CB31. GERMANY. TIMELINE 1900 TO THE PRESENT

29 Jun CB31. GERMANY. TIMELINE 1900 TO THE PRESENT

Germany has 84 million people. It is the 2nd most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. In general, Germany has a highly skilled labour force, a low level of corruption, a low crime rate and a high level of innovation. It is the world’s 3rd largest exporter of goods, and has the world’s 4th largest economy. During World War One (1914 to 1918), Germany supported Austria-Hungary in wanting to extend their territories and fought against the Allies consisting of Britain, USA, France, Russia and others. Losing the war, the Treaty of Versailles made Germany pay high reparation costs to many countries. Going through turmoil, the Chancellor and the President of the German government changed many times during the 1920s and early 1930s. The Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s and other economic difficulties affecting Germany made the Nazi Party become prominent in Germany. It seized power in 1933 and Germany became a dictatorship under Adolf Hitler, who was a school dropout but became an effective public speaker. Hitler spent money on infrastructure in the first few years and it helped the German economy. A speaker with unusual ability, Hitler garnered respect from most of the Germans (not all). The successful Summer Olympics of 1936 in Berlin (in which Germany won the most medals) helped Hitler charm his fellows. He imposed his dictatorial rules upon Germans and Europeans including ‘cleansing’ itself of Jews, homosexuals and invalids. Expanding its empire by attacking Poland in 1939 and partnering with Italy and Japan, it started World War Two (1939 to 1945). The Allies consisting of Britain, USA, Russia and others stopped German’s advances for territory and eventually won, after about 60 million people had lost their lives. As Russia advanced towards Berlin, Hitler committed suicide in 1945. From 1945 to 1949, Germany was governed by the four powers of Britain, USA, Russia and France. Divided into West and East Germany in 1949, it underwent the Cold War and came out united as one country in 1990, due to the collapse of communism around the world. Since the 1990s, its economy has been the best in Europe due to the unique ability of the German people. A leader in the European Union, Germany today possesses the highest soft power in the world. Over 99% of all meat produced in Germany are pork, chicken and beef. Germans produce their ubiquitous sausages in almost 1,500 varieties. The national alcoholic drink is beer. German beer consumption per person is among the highest in the world. Germany is the world’s third leading destination for international study. The established universities in Germany include some of the oldest in the world. Germans are typically multilingual: 67% of German citizens claim to be able to communicate in at least one foreign language and 27% in at least two. Since the 1970s, Germany’s death rate has exceeded its birth rate. However, Germany is witnessing increased birth rates and migration rates since the beginning of the 2010s, particularly a rise in the number of well-educated migrants. After USA, Germany is the second most popular immigration destination in the world. Germany’s household recycling rate is among the highest in the world at around 65%.

  1. In about 2,000 words, I will describe major events that affected Germany from 1900 to the present.
  2. 1905 – The First Moroccan Crisis. Germany nearly clashed with Britain and France when France attempted to establish a protectorate over Morocco. Germany declared their support for Moroccan independence. A compromise was brokered by USA where the French relinquished some, but not all, control over Morocco.
  3. 1906 – (1907) The harsh treatment of the locals in what is now Namibia, Africa led to charges of genocide against the Germans. The genocide began after a Herero and Nama rebellion over German seizures of their land and cattle. The head of the German military administration there, Lothar von Trotha, called for the extermination of the population in response. Survivors from the Herero and Nama population were forced into the desert and later placed in concentration camps where they were exploited for labour. Many died of disease, exhaustion and starvation, with some subject to sexual exploitation and medical experimentation. It is thought up to 80% of the indigenous populations died during the genocide – with a death toll in the tens of thousands. In 2021, Germany acknowledged it had committed genocide in colonial-era Namibia and promised 1.1 billion euros ($1.8 billion AUD) in financial support to descendants of the victims.
  4. 1911 – The Second Moroccan Crisis. Dispute over Morocco erupted when France tried to suppress a revolt there. Germany, still smarting from the previous quarrel, agreed to a settlement whereby the French ceded some territory in central Africa in exchange for Germany’s renouncing any right to intervene in Moroccan affairs. This confirmed French control over Morocco, which became a full protectorate of that country in 1912.
  5. 1914 – World War One. Ethnic demands for nation states upset the balance between the empires that dominated Europe. Germany was the leader of the Central Powers, which included Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and later Bulgaria; standing against them were the Allies, consisting chiefly of Russia, France and Britain. One month after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia (backed by Russia), effectively beginning World War One. Britain declared war on Germany (who sides with Austria-Hungary).
