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Opinion: Germany - Austria

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  • #16
    Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

    Originally posted by Bleipriester View Post
    The Black or White view of Germany is sad indeed.
    I have a fairly "white" view of Germany.

    I've lived there, beautiful country, love the people, respect the work ethic, have formally studied the history (some).

    But the Nazi period is a dirty, filthy, ugly black stain on the history of Germany and the German people.

    Trying to compare the Anschluss or any other of the Third Reich's "acquisitions" to American Reconstruction, the reunification of the DDR and FRG, or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (though the last is probably most apropos) is ridiculous.

    Nazi Germany was fucking disgusting.


    • #17
      Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

      Originally posted by soot View Post
      I have a fairly "white" view of Germany.

      I've lived there, beautiful country, love the people, respect the work ethic, have formally studied the history (some).

      But the Nazi period is a dirty, filthy, ugly black stain on the history of Germany and the German people.

      Trying to compare the Anschluss or any other of the Third Reich's "acquisitions" to American Reconstruction, the reunification of the DDR and FRG, or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (though the last is probably most apropos) is ridiculous.

      Nazi Germany was fucking disgusting.
      And you will have the overwhelming, non-braindead majority of Germans on board with that view......


      • #18
        Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

        When speaking of the relationship between Austria and Germany in the years between the world wars, one must remember this fact: Just after WW1, when self determination was granted to so many peoples across Europe, the overwhelming majority of 'Austrians' were in favor of a union with Germany. Indeed, they even tried to bring this union about. This was before Hitler and before the Nazi Party. Such a union, however, was blocked by the allied powers. So, to claim that the folding of Austria in the face of the Anschluss was simply because they were intimidated is, I believe, naive.


        • #19
          Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

          Originally posted by Bleipriester View Post
          As the southern States have resigned from the US, a big war was the result that did not end with the end of the slavery but with the re-Anschlu of the southern States. While the violent reunification of the United States is celebrated in grand scale, about Germanys reunification is reported as it would have been an occupation. But compared with the US-Civil War, not a single bullet was necessary to carry out the Anschlu.
          There is a longer history to that. The Anschluss did not happen out of nothing but was a longer process that effectively started with Hitler striking an alliance with Mussolini. Before that deal fascist Austria was under Italian protection and a no go for German expansionism. Hitler could not or did not want to afford open confrontation with Italy. After the deal with Mussolini Austria was fair game. The Austro-fascists tried to counter the growing German pressure with anti-Nazi propaganda and rising repression against the Austrian Nazis (which was about 1/3 of the population). If I am not wrongly informed, the leader of Austria was the only head of state actually murdered by (Austrian) Nazis on behalf of the German leadership. As pressure was rising, Germany even forced one of their own into the Austrian government which was already a huge blow to the sovereignty of the country. The Austro-fascists grew increasingly desperate and had two ideas how to counter the German pressure. First of all, they had plans to make Otto von Habsburg the head of the Austrian state again, secondly they prepared a referendum on the Anschluss to Germany. Hitler did not like any of these two proposals very much even though he tried to get into contect with Otto von Habsburg and maybe winning him over for his cause (Otto refused to even meet Hitler). Make you own guess why Hitler named the invasion of Austria "Operation Otto". Hitler knew two things, first of all, if Otto would have been in control of the Austrian army, that there would have been blood on the streets in the case of the Wehrmacht marching into Austria. Secondly, if the referendum would have taken place the Austro-fascists would have made sure that it would have ended with a negative result for an Anschluss. The Austrian army shooting back would have been no problem at all from a military point of view and merely delayed the invasion by a few days and the referendum could have been simply ignored but the PR disaster of these two things would have been tremendous.

          That is why Hitler decided to rather hastily invade Austria to prevent both things from happen. In order to defuse the referendum issue he held a Nazi controlled referendum at gun-point over the Anschluss which ended with perfectly democratic 99.7% Yes votes or so. The largely undermined Austro-fascist government chose the pragmatic response, unlike the bloody idealist response Otto would have chosen. It even went so far to dismiss the Austrian general that would have also chosen the bloody idealist approach. That way, it was made sure that no lives were wasted for something inevitable but at the cost of giving Hitler a big PR bonus.

          Should the Austrian army have shot back? What is your opinion? What do Americans think about it? What is the worth of lives and what is the worth of propaganda? I am myself undecided. Maybe if the army had fired back, the whole later history would have changed and Hitlers expansionism would have been unmasked much earlier or even slowed down substantially. But maybe it would have been totally in vain and changed nothing.

