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DavidP
01-20-2003, 07:58 PM
This is mainly directed towards people who live in nations other than the USA, mainly Germany...

How do your history classes teach the history of World War II? How do they teach Hitler? I realize that Britain, France, and other nations from the old Allied forces of World War II probably all teach the same things about Nazis and Hitler, but how do the nations of the old Axis governments teach about Hitler?

This post is not meant to deride in any way, I am just interested in what kind of image Hitler holds in the minds of Germans in this day in age, and in nations other than the USA, especially since several world war II vets are still alive, both on the allied and axis sides. I am sure there are still many Nazis alive that fought for Hitler back in the 40's. What are their opinions of the war? Do they still feel they were fighting for the right cause, or have their opinions of what they were fighting for changed over time?

OneStiffRod
01-20-2003, 08:20 PM
There's not many JAPS - anese here but I know that they don't even teach there ppl anything about WWII. They treat it as a period in time to forget - like it never happened. Their ppl have a complete ignorance about the subject, and thusly they believe weird things, like they were justified for Pearl Harbor and the US was not justified for Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Aran
01-20-2003, 08:25 PM
the japanese have a mindset that does not except defeat, and therein lies the problem.

-KEN-
01-20-2003, 08:40 PM
You know you could've just named this thread "Flamey McFlameMe" and gotten the same end result as you'll wind up with, I bet.

DavidP
01-20-2003, 09:11 PM
You know you could've just named this thread "Flamey McFlameMe" and gotten the same end result as you'll wind up with, I bet.


hahaha yes i realize that this probably will become a flame war, but I honestly would like to know what other countries teach about WWII.

golfinguy4
01-20-2003, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by Aran
the japanese have a mindset that does not except defeat, and therein lies the problem.

I wouldn't be so quick to attack them. I admire their new governmental policy. They cannot attack other nations, only defend themselves. Also this was probably semi-forced on them, I admire how they have not changed this. Japan is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. However, you do not hear of them developing nukes and other powerful weapons.

rick barclay
01-21-2003, 12:26 AM
It's my guess that German's have written more history books
as it pertains to Germany than any other nation. I read a book
on the life of Josef Goebbels, written by a German, and his
reference bibliography in the back of the book ran about five
pages. Every one of the authors listed was German. Thr book
itself was very, very interesting, giving little known details of
just why Hitler came to power, why the German people supported
him so avidly, and Hitler's mindset for starting WW II.

As one small example, it was pointed out in the book that
during World War One, not one hostile shot was fired or
bomb dropped within the borders of Germany proper. The
German press constantly heralded the coming end of that
war with complete and total German victory. So when the Armistice was finally signed and the war ended, the German
populace, including Hitler, Goebbels, et, al, were a little more
than slightly perplexed to find that Germany had lost a war
they had been led to believe they were winning. This fact, plus
the overwhelming terms of surrender enforced by the victorious
Allies, plus the onset of the Great Depression all combined to
set in motion Germany's and the World's fateful trek down the
path into the Second World War. I am pretty sure the best
and most truthful accounts of Germany's role in WW II are told
by Germans, themselves.

novacain
01-21-2003, 01:46 AM
>>especially since several world war II vets are still alive

My uncles who were at Normandy and Dunkirk will / would not talk about it.

They tell anecdotes about their mates 'outside' the war (on leave ect) in a time and place far from their normal situation.

We were taught to be proud of the Australians as we were the only nation with 100% volunteer armies in both WW1 and WW2 (even if we did put a Yank in charge).

A lot of this nation is defined by how we responded to WW1 (Gallipolli). As a nation we celebrate our first and greatest defeat. Hopefully we will soon revere as highly those who were at and Kokoda Track (Isurava, our greatest victory) .

rick barclay
01-21-2003, 02:15 AM
And don't ever forget Gallipoli, Churchill's Waterloo, where
thousands of Australians were shipped and died needlessly
thanks to British stupidity and arrogance. The blokes actually
thought they could drive the Turks from their rocky perches
through naval bombardment alone, and then mop up with
the Aussies as an afterthought. As the battle raged and the
Australians were fighting inch by inch against a well entranched
enemy, British reinforcements were inexplicably held back off
shore even though the navalk commander was well advised of
a bloody battle raging onshore. Seems, he didn't want to send
British youths to their deaths and have to account for it back home. Thus, the Brits rationalized the naval bombardment.
An engaging fictional account of Gallipoli can be found in Leon
Uris' Trinity .

Gades
01-21-2003, 06:13 AM
I go to Germany quite often, and I know quite a few Germans.

