A German Perspective on World War Two

A German Perspective on World War Two

"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."

-Martin Niemöller

After the First World War, most of the world suffered a deep economic depression. One of the countries kept a tight control over the German economy. German frustration and resentment steadily grew. The people were looking for three things. The first thing they sought was a leader-someone to put Germany back on its feet. The second thing they wanted was a scapegoat, someone to blame for Germany’s poverty and depression. The third thing the people wanted was revenge against a world that, in the eyes of the German people, had insulted and wronged their country with World War I’s restitution and occupation of Germany. They chose their leader in the form of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party. The Nazi party also gave them a scapegoat with its strong anti-Semitic beliefs. Hitler’s plan for revenge began a campaign to take over large portions of Europe. As Michel states in his book World War II, "The world was still recovering from the economic strain of WWI, it was the opportune time for Hitler to strike." Hitler had a good understanding of this and devised his plan around it (Michel 2). The German public during this time was fed much propaganda and a false sense of nationalism. This gave Hitler and the Nazi party absolute control. Although muc...

... middle of paper ... her part of Germany left, Russian troops moved in. She had to flee west, once again and eventually settled down in the United States to raise a family.

The interview with Hilda was very insightful and a little frightening. Hilda has managed to very keenly deny and soften the atrocities that took place in Germany during the war. In such cases as this, it is important to remember the propaganda and nationalism bred into the German children at this time. It is also important to remember mistakes made in the past, so that history does not get the chance to repeat itself.

Works Cited:

Fehlburg, Erich. "Hitler Youth Speakers," Unser Wille und Weg 7 January 1937: 38-41.

Hiemer, Ernst. The Poisonous Mushroom. Nuremburg: Stürmerverlag, 1938.

Michel, Henry. World War II. Boston: Macmillan, 1983.

Warren, Hilda. Personal interview. 25 November 2000.

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