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Occupation of Germany after WWI

Discussion in 'World History' started by KingBishop, Apr 5, 2004.

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  1. Adler17

    Adler17 Prussian Feldmarschall

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    Germany was stable in the years from 1923 to 1929. In this time Germany healed from the war but not reaching the level before. Than the next catastrophy came: the crisis of 1929. Because of the death of Stresemann the coaliton collapsed (the SPD didn´t want to accept a small rising of the cost of an insurance (0.5 %)). From this point and because of the reparations Germany suffered too bad. the democracy colapsed. President Hindenburg had to rule because of emergency law. The democratic parties were first unwilling and then unable to build a stable government. This crise was indeed terminated under Hitler, but this was not his work. Again he got the fruits of the labour others did. IF Hitler was not be chosen to be the Reichskanzler in 1933 half a year later the economic situation would have become much better and the NSDAP would have suffered big losses at elections. But the fate was another...

    Adler
     
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  2. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    From what I understand the German economy started to disintegrate in 1918 along with defeats at the front caused the collapse of the war. Until Versailles a cease fire was in effect. I sometimes wonder if Germany had held togather better after the 1st year of the ceasefire and rejected the Treaty would the allies have been willing to go to war to force the treaty on Germany if Germany offered a different treaty that wasn't as harsh. Imagaine antiwar sentiment back home in the papers " Government Rejects Peace Treaty" or something similar.

    In any event Germany was in turmoil and couldn't really do much about it.
     
  3. EdwardTking

    EdwardTking Deity

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    The Treaty of Versailles was actually quite a good treaty!

    There is a lot of criticism about the cost of the reparations,
    but compared with the reparations after the 1870-71
    Franco Prussian war, the cost of the war, the damage done
    or the debts built up by Britain and France to the USA, the
    reparations were quite modest indeed.

    There were probably only three mistakes:

    (a) creation of independent city states such as Danzig/Fiume

    (b) granting the whole of the west part of the austrian empire
    to the Czecks which included some German majority areas
    bordering Germany (part of the Sudatenland)

    (c) failure to imagine and establish a mutual monitoring system
    to prevent re-arnament (like todays nuke monitoring).

    There were other subsequent failures, primarily of omission. What was needed were good trading agreements and exchange agreements to cement the peace. This absence was realised and after WW2 the French (and others, not including Britain) were smart enough to form the EC and encourage youth exchange visits.

    WW2 occurred because the great depression destabilised Germany and because of Adolph Hitler.

    Hitler would have got nowhere if there had not been the hyper inflation (which undermined the middle classes) and unemployment (which undermined the working classes).

    And without Hitler, even a de-stabilised Germany would not have been so foolish to initiate WW2.
     
  4. Adler17

    Adler17 Prussian Feldmarschall

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    EdwardTking, your thoughts are wrong. Versailles was nearly total an error. I agree with points a) and b) but there were many more.
    1. The Polish corridor which excluded East Prussia from the rest of Germany.
    2. The article which made the Germans alone guilty for the war. Indeed it was much more an accident which lead to Hitler. The historician Fritz Fischer once had another opinion, but he was wrong if you want to argue with him.
    3. The military restrictions: Germany was nearly not able to defend itself. They could not prevent in 1923 that the Lithunians took the Memelland of East Prussia. And in the same year the Polish tried to invade Silesia. But this time with big luck the Germans were able to push them away.
    4. The reparations. They were much too high. The French wanted to be paid even the money for the old soldiers in 50 years! Too much. Because of the lost war Germany got a hyper inflation. This and the reparations lead to a US help. Yes, the Germans were able to pay with US credits. The French however in 1923 occupied the Ruhr area for a short time because the Germans had not paid everything in time which was to pay. But they had paied over 90 %.