All of them are ashame of all that stuff. None of them will feel proud to have someone in the family who fought for the Nazis (I know some as well).

Here's go a true little anecdote, that reflects the general idea about this:

my fiance's grandma is German, and she lives in Germany. Her husband fought with them, as he had to. Last year, she found in her basement an old picture of Hitler, from the previous owner of the house.

What do you think she's done with it?

Nothing! She's not able to throw it to the bin, because she's affraid that if someone would happen to look into her garbage, they'd find out the pictuer in there. So they could believe it's hers.

Well, that's how they feel about it. As the saddest chapter in their History.

hk_mp5kpdw
01-21-2003, 07:15 AM
The German press constantly heralded the coming end of that war with complete and total German victory.

In the same vein as this, I recently saw something on TV (Discovery/History Channel?) that said that many of the Iraqi's believe they won the Gulf War because Saddam told his people that they won. With near total control of the media would they even be able to doubt what they were told by him?

Vber
01-21-2003, 07:28 AM
We still learn this every year, no matter how old are you, we still learn same thing. Most of people see Hitler as an monster, and not an human, but not Germany. We see germany as a friend country of Israel. This date is an 'special' date to Israel, no one's works, and if someone's works, at an specified time, all Israel stop to hear the alarm, that sounds in every side of the country.

About he WWII, we learn more about the facts, why? who? when? and so on..

Clyde
01-21-2003, 07:30 AM
"like they were justified for Pearl Harbor "

As far as i'm aware the Japanese were under the impression that the US already knew they were at war when they attacked pearl harbour.

codingmaster
01-21-2003, 09:26 AM
I'm German......

PS: I'm the best in our history class...

We're currently talking about the 2. World War

Hitler is a very bad person, who had exploited the bad conditions of the people and made usage of very bad and horrible ruling


I lack the words to adequately express my dislike for him in a civil fashion.

PJYelton
01-21-2003, 10:03 AM
I lived in Japan for a little while and while not being told EVERYTHING Japan did in WWII, they are definately now slowly being taught that their country made mistakes which culminated in the disaster at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Vber
01-21-2003, 11:00 AM
Hitler is a very bad person, who had exploited the bad conditions of the people and made usage of very bad and horrible ruling


I think exactly like you...

zahid
01-22-2003, 12:54 AM
New Hitlers are there as they were in this world with new arms, new techs, new styles.

ohh.. Japanese will never be able to forget. And they should not. Big monster is accompanied by little monsters.

nvoigt
01-22-2003, 01:27 AM
Gades summed it up quite nicely.

Vergangenbeitsbewaeltigung:
The sum total of difficulties a nation encounters in struggling to come to terms with a dodgy past. Who but the Germans would have a word for it?


In Germany, in contrast to America, every man or woman old enough has participated in the war in one way or the other. As a member of the armed forces, as a civilian victim of the airraids or as a victim of Hitlers crimes. The last years of WWII happend to take place right in Germany. If you were alive and German, you simply couldn't not be affected by the war. For older people, memories are strong. Some of them will not be able to ride elevators or subway trains, because the closed space and wooshing sound reminds them too much of airraid sirens and bomb shelters. The war is present in private stories and public display. My Grandparents met when my Grandpa's 88 Anti-Aircraft gun was placed in my Grandma's garden. When you visit Hannovers Townhall, there are 8 dioramas of Hannover from becoming a city to the present. The one you notice first looks as if it had been turned upside down, smashed into the ground and turned to be visible again. It's Hannover in 1945 after the allied bombing raids. It's not possible to meet someone unaffected by the war, as I imagine it would be possible in the US. Even if you were not drafted as early as by the age of 12 when Hitlers Reich crumbled, you still had to fear for your own life every time the sirens came up.

Education varies, but in general this stuff happens to be in history classes at least twice. There are documentaries, mostly b/w original film with a background comment. I have 20 channels and I guess I could find you a documentary on WWII any day after 20:00. Hitler's Generals, Hitler's Women, Hitler's Henchmen, Stalingrad, Submarine Warfare, Africa, Rommel and so on. Same for the war in the Pacific. Must have been some anniversary of Stalingrad, I saw some b/w minutes of soldiers dying and Gen. Fm. Paulus when I was channel surfing yesterday.

Some things have changed dramatically after the war. For example, sayings that were used without thinking about them were dropped. We still know the meaning but wouldn't use them, as this could indicate that the user might be a Nazi. And no one would like to leave a shadow of doubt about no being one. Some years ago, an american girl I chatted with about prices said: "Don't be so jewish with your money". I did know what she meant, but I was mortified. You simply don't say this in Germany. For your social standing it would have been better to do a public strip on the table. At least you could claim you were drunk.

