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GERMANY: The rehabilitation of Hitler?

Rosa de Pena says: "I hope that if the Germans want to glorify their past, that they would concentrate on the II Reich. For one thing, if the II Reich had survived, there would have been no III Reich, and Hitler would have lived an obscure life. God knows that Kaiser Bill was a ninny and a spoiled brat, but he was no bloodthirsty monster, and Imperial Germany was quite a decent place to live in".

RH: The II Reich was a monarchy, and it is difficult to see how it could have survived. Wilhelm II had discredited himself with the German people, and power had been seized by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, who established a dictatorship (1916-18). He fled to the Netherlands, where he abdicated on November 28, 1918. He died in exile there in 1941 He had many children, but a restoration of the monarchy was unthinkable. The Weimar Republic was a disaster largely because of French vindictiveness and the decadent behavior of the Berlin of that time. Admittedly, as Rosa says, "imperial Germany was quite a decent place to live in". As mentioned in an earlier posting, its collapse was the result of the alliance system created by Bismarck. I believe Germans view the II Reich with respect and even nostalgia. When I was a youth in England, it had great prestige.

Ronald Hilton - 1/12/03