German History In Modern Times - a book by Professor W.W. Hagen
The Holocaust and the enslavement of Poland, ByelaRus, the Baltic States, the Ukraine and parts of Russia:
Intentionalism vs functionalism: Dr. Hagen clearly leans towards the functionalist argument, arguing that the ultimate decision to "exterminate" the Jews was a decision of convenience. All Slavic peoples in "Greater Germany" were to be "reduced" through forced labor, poor nutrition (starvation) and medical neglect. Additionally there languages and cultures were to be eliminated, creating as Churchill said "One great Boschland". The Jews being on the very bottom of Nazi racial conceptions, would be slated for an even greater decimation. Dr Hagen argues that the need to ethnically cleanse Eastern Europe to make way for an "Aryan Utopia", combined with the unwillingness to feed the Jews of Eastern Europe led to the "Final Solution". Had Germany not invaded Poland, the holocaust would not have occurred. Severe persecution and murder of Jews did take place and would have taken place. But the Jews who were exterminated were primarily Polish and Russian, not Central European. He also draws ones attention to the ethnocides and genocides conducted in Africa and the Americas, whose brutality was often equal to the fury of the Nazis. The First Spaniards to invade Isla Hispaniola, tested the sharpness of their swords by slicing the welcoming and friendly inhabitants in two. Within a few decades the entire population was extinct. (The tomanos). Here in California, the genocide in terms of percentage of people killed, was much more severe than the treatment of the "untermenschen" proscribed by the Nazis.
Das Deutsche volk: Folkish politics
This reminds me of Jeffersonian Democracy, the enoblement of the self sufficient yeoman citizenry
Peeves and plusses:
A 424 page paperback spanning three centuries of history is impossible to delve into all issues. Issues must be curated so to speak. For me the compression of World War II as a military account to one relatively short chapter was too compressed. But I have read probably 20 volumes on WWII, so a brief summary I have never even seen attempted in a meaningful way. Other than the chapter on WWII as a military conflict, the other chapters did not seem rushed, even when compressed. The plus of this book to a student of history and geopolitics, was the focus on art, literature and philosophy, introducing key figures and how they broke new ground in the intellectual development of "modernity". My pet peeve 2 is the use of the term modernity. To me it pops up too frequently in the section on the interwar period (1917-1939, roughly). Also as a person who has conversed frequently with Dr Hagen, the mark of mediocrity he will put upon you is if he finds you a "Single Factor Reductianist!", apparantly the worst intellectual failing, other than banality or plagiarism I suppose. To his credit he does a very good job - of using multi factor analysis to explain the rise of fascism in Germany and the Holocaust. (Shoah). I have reread the books introduction, first chapter, and then the portion dealing with Post World War I era to the present time. I wish he would also look at DeNazification, as also some Nazi DNA mixing into American and Western Geopolitics, literally and figuratively. "Operation Paperclip" The number one warnng of this book, is that a "City must never have its walls fall down" - my own quasi psalm to describe what happens when we allow a police state with a leader bereft of conscience or nursing hatreds to take power. We are all in danger of this occuring to us, because even if our own governments have strong enough democratic institutions, these interventions often emanate from Washington, today, but all the great powers will attempt to influence who holds power throughout the world. For example it appears the Obama State Department engineered the downfall of Dilma and Lula in Brazil, on false charges. - Technique - prosecute your enemies for their crimes, and even create the crimes themselves (framing people) and help cover up the crimes of your friends. In Brazil we unleashed Bolsonaro, who has asked the miitary to intervene and end his own presidency! This book also makes it clear the mortal danger of intellectual artistic and cultural evisceration and decline when dictators and military governments hold sway.
Also on the chapter on East Germany, we learn of the Staasis (Staatssichereit). I would compare it to the present national security behemoth. East Germany had 20,000 informants. The NatSec State now was billions of informants, your phone! We have about 40,000 FBI informants in the US, almost entirely preoccupied with political organizations ("extremists"), from the Black Panthers to Greenpeace.
How does the US Security State, with 21 federal intelligence agencies, at least 2 million people working for the military and intelligence, much of it focused on maintaining US supremacy, compare to Hitlers Gestapo, and the Staasi?