Author Topic: A discussion on WWII Germany  (Read 14924 times)

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Offline redbox

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #50 on: 14:53, 01 September 11 »
Funny you should mention that, because the Milgram experiment proves that humans in general are easily susceptible to authority.


Bit of a tangent, but I saw an article the other day where a journalist simply put on a high-vis jacket and stood on a street corner barking random instructions at everyone - and everybody complied with what he said.


So, it would appear that Milgram was right  :)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #51 on: 19:36, 01 September 11 »
@CP/M: the fact that they had "socialist" in the party title didn't make them any more socialist or communist than Stalin. As a matter of fact I've always been puzzled by the "Socialist" in the title. Of course it worked as a ruse (hey, we're for the people!), but I'll be damned if I can find a shred of socialist thinking in their philosophy.
   
@Steve: yes, the Romans did take slaves, since slavery was an accepted practice, but they didn't do it systematically against whole peoples; those slaves were 'incidentals' - maybe beaten warriors and the like.

@Mav: funny thing, I was reading on the Milgram experiment a few days ago (in the quite famous "The psychology of Influence" textbook). Yes, you're right in everything you say. But bear in mind two things: the Nazis did get a third of the total votes *before* becoming the authority. Also, just like with the nukes example, the fact that others could have done it/may do it in the future does not excuse the Germans - they are the only ones they have done it (I'm not replying to your argument, with which I agree, I'm only expanding a bit).

@redbox: actually, the experiment you saw with the journalist does not refer to the Milgram experiment in verbatim, but is explained by other influence mechanisms as well (hell, I read about it in the book I mentioned before :D )

PS Just to correct myself: in recent history the Germans are not alone; Hitler mentioned the Turks and the Armenians as a great example to follow ("who remembers the Armenians?"), and the Turks also did the same (albeit to a smaller degree) against the Greeks. Also, the Japanese really outdid themselves in China, but this was more of a haphazard slaughter than a systematic wiping out.
« Last Edit: 20:37, 01 September 11 by Gryzor »

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #52 on: 21:48, 01 September 11 »
From my limited knowledge, the Romans did keep slaves and some of them were unfortunate enough to be sent to the arena, but for some (the collaborators), in the conquered land, there was the opportunity to do quite well, even maybe gaining Roman citizenship.
Well, the Romans burnt their slaves alive usually and regulary - especially if they have been christians. They did invent the word torture.
And a word to the last post... Hitler killed 5 millions (half of them juds), Stalin killed 20 millions of his own people. Finally Mao killed 60 million of his people. Now, who is the all time here #1?
btw. The only winner of WWII was Russia, and nobody else. They got all the land, and land is what counts at the end.
« Last Edit: 21:54, 01 September 11 by TFM/FS »
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #53 on: 21:51, 01 September 11 »
Well, they didn't burn them as slaves but as Christians. And, given what actually happened next, I'm tempted to justify them...

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #54 on: 21:56, 01 September 11 »
Well, they didn't burn them as slaves but as Christians. And, given what actually happened next, I'm tempted to justify them...
It's not an excuse to say they are Christians, but no slaves, so we can legally burn them alive as human toches. What they did. I really can't imagine something more brutal.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #55 on: 22:00, 01 September 11 »
The discussion was about *slavery*, that's why I mentioned the fault in your argument. Whether good or bad, it's another issue.

Also, it's really wrong to judge violence some 2.000 years ago by today's criteria. Reading the history of how the threat of Christianity pushed back the ancient world and all it believed in, and also what exactly each punishment meant is a fascinating thing. Just saying "its wrong to burn people" reminds me of Sunday school :D

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #56 on: 22:03, 01 September 11 »
The discussion was about *slavery*, that's why I mentioned the fault in your argument. Whether good or bad, it's another issue.

