Monthly Archives: May 2017

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What were the important components of Germany’s Economic Miracle?

In Germany, the year of 1946 was referred to as “the Year Zero” because it was the first year after the second World War ended. However this was not a happy time. The country was desolate and the people starving. Germany had been divided into four zones after the war: British, French, Soviet, and US. The US under President Truman recommended the measures spelled out in Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) 1067, which were a series of nefarious plans to transform Germany into peaceful pasture-land. He pressured the rest of the allies into agreeing. If he had his way, from then on, Germany would have no arms, no factories or industry, no education, and basic sanitation. The people were only allotted 1200 calories per day. However as 1947 rolled around, the population was willing to starve no longer and Germany’s citizens began to protest. Lucius Clay, an American Zone Military Governor, was rightfully concerned that the German people would revolt and communism could take over the state if conditions did not change. Three remarkable German men, Wilhelm Röpke, Conrad Adenauer, and Ludwig Erhard, convinced Clay to persuade allies to release their hold on Germany and to allow individual liberty for the people and free markets to flourish. Continue reading

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In what ways did revenge figure into the strategies of the countries fighting in World War II?

At the conclusion of WWI, on June 1919, the Paris Peace Conference was held between the Allied Powers (U.S., Britain, France, and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). The resulting Treaty of Versailles dictated retaliatory settlement against the latter two countries. Germany was forced to give up all of its arms and large amounts of land arbitrarily, pay reparation fees to other countries, and to accept responsibility for all the damage throughout the war. In addition, a previously erected hunger blockade was finally lifted from Germany months after the war ended, but the humiliated, defenseless, destitute people continued to starve. These conditions were perfect for the culture of socialism, which like a bacterial plague, infected all of Europe, allowing the proud, vicious, tiny-mustached Hitler to establish his Nazi party in Germany. His fervent desire to regain Germany’s pride and lost lands directly led to the revenge that would become WWII.

Most, if not all of the terror bombings and senseless destruction throughout war was brought about by the mindset of “If you bomb me, i’ll bomb you.” After Hitler re-armed Germany, he invaded Poland (Sept. 1939) and promptly declared war (1940) on several countries at once, including Russia, France, and Belgium. The British, anxious to beat down the Germans again, defended Belgium and France at the Battle of Dunkirk (spring 1940). Hitler, who had grudgingly admired the British, decided it was now their turn to suffer, and attacked Britain in the Battle of Britain, or the Blitz (July-Oct. 1940), almost wiping several cities, including London, Southampton, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Manchester off the map, targeting civilians as payback.  The English, who at first had only targeted industrial areas in Germany, began bombing train stations and city centers of Germany, intent on bombing the German civilians the same way the Germans had mercilessly destroyed the British. In that way, many cultural centers of Europe were levelled, including Cologne, Hamburg, and Dresden. Tens of thousands of civilians were senselessly killed on all sides to appease the human desire for revenge and break human morale. Continue reading

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Did World War II become more brutal as time went on? In what ways? Was the brutality on only one side?

World War II gradually became more brutal as time went on, hard as that is to believe. Despite today’s propaganda informing us that the Germans and Russians were the only evil ones, the U.S.’ tactics to win the war were just as horrific. Cities bombed into oblivion and millions dead were the fault of all parties involved in the war, most noticeably the Nazis, the Japanese, the Royal Air Force, and the U.S.

By the 1940s, in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler had begun to order more mass shootings than ever before of the Jews, the mentally or physically disabled, the Slavs, and the Gypsies. Fully half of these innocents killed over the course of the war were simply rounded up, forced to dig their own graves, and shot. By the time the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia, the Germans had instigated a reprisal shooting program in which for every single kidnapped, wounded, or killed soldier, they would simply march into the next town, round up 20-40 people, and shoot them. In one extreme example in 1944, in the village of  Oradour-sur-Glanein in Nazi-occupied France, the Germans massacred 642 citizens, wiping out the town in 4 hours. Starting in 1939, the T4 program was created to eradicate Germany of all people with congenital diseases. The “degenerates” of society were removed from their families and caretakers under the false promise of better care in Nazi-government institutions, but instead they were quietly killed. The bodies were piling up, and yet there were still more innocents to be shot. The Einsatzgruppen Killings of 1941, the work of mobile killing squads of the German SS, were noticeably affecting the executioners. The Nazis were in desperate need of an even faster and more efficient way to off their victims. Under SS Lieutenant Reinhardt Heydrich, gasses were perfected and employed in factory-style death camps, in which the prisoners were either worked to death or directly gassed upon arrival. Most of these camps were located in Poland. Around 70,000 handicapped people and about 3,000,000 non-Jewish Polish citizens were murdered by the hands of the Germans. Continue reading