  6. 1915 – The German army released chlorine gas against the French.
  7. 1916 – Russia launched an offensive on Germany and Austria, which costs some half million Russian casualties and over a million German and Austrian casualties. A period of famine occurred in which the German people were driven to subsist on turnips.
  8. 1917 – The German navy introduced unrestricted submarine warfare in which submarines sought to destroy surface ships without warning.
  9. 1918 – An allied force of primarily French, British and American troops drove back the German line.
  10. 1918 – Northern Germany saw the beginning of the German Revolution of 1918-1919. Units of the German Navy refused to set sail for a last, large-scale operation in a war which they saw as good as lost, initiating the uprising. The revolt spread to other cities and states of the country. Meanwhile, senior commanders had lost confidence in the Kaiser and his government. So, the federal constitutional monarchy of Kaiser and all German ruling princes abdicated, and Germany was declared a democratic parliamentary republic. A provisional coalition government was formed. It was made up of SPD (German Social Democratic Party) and USPD (Independent German Social Democratic Party), members under the leadership of Friedrich Ebert. Friedrich Ebert received the support of the German army. An armistice was signed at Compiegne that ended World War One.
  11. 1919 – The Communist Spartacist League, a branch of the German Communist party attempted to take control of Berlin by occupying public buildings. They hoped to overthrow the new government and establish a Communist state. The provisional German government relocated to Weimar to escape the violence in Berlin. The Freikorps (irregular German military volunteer units) were called in by the government to put down the revolt. The Communist Party leaders were arrested and executed by the Freikorps.
  12. 1919 – Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty imposed harsh sanctions on Germany including a drastic reduction of military forces, the removal of land and overseas territories and the payment of reparations for all civilian damage caused during the war to the value of £6.6 billion. All German colonies were to be handed over to the League of Nations, who then assigned them as Mandates to Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, and Britain. The new owners were required to act as a disinterested trustee over the region, promoting the welfare of its inhabitants in a variety of ways until they were able to govern themselves. The navy was to be similarly reduced, and no military aircraft were allowed.
  13. 1920 – The humiliating peace terms in the Treaty of Versailles provoked bitter indignation throughout Germany. The German Workers’ Party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDP) – referred to as the Nazi Party.
  14. 1922 – Germany was unable to pay the second instalment of reparations as determined by the Treaty of Versailles. Chancellor Joseph Wirth resigned because he no longer supported the policy of complying with Allied demands over the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. He was succeeded by Wilhelm Cuno. French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr region after Germany defaulted on reparations repayments. They took control of the industrial region occupying mines, factories and the railway.
  15. 1923 – The German government instructed workers in the Ruhr region to use passive resistance to the French takeover by refusing to follow instructions. The government promised to continue to pay workers’ wages. The French retaliated by firing workers in the Krupp steel works. Wilhelm Cuno resigned as Chancellor of Germany after the Reichstag (German parliament) passed a vote of no confidence against him. Gustav Stresemann was appointed Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany. Chancellor Gustav Stresemann believed that the best way forward for Germany was to accept the Treaty of Versailles and try to negotiate with the Allies over reparations in order to build a strong economy. Chancellor Gustav Stresemann called off the Ruhr workers’ passive resistance to the French. He told the French that Germany would resume payment of reparations if the French pulled out of the Ruhr. The German economy was in decline as it was struck by hyperinflation. The government printed banknotes to try to stop the hyperinflation but it had little effect and many Germans lost their life savings. With hyperinflation out of control, Chancellor Gustav Stresemann issued a new currency, the Rentenmark, to stabilise the economy. Around 3,000 members of the Bavarian government held a meeting in a beer hall in Munich. Adolf Hitler and the NSDP (Nazi Party) saw this as an opportunity to overthrow the Bavarian government and stormed the meeting and took control persuading the Bavarians to join the Nazis. However, the Bavarians lost their nerve and when Hitler attempted to take Munich the following day he was arrested and charged with treason. Chancellor Gustav Stresemann and his Cabinet resigned after the Social Democrats refused to co-operate with him. He was succeeded by Centrist politician, Wilhelm Marx who formed a minority government.
  16. 1924 – Adolf Hitler was put on trial for his part in the Munich Putsch. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison. The Dawes Plan was published following an investigation into Germany’s financial situation by an international conference. It decided that the reparation payments to be made by Germany should be determined by Germany’s ability to pay. USA lent money to Germany to help with the repayments. While in prison, Adolf Hitler wrote ‘Mein Kampf’ in which he spelled out his future for Germany. Following new elections, Wilhelm Marx was unable to form a government and resigned as Chancellor. He was succeeded by Hans Luther. Adolf Hitler was released from Landsburg prison after serving just 10 months of his sentence.