Also, it's really wrong to judge violence some 2.000 years ago by today's criteria. Reading the history of how the threat of Christianity pushed back the ancient world and all it believed in, and also what exactly each punishment meant is a fascinating thing. Just saying "its wrong to burn people" reminds me of Sunday school :D
Well, the Christians have been slaves!
The criteria to judge violence is eternal. If not, you will have excuses for everything. But there must be a clear border: The right to raist my fist will end at the point where your nose begins (or something like that).
 
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #57 on: 22:07, 01 September 11 »
I don't know where you got both; Christianism was prohibited on pain of death*, a Christian was not made a slave automatically. Perhaps you're confused because there were many slaves who *converted* to christianism.

Also, of course criteria are not "eternal". This is very philosophical, of course, but I would think that nowadays it's a common belief that truth is not unique.

T


*and, actually, there was a pretty good reason for that; the ancient world was for the most of it a largely tolerant place where many religions co-existed happily. But Christianity taught intolerance against the other religions, hence its banishment.

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #58 on: 22:16, 01 September 11 »
I don't know where you got both; Christianism was prohibited on pain of death*, a Christian was not made a slave automatically. Perhaps you're confused because there were many slaves who *converted* to christianism.

Also, of course criteria are not "eternal". This is very philosophical, of course, but I would think that nowadays it's a common belief that truth is not unique.

T


*and, actually, there was a pretty good reason for that; the ancient world was for the most of it a largely tolerant place where many religions co-existed happily. But Christianity taught intolerance against the other religions, hence its banishment.

Err, no, usually they've been slaves. Later on it was discoverd that they are Christians, so they were take away for brute rites.
Bye they way, in these day christians have been really nice and friendly people. Later - when the roman emperors pickt up that religion - it turned less tolerant.
Truths is unique for sure, anything else is brianwashing. 1 and 1 makes 2, for eternity. Brainwashing is asking Picard how much lamps does he see, and he shall say 5, but there are only four.
If moralic criterias are not eternal, then they have no value any longer. If you cross that border than you will never stop.
Yes, you are right. It is philosophical. And that's the only solid base in a rotten world like ours, on which we have over 100 wars currently going on.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #59 on: 23:40, 01 September 11 »
Quote
And one thing (I almost don't want to say) is that no matter from what source or point of view I've read, the French were largely cowards.  I really mean no insult to the French today, but it does appear this is true of the time.
I beg to differ...

first is that France was notorious for its uncompetent bastardish Top officers through the WW I...

Joffre had some good move in the way he hasted France preparing just before the Conflict...

but he was simply a moron, didn't went to real Warschool, as he was more a logistic man...

He was just put there because no other guy wanted the place...


And...errr.....


His strategy was : "just be braver than the enemy and you will succeed"...

He simply couldn't understand that getting 300 men marching right in front of 15 Machinegun can just never be a success...

Also he simply believed Haevy artillery was for quiche eaters and useless... :o


The sad part : As France miraculously managed to win the WW1 thx to its empire's ressources, and help from UK dominion...

And also because some field generals/officer managed to actually be brilliant...



But As we "won", the Man (Joffre) got all the glory and the Generals/officers after him sticked on this outdated tacticae and strategic assets.

To be fair we were always one war late ...


WW1 french army was perfect for the 1870 conflict, WW2 French army was perfect for the WW1...




But it got better after this... well ...after Dien Bien Puh I guess (another classical French army leder retardness...)

The 3rd republic and even the 4th were notorious for being quite suckers on the Military matters...
To much Chamber politics and no real military leader...
5th republic on the other hand is quite more fit for going to war...

As experienced by Mitterand (Gulfwar) or even Chirac (Serbian bombings... not going to 2nd Gulf war wasn't really sign of weakness...) and Sarkozy who managed to kick Gbagbo and Ghaddafi's asses...
(Well, Muammar is just awaiting a bit more...)


So no, French army wasn't coward...

It's just the commandment/état major was just a bunch of useless retards and no army can win something under such leaders...

