It’s one of those little things that irks me so much. I remember reading something about how the reparations germany had to pay were not at all excessive (especially when compared to other wars at the time).

Someone brought it up, so naturally, I’d like to counter it.

I don’t know much about that, but many people try to blame the whole war on the reparations which is ridiculous. Socialism was rising all across europe and would have offered a much better resolution. Fascism was a western conspiracy that started in the United States. Without the support of the united States bourgeoisie there would never have been fascism in Europe. If the rest of Europe would have cooperated with the USSR there would never have been a war.

The same people who blame reparations will also excuse the rest of the West’s inaction because of fear of another war. Their inaction was deliberate. They were all conspiring together. Fascism was only possible in Germany and Europe. Churchhill did what he could. The US bourgeoisie attempted a fascist coup but failed.

They do what they do to whitewash the evil into something sympathetic and to distract from its continuing forms.

The whole blaming it on reparations, partly if not fully, honestly just reeks of soft nazi propaganda. Oh these poor Krauts, look at what the world made them doooooooo. The entire focus of the sentiment chooses to look at the allied side’s reaction to Germany in WW1 as opposed to the needless destruction the germans conducted, and not to mention, Germany going on to break the treaty how many fucking times? Like gee, you know what might’ve prevented WW2? Hitler not breaking the treaty of Versailles. I couldn’t find any “official” thing on the matter, but someone on Quora made some pretty good points:

No, it was not fair, it should have been much harsher.

The Germans destroyed all industry in Northern France which was about 50 % of the French heavy industry. France still hadn’t recovered when World War Two broke out.

France was utterly broke and couldn’t even pay their disabled veterans a pension until 1924.

All Belgian industry was hauled off to Germany and Belgium never recovered. The Germans took all cattle, all horses, all agricultural equipment and even most dogs.

As the Germans withdrew from Northern France and Belgium, they implemented a scorched earth policy destroying roads, bridges, water wells, houses, churches, everything. They left a wasteland behind and various areas are still unpopulated after more than a century.

As the Germans withdrew, they used poison gas on the civilian population to kill as many innocent people as they could … even while they were negotiating an armistice.

The Germans deported hundreds of thousands of people and put them in concentration camps in Germany where they were used as slave labourers.

The Germans got away with their war crimes, they got away with their crimes against the civilian population, and they even got to keep the industrial assets they had stolen.

So, the treaty was all but fair.


Frankly, I think Germany should’ve been dissolved.

actually, “Niko Vasileas” makes some pretty good points with sources! :0

SpaceCowboy
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What people also don’t really understand is that the reparation debt was almost all purchased by the americans from the Brits and French. And Wall Street then leveraged that to get their tentacles into the heavy industry of germany and create the wall-street backed oligarchy of industrial monopolies in Europe which eventually funded the fascists.

This book , written by the DOJ chief of german de-cartelization, is a good place to start on this.

Superimperialism talks a lot about this as well. The actions of the Americans in the interwar period were really strange from an international finance perspective, but shaped the playing field of WWII and set the stage for the American hegemony to come.

Weirdly enough, even though France and Britain had no chance to pay their war debts to the US without first receiving German reparations, the Americans refused to connect these two debts in principle. The investment of private American capital in Germany came right back to the US treasury as well, as that was the only means the Germans had of paying reparations, and reparations payments were the only way the Allies had to pay the war debts.

Why thank you! This is actually quite useful :)!

I never knew that the debt was actually mostly purchased. That alone really puts the whole waah waah unfair reparations myth to rest in perspective.

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You’re welcome. I may be getting my facts a bit mixed up, I haven’t looked at this stuff in a while (and I was still just getting a handle on the whole US=fourth reich thing so I wasn’t being as meticulous as I should have been). I think actually what happened is that the private US banks loaned the money to the Germans with a lot of strings attached, which the germans used to pay back the Brits and French. Some arrangement of that sort.

Seems like the evil people say came out of nowhere was well defined before Hitler was ever born.

History is never taught. Even I, who tries my best with the little time I have, am caught off guard by what you’ve said.

At the very least Germany should never have been allowed to reunify.

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Good answer. The system was falling apart for many reasons, just like today.

A point I find interesting is that not all fascism was so completely reliant on race science and extermination. Nazism really was “Fascism with American/Anglo characteristics”.

I think we do ourselves a huge disservice when we define fascism as racism and genocide at scale. This allows the interests of capital to shift us ever closer to fascism (in the original economic sense) while most people are entirely unaware, as the overtly evil elements we have been taught to associate with Nazi fascism either don’t exist (yet) or are done more quietly and under more acceptable names.

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Amicese
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Nazi Germany didn’t only oppress through Race; Nazis also oppressed demographics through Psychiatry.

Aspergers syndrome is a psychiatric diagnosis sublabel (remember, no objective testing is used here or in Autism… or in any psychiatric diagnosis) of Autism created by Hans Asperger, a Nazi collaborator. It was a “high functioning”.

“High functioning” autism was given to children if they acted weird but could speak or write. Hans referred children who could speak or do stuff as “high functioning”. Children who didn’t fit this were given “low functioning” autism and sent to Nazi clinics to be murdered.

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Yeah, and sexuality as well.

