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  #121  
Old 03-02-2011, 09:58 PM
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It is amazing, as time passes that we don't see how many of the German Royals goosestepped their way into history. Yes, some of the children, which is wrong, but their fathers never interfered when a million Jewish children were gassed, never spoke out against that. When those whose fathers tried to assinate Hitler on July 20th, were separated from their mothers who were arrested and were incarcerated, for the duration of the war, where were these noble fellows. A great deal of time has past and all the apologists are out saying what really nice families they were and where are their signatures. They had the power to leave, to speak out, to do something decent. They never did. Pity for Christoph and his ilk is misplaced. They would have reveled in victory, never seeing the carnage they allowed to take place without comment and supporting the vile creatures whose dispicable government they supported.
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  #122  
Old 03-03-2011, 01:28 AM
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The Wittelsbach and Württemberg families were very anti-Nazi, as were the Habsburgs, and Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. In fact, many have gone as far to say that had the German and Austrian monarchies survived WWI, there would be no Hitler. Remember that all three of Franz Ferdinand's children were placed into the camps, as were many of the Bavarian royals. Hitler despised them, and that was a mutual feeling.

Remember too that it wasn't simply members of the upper classes of German society that acquiesced to Nazism. A great many members of Germany's working class willingly accepted Nazism at the time, simply because they had borne the brunt of the Weimar Republic's failures and looked to Hitler for a solution.
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  #123  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:28 PM
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You are correct that there were those who were anti-Nazi. Absolutely. You might have borne the brunt of the Weimar Republic's failure, but looking to someone who publicly espoused the destruction of a group of people, read Main Kampf, and contributed to their destruction was not an accident. The millions of Jews and Gypsies and Slavs that were murdered, were not murdered by Hitler. Actually, I don't believe, he, personally, killed anyone. While all the heiling was taking place and neighbors were disappearing and synagogues were set abalaze, those swelling masses were not upset with what was happening to the victims. There are too many apologies, today, for what took place.
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  #124  
Old 03-03-2011, 11:47 PM
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One must also remember too that there many of the local peoples in occupied countries were more than willing to collaborate with the Nazis, and in some cases were even worse than them.
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  #125  
Old 03-04-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
It is amazing, as time passes that we don't see how many of the German Royals goosestepped their way into history...
Excuse me but have you ever heard of the 20 July plot?? My own father was part of the movement and has been arrested. He was very very lucky and survived, as in fact 4900 members of the resistance movement were executed. "They had the power to speak out, to do something decent." (end of quote) They had? Really? And what did happen to them if they did so? They were brutally murdered and/or tortured by the Gestapo. Of course the resistance was a minority but such comments trample their moral courage under foot!
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  #126  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:23 AM
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@Countess I apologise as I got confused. Language barriers. I know it is a poor excuse. But I know from my father that a few noble fellows supported the July movement indeed. As I said, there were thousands of people involved, most of them very secretly and a few were lucky enough not to get caught by the Gestapo. As David V already has pointed out, the more prominent families were anti-nazi, too. Even the foolish Kaiser was against Hitler. Unfortunately I believe that the Nazi movement was inexorably. The flaw of the German people still is that they take the bad with the good. Civil courage, to rebel against authorities, to speak up; all that is rarely seen in this country. So I can only say: nip it in the bud!
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  #127  
Old 03-04-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucrezia View Post
...I know from my father that a few noble fellows supported the July movement indeed.
And many of them were tortured and executed.
A scan of the list of members of the 20 July plot against Hitler shows 16 Counts, 11 Barons and 33 non-titled vons.
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  #128  
Old 03-04-2011, 05:33 PM
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I know a great deal about them and have always admired them. Adam Trott su Solz, was always my favorite. I know how he was hung with piano wire and how they were treated. He was an ancestor of our first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay. I am very well aware mockery and torture that they withstood before their deaths in the courtrooms of Roland Friesler. I know that their families were seized and imprisoned. That should never go unrecognized. They were brave and very good men. Their names should always be spoken and revered. That said, what I was saying that as time has elapsed, we get a great many people saying this wasn't so bad and if this wouldn't have happened, they were really nice people. Lucrezia, the more we condemn what was terrible and laud what was good and noble, we will be on the right page.
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  #129  
Old 03-05-2011, 01:39 AM
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All the German Royals and Nobles cannot be lumped together as Pro-Nazi. In fact, when the Grandson of the Former Kaiser died in 1940, Pro-Monarchists as well as German Royals and Nobles attended the funeral. This action was said to absolutely infuriated Hitler and he then started his crackdown of the Royal and Noble Houses.
In all the Royal and Noble Houses, the percentage of those who were ardent supporters of the Nazi's were a minority. These families were also highly educated at the time and could see, more than the general population what was happening in Germany at the time of Hitler and they paid for it. Their properties and assets were seized and many were kept prisoners in their homes. Then as the Russians moved in, these same families had to flee from the atrocities of the Red Army.
It was a horrible time in history and I know that I was guilty of condemning all German and Italian Royals for supporting the Axis, call it guilt by association, until I became really interested in Royals and found that my beliefs were far from justified. Of all the Kaiser's children, only one son was a follower of Hitler. We also have to remember that all men were conscripted into the military, whether they supported Hitler or not. It was law.
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  #130  
Old 03-05-2011, 09:35 PM
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Nice try, but I have been teaching this for years. By 1938, 20% of the SS came from the Nobility. Over 10% were party members, over the average for regular folks. Remember, the upper eschelon, the aristocrats, were part of the officer corps of the Wehrmacht and were not conscripted, as the average foot soldier was. It swung both ways. The Junker Class, were at the head. Yes, many were not supportive, on the other hand it took years for them to show any opposition.
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  #131  
Old 03-05-2011, 10:36 PM
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The Nazis were strongly anti-communist and for many nobles and aristocrats that's what attracted them to the Nazi party. Remember in the 1930s many German nobles had relatives who had been killed by the communists in Russia or had their lands confiscated and they saw family members sink into poverty.