And the basic soldier simply knew it : politics and leaders just gave them no chance and we were about to go trhough another WW1 with millions death...
and we simply didn't wanted that to save their sorry political asses....


Also DeGaulle was really a great man, despite some darker aspects and... he was prone to let lots of peoples die as he refused to evacuate the Harkis in the Algerian War... which is such a shame...


Concerning the WW2 German technology.

Many of the stuff were ctually based in france to be launched to England...
So we managed to get our hands on some of them...Submarines, Jet engines...

This explains why France actually managed a space program and Nuclear Submarines...
Yep, we got our share of samples that we managed to hide from American to keep for ourselves...


Many evolution of post war industry in europe were direct consequences of WW2 programs...


Don't you wonder how England managed to be actually a successful country on the 8 bit market ?

Turing anyone ? the first European computer to Hack Enigma (with help from Poland scientist who did half the job...)

This explains a bit how even Alan Sugar managed a success in Computers... and why a lot of 8bit British machines were so popular...

Quote
Hitler killed 5 millions (half of them juds)
There is still a large controversy on the matter in France theses days...
If you tell a number not large enough, you pass for antisemitic person, if you pull out too large numbers, you are simply wrong anyway but it's ok...

 :-[

But from what i know, My grand father went to the camps, and he wasn't jew, he was just a young french...
Resistant but he was taken anyway... and as he was taken not as a resistant (while being at a cinema), he was simply put into slavery instead of being put back to the wall...


That's why i hate wehen peoples tell the DeathKamps were not true... they were...

But I also don't like when some religion argue that they were the only to suffer and be killed, and that millions of millions of them were put to death...

Too many of them : Yes... millions ? yes...

but please... not as many as some often imply...


Quote
Well, the Romans burnt their slaves alive usually and regulary - especially if they have been christians.
Please also remember that Christianity simply rewritten the history too...
Some historian argue that Nero was not as bad as described by Christian historian.
But hey, it's Roma, so i guess he was a bloody bastard anyway.


What i like is that european history shows that we were the most complete bastard in the world and managed to actually conquer it...

Seriously as a man, I can only be proud of that... my ancestors ruled the world...

but on the ther hand, it was in a barbarious past and now I don't want to rule over the world with an Iron fist...

Also i'm proud of being european...


And i hate this when peoples simply don't like the idea of a great europe almost united...

The fact is, our European institutions clearly suck as they are today... half started job, half unfinished job...

And our local politician whant to keep their own realms...

but a united Europe won't necessary mean I will not continue to speack French, eat delicious Cassoulet Toulousain and drink awesome Côtes du Rhône...

And I don't care if some "foreigner" european brother get to be conceptor of some obscure law for me, if the law is good an if my Republic is still somewhat democratic, if I have free speech and can enjoy life.
« Last Edit: 00:11, 02 September 11 by MacDeath »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #60 on: 00:08, 02 September 11 »
@TF/M:Where did you find that? :D Christians were not enslaved as a practice! As a matter of fact, actually, the Old Testament *accepted* slavery. Proto-christians also accepted it, and they did have some valid (for the time) arguments. This goes to say how different christianism was back then, and how moral values can, as a matter of fact, change.
   
But, wait, you say that yourself (apologies, didn't read it correctly), Christians were *not* enslaved, but rather some slaves were christians. Boolean and all.

And, naturally, moral values are not eternal and their value does not depend on their timelesness; unless you can claim that morals and morality will not change through the ages, as it has up to now.

Two examples: one, a prehistoric tribe 'stealing' the water source of another, thus condemning the latter to death. Immoral? Pah... Also, take imprisonment for instance. For millenia it has been accepted as a very moral form of punishment, and still is, yet there are increasing numbers of people claiming otherwise. If, at some point in the future, societies decide it's actually immoral, will it make our society so (because of it)? Again, pah.
   
Apologies, absolutism and dogmatism are so very narrow-minded...

