Hitler’s New Order

One point that Mazower mentions in this chapter is the way the more dominant European powers like Britain allowed Hitler and Germany to become so powerful . He says, “Mistrust of German power was blended with admiration for their economic recovery” (pp 140-141). Other than admiration for its recovery after World War I, are there any other reasons why the allies  stood by when Hitler began to completely ignore the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles? Mazower also explores Hitler’s disorganized plan regarding territory he never thought Germany would capture. If Hitler and the Nazis had more intricate plans of governance prior to implementing Blitzkrieg and quickly conquering country after country, would they have emerged from World War II victorious with a vast German Empire? Would it have been possible to maintain long-term control of such a diverse collection of cultures under the rigid Nazi system?

5 Replies to “Hitler’s New Order”

  1. What seems clear at some point is that Hitler’s white supremacist project, based on extreme nationalism and racial hate; while working well on Germany would hardly work on the long run on the rest of the continent, even under the “Europeanist” discourse that finally failed miserably among Eastern Europeans’ mind, specially after Stalingrad (p. 149). Nonetheless, the relative efficiency of the German forces regarding the subjugation of such an extense territory in such a relative short period of time makes us wonder, would a non so nationalist nor racist ideology driving German forces had lead to an easier controll over the rest of Europe through a better assimilation process? Beside other factors, what if the explicitly extremist ideology of nazism meant by the end the main cause of its fall? (Comparing this against a scenario where the East would have adopted German rule more easily)

  2. In response to Christian, I think you bring up some excellent points. When talking about nations like Britain and France and their lack of action towards Hitler and Germany stemmed from the same national fatigue that came from World War 1. Every nation was still missing nearly an entire generation from its population, and nobody in Europe at the time, except maybe Hitler, wanted to risk that happening again. On that premise, most nations like the main powers in Europe and the United States chose to remain neutral. I would also mention that none of Hitler’s action up to this point had been brought onto the world’s stage, and even if some nations such as Poland knew about it, none of the nations in Europe did anything to stop him. That is the question I would want to pose. When all signs from Germany seemed to be heading towards war and possible genocide, why did none of the more powerful nations in the world, including the United States, do anything to stop Hitler from becoming as powerful as he ultimately did. On top of that, how does everyone believe that Hitler was able to hide his more radical plans from the world, even though at the time Germany was growing rapidly into one of the strongest powers in the world?

  3. If Hitler did have more intricate plans of governance, it might have been a different story for WWII. But, I do not know if he would have been able to defeat the Allies because of this. I believe there were more problems than just a lack of planning that limited to his inability to control other countries. For that same reason, I do not think he would have had long-term control over these countries either. Overall, Hitler’s plan was not something that was going to be sustainable nor longterm because the plan was not realistic nor easily acceptable.

  4. I think the dominating fear was war. Following the horrors of the First World War into the instability of global depression, the last thing the major powers of Europe wanted was war. The policy of “appeasement” I think was meant more for avoidance than allowance. We can speculate that if Great Britain had taken action against Germany, the historic outcome might be different but I think it is more productive to evaluate their actual course of action. Not wishing to provoke Germany or spark movements in other nationalistic trending countries, Britain chose to be passive.

  5. You bring up some good points here Christian. I’ll mainly be addressing the topic of why the Allies “stood by” while Hitler rose to power because it’s a very intricate topic. The first issue to address is exactly which allies would have been used to stop him while he violated the Treaty of Versailles. It wasn’t going to be the US, Russia, or Italy. This leaves Britain and France and Britain decided to leave this job to France because they didn’t feel like handling it (Britain’s 10 year rule). France was already a crippled nation and economy after the war due to a lowered currency and their birth rates declining drastically. So France was trying to deal with its own issues instead of worrying about Germany. The next point is that countries (Lithuania) and the German Government itself broke the Treaty of Versailles before Hitler. The German government broke it (reparations schedule and troop size) in the 1920’s and other than that Germany hadn’t been much of an issue since WW1. So, other countries believed if they were paying reparations and not causing any issues there was no reason to start another complicated argument / war. One of the main arguments cited in an instance like this is “what is the plan if a country violates a treaty?” In a perfect world you would go to war with that country or punish it because it broke a mutual agreement but in a case like this where most of the countries have to rebuild their economies after a massive world war it just wasn’t realistic. So to recap I don’t believe the allies willingly stood by and let Hitler take over half of Europe I think it was, at the time, what they believed would cause the least amount of conflict. (History Stack Exchange, par 3).

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