Showing symbols of Hitlers idealogy is forbidden. Actually, there is a law that allows the police to confiscate anything they think might serve someone as a Nazi symbol. If they see you with a football and this football might repesent some Nazi stuff to you, any policeman can destroy it. Pretty weird passing a law that allows policemen to guess what you think about items. But I have never seen it enforced without reason anyway.

I guess you will find germans to be quite well educated when it comes to WWII. Where else in the world would a visit to a real concentration camp be part of a history class ?

rick barclay
01-22-2003, 05:23 AM
Originally posted by hk_mp5kpdw
In the same vein as this, I recently saw something on TV (Discovery/History Channel?) that said that many of the Iraqi's believe they won the Gulf War because Saddam told his people that they won. With near total control of the media would they even be able to doubt what they were told by him?

Yes. And do you know that if you travel to Syria and look for a
book on the whys, wherefores, and accounts of the Six Day War with Israel, you will wil find nary a one, zilch, nothing.

rick barclay
01-22-2003, 05:28 AM
Originally posted by Clyde
"like they were justified for Pearl Harbor "

As far as i'm aware the Japanese were under the impression that the US already knew they were at war when they attacked pearl harbour.

That's because the Japanese were very bad at telling time. They
had arranged for their ambassador to Washington to deliver their
declaration of war at the precise time the attack was beginning,
but somehow the letter wasn't delivered until after the attack
had started. Not sure how late they were but I'm sure it's
searchable on Google.

rick barclay
01-22-2003, 05:33 AM
Contemporary Germans might take solace in the fact that they
now realize what monsters the Nazis were, but they will
never escape the historical facts that thier forebears recieved
Hitler like the coming of a messiah. And Hitler's philosophy of
Aryan beliefs is rooted in ancient German history going back to
the times of Rome.

Shiro
01-22-2003, 08:43 AM
>Where else in the world would a visit to a real concentration
>camp be part of a history class

In the Netherlands visits to the camp Westerbork and the house of Anne Frank are traditionals. Every year there in the Netherlands there is a commemoration to remember the WWII and relate it to the current situations in the world. To remember people who died for their freedom in WWII and to remember people who have died after WWII in their fights for freedom.

In the higher classes children go to places in Germany and Poland to visit such historical places, like Auschwitz.

Also in the city where I live, like many Dutch cities, there is a monument remembering of those who died in the WWII. Each year a lot of people go there to remember the day the Canedians got here to free our city. We also go there at the national commemoration day, to remember our country was freed.

I guess last year it was the first time in the Netherlands we invited Germans to be present at the commemoration at camp Westerbork, which is a camp where Dutch people, mainly Jewish, were send to before they were send to German camps. In my opinion it is a good thing that Germans can be present at such events here. It promotes a better understanding between the Germans and Dutch, which is necessary because still there are people, young and old, who don't like the Germans very much.

Many years after WWII our current queen decided to marry a German prince. This lead to a lot of commotion, there was a lot of resistance, but this German prince became one of the most popular Germans in the Netherlands. He made a big contribution in bringing the Dutch and German closer.

minesweeper
01-22-2003, 11:12 AM
>>Contemporary Germans might take solace in the fact that they
now realize what monsters the Nazis were, but they will
never escape the historical facts that thier forebears recieved
Hitler like the coming of a messiah.<<

Of course they did. It was our rediculous reparations plan that meant Germany was to be subjected to dire poverty forever more. Put yourself in that situation. No matter how hard you work you will never be able to improve the diabolical lifestyle that someone else has put upon you. Then someone strong comes along and offers you a way out. Of course you would take a chance with them. There was no way the average German could have forseen what Hitler was planning and by the time they could, it was too late. You don't argue with the Gestapo. When a society of people are downtrodden with no way out it is very easy to brainwash them.

>>Hitler's philosophy of
Aryan beliefs is rooted in ancient German history going back to
the times of Rome.<<

English history shows that we destroyed and pillaged our way to governing a quarter of the world's inhabited surface. Does that make contemporary Brits like me likeminded tyrants?

SMurf
01-22-2003, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by minesweeper
English history shows that we destroyed and pillaged our way to governing a quarter of the world's inhabited surface. Does that make contemporary Brits like me likeminded tyrants?

Not exactly. British doctrine was essentially to turn a world full of "savages" into "civilised people". Yes, we did kill quite a few in the process, but things improved and many countries are grateful for British influence/aid.

