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GERMANY: The Second Reich

Christopher Jones says: "We all know that Wilhelm had foot in the mouth disease. But any reference the dethroned Kaiser might have made to gassing Jews (I doubt the whole thing is at all true) was before the gas chambers existed -- he died in 1941. Jews were protected in the Kaiserreich and held commanding positions in the economy. Anti-semitic agitation was persecuted. (a case in point: the arrest of virulent anti semite Bernhard Förster)

Christian Leitz continues to unveil the SPD as a shining light in the defence of democratic liberties. This may be true and I certainly hope so but I continue to believe as many others in Germany do that the 1932 "Stop Hitler" campaign backfired -- not to mention almost 6 million unemployed created under SPD stewardship.

Finally the strafing of children. Of course there were plenty of interviews on TV about this. And why does it so provoke a hostile response? Were our soldiers white knights? Does anybody really believe that? I will send as a separate posting the strafing a train in Schaumberg Lippe that was filled with children. The flyers were downed by Flak and paraded before the assembled class that spat on them".

RH: Certainly Jews were well-integrated in the Kaiserreich. As for the "Stop Hitler" campaign, the SPD cannot be blamed for the virulence of the pro-Hitler movement. As for the 6 million unemployed, would you blame Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the Great Depression? Christian Leitz is leaving New Zealand and going to Switzerland to become historian of the UBS banking group. He will be closer to Germany, his field of interest. He and Christopher can have beers together. Their exchanges might be gathered in a volume called The Christian-Christopher Talks, but I will leave it to them to decide the order of the names.

Ronald Hilton - 2/6/03