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Old 03-03-2012, 09:05 AM   #31
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Problem with that assumption set is that so much of that is true elsewhere in Europe. Colonial genocide? The Belgians in the Congo. That didn't lead to European genocide. Germany was very progressive with Jews before Hitler, as opposed to France, with the Dreyfus Affair (which happened in part because Dreyfus, as an Alsatian Jew, was deemed to be someone who would thus have been a likely German spy); France wasn't the country that wiped out 5.6 million Jews. And in 1914, France was pining for war, as well as Russia, both with utterly fantastic plans for the post-war situation. None of this is unique at all to Germany. Not even the rise of fascism after the war: all nations in Europe had such movements, and quasi-fascist (at least both conservative and nationalistic) movements ruled the Baltic States (including Poland in this) at times in the 1930s.

Hence change the victor in the Great War, and there is, for once, a clear point when this could have happened. Fascism still happens, just next door. The German aristocracy (not just Prussian; none of the other sets of conservative German aristocrats were actually any better, just less powerful) takes the place of the Bolsheviks in the Cold War.
And any of those things could have taken place without what happened happening. Hitler was an unexplainable phenomenon.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #32
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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I want to do one that's German-centric, but not Nazi-centric. A world that built upon the cultural and intellectual advances of the country, and which came to an alpha position in the world b/c it really is that good, not b/c some goose-steppers forced it on others. Well, maybe no more forcefully than America's done as it has risen to prominence on the world stage.
As someone half-heartedly following the current European financial stickiness, don't we live in this world already? :)

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Originally Posted by Blind Mapmaker
One general point about the scenarios arguing for greater power, expansion or more unified German state. I may be prejudiced in this regard, but I think loose confederations are more conductive to both scientific and cultural achievements. It might not hold up to scientific scrutiny in every case, but it certainly makes for a good narrative trope to distinguish "Culture Germany" from "Power Germany".
Mmm... maybe. Germans of the last three centuries do seem to tend to an quasi-national inferiority complex, as if the inability to form a coherent nation-state as early as other regions indicated some sort of lack of national character. In some senses, the Romantic movement in Germany and many that follwed can look like the Germans attempting to prove that their culture was as good as anyones. This same sense of shared inferiority may have led to much of the militaristic adventures of the years since. So giving them a loose confederation might only aggravate the problem and force an even stronger reaction, for good or ill.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #33
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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Alright ... how do the liberals win in 1848? The reactionaries won all throughout Europe. If they win in Germany only, there will be about the same reaction the monarchs of Europe had to the French Revolution. Do they win in all of Europe? This might lead to a German-led (having the most industrial production) United States of Europe, excluding England and Russia and the Ottomans.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, but there needs to be a clear reason why history doesn't happen this way.
It's a mistake to think of 1848 strictly as a "liberal" revoluton. In the German states, it was at least as much pan-German as it was bourgoise, and the triggering event in Bavaria was a conservative Catholic protest against a liberal Protestant prime minister. Nor was it everywhere exactly crushed, the princes of Prussia and Austria both ended up abdicating. It's not too hard to envision a timeline in which Frederick-William temporarily gives in (and accepts the crown offered by the Vorparlament), the parliament is so paralyzed it can't come out with a constitution and the state ends up with one imposed by the monarch. This is almost what happened in Prussia itself after all. He can probably come out of it with a fairly strong German monarchy by supporting pan-Germanism, giving in to some minor reforms and ignoring most of the rest of the liberal platform.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #34
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

One option is German manged to guard the development of the printing press, and limited it to printing German language only publications. And maintained this long enough to to keep an edge in the age of enlightenment such the other nation need to learn German much like they do now with English.

while the printing press will eventual spread, though the the use of trade Germany contrasting on maintenance of its lead such that it becomes the center of the industrial revolution.

With the stronger emphasis on trade WWI is avoided. Without being dragged into A war in Europe the Romanovs can concentrate on domestic issues and undergoes Reform rather than Revolution.

France probably will still have a civil war between the Catholics and the Protestants, which in interests of trade Germany stays neutral an eventual abjurator.

None that will probably stop the Asia component of WWII, which Colonial interest will At least drag England into.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #35
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One option is German manged to guard the development of the printing press, and limited it to printing German language only publications. And maintained this long enough to to keep an edge in the age of enlightenment such the other nation need to learn German much like they do now with English.
Interesting idea, but guarding the secret of new inventions is notoriously hard. Making the invention come a little earlier and in a more stolidly German area (the areas next to the Rhine just begged for easy proliferation). Making the press an Austrian or East German invention would slow its spread into the Netherlands, France and England. It might also be a good idea to have its secret protected by an important noble, bishop or merchant house.

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With the stronger emphasis on trade WWI is avoided. Without being dragged into A war in Europe the Romanovs can concentrate on domestic issues and undergoes Reform rather than Revolution.
I'm not quite sure where you are going with this. Global trade was at its height before WWI. In fact, the global economy did not regain this level of interconnectedness until the 1970s. If you mean that a trade-oriented Germany would have seen how things like arms races and territorial expansion negatively a nation then yes that should be hoped for.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #36
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It is not necessary for Germany to succeed. It would be sufficient for everyone else to fail.