Also, rather than beating difficult people round the head with our entire armed forces, we instead "lost" wars and set up strong trade links instead (The US being a good example of this). With the exception of the world wars, we knew a lost cause when we saw one.

This didn't apply to France, however, until quite recently. Not sure it does even now... :p

salvelinus
01-22-2003, 03:32 PM
Oh, this discussion of national pride/shame/responsibility is upsetting me mightily! Can't we close this thread? Where are those padlocking mods when we need them? :eek:

SMurf
01-22-2003, 03:38 PM
They're chasing the void main()ers, naturally. If you start swearing and flaming all over the place, then they'll close the thread.

novacain
01-22-2003, 08:21 PM
>> my fiance's grandma is German, and she lives in Germany. Her husband fought with them, as he had to. Last year, she found in her basement an old picture of Hitler, from the previous owner of the house.<<

My great grand parents moved from Germany to England between the world wars. They changed their name to Johnson. When WW2 started my grandmother burned the family heirloom, a bible with family tree in it in case it was used to intern them.

>>Hitler's philosophy of
Aryan beliefs is rooted in ancient German history going back to
the times of Rome.<<

Racism was / is not confined to any country. It was more to do with the times (and hopefully time and effort will eradicate it). In the British atomic tests in Maralinga and Woomera, Aboriginal casualties were recorded under 'flauna' as they were not considered to be human.

Interview with Harold Stewart (When the War came to Australia documentary)
"Harold Stewart enlisted as an 18 year old in Warwick Queensland. He joined because his mates were joining the Army. As an Aborigine, he didn't experience any discrimination when he joined. In combat situations, there was no prejudice, when in camp he was made to feel "inferior" to some degree. He recounts episodes of prejudice in civilian life, for example going to church in Warwick. Aborigines were grouped together as a drunk and untrustworthy race, which was a gross generalisation. He was trained as an artillery gunner and sent to Magnetic Island, Queensland. He mentions the American troops'relations between black and white servicemen - they had divided camps between Negroes and whites, they didn't mix and there was tension and even killings. "

rick barclay
01-23-2003, 05:42 AM
>Racism was / is not confined to any country. It was more to do with the times (and hopefully time and effort will eradicate it). In the British atomic tests in Maralinga and Woomera, Aboriginal casualties were recorded under 'flauna' as they were not considered to be human.<

Actually, Aryanism didn't originate with any racist ideal. Hitler's
idea of Aryanism added racism to the mix. The early Arians
were followers of a Christian philosopher of the same name
who espoused certain principles concerning the essence of
Jesus Christ and the concept of the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost. The Arians were in direct conflict with another group called
Athaniasians, over these same principles. Eventually, the Athanasians held sway and the Arians were branded heretics
by the Holy Roman Church before Rome fell. But through some
ironic twist of fate, one of the many different hordes Germanic
tribes that gained control of Rome embraced the Arian doctrine
and forced it on all its subjects, Roamn and otherwise. These
German warriors must have been mythical-like figures to
Hitler and his troupe, and he incorporated them into his
own German nationalist thinking.

This is really a half-assed explanation or Arianism, which is
an extremely complicated subject that figures prominently
in the history of the Catholic Church, but I have no references
with me, and even if I did it would take many pages to half-
decently explain why Arianism and Athanisianism are so
important to Western civilization. Sorry if I impress you as a
pedantic schmuck. Just trying to make a point.

FillYourBrain
01-23-2003, 02:28 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=524&u=/ap/20030123/ap_wo_en_po/eu_gen_denmark_scouts_2&printer=1

that's an interesting story in the context of this discussion

Govtcheez
01-23-2003, 02:29 PM
:eek:

That's messed up...

ygfperson
01-23-2003, 05:11 PM
I have 20 channels and I guess I could find you a documentary on WWII any day after 20:00. Hitler's Generals, Hitler's Women, Hitler's Henchmen, Stalingrad, Submarine Warfare, Africa, Rommel and so on. Same for the war in the Pacific.
Same here... except it's only a few channels. It's a deciding moment in history.


In Germany, in contrast to America, every man or woman old enough has participated in the war in one way or the other.
I guess America is lucky to have learned the lesson about devastating war in Vietnam without actually fighting on our ground.

Every German exchange student or German I have listened to has condemned Hitler. (When the subject was brought up, not out of the blue.) I'm sure there are still nazi sympathizers, but they're few and far between.


