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GERMANY: The Second Reich
The "German question" certainly arouses passions. Rosa de Pena writes: "Please remind historian Christian Leitz that people look at the Second Reich through the lens of the Third. Also, if he can count all those demerits, he ought to remember the good points - such as the upward mobility, the economic expansion, the explosion of arts and sciences, the idea that "German made" meant good quality all over Europe. I do not doubt that Heinrich Mann had plenty to complain about the II Reich, but he could live peacefully there, all the while complaining about it. For too many Europeans, in the years to come, that would have seemed Heaven on Earth. Everything is relative in this world. After all, they killed Michael Collins for being "too moderate" "
RH: "Live peacefully"? He wrote Der Unterthan at the end of World War I. I do not know enough about the life of Heinrich Mann to say what experiences triggered his bitterness nor what happened to him during World War I- I remember that in England after World War I there was still a great respect for the Second Reich in academic circles.
Ronald Hilton - 1/23/03