@Macdeath: you dare bring the Indonesian war as an example of bravery/cowardice? :D

As for the number of Jews killed, it's been brandished about for decades now ("over six millions") and I really hate it. Not only it's unfounded (the number only appeared as a calculation in a trial and nothing more), but while it could be proved (Jewish communities held very analytic and strict records; it'd be relatively easy to find out what happened) the Jewish refuse to do so. In my mind, they only hurt their cause - as if it'd be ok if only 3 or 4 million Jews were eliminated... :6

Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #61 on: 00:58, 02 September 11 »
Err, no, usually they've been slaves. Later on it was discoverd that they are Christians, so they were take away for brute rites.
Bye they way, in these day christians have been really nice and friendly people. Later - when the roman emperors pickt up that religion - it turned less tolerant.

Christians were not necessarily slaves. In Roman times slaves almost always were captives of war. While germanics and gauls were most prized because of their strength and size, they came from all parts of the ancient world.
Rome's population consisted of about 30% slaves even before Jesus was nailed to the cross. That's an estimated 300.000 in Rome alone (!) before Christianity was "born".
Some early popes were originally slaves, but the Christians themselves were divided in their opinion of slavery. Most agreed to treat them good, which most Romans did anyway. One tends to forget that slavery changed its face during reign the Roman empire, later on even slaves could protest if their masters did not treat them correctly.

And it was quite common for early Christians and Christian priests to have slaves. Yes, you read that right.

Slaves found the new religion perhaps a bit more attractive than Romans. And the number of Christian slaves might have grown steadily because of that. Nevertheless, some Christians might have been slaves, but there's no indication that their numbers were significantly higher than in the non-Christian part of the population.

Christians were prosecuted at first for not acknowledging the Roman emperor as a divine being. That alienated them from the Roman public.
« Last Edit: 01:03, 02 September 11 by MaV »
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Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #62 on: 02:03, 02 September 11 »
His strategy was : "just be braver than the enemy and you will succeed"...
He simply couldn't understand that getting 300 men marching right in front of 15 Machinegun can just never be a success...
Also he simply believed Haevy artillery was for quiche eaters and useless... :o

The sad part : As France miraculously managed to win the WW1 thx to its empire's ressources, and help from UK dominion...

Joffre was not alone. All sides of the conflict had morons at the top. That's the prime reason the war resolved itself the way it did.
The art of warfare being tought at the academies before WWI was completely outdated.
There were conflicts even before WWI were the new machine guns and other weapons were "tested", but at that time these idiots just saw the advantage of the weapons in killing the other side much faster. And in the first days of WWI everybody saw the conflict resolved in a few months.

When the reality of the first fights should have shown everybody that the strategy employed cannot yield any easy results, they dismissed the reports and simply bullied their respective troops to go on as if nothing had happened.

The efforts to find a way to end the war in the trenches came rather late (tanks, new tactics, etc).


Eventually the French and Britain won the war, but only after American troops arrived to settle the bloodbath and the British Naval blockade finally showed results. Because of the Russian Revolution and thus losing an enemy on a different front (very bloody conflict, btw), Germany in the last year of the war was actually gaining ground because it could reemploy troops from the Russian border, and would have had a superior position for negotiations, if it hadn't been for many more American troops for the allied forces.
Let's face it: France, Germany and to a somewhat lesser extent Britain had bled too long, and the war was in its last breaths, so to speak.
The new allied troops guaranteed victory when Germany (and France) was on the brink of collapse. Otherwise the negotiations afterwards might have looked a bit differently. Anyway, whatever the outcome was, it would have been caused a lot of bad blood. And it did.

