Better Enjoy the War: The Peace Will Be Terrible

So, allegedly, went a popular joke in Nazi Germany. How surprising to imagine that they thought of what the peace would be like! The ideology called for a system that was unlikely to ever produce it. A war of all against all, meant to lead to the ethic domination of one party on all others, seems least likely to produce anything like a peace.

Perhaps they always knew that vengeance was coming. The subject of the article is the question: does peace require vengeance? I suspect the answer is that it does: there are times when the failure to exact a due and dispassionate revenge will prevent you from being respected enough to serve as a new locus of authority.

But so say I; decide for yourselves. It is an interesting story.


douglas said...

People in general are short sighted and driven by group association. They opt for the easy 'security' of ethnic association, and seek to avoid the growing pains of an ethnically intermingled culture instead of being concerned about the same long term issues the article concludes with. I thought the United States was supposed to show how a culture built of a common idea instead of a common bloodline was supposed to work, but alas, if we can't even convince our own people of the importance of the idea, how can it be an example to others in developing their own cultures?

Anonymous said...

Douglas, I think that if parts of academia and the entire "group rights" industry had not turned division into a money-making enterprise, more people would think of themselves as Americans and not as strongly as [group]-Americans, with the emphasis on the wrongs suffered by the [group] and the reparations/restitutions due to same.


RonF said...

Interesting article. I've read it sitting at a conference table in an office building in Warsaw, Poland.

If you look outside, you will see dreary building after dreary building. I spent the last few days in Kracow, Poland, which is filled with buildings with history going in a couple of cases all the way back to 1000 A.D. Warsaw should look like this too. The reason it doesn't, as the people who guided me around Kracow and the people in Warsaw have both told me, is because the people in Warsaw revolted against the Nazis, who responded by literally flattening 80% of Warsaw and killing about 500,000 people. What you now see looks like $h!t because the place was rebuilt by the Communists - which people feel compelled to apologize for and which they find depressing.

So I haven't heard any Nazi jokes around here. And I doubt there'd be any sympathy for anyone benefiting from Nazi actions or policies.

Grim said...

Ask for Soviet jokes. I'll bet you'll hear some good ones.

This was the first time I'd actually read an article that contained something that purported to be a popular Nazi joke. The Soviet ones are famous (and often hilarious) because they were a means of resistance to the totalitarian society. You'd think there would be similar Nazi jokes, but for some reason there aren't any that I have ever heard.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Typical for someone writing for The Nation, the horrors of what "the Allies" allowed to happen to Volkdeutschen after WWII is mostly from Russian-controlled areas in Eastern Europe, but not mentioning that part. I'm not claiming there were no British/French/American horrors, just the convenience of reporting as if Nebraskans were turning a blind eye to genocide.

But in the end, the entire area is crazed, and has long been so. Bloodlands meticulously details the insanity of being caught between Russia and Germany. For Asia, such behavior has long been typical. What shocked the West in the 40's was the knowledge that this had somehow leaked into Europe, as if the 16th-19th C's had never occurred.