    This lead into a nonacceptance of the treaty in all parts of the German population. Phillip Scheidemann, first Reichskanzler of the Republic, retreated because he didn´t want to sign. Primary objective of isolated Germany was to make Versailles irrelevant. But therefore they needed money to pay the reparations, which were too high. So they had credit in the USA. For a time weverything was good. But then suddenly Stresemann died and the crisis of 1929 occured. So the US were not able to give the Germans credit. The German oconomy collapsed. Stresemann integrated the right parties into the republic (without NSDAP of course). But with his sudden death this alliance broke. Then the negative majority in the Reichstag (KPD and NSDAP) and the ermergency laws of Hindenburg. So many people had no trust in the republic. But now the government saw the chance to cancel the repartions. This made the situation even worse.
    I don´t say Versailles was the only cause of Hitler but the very main one. The whole treaty was flawed. If you want to read more on this forum is a thread about it.

    Adler
     
  5. rilnator

    rilnator Emperor

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    With hindsight it is easy to look at the cause and effects of the treaty and say they are unjust and too harsh. Looking at it from a French point of view I can understand their harshness.
    France had suffered probably the most during the war- most of it in the west was fought on her territory and she wanted to make sure the Germans paid for the damage. Alsace- Lorraine was their's again and they wanted to keep it.
    What better way than to bankrupt and dis-arm their No1 enemy?
    I don't think the German people would have liked/accepted the treaty regardless of its contents. They had lost the war and had to have some kind of scapegoat.
     
  6. EdwardTking

    EdwardTking Deity

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    I stand by my previous response, and add four further comments:

    (1) The Germans were to blame; they invaded a neutral country Belgium!

    (2) What the French did in 1923 is 4 years after the treaty was concluded. How many people were killed, maimed then? What damage resulted from the French occupation. Compared to WW1, nothing!

    (3) To pay the reparations, the Germans really needed to run up a trade surplus on manufacturing goods (rather than relying on financial engineering). The protectionism that occurred after the 1929 crash and in the great depression prevented this, but that was the fault of the various governments then; not of the Versailles treaty.

    (4) 50 years is not a long time, bearing in mind that the UK
    has been in war debt to the USA from 1916 to 2003; which is a grand total of 87 years!

    The US have a saying: "if you don't want to do the time, then don't commit the crime".
     
  7. Adler17

    Adler17 Prussian Feldmarschall

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    First Belgium was NOT neutral. They gave the French the permission to go through Belgium territory but not the Germans. If someone is doing that he can´t be neutral and the other nation has a casus belli against this nation.
    The French invasion of Germany in 1929 was not justified. It would be as justified as if you want to get money from someone by selling his house but you have only a dept of 100€! Sure the damage done was not as far as in ww1. But that´s not the point. It was illegal and showed the Germans they were not able to push the French out of Germany. Many Germans thought back on the years of Louis XIV until Napoleon. In these years the French raided western Germany several times but the Germans were not able to punish the French. The German people felt unsecure.
    The reparations were too high! The Germans should pay for everything. But Germany alone was not guilty for the war. What about France? She was not able to forget Elsaß- Lothringen although they robbed it herself 200 years ago! What about Russia? She wanted to become master of all Slaves. Thsi was a thread to AH. And what about Serbia? The weapons which killed the Archduke were some of the Serbian secret service. And the Serbian govenrment knew the plans but did nothing. And the Russian role in this affair is not yet known completely. Germany and the UK made many diplomatical errors and so they were caught in her alliances. No, Germany should not have to pay everything for decades. Way too much! And that´s why the German governmet tried everything to get rid about the reparations. I admit they made faults because of this, but without Versailles the right parties would have been integrated into the republic and the crise of 1929 would´nt have hit Germany so bad.
    These are only a few aspects why Versailles was wrong. Others you´ll find here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=72454&perpage=20&pagenumber=1

    Adler
     
  8. SSW

    SSW Chieftain

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    I'm not sure where you got your information from, but the Allies did occupy Germany after the Great War. Germany was divided into zones. The AEF had troops stationed in Koblenz and Trier that stood "watch on the Rhine" from 1919 to 1920. The US was supposed to stay in her occupation zone until 1923, but let the French take over in 1920.
     
  9. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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  10. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Moderator Action: Please report such thread necromancy in future, thanks. Thread closed.
     
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