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World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Franz von Papen, and Sundry Thoughts on WWII History
Created by John Eipper on 09/04/19 11:25 AM

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Franz von Papen, and Sundry Thoughts on WWII History (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 09/04/19 11:25 am)

Very interesting post from Patrick Mears (September 3rd) and the comments of our esteemed moderator.

However, for a fair historical point of view, we should add the following.

1) Von Papen was not invariably on the wrong side; he was on the defeated side. For instance, there is nothing wrong for a military attaché in an officially neutral state to care for the interests of his own state against the enemies.

2) Maybe the East Germans were not brainwashed enough by the Russians, and so now they are more independent. To be sure, the Westerners cleared fewer Nazis than the Russians did for their own purposes. Remember for example Von Braun and Arthur Rudolph. See the 1965 book "La Chasse aux Savants Allemands" by Michel Bar-Zohar. Or more precisely, the Soviets cleared not only "savants" but also more normal politicians.

In the American Zone, the German people were at first almost starved to extinction (see the Morgenthau Plan, etc.). This was prevented only by former President Hoover and by the average American citizens.

As part of the De-Nazification process, the Americans required each adult German to fill out a form called "Fragebogen" to check his or her past.

This reminds me of how for almost 20 years after the end of WWII, Italian seamen arriving at any US port were compelled to fill out a form stating if they had been Fascist, etc.

In 1947, 90,000 Germans were in jail while 1,900,000 of the purged could work only in menial jobs. In Italy something similar occurred. For example, a future historian and deputy in Parliament survived by smuggling cigarettes from Switzerland to Milan.

All media was censored by the US Information Control Division (from the Psychological Warfare Department), which controlled 37 newspapers, 6 radio stations, 314 theaters, 642 cinemas, 101 magazines, 237 editors, and 7384 printing facilities and libraries. A list was drawn up of more than 30,000 books to be destroyed. Wasn't it supposed to be only the criminal Hitler (and the Inquisition during the Middle Ages) who burned books?

Only in 1948 thanks to the Soviet menace did things start to improve. On 31 January 1951 Adenauer proclaimed an amnesty. By 1952, even Otto Skorzeny was then considered "de-Nazified."

3) WWII started on 3 September 1939 when the UK and France declared war on Germany to save Poland. But they did not declare war on the Soviet Union on 17 September 1939--very strange or not?

On 1 September 1939 a local war started for border regulations.

By the way if Italy in 1915 was right to join the UK and France in the Great War to free Trento and Trieste and France to get back Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine), why was Hitler wrong to recover Danzig (95% German)?

Just a moment: In 1900 Elsass-Lothringen was not inhabited by a German majority of 86.8% and a French minority of 11.5%? So why did France want the region back?

If we want to use 1 September, why not use the 7 July 1937 start of the Sino-Japanese conflict?

JE comments:  WAISdom's in-house Bastian Contrario, Eugenio Battaglia, is in rare form today.  Orthodox histories would never place the beginning of WWII with the Anglo-French declaration of September 3rd 1939, but I concede that Eugenio is correct in the literal sense:  For 48 hours after September 1st, it was a "regional" war between Germany and Poland.

And why, too, didn't the Allies likewise declare war on Stalin for invading Poland?  I'll concede (again) that this question never occurred to me.   

But should the Allies have overlooked Poland, and waited until Hitler turned on France?  O Bastian, please...


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