At first at least Hitler gave the nobles the impression they would be reinstated, that was another reason why many of them initially became supporters of the Nazi party.

With the chaos that was post World War one Germany and the rampant inflation that occured, nobles weren't immune to their money being worthless, so the stability the Nazis provided was also an attraction.

Nothing is simple, there were no black or white. And this period in German history is a good example of that.
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  #132  
Old 03-07-2011, 11:27 PM
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When I was in college I took a history class which was about the rise and fall of Hilter. We saw several films about various aspect of Nazism. One of the most shocking ones was a film about several military officers, some of whom were German nobility who had spoke out against Hilter. They were executed by hanging (I believe this was before the 1944 plot). At least one of these men was either a baron, count or of slightly higher German nobility. Most of the men executed in this particular group had all gone to German military schools so they all were at the very least upper middle class.

I didn't know much about this history (I knew a lot about Americans who served in World War II) and I was shocked that men of this social standing would have been executed. I remember a German man who was sitting in the classroom interpreting the film (it was in German) and he said something to the effect that anyone was fair game as far as being executed, imprisoned or tortured. Being a barron/baroness, count/countess or of German Nobility didn't protect you if Hilter wanted to get you. This man had grown up in Germany during this time period (he was a teen when World War II ended).

Perhaps the sickening thing of this film was that the hanging was filmed and then was viewed at a party where SS officers and other Nazi Officials were eating, drinking and laughing at what they were seeing. We didn't see the actual hanging but saw a man who was about to be hung who looked like he was begging for mercy but got none.
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  #133  
Old 03-08-2011, 06:05 PM
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I am glad you saw the film. I, believe, it was the executions following the attempt on Hitler. They filmed that and yes, it was disgusting. Life is not black nor white. There were good nobles, good people, but still what happened, still happened. It should never be pushed aside.
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  #134  
Old 03-08-2011, 06:31 PM
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The fact that this subject has been regularly discussed in this thread since March 2006 is an indication that it won't be "pushed aside".
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  #135  
Old 03-08-2011, 07:26 PM
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Until I took the college class on the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, the royals and the reich aspect of the war was never discussed in American history books in middle or high school. The history professor that we had wanted to include more of the European experience of World War II. He got an individual who had lived in Germany during the reign of Hilter whose family had suffered at the hands of Hilter and who was willing to talk about it.