  17. 1925 – President Friedrich Ebert died. He was succeeded by Paul von Hindenburg. The SS (Schutzstaffel) was formed – they acted as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard. Adolf Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ was published. Locarno Treaties were entered into whereby Germany, France and Belgium agreed to respect the borders set out in the Treaty of Versailles. Germany agreed with Poland and Czechoslovakia that border disputes would be settled peacefully.
  18. 1926 – Hans Luther resigned as Chancellor after a dispute over the German flag. He was succeeded by Wilhelm Marx who became Chancellor for the second time. The ‘Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth’ was formed. Germany became a member of the League of Nations. Germany had originally been excluded from membership but this was changed following the signing of the Locarno Treaties (whereby Germany, France and Belgium agreed to respect the borders set out in the Treaty of Versailles). Wilhelm Marx resigned as Chancellor after losing a vote for secret military relations between Germany and Russia.
  19. 1927 – The German government introduced a compulsory unemployment insurance scheme which protected workers from financial hardship in the event of unemployment. Wilhelm Marx returned as Chancellor after successfully forming a new government.
  20. 1928 – Wilhelm Marx again resigned as Chancellor after losing support of the Centre Party. His resignation was accepted by President Paul von Hindenburg and he was succeeded by Hermann Muller who became Chancellor for the second time.
  21. 1929 – The Young Plan. This reduced Germany’s total reparations bill from £6,6 billion to £1.8 billion. It extended the length of time to 59 years. The Plan was accepted by German Foreign minister Gustav Stresemann. However, although it reduced the ultimate payment, many felt that Foreign minister Gustav Stresemann and Chancellor Hermann Muller had sold Germany short. The right-wing parties believed that Germany should cease payments altogether since they were based on the war guilt clause of the Treaty of Versailles that Germany had been forced to agree. Foreign minster Gustav Stresemann died following a heart attack. Wall Street Crash occurred – the value of stocks and shares fell dramatically causing the Great Depression.
  22. 1930 – The Great Depression saw large numbers of Germans facing unemployment and poverty as USA banks withdrew loans to German companies who in turn had to lay workers off. Dissatisfaction with the German government led to an increased support for the Nazi Party. Chancellor Hermann Muller resigned due to ill health and the fact that his government would not agree to compromise with the Centre Party. He was succeeded by Heinrich Bruning. The Nazi Party won 18.3% (107 seats) in the Reichstag elections and became the second largest party.
  23. 1931 – Five leading German banks failed.
  24. 1932 – Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected President of Germany. Chancellor Heinrich Bruning resigned after his plan to prevent the rise of the Nazis by restoring the monarchy failed. He was succeeded by Von Papen. The Nazi Party won 37.4% (230 seats) in the Reichstag elections and became the largest party in the Reichstag. Following the election Adolf Hitler decided not to back Chancellor Von Papen’s government and called for President Paul von Hindenburg to make him Chancellor instead. Hindenburg refused the request. Members of the Communist Party in government put forward a motion of no confidence in Chancellor Von Papen’s government. The Nazi Party backed the motion. Rather than resign Chancellor Von Papen called another election. Kurt von Schleicher was appointed Chancellor. He intended to try to gain the support of the Nazi Party for his Chancellorship. The level of unemployment in Germany reached 6.1 million.
  25. 1933 – Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher was unable to hold the government together and resigned. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Electoral support for the Nazis increased after 1929 as the Great Depression hit the economy hard, producing many unemployed men who became available for the paramilitary units. The Nazis (formerly the German Workers’ Party) had mostly rural and lower middle-class base. Adolf Hitler stated that the main aim of Nazi foreign policy should be to secure lebensraum (living space) for the German master race. On the evening of 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire. Adolf Hitler swiftly blamed an alleged Communist uprising, and convinced President Paul von Hindenburg to sign the Reichstag Fire Decree, which rescinded most German civil liberties, including rights of assembly and freedom of the press. The decree allowed the police to detain people indefinitely without charges or a court order. Meetings of Communists were banned, and meetings of other political non-Nazis were threatened and intimidated. The Communist Party was subsequently banned which left the Nazis with a clear majority in government. Adolf Hitler ordered new elections to be held. The Nazi Party gained 44% of the vote (17 million votes). The first concentration camp for political prisoners was opened at Dachau. The Enabling Act 1933 which granted the cabinet the power to make laws, was passed and signed in the presence of armed members of the SA and Schutzstaffel (SS). The Enabling Act gave Hitler the power to make emergency laws without the backing of the Reichstag for a period of 4 years. It was passed by the Reichstag after Hitler promised not to use the Act to change the constitution and he used the Enabling Act to keep those likely to oppose the Act away. All public servants – teachers, professors, judges and government officials – that were Jewish or not deemed to be true Nazis were removed from office. Trade unions were banned. ‘Action against un-German spirit’ – organised by Joseph Goebbels head of propaganda – saw 25,000 un-German books burned. A law was passed that decreed the Nazi Party to be the only party in Germany. The founding of new parties was made illegal, and any other existing party was banned.
