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Henry Morgenthau, The German Character
Five chapters from Morgenthauís book, Germany is our Problem, here published with an introductory note by Ellopos. Emphasis, in bold or italic letters, by Ellopos. Complete book in print.
THE ROAD TO WAR
THE BELLS OF JUBILEE RANG WILDLY through half the world, and all along the battle-front fighting men lifted themselves out of the mud, stood erect and breathed the air of peace. But on his bed in a Pomeranian hospital Corporal Adolf Hitler wept with hysterical rage. For it was November 11, 1918, and Germany's new government of supposed democrats had accepted what the corporal considered shameful armistice terms, read out to them in a coldly precise tone by the French General Maxime Weygand as they sat around the long bare table of a dining car in the Compiegne Forest. Twenty-two years later that same General Weygand's officers sat in the same dining car in the same forest, listening instead of reading as the conditions of another armistice were pronounced, but this time in German voices. The corporal who had wept in Pomerania beamed and strutted for the newsreels in Compiegne.
What had happened to the world's high hopes of peace? What had happened to Corporal Hitler's fears? So many precautions had been taken to prevent the Germans from breaking out again! But something must have been omitted. Yet when a peace treaty followed the armistice of 1918, only a few men like the implacable Lorrainer, Raymond Poincare, President and later Premier of France, doubted that the Teutonic menace had been crushed. The Reich, presided over by a Social Democrat, the former saddler Friedrich Ebert, and living under the liberal republican constitution adopted at Weimar, was on the road to democracy, men said. She was disarmed, and an Allied commission had been set up to see that all her strictly war industries were dismantled. She had lost Alsace and Lorraine, the Saar basin, other bits and pieces in the west annexed to Belgium and Denmark; she had lost parts of Silesia, the Polish Corridor, Danzig, Memel. She was bound to a heavy schedule of reparations. She was under obligation to deliver to the Allies for trial those of her citizens who had plotted and committed the crime of war. The Rhineland was occupied by Allied troops to insure good behavior, and occupation of other areas might follow bad.
Cf. H. Arendt: totalitarianism reduces men to impersonal natural forces * German philosophers in support of Nazism * Beethoven and Mauthausen * The Superior Race of Germans * Kalergi, European Spirit must Precede Europe's Political Unification * La Construction de l'Europe selon Jean Monnet * Plan Fouchet * Mitterrand and Kohl urge European Political Union * Il Manifesto di Ventotene