Showing symbols of Hitlers idealogy is forbidden. Actually, there is a law that allows the police to confiscate anything they think might serve someone as a Nazi symbol.
I don't really agree with these laws. There's no need to supress free speech to root out nazism, not anymore.


That's because the Japanese were very bad at telling time. They had arranged for their ambassador to Washington to deliver their declaration of war at the precise time the attack was beginning, but somehow the letter wasn't delivered until after the attack had started. Not sure how late they were but I'm sure it's searchable on Google.
I thought it was on purpose... a delay tactic.

civix
01-23-2003, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by -KEN-
You know you could've just named this thread "Flamey McFlameMe" and gotten the same end result as you'll wind up with, I bet.
The question is legit, ken. Yeah, i've often heard that there is alot of wars that the japanese dont teach about.

Shiro
01-24-2003, 12:19 PM
>I'm sure there are still nazi sympathizers, but they're few and
>far between.

The number of nazi sympathizers, in Europe we call them the neo-nazi's, is relative small. But there still are a lot of them, just look at the size of neo-nazi demonstrations and commemorations of nazi events. Look at the populairity of Le Pen in France. The neo-nazi organisations are not a big problem, but they sure are something we can not just ignore.

>Yeah, i've often heard that there is alot of wars that the
>japanese dont teach about.

The same can be seen in movies. Most WWII movies are about Americans, Canedians, Brittains and other western soldiers invading in western Europe. Less are about the Russians.

Also during the cold war children were taught very little about what happened on the other side of the iron curtain. Children here were taught mostly western European history and geography. Also in these days people here know very little about Russia and the other countries of the former USSR.

nvoigt
01-24-2003, 01:21 PM
The Bridge (Die Bruecke)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000646UM/qid=1043435698/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-6965664-5226439?v=glance&s=dvd&n=507846

One of the best WWII movies I've ever seen. Don't expect heroes.

If you can rent or buy it somewhere, go for it. But leave it for a rainy sunday afternoon, this is no saturday night popcorn stuff.

Govtcheez
01-24-2003, 01:23 PM
Yeesh, a $45 DVD - I'd rent it if I saw it, but I'm not gonna buy 1 movie for the price of 3 or 4...

nvoigt
01-25-2003, 11:39 AM
Yeah, the price is probably that high because it's not an american movie and had to be translated and stuff. I'm pretty sure I could get it for a normal price here. Anyway, rent it or get it someway else, it's well worth a DVD-R.

( Obviously this is not a call for piracy. I'm sure you someway get it burned legally onto that DVD-R :D )

Unregd
01-25-2003, 05:57 PM
My experience, as an American, with history has been that the school year is over before the 20th century is even reached or that it is covered quickly. My high school college-credit American history class focused mostly on the 19th century with pretty much everything after World War I, arguably the most relevant history, covered in less than a month. For my world history credits, I took two semester classes: ancient civilizations (Egypt, Greece, and Rome) and Emerging Europe (feudalism, the Church, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the early development of the modern European nation-states from feudalism, etc.). I never took the Modern World class, which focuses mostly on the French Revolution onward.

On a related note, it was quite a shock to me to discover, while searching for geneological information on the Internet, that my surname is shared with a Nazi general or some other high-ranking officer. The only solace I can find is that my ancestors with this surname came to the United States in the early 19th century and so this general would have to be very distantly related if related at all. This could have been the reason why the German exchange student last year seemed slightly shocked by my last name.

About the Aryans: The Aryans were the Persian- and Sanskrit-speaking settlers of Iran, Pakistan, and India. The name Iran itself is related to the word Aryan because that is what Aryan really means. Nazi doctrine seems to have extended the meaning to be some mythical race that spoke the ancestor of German, Greek, Persian, and all the other Indo-European languages (the hypothetical, partially reconstructed language proto-Indo-European) and who were the true original Germans in his eyes. The Arian "heresy" was based on an Iranian bishop called Arius because of his Iranian origins. It is true, though, that after the established Orthodox Christian church labeled it a heresy, Arian missionaries went outside the Roman world and converted many of the Germanic tribes, including the Saxons and Lombards, to Arianism. It was only after some of the Franks had accepted the Roman version of Christianity and begun conquering the Arian and pagan Germanic tribes to their east that Germany truly came into Medieval European culture/civilization.

Nick
01-25-2003, 06:42 PM
The one thing I think that is most important about history is
to read original sources. Just about any history
class in the US about the Protestant Reformation will never
share with you the anti-semetic paper that Martin Luther wrote. Of course they will be all to quick to share with you how the church spent their money furnishing their churches ...