Lenin provides an excellent analysis of why the war happened in “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. I strongly recommend reading the book. Anyway, the Treaty was brutal on Germany (army restrictions, unsustainable finance capital imports, a debt that took them 92 years to pay off, the buying up of entire German industries, and the subordination of the German banks which ended Germany’s status as an international exporter of capital), but was it “unfair”? The European capitalists went balls-deep into total war over colonies and finance capital export “territories” and Germany simply happened to lose. If Germany had won, they would have done the same to England and France (or maybe even worse. According to “Export Empire”, German generals including Ludendorff wanted to use Slavic slave labor in the territories ceded by the RSFSR).

I’ll definitely give it a listen. I remember skimming it multiple times to see the definition of Imperialism, but never read the whole thing.

It’s a great book and needs attention and time. It’s definitely not light reading. It contains and analyzes a lot of figures and data on German, French, English and Russian finances of the time.

Muad'Dibber
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I read this initially as “unfair to the gamers”.

Same difference I suppose

The most oppressed peoples

Most oppressed definitley, they had to endure women, minorities and various races in video games and not having the main white male protagonist

The PC Masterrace.

haha me too I was just about to post the same thing lmao

Well, Haiti is still paying off their debt to France from winning their independence. It was like 100x bigger than Germany’s reparations.

Edit: and I never saw them turn fascist and invade other countries over it.

Haiti had two differences:

  1. No developped industrial base beyond agriculture.
  2. Not being white, thus being kept in a state of getting fucked over and suffering.

Germany had the industrial base, thus it was more profitable to exploit beyond looting and razing. And it is considered white, so “looting and razing” was not the first thought the victorious Entente powers had.

Fun fact: The Americans looted the French more than they did the Germans. Accounts of American soldiers (most famously, the 101st Airbourne’s diaries) make this pretty clear.

The French viewed the Americans with “suspicion” and sometimes “contempt”. Whenever Americans would request food or lodging in French villages, the French would usually provide them with the bare minimum or “hide food and jewelry away”. Of course nobody stood to think that the Germans had been looting and terrorizing the French for 4 years, and that the French farmers especially really had nothing more to give. The Americans used this perception as an excuse to take food (and often valuables) by force, or barging into French houses at night and setting camp in the living room without asking anybody’s permission. They would also view the French as “dirty, conniving, always hiding something, always expecting handouts or payment for food and lodging, greedy, thieving, lazy” etc.

On the other hand they respected the Germans for “being like the people at home”, for being “organized”, for being “clean”, for jumping in to repair damages to bombed houses and streets, for welcoming them like tourists and freely giving them food and beds. But again nobody stood to think that the Germans had not been crushed and despirited after years of occupation and hardships, that they were acting subservient out of fear for reprisals, that they were in denial about losing the war, that they were often sucking up so they wouldn’t be executed as Nazis.

Also, I can only imagine what “dirty” and “clean” really refers to.

britain continuing to blockade germany after the war was uncalled for.

I’ve been reading Superimperialism and based on the information and analysis there, Britain didn’t have a choice but to blockade and erect protectionist trade barriers.

The problem with the Versailles treaty was that it failed to punish the people really responsible – the German bourgeoisie – and tended, instead, to put the cost of the war on Germany’s working class. It did this by exacerbating an already bad situation. Like the modern United States, the German government during World War I decided to fight without significantly raising taxes, and instead funded their war effort by going into heavy debt. The thought was that new land annexed, and reparations imposed on the defeated Entente, would provide more than enough money to repay the debt. In any case, the working class were going to be made to feel the pinch, but the capitalists would make a killing (literally). Just as in America, this strategy backfired when the war was longer and more costly than anticipated, and did not end in victory. This and reparations, passed on like everything else to the German proletariat, led to hyperinflation in the 1920s.

The reparations were not the sole or main cause of hyperinflation. But they were the most visible, and they were what German politicians, seeking an external scapegoat for the country’s problems, could most easily point to as the cause of current misery. The other factor at work was that the working-class revolution of 1918, which could have put a Marxist government in charge of a fully modernized, industrial nation in the heart of Europe, was betrayed by the social democrats, leading to the Weimar Republic. (People fault Ernst Thaelmann for not working more closely with the social democrats to stop the rise of Hitler, but he had already seen they were not trustworthy; and in fact the KPD was in no small measure credible precisely because it opposed the social democrats). To many German workers, the failure of the revolution meant that the left had also failed; this and divisions within the government meant that conditions were ripe for a fascist takeover.

The myth that Versailles alone was to blame for the economic problems of the 1920s was partly perpetuated by the western Allies in the aftermath of World War II. There was a sort of tacit agreement that World War I was a bloody, regrettable mess with no one instigator, and that Germany had legitimate grievances in the wake of her defeat. This was coupled with the Marshal Plan to rebuild Europe. The reason for this about-face was that the United States feared a communist revolution in Germany; and failing that, another far-right demagogue like Hitler, whom they could never fully control. So there was a concerted attempt to appease Germany and build the country up again; a strategy that the United States also used successfully in south Korea.

You may be thinking about this piece by Mike Bedard & al., where at the end they offer some counterpoints to the exaggerations about the Versailles Treaty. The problem is that ‘the reparations burden continued to fall on Germany — and the German ruling classes naturally passed it on to the workers’, as @juchebot88@lemmygrad.ml said.

Simply put: the Versailles Treaty was awful, but not for the reasons that many think.

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