Stop bashing America

Started May 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
RossAndrew
Senior MemberPosts: 2,744
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Re: Stop bashing America
In reply to Bill Force, May 8, 2012

If it hadn't been for the American banking system and stock exchange Improve
The Great Depression and the Rise of the Nazis

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In 'popular history' of Europe in America it's common to blame the rise of the Nazis (and of course WWII, too) mainly on the Treaty of Versailles.

Despite the harshness of the treaty and despite the inflation of 1919-23 Germany DID benefit from the economic buoyancy of the Roaring Twenties. In the general election in 1928, the Nazis only managed to get 12 (out of about 584) seats in the Reichstag. The Nazis were widely seen as a laughing-stock led by a funny little man given to yelling and wild gesticulation.

Of all European countries, none was hit harder than Germany by the stockmarket crash of October 1929. Germany had borrowed very large sums from American banks, with much of the money repayable either on demand or at short notice. These loans were of course recalled, and bankruptcies in Germany rose sharply from the start of 1930 (or earlier). Unemployment rose sharply, too. The German Constitution of 1919 contained much that was utopian, including the right (!) to paid employment. The realities of the situation made a mockery of the Weimar constitution.

One of German's great weaknesses at the time was the lack of a broadly based, popular right-wing party comparable to, say, the Republicans in the US or the Conservatives in Britain. The obvious candidate, the German Nationalists (the DNVP), had lost its grip and was hopelessly out of touch with many of its supporters especially in rural areas. there was a good chance there would have been no WWII.

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