          One question:
          If a Bavarian invents something, that thing would go into history as German invention. What if Bavaria later does resign from Germany? Is that invention no longer German and Bavarian now?
          This question can be asked also the other way round. Bavaria and especially Bavarians existed long before there was anything like Germany. Would be a Bavarian invention or custom be seen as German afterwards even though there was no "German" back then? The answer is apparently yes. In the end you can define it either way you want, there are no clear answers.

          Take Kafka. To some people he is a great Czech writer, to others a great Jewish writer, to others he is a great Austrian writer, yet another people would call him a great German writer. Non of these claims is wrong, but none of them shows the whole picture either. The truth is often much more complex than some nationalist myths make it look like.
          As the GDR ruling party decided to join the FRG it was celebrated as reunification. If that happening would have taken place during the time of the Third Reich, would that be an occupation?
          It depends a lot on the will of the people. The vast majority of GDR citizens supported the "Anschluss" to FRG. Same is considerably less clear for Austria in the 1930's. While sentiments for Anschluss were strong, it was the take over of the Nazis in Germany that made the Anschluss in Austria increasingly less popular even as it became increasingly more likely.


          • #20
            Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

            Originally posted by ThorHammer View Post
            When speaking of the relationship between Austria and Germany in the years between the world wars, one must remember this fact: Just after WW1, when self determination was granted to so many peoples across Europe, the overwhelming majority of 'Austrians' were in favor of a union with Germany. Indeed, they even tried to bring this union about. This was before Hitler and before the Nazi Party. Such a union, however, was blocked by the allied powers. So, to claim that the folding of Austria in the face of the Anschluss was simply because they were intimidated is, I believe, naive.
            This is correct... for pre-Nazi Germany. Anschluss to a Nazi controlled Germany was considerably less popular. The point is that the Socialists were generally pro Anschluss but anti Nazi. While some Socialists considered the Nazi plight as only temporary evil while the Anschluss as longer lasting good large parts of the party and its base turned against the idea of an Anschluss basically leaving only the Illegals (as the Austrian Nazis were called back then, which made up about 1/3 of the Austrian population) as staunch Anschluss supporters with a government that was openly hostile to the idea. The government was putsched away by the Nazi invasion but that changed little regarding public sentiment. Austrians are however great opportunists and they knew that the Anschluss was inevitable giving the political realties in Central Europe. They als knew that Hitler would be eager to make the same money and job presents to Austrians that he did to the Reich before he would also stop the anti Austrian measures of course. Hitlers expansion plans or ideas of racial cleansing were considered secondary to the prospects of ending economic depression in Austria (even though a certain share of people also applauded to these ideas as well, especially among the Austrian Nazis but not only).


            • #21
              Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

              Originally posted by Voland View Post
              ... it evidently wasnt necessary to force people to cheer for Hitler on the Heldenplatz square in Vienna in 1938. That doesnt excuse one iota of what the Nazis did. But it should be seen in historical perspective.

              German question - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              German nationalism in Austria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
              I still can't form a complete picture of the Anschluss rallies but my best guess would be that they were comparable to lets say pro Putin rallies in Russia. There are a lot of honest supporters, than there are those who just want to witness some action and mass rally fun and then there are those who are there either partially or for no other reason than fearing negative consequences in their job or in private if they would not take part.

              The masses were definitely organized by the Austrian Nazis and whole groups of employees were sent there, of course you could have said no, but who knows if that would have had any consequences or not, you certainly would have exposed yourself by doing so. And you know what was rushing almost simultaneously through Austria, other than the Wehrmacht. It was the Gestapo etc conducting massive arrests. They had readily prepared lists of thousands of people even before the invasion and arrested anyone who exposed himself as major anti-Nazi leader in the past or someone who could organize or fuel resistance in any way.


              • #22
                Re: Opinion: Germany - Austria

                Slightly off-topic. While browsing youtube I found a video with Hitlers "real voice" from a private conversation. It is fascinating how it sounds quite different from his "speech voice" even though one can identify it as his own. It has a Bavarian/Upper Austrian touch to it. Especially the vowel stretching makes him sound much more Austrian than during his speeches that sound like a vocal machine gun.

                Hitlers echte Stimme Teil 2 von 2 [] - YouTube
                Last edited by Slartibartfas; 03-03-2012, 12:59 PM.