What the two World Wars had shown us, is that in the end all that does matter in a conventional war is how many resources you have more than your enemy.
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Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #63 on: 02:16, 02 September 11 »
Yeah, ok, I haven't been talking about 100% or 0%, well and honestly that time is so long back in the past, I'm barely able to remember these day, but I still have the smell of buring flesh in the nose - pretty disgusting.
Well, no doubt the Russians were the big winners, they did gain the most land - and I'm not talking in particular about Germany, think about Poland or the Winter War in Finnland. Actually the USA didn't win any land, and the French did not get that much.
Patteon said "Put the Germans back in the tank and get the job finished", even Churchill said "We slaughterd the wrong pig". IMHO I'm just glad that I was never forced to become a soldier / to go to war.
 
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #64 on: 13:25, 02 September 11 »
Quote
Indonesian war
Indochine ? (futur Vietnam)
I don't know nothing about any indonesian war...

Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #65 on: 13:26, 02 September 11 »
Indochine ? (futur Vietnam)
I don't know nothing about any indonesian war...

Hahaha! Yes, of course; I must learn to re-read my posts before hitting the button :D

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #66 on: 16:47, 02 September 11 »
Anyway at Dien Bien Pu you can't tell the french army was not courageous...

completely screwed in a giant turmoil and again badly lead by uncompetents high officer... but courageous.

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #67 on: 11:19, 03 September 11 »
Okay so the Romans took slaves, which treated people as objects rather than people and would kill without hesitation. Sounds right. Some of those slaves were unlucky enough to work in mines or do horrid tasks or worse be butchered.
 
It's very difficult to place if Religion had any involvement, in places it might have had a bearing, killing people who sacrificed people to their gods for example. They might have selected strong people for battles in their colosseums for example.
 
The argument about the Nazi's and how they got into power is interesting. There's evidence of people having concerns prior to WWII and people like the German Director Fritz Lang fled Germany to America cause the Nazi's wanted him to make a film about them.
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #68 on: 18:10, 03 September 11 »
Actually, a mentioned above, as far as slaves go Roman slaves got it pretty good; they had quite a few rights and did not necessarily live bad lives. I *know* I'd like to be a slave in lanista Batiatus's ludus (for those who watch Gods of the Arena ;) ).

To get back to the original topic, I'm now starting reading Ian Kershaw's latest (and last on Germany, as he said) book on Germany, "The End", attempting to detail how on earth the Germans fought on to the, erm, end.

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #69 on: 02:25, 04 September 11 »
Actually, a mentioned above, as far as slaves go Roman slaves got it pretty good; they had quite a few rights and did not necessarily live bad lives. I *know* I'd like to be a slave in lanista Batiatus's ludus (for those who watch Gods of the Arena ;) ).

To get back to the original topic, I'm now starting reading Ian Kershaw's latest (and last on Germany, as he said) book on Germany, "The End", attempting to detail how on earth the Germans fought on to the, erm, end.

I guess that goes back to the movie "Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", them American cowboys had failed in what they were targeting for, so they decided to Nuke another Target instead.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #70 on: 09:48, 04 September 11 »
So, I started reading The End. As a note, when a historian of the caliber of Kershaw decides to deal with a matter, you know it's not as simple as A or B...

Before opening the book I had a good long thought about it. In the end, I think that the behavior of the Germans towards the end of the war was motivated by fear, anger, desperation, hate and a need for revenge. But, of course, the difficult thing is to explain the extend to which each of these motivators worked.

Another point (don't know if it's in the book or not) is a psychological need for self-assurance. Studies have shown that actions influence beliefs and vice versa (the latter is self-evident, the former not so). What may have happened, to some degree, is that Germans, after all those years of tolerating the regime and participating in its horrors, actually felt the need to go on so as to not betray their previous actions. By going on and even reinforcing their actions they were hoping to assert the righteousness of their previous misdeeds, as a justification to themselves.