Up to that point, the American Experience in World War II had been the primary focus of World War II history classes. Where I grew up there was a naval base nearby, so there were a lot of military people active and retired, many of whom had served in World War II. The American Experience and the European Experience were very different. World War II was not fought on American soil but was in Europe.

This is the only place that I've seen where Royals and the Reich have been discussed in a book.
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  #136  
Old 03-08-2011, 09:24 PM
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Yes, the two experiences were different. To us it was over there and to them, they were living it. I was ,slightly, amused when you said," he got an individual".... one individual, there were many, but not like those who were stuffed into gas chambers, because they dared to be a different religion or ethnic group (gypsies).

Warren, I admire that you think this subject has been "discussed since 2006", so it won't be "pushed" to the back burner. But, as time passes, I have seen so many new excuses and explanations for the the barbarity, that I can no longer just let it lie. As time passes, more and more victims die, as age has claimed their knowledge and those who plod forward, tend to accept the apologists, but " we were only.....". I was a baby when the war started and very young when it ended, also blessed to have been born in the U.S. Teaching history from the prospective of another time, is difficult enough, when there are those who were there to speak out....they are going or are gone, who will speak for them then?
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  #137  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:09 AM
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I think it is more a "set the record straight" kind of thing. Some are led to believe the royals and nobles en masse embraced Nazism, when this is more than easily refuted by the fact that some of the most prestigious royal families- the Habsburgs, Wittelsbachs, Württembergs, Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, and a few others as I mentioned above- were among the most anti-Nazi. Or the fact the German working class, by and large, accepted Nazism at the time because they believed their lives would improve.

Many Germans and Austrians never accepted the wholesale demise of their monarchies to whom they had a strong connection for generations. What happened in the 20s was a profound destabilisation socially, economically and politically. In Bavaria such sentiments were strong. That wasn't the sole reason of course, but the vacuum that was left in society was what left the door open for Hitler to exploit people's anger and misery. That was one reason why Hitler was successful, because he appealed as much to Junkers and industrialists as he did to the working man. And why as a lesson for all time we must not let something like this happen again.

In fact, here's one quote from Churchill: "If the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach and a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler. A democratic basis of society might have been preserved by a crowned Weimar in contact with the victorious Allies.”
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  #138  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:22 AM
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I tend to agree with you on this. The lack of a strong authority that was respected by most classes was felt strongly, as evidenced by comments from my German relations who had lived through that time. The US recognised this and kept the Japanese Emperor but forgot later when a respected King could have been returned to the throne of Afghanistan.
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  #139  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:00 AM
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I tend to agree with you on this. The lack of a strong authority that was respected by most classes was felt strongly, as evidenced by comments from my German relations who had lived through that time. The US recognised this and kept the Japanese Emperor but forgot later when a respected King could have been returned to the throne of Afghanistan.
Some dreadful mistakes were made in light of WWI, for which many are still paying for today. In Afghanistan, people remember the reign of the last King as a unique period of peace and stability in contradistinction to what preceded it and what followed it.

But for all that happened during WWII, we saw regimes after the war and to this day that were also truly horrible. The importance is teaching history is to ensure we never see that again.

Also remember that Jews fondly recalled the times of the German and Austrian Empires to World War I, because it was a Golden Age where they prospered economically and culturally. And many volunteered to fight for their countries.
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  #140  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:44 PM
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Ah, wouldn't that be wonderful, that we would learn from history. How right you are. Yes, Jews were very loyal to Germany and many had Iron Crosses to show for it from WWI. So look how quickly they went from heroes, to pariah. How men who served their country, valiently, were stripped of their citizenship and murdered. You are all correct about the Afghan king.
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