Eliminate the United States by never having them agree on a Constitution, so that that the post-revolutionary United States never consolidates. Have Britain and France bogged down in a bankrupting attempt to take and hold their colonial empires so that eventually they go the way of Spain. Britain finds it's unable to continue to finance a world-dominating fleet. Let Germany fight a couple of successful wars against French and Russian attackers, and build a great mercantile empire. Voila, a dominant Germany only slightly worried by a moribund but still large Russia.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #37
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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I'm not quite sure where you are going with this. Global trade was at its height before WWI. In fact, the global economy did not regain this level of interconnectedness until the 1970s. If you mean that a trade-oriented Germany would have seen how things like arms races and territorial expansion negatively a nation then yes that should be hoped for.
Yes that's what I mean. they get the befits of territorial expansion from cultural dominance and as the trade hub that can only be weaken by war. Though they probably still an arms race but Germany having the science edge it others who have to hurt their economies to keep up. But trade focused Germany turns it to protect trade and maintain their boarders rather than expanding them.

With the brian drain working in Germanies favor as the best and brightest via for spots in German universities.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #38
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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I attended a couple of lectures and seminars on these topics and while I agree that things were not always much better elsewhere there does seem to be an especially entrenched racist/anti-Semite element in German upper-class and upper middle-class (Bildungsbürgertum) thinking. Some of this was certainly due to pretty liberal treatment of Jews in post-1848 Germany.

Its manifestations might not have been so different from earlier anti-Jewish sentiment, but there was a strong biologist component to German racism. I don't want to say Goldhagen and Fischer are right, but there is certainly some continuity that makes me doubtful of a really positive German parallel.
My personal thesis is that the sudden role reversal for the Jews (the German Jews, that is; nobody liked the Ostjuden, not even the German Jews) was part of a radical rethinking of how to define the group of "Germans." Sociology teaches that when we make a group, we not only define who is in a group, but who is NOT in a group, and with the creation of an independent Poland in Posen and Westpreussen (as opposed to just Congress Poland), the most obvious group for "non-Germans," the Poles, were no longer in Germany, which allowed the anti-Jewish stream of German nationalism to gain a foothold. This was helped by the stream of Ostjuden, radically different from the German Jews in every way but religion, migrating from Russia to Germany to escape the anti-Jewish pogroms that were basically a rite of passage for each generation of Russians until the Bolsheviks, making something akin to the immigration issues in today's America. Throw in a humiliating loss and having the nation (instead of the a segment of the nation, like the government or the aristocracy) blamed in a treaty for it.

Incidentally, I'm not sure the Nazis or some other far-right group were fated to rise to the top in Germany until the Dawes Plan in 1923. That brought an influx of American capital to Germany, and led to the conservative businessmen to manage the chaos that happened when the American stock market to collapse, and sided with a group of guys they would use as strike breakers and Commie-killers. If the German response to the French occupation of the Ruhr is more violent -- strangely, more in line with what Hitler wanted -- you could have less sympathy for Germany in England and America, reducing the amount of foreign capital to right-wing German businessmen. The German economy doesn't rebuild in part during the 1920s, and the KPD comes to power. It certainly doesn't change the prospect of a war, which became inevitable after the occupation of the Ruhr and the contrasting revocation of the Treaty of Sèvres after Turkey made an impressive show of force in the same year. You wouldn't have racial-based genocide, but the Bolsheviks were never ones to shirk from killing, so history might not have been that different. Have them win, and you do have the basic criteria satisfied: Germany dominant, not a Nazi state.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:21 PM   #39
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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And any of those things could have taken place without what happened happening. Hitler was an unexplainable phenomenon.
Not really. Here's Martin Luther's recommendations on how to treat the Jews:
  1. for Jewish synagogues and schools to be burned to the ground, and the remnants buried out of sight;
  2. for houses owned by Jews to be likewise razed, and the owners made to live in agricultural outbuildings;
  3. for their religious writings to be taken away;
  4. for rabbis to be forbidden to preach, and to be executed if they do;
  5. for safe conduct on the roads to be abolished for Jews;
  6. for usury to be prohibited, and for all silver and gold to be removed and "put aside for safekeeping"; and
  7. for the Jewish population to be put to work as agricultural slave labor.

That's pretty bad. And he was in no way unique.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #40
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

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Not really. Here's Martin Luther's recommendations on how to treat the Jews
But he wasn't unique to Germany, either. Outside of the Ottoman Empire, which is not coincidentally the one non-Christian nation in Europe at the time, you have loads and loads of folks with this sentiment, even in religiously-tolerant Poland. Luther is notable only that he was famous, and had held the opposite position early in his career.

I don't think, in the end, that the targets were that important to the decision to kill 'em all, but the desire to kill 'em all. The interviews in Nuremberg Diaries reveal a lot of folks who weren't prejudiced against Jews but were perfectly willing to go along with the idea to kill them in the name of insane progress. Given the decision by even the Wehrmacht, which was comparatively sane next to the rest of the government, to gleefully embrace the plan to liquidate all 4 million residents of greater Leningrad, and the 43,000 executions in Germany in 1943 (that is, they were given a trial, with lawyers and judges, and I guarantee you they weren't Jews or Poles), I can't imagine killing all the Jews sating the desire of the Nazis to kill.
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