Corporations Supporting Nazi Germany

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by canuck, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    Cher Monsieur Seb: merci beaucoup, vous-etes tres gentil! :frflag[1]:
     
  2. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    The only sentence I'd query a bit is that about attitudes changing during (and after) the Cold War. Just look at the Concordia affair: it didn't take but days for a racial slanging match between the Italians and the Germans to erupt there (Capt. Schettino vs Auschwitz, no less), and we Brits are forever smirking about Agincourt to the French. Our media are always sniping at them, sometimes satirically, but more often in a derogatory manner. We seem lumbered with a lot of history, old and relatively new, and a lot of that 'lumber' seems to consist of chips on shoulders!
    Perhaps I didn't make myself particularly clear. I was really referring to the period in the first three or four years after the war: IMO the "fulcrum moment" was the Berlin Airlift, after which probably all but the most jaundiced and embittered began to accept that while there had been "good Germans" and "bad Germans", the latter were very much in the minority. From 1949 onwards Germany was becoming more and more accepted on the world stage again - sporting and cultural contacts were re-established and, to quote Bob Dylan, "we forgave the Germans and then we were friends".

    You'll never change the stereotypes though - Italian tanks with four reverse gears, French warships with glass bottoms ...;)
     
  3. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    Personally, I'm tired of the jibes about things like that - the book of Italian War Heroes being half a page, etc., because I'm sure that there were many who weren't crazy about Mussolini (his fate rather indicates that), and who may well have been interned - or worse - for their opposing stance. We never seem to hear of them or the sacrifices made by those who tried to oppose the evil in their own country. But what to make of neo-Nazi groups, not just in Germany, but in this country, Nordic countries, and the USA? There's forgiving the enemy, and then there's idolising it.

    I know my mother didn't have any problem with Germany or Austria - she and my (step)father (who'd been captured at the Arnhem drop) visited both in 1956 and absolutely adored them and the people. In fact, at one point, she said she was moved to tears by the charming, simple sight of Austrian cattle coming down to their pastures from the hills, the lead cow decorated with a neck bell and her horns adorned with flowers. She lost her first husband to the war (and thus my father) but she didn't let that taint her future attitude. She would not be amused by jibes, because I think she took the view that you never knew what you'd do under the circumstances imposed on you. You'd like to think you'd be noble and stand up for what was right - but would you, if it meant that your family would be shot, to punish you, because of your views? Who knows until the time comes.

    Perhaps some of the directors whose companies supported Nazism had little option but to do so, or risk seeing their families carted away to possible death. It would certainly 'encourage' them to keep the factories going, and even to accept slave labour as part of the imposition upon them.
     
  4. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    Perhaps some of the directors whose companies supported Nazism had little option but to do so, or risk seeing their families carted away to possible death. It would certainly 'encourage' them to keep the factories going, and even to accept slave labour as part of the imposition upon them.
    Indeed. I mentioned Herr Popp: one of his daughters was married to the British racing driver Dick Seaman. Although he was killed in June 1939, her British passport enabled her to legally escape from Germany - I'm sure with her father's approval - just before the war started: she did not return until the early 1950s.
     

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