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Pat Buchanan: Hitler just wanted peace, but Churchill wouldn't give it to him - Elf M. Sternberg
Pat Buchanan: Hitler just wanted peace, but Churchill wouldn't give it to him
A reader, who added only the comment, "...akpfthbll!", pointed me at Pat Buchanan's latest masterpiece, Did Hitler Want War?, in which he argues that Hitler didn't want a war, could have been negotiated with, and it was only Churchill's insistence on a military solution to Hitler's annexation of neighboring states that drove Hitler to begin the Holocaust. This follows on Pat's continued dismissal of the Holocaust as a significant historical event, and his use of Holocaust denialist "evidence" to bolster his dismissal.

I can't do it justice. Adam Serwer, though, wins the internet today with his headline, Pat Buchanan: Sotomayor? Racist. Hitler? Misunderstood.

Current Mood: shrill

11 comments or Leave a comment
dr_memory From: dr_memory Date: September 3rd, 2009 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Hitler just wanted peace. A little peace of Poland, a little peace of France, a little peace of Russia...

resonant From: resonant Date: September 3rd, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
mouser From: mouser Date: September 3rd, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Three Stooges or Mel Brooks?
dr_memory From: dr_memory Date: September 3rd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Springtime for Hitler :)
dr_memory From: dr_memory Date: September 3rd, 2009 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
And as a small postscript: one of the most depressing things for me about the run-up to Iraq War Two: Electric Boogaloo, was watching the various arms of the American anti-war movement discover a sudden affection for Pat Buchanan in his isolationist mode. I'm all for alliances of convenience, but preferably not with people actively seeking to disenfranchise, imprison or kill me.
solarbird From: solarbird Date: September 3rd, 2009 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
My favourite part is how he continually (and I think purposefully) ignores Hitler's second book. It's not as well known as Mein Kampf, but it's well known to any half-competent, even casual, studier of the Nazi regime. I remember a few years ago, when he published yet another of his Nazi apologist screeds, he went on about how Hitler had no designs on the US ever and the US had no actual need to go to war with Germany, and I'm all, "Zweites Buch! Zweites Buch! The necessity of reclaiming the German expatriates!" and waving my hands in the air.

I wish he'd stand up as the Nazi asshole he is and be done with it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Chamberlain, Churchill's pacifist predecessor, tried peace. Hitler shook his hand, then turned around and invaded Poland. Peace was doomed to failure.

You also can't claim the US could fight Japan without eventually dealing with Germany as well. Hitler didn't want war with the US, not until he had dealt with Europe... then who knows. I've also heard rightly or wrongly that the Nazis had the potential to make nuclear weapons, but didn't fund the project because they felt the war would be won or lost by the time the nukes were ready. If they had been given some breathing room after dealing with Britain and Russia, if indeed they succeeded, then they might well have started work on these. They were incidentally also very skilled in submarine warfare, this would probably make naval operations very difficult indeed. Add to this the free availability of ports from which to operate as well, if they had complete control of Europe, and freedom from air attacks on their industrial centres.

Any British person with any casual or passing interest in the world wars knows that they wouldn't have stopped, because they promised to stop several times and then carried on anyway in the belief that the other powers wouldn't have the guts to do anything about it. Equally the loss of Britain and the USSR would make staging an assault on German held territory much harder, since Britain made an almost perfectly placed base for the invasions.
resonant From: resonant Date: September 3rd, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
"Chamberlain, Churchill's pacifist predecessor"

Interestingly, that was more a deliberate facade than actuality. Britain's military was rather weak in the 1930s; Chamberlain talked peace, but drove a frantic pre-war arms buildup and civil-defense preparations. Britain may not have succeeded with any interventions prior to 1939. To quote Will Rogers, "Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock".

Harry Turtledove just released a new novel, "Hitler's War", about what would have happened if WWII started with the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Not sure how realistic it is yet (still reading).
eddvick From: eddvick Date: September 3rd, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
l33tminion From: l33tminion Date: September 3rd, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that does pretty much sum it up.
_candide_ From: _candide_ Date: September 3rd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

And stripping Jewish Germans of citizenship, which happened well before the war.

And the demonization of Jews in films commissioned from Leni Riefenstahl by the Nationalsozialisten hierarchy.


As for the Germans and the atomic bomb: back in the late 90's, Physics Today ran a cover-page article about the truth regarding German physicists during the war. The Wehrmacht did approach Schrödinger and Heisenberg and others, asking about this atomic-bomb thing. And … contrary to their post-war claims, they did perform the initial research. Did a few back-of-the-envelope calculations. And, came up with a figure for how much it would cost.

The generals then did something totally unAmerican, but very German. They respected the work of the scientists. German culture places weight on the word of professionals. When someone who's an expert in a field says something about that field, Debate. Over. The German army had been and at the time, was still full of career military. (In fact, when The Party would tell the generals how to do their job, it was a major insult to them (the generals) and their profession. And they resented The Party operatives for it.) The German generals, as professionals, respected the word of the physicists, who were the experts. The German physicists, in turn, respected the generals when those generals said, "Umm… this atomic bomb is nice and all, but it'll cost far, FAR too much per bomb. Better to spend the Deutchmarks on conventional weapons."

And so it was a cost-benefit-analysis and a cultural respect for professionals that caused Nazi Germany not to build an atomic bomb, until it was too late.

Compare this to American culture: Once the American military had decided that it was going to build an atomic bomb, the problems that the physicists hit didn't matter. Those !#$@#$ing eggheads were gonna do what they were told, and do it for less $$$, and like it, damnit! Combine this with genuine fear on the part of the physicists in the U.S. — many of whom were refugees from Europe — and the memory of Pearl Harbor in the American-born physicists like Feynman — Well, they were all very motivated to make sure the U.S. build a – fission weapon before the Nazis could.
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