as the post enlightenment Western world was in the process of inventing the concept of the modern nation state at the time, and France was the second example (the first being the USA), it is not impossible to conceive that some other Frenchman may have aufmarsched in one direction or another.

With the greatest of respect, Yes I do "really believe that". The problem I have is that most people don't. They consistently underestimate the capability for evil of their fellow human beings.

Hitler created a vision of an Aryan nation from which Jews were actively excluded. His subordinates then give effect to that Jew free requirement because "They really believed that".

Six million Jews were therefore surplus to requirements. What to do with them? Resettlement was impractical although Eichmann tried to advance that idea in his defence. The solution chosen at Wannsee was extermination which of course was carried out with the usual German efficiency.

One then has to remember that once any system is set up, it develops a life of its own. That is why, in my opinion, the Germans even offered to "take care of" Japans Jewish population. Fortunately the Japanese Government had no interest in anti Semitism and declined their kind offer.

Four of my relatives perished in the camps.

Ken Hoop

Patrick Buchanan and historian David Irving on the Right and leftwing British historian AJP Taylor (Origins of WW2") are among many who spread the blame around much more evenly that what might be inferred by comments above.

Arno Mayer, Jewish historian at Princeton University outlined why the -massacre- suffering of Jewry was not a result of "exterminationist" policy but of unexpected collapse and general disorganization.(Mayer "Why Did The Heavens Not Darken?")

FB Ali

Lysander,

Not having read Clark’s book, I don’t know the argument he makes for the proposition that Germany did not ever have a true chance of defeating the Soviet Union.

As you know, a fairly strong argument has also been made that, if Hitler had not overruled his generals and paused Army Group Centre’s advance at Smolensk from mid-July to the end of September 1941, Moscow may well have fallen before the onset of winter. This could have changed the outcome of the war in the East.

As for the AfrikaCorps, this was just a sideshow for both Hitler and the military. Rommel was sent to prop up the Italians, who were running into trouble. With the British Navy dominating the Mediterranean, it would not have made sense to contemplate a major effort in that theatre.

LeaNder

The book review indicates skepticism

Clifford, admittedly I haven't read the review, but I read the book. I am not a historian, and yes I can imagine why a reviewer would prefer to be skeptical: it's not the topic of mainstream exploration so far, only few basic works on the topic, so yes, the reviewer may feel slightly insecure. No big names to back him, or was it her, up?

I'd suggest you read it anyway and think again about agents provocateur, false flags and the famous Okrana and think again why these come to mind so easily.

After having read parts of Cesare the Michelis The Non-existent Manuscript: A Study of the Protocols of the Sages of Zion, and quite a bit of Michael Hagemeister, I admittedly doubt that the colorful spy story of the Protocols as written under the direction of the Okrana in Paris is in fact true. History rarely writes these colorful stories, people do, or as happened during the Bern trial sell such expert stories. If I remember de Michelis correctly, the language suggests it originates in the Ukraine, and there surely wasn't one but a series of related and developping manuscripts, thus I found it interesting what Kellog has to say about the Ukraine from his perspective.

CK

One wonders what percentage of their available military resources the Nazis directed to the shoah over the 1939-1945 period. Then one wonders what those resources could have accomplished if they had been directed towards more traditional military activity.
For want of a grenadier Kursk was lost? ( Not the best updating of Shakespeare )
How many divisions?
Not really a full Frenchman, but Wilson did invade Russia 1918-1920, responding to requests from the French and Peridious Albion.
Polar Bear Expedition, and American Expeditionary force Siberia, might partially explain why the USSR was not all that trusting of another democrat 2o+ years later.

Patrick Lang

CK

Troops diverted to killing Jews? Virtually none. Certainly none of much combat value. It was a well known psychological truth in the Heer that combat soldiers used for killing civilians become so demoralized that they are worthless. The Waffen SS? More of an open question. Wilson? Siberia? What the hell are you talking about? pl

Patrick Lang

Ken Hoop

"the -massacre- suffering of Jewry was not a result of "exterminationist" policy but of unexpected collapse and general disorganization" Nonsense. the policy was decided on at the Wannsee meeting in 1942. You can "entertain" yourself by watching the film, "Conspiracy." Branaugh makes a formidable Heydrich. And, you might want to consider the statistics on the true extermination camps: Treblinka, Sobibor and Auschwitz-Berkinau. the commandant of that last, Rudolf Hoess was asked at his trial if they had killed 3.5 million people at his camp. his reply was, "no, 2.5 million." the others just died." I visited the Dachau camp when I was 9. It was not a true extermination camp but I have never forgotten the place. pl

rjj

Wilson, Siberia ...

http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/index.pl?node=polar%20bear%20history

The American intervention in Siberia, undertaken at about the same time as the Archangel intervention, is much better documented, both in published and manuscript sources. For published studies, see Robert J. Maddox, The Unknown War With Russia: Wilson's Siberian Adventure (San Rafael, Calif., 1977); Betty M. Unterberger, America's Siberian Adventure, 1918-1920 (Durham, N. C., 1956); and John A. White, The Siberian Intervention (Princeton, 1950); among other works. Important manuscript sources are found at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; at the U. S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.; and at the National Archives.

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