Here's a very nice extract from the Preface:

Quote
Although after the end of the Cold War the 'totalitarianism' theorem underwent something of a renaissance, its emphasis upon terror and repression in controlling the 'total society' has never regained the ground it held in the early post-war era as an interpretation of the behaviour of ordinary Germans during the Third Reich. On the contrary: recent research has increasingly tended to place the emphasis upon the enthusiastic support of the German people for the Nazi regime, and their willing collaboration and complicity in policies that led to war and genocide. 'One question remains', a German writer remarked. 'What was it actually that drove us to follow [Hitler] into the abyss like the children in the story of the Pied Piper? The puzzle is not Adolf Hitler. We are the puzzle'. Such a comment, leaving aside the suggestion of bamboozlement, presumes an essential unity, down to the end, between leader and led.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #71 on: 15:02, 04 September 11 »
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Actually, a mentioned above, as far as slaves go Roman slaves got it pretty good; they had quite a few rights and did not necessarily live bad lives. I *know* I'd like to be a slave in lanista Batiatus's ludus
There were a lot of different status une slavedom...

Some were just some sort of modern low wage employees.

Other were living real hell in mines or agricultural exploitations...

Others were valuable person in the live of the house/society, like administrator... and ended being freed by their master, even some sort of friendly figure in the Familia.


just like middle Age "serf" (servile serveant, peasants...) who were not that slaves as we may think.
They simply got a contract with a locale land owner ty exploit some terrain in exchange for "protection".



We got to remember the "citizenship" at the time was far from what it is nowaday, and nobelity was quite an unstable situation either...

to be a noble (= ruler) at the time meant you had to fight for your situation... and would always put your life and balls on the balance.

on the other hand, "Serfs" were considered tools and objects bounded to a land, so you didn't killed them... you keept them to manage/work at the properties (aggriculture and stuff) they were bounded to.



Needless to say, some nobles were prone to raid their neighbouhood to troll them, pillage and rape and so on, but other times were more peacefull too.
during 1 millenia the kings of france seized absolute power and managed to pacify his land... was long but worked in the hand.


What we forot these recent times...
We often loose the blind faith of the past.

You know, religion and no culture.

In the past, poeples couldn't read, scientific knowledge wasn't as it is... also comfort wasn't available easily for the commoner.

Death was present everyday, you lived short and harsh.

But As you also believed in Life after Death... you cared less for your own life and collective aspect was omnipresent.
Everybody knew his place in the society.


What was terrible with Nazi regime (well a lot of things were...)... is that their conception of slavedom was even more extreme as it was in the far past.

Slaves/"inferior races" for them were jsut to be put into slavery as a mean to get exterminated.

Their racial conception too extreme to be viable.
Even Roman slavery system was more "usefull status" and could even let chances to talented peoples.

Slaves were a usefull ressource, not something to waste.

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #72 on: 02:09, 06 September 11 »
What was terrible with Nazi regime (well a lot of things were...)... is that their conception of slavedom was even more extreme as it was in the far past.
Actually they learnt from:
- US government, how to erase races
- Brittish empire, how to make a concentration camp
- French Grande Nation (in Africa), how to deal with prisoners for work
Finally they invented nothing new in salvery, instead they took over the ideas of others. This may surprise you? I this case read French, Brittish, Russian, US literature from before 1945.
 
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #73 on: 21:35, 08 September 11 »
Not quite. Not only did they take everything several steps further, but this resulted in them being the first to use slavery on such a mass scale for extermination purposes. Sorry, you can't compare them with th past colonists, no matter how harsh and brutal they were.

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #74 on: 02:56, 09 September 11 »
And in this point I just disagree. The history books written by the winners make the Nazis (and with them the German populations) worse than all others. But that's actually very biasd information. For example the British invented the concentration camp, not the Germans. In USA they did the same thing to Asians in concentraition camps during WW2.
And IMHO it's still less painfull to die by gas, guitar strings or bullets (german concentration camps) than to be burned alive (Roman arenas). I do know that non-Germans like to disagree, because it's a good thing to have someone else, at whom one can point with the finger. That keeps people away from the truth and to think about their own history - and even worse: their own present. So for example nearly nobody is interrested what's going on in Palestina. And this happens today(!).
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