Customer Review

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenges many popular ideas but avoids the key issue., 15 Mar. 2014
This review is from: 1939 - The War That Had Many Fathers (Paperback)
A really thorough and challenging take on the origins and causes of WWII. The Author shows the deep dilemma that Germany found itself in after the crippling treaty of Versailles, However the Author avoids the key evil of National Socialist Germany - the wickedness it inflicted on all those who it perceived to be in opposition to it or not required for the Glory of Germany. He avoids the moral apostasy of the concentration camps, the destruction of vast swathes of Europe, the rape and pillage of innocent civilians, even the murder of its own civilians who were physically or mentally below their perception of "normal" and all the deep moral crimes that make the Third Reich the anathema that it is. The book itself however makes a valuable contribution to challenging our current perceptions on the causes of WWII. Truly the victors are the ones who write history.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Apr 2014 14:52:24 BDT
Marcus Laver says:
This book doesn't seek to justify a tyrannical regime - the objective here is to determine who was truly responsible for the start of the war. Most of the worst aspects of the Nazi regime were brought about by the war; until then it was just another authoritarian regime among many in the world at that time.

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 19:53:52 BDT
Mr. Budd -

in his book "Bloodlands", Timothy Snyder, on several occasions, underlines the fact that, at a time when the USSR already had to account for millions of victims (but never did), the German tally amounted to no more than a couple of thousand. He never analyzes the question, either, as to why those German victims were enough to cause a world war, whereas nobody seemed to care much about what had happened in the SU a decade before the Germans really got going and to what extent the crimes laid at the feet of the Germans later on may not have had something to do with the Soviet murders, in one way or another.

Besides, Schultze-Rhonhof's book deals essentially with the question of how WW2 came about and not with the war itself.

TD

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2014 23:48:31 BDT
Marcus Laver says:
The reviewer has clearly missed the rationale of this book completely. The book is not about the evils of any regime - rather, it aims to show who constantly campaigned against Germany since the 1880s and why.

Posted on 9 Oct 2014 01:43:15 BDT
Mr. Budd, Thomas Dunskus put it correctly, the topic of the book is politics that led to WW2. One should keep in mind that Stalin's purges in 1937 - 38 alone had claimed some 700,000 lives, a figure that trumps NS victim figure between 1933 and Sept. 1, 1939 by a huge margin.

Another point is that one should read Raul Hillberg's original 1961 edition of his "The Destruction of the European Jews". The book covers in substantial detail the impact of the persecution of Jews on British, French and U.S. pre-war, wartime and post-war politics. Unlike some propagandists try to claim today, the impact was minimal. Even right after the war, Jews were very reluctantly welcome in the west.

As for the question of politics regarding mentally or physically "below normal", one of the most vociferous politicians in the west in favour of eugenics was a certain Winston Churchill. His words on the issue were in fact more virulent that those of Hitler. But, somehow this side of Winnie is rarely mentioned.
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