  26. 1934 – Nazi Germany withdrew from the League of Nations after a referendum showed the German people wholly in favour of the withdrawal. Adolf Hitler managed to drastically reduce unemployment by creating around 1.7 million jobs in public work projects such as road building.
  27. 1934 – Night of the Long Knives. 150 leaders of the SA (Stormtroopers) including Ernst Rohm were executed after it became clear that they wanted greater power. President Paul von Hindenburg died. Adolf Hitler decided that the post of President and Chancellor should be combined for himself and called himself the title Fuhrer. Hitler’s new position also gave him control of the armed forces.
  28. 1935 – The Swastika became the flag of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler ordered Hermann Goering to re-establish the German air force, Luftwaffe, in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler also introduced conscription. Nuremberg Laws were implemented which defined German citizenship and German Jews were stripped of their citizenship.
  29. 1936 – The Berlin Summer Olympics were held. Germany won the greatest number of gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympics.
  30. 1938 – SA paramilitaries and German civilians destroyed Jewish businesses and at least 91 people were killed.
  31. 1939 – Adolf Hitler created the Einsatzgruppen (mobile death squads) that rounded up and shot large numbers of Jewish people and others deemed undesirable in Nazi Germany. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Russian-German Pact) was signed, promising mutual non-aggression between Russia and Germany, and agreeing to a division of much of Eastern Europe between those two countries.
  32. 1939 – World War Two starts. Adolf Hitler invaded Poland using Blitzkrieg (lightning war) tactics. Although the Poles fought back, they were quickly defeated, and Poland was occupied. Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany marking the beginning of World War Two. Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France were invaded and occupied by the Nazis.
  33. 1940 – Denmark and Norway were invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany.
  34. 1940 – (1941) Battle of Britain. This began as Adolf Hitler used the German Luftwaffe (air force) to try to take over British airspace. Hitler’s bombing campaign against Britain (September 1940 – May 1941) failed. Some 43,000 British civilians were killed and 139,000 wounded in the Blitz; much of London was destroyed, with 1,400,245 buildings destroyed or damaged.
  35. 1941 – Yugoslavia and Greece were invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany.
  36. 1941 – Operation Barbarossa. In contravention of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Russian-German Pact), Adolf Hitler sent 3 million German troops and 1 million Axis troops into Russia. The Russians lost nearly 3 million killed in action, while 3.5 million Russian troops were captured in the first 6 months of the war. The German advance in Russia had been halted by the Russian winter and counterattacks from the Russian army.
  37. 1941 – Wannsee Conference. This conference in Germany approved plans for a ‘final solution’ to eliminate the Jews either by working them to death or by mass killing.
  38. 1943 – Battle of Stalingrad. The German army had been trapped in Stalingrad, Russia but Adolf Hitler had refused all requests to retreat. Many soldiers had been killed and those who survived decided to surrender.
  39. 1943 – The Allies began making bombing raids on German cities.
  40. 1944 – D-Day. The Allies mounted a massive invasion of Normandy in France.
  41. 1945 – With the Russians approaching Berlin, Adolf Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun committed suicide by gunshot. The German unconditional surrender was accepted, ending World War Two in Europe.
  42. 1945 – (1946) Nuremberg war crimes trials see major Nazi figures executed or imprisoned. Germany was divided into four zones – American, French, British and Russian zones. 
  43. 1948 – Berlin Blockade. Russia blocked Western Bloc access to West Berlin by road and rail. USA cargo planes began shipping food and medical supplies to West Berlin.
  44. 1949 – Berlin Blockade. Russia lifted the blockade. West Germany was founded. Later, East Germany was founded.
  45. 1950s – West Germany enjoyed prolonged economic growth beginning in the early 1950s. Industrial production doubled from 1950 to 1957, and gross national product grew at a rate of 9 or 10% per year, providing the engine for economic growth of all of Western Europe.
  46. 1953 – Uprising in East Germany. 100,000 protestors (construction workers) gathered at dawn against demands to increase productivity, and later, for the resignation of the East German government. At noon, East German police trapped many of the demonstrators in an open square; Russian tanks fired on the crowd, killing hundreds and ending the protest.
  47. 1961 – Construction began on the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. Some 2.6 million people had fled East Germany by 1961 when the Berlin Wall was built to stop them – those who attempted to flee would be shot
  48. 1972 – The Summer Olympic games opened in Munich, West Germany. The Munich Massacre occurred – this was an attack during the Olympic Games by 8 members of a Palestinian terrorist group, who took 9 members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage, after killing 2 of them (revenge for 2 ‘Palestinian Christian villages’ inhabitants being expelled by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War). West German neo-Nazis had given the group logistical assistance. Shortly after the hostages were taken, the terrorists demanded the release of 234 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Five of the 8 terrorists were killed during a failed attempt to rescue the 9 hostages, all of whom were killed. A West German policeman was also killed in the crossfire. Three surviving perpetrators were arrested. The next month following the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 615, the West German government released them in a hostage exchange.
  49. 1973 – West and East Germany were admitted to the United Nations (UN).
  50. 1989 – A peaceful demonstration began in East Germany, which called for democracy and the right of citizens to travel abroad. West Germans and West Berliners were allowed visa-free travel to East Berlin and East Germany starting 23 December 1989. Germans from East and West tear down Berlin Wall. The socialist East Germany regime collapsed after 40 years. The main reasons were severe economic problems and growing emigration towards the West.
  51. 1990 – German reunification. East Germans elect pro-unification parliament. East Germany merged into West Germany. Berlin becomes the capital of Germany. The post-1990 united Germany is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the former West Germany.
  52. 1992 – The Maastricht Treaty establishing the European Union (EU) was signed by twelve European countries including Germany.
  53. 1994 – Russian and Allied troops finally leave Berlin.
  54. 2001 – Government decides to phase out nuclear energy over the next 20 years.
  55. 2002 – Physical Euro currency was introduced – the Deutsche Mark lost its status as legal tender in Germany. Government pushes controversial immigration bill through the upper house of parliament – it allows a limited number of skilled non-EU workers into the country.
  56. 2005 – Angela Merkel becomes chancellor.
  57. 2008 – During the worldwide economic recession that began in 2008, Germany did relatively well.
  58. 2010 – (2011) The economic instability of Greece and several other EU nations forced Germany to reluctantly sponsor a massive financial rescue. Cabinet approves controversial plan to extend lifespan of Germany’s nuclear reactors, reversing the 2001 decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2021.
  59. 2011 – In the wake of the 2011 natural disaster to the nuclear industry in Japan following its 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, German public opinion turned sharply against nuclear power in Germany, which produces 25% of the electricity supply. In response, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans to close down the nuclear system over the next decade (by 2022) and to rely even more heavily on wind and other alternative energy sources, in addition to coal and natural gas. Angela Merkel defends her decision to back a second huge bail-out for Greece, insisting that it is Germany’s historic duty to protect the euro.
  60. 2014 – Germany adopts a minimum wage for the first time, setting it at 8.50 euros an hour.
  61. 2015 – European migrant crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel offers temporary asylum to refugees, prompting mass movement of people towards Germany. Germany became the final destination of choice for many asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East. The country took in over a million refugees and other migrants, and developed a quota system which redistributed migrants around its federal states based on their tax income and existing population density. The decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel to authorise unrestricted entry led to heavy criticism in Germany as well as within Europe.
  62. 2016 – Sex attacks on hundreds of women in Cologne and other German cities during New Year celebrations by men largely of North African or Arab appearance prompts public backlash against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcome to migrants. Government takes steps to curb the influx.
  63. 2016 – Attacks by migrant Islamic State sympathisers in Wuerzburg and Ansbach in Germany leave 17 people injured. Tunisian migrant Anis Amri kills 12 people by driving a hijacked lorry into a crowded Berlin Christmas market.
  64. 2017 – Angela Merkel was elected to her fourth term as chancellor (364 / 688 votes in the Bundestag).
  65. 2018 – Violent anti-immigrant protests took place in Chemnitz in Germany after two migrants were detained over a fatal stabbing.
  66. 2020 – (to 2021) COVID-19 pandemic caused more than 91,000 deaths in Germany.
  67. 2021 – Germany has 84 million people
2 Comments
  • Jim KABLE
    Posted at 17:41h, 02 July Reply

    I lived a half-year in Germany in Munich in 1977. It was the time the Red Army Faction kidnapped businessman Hans Martic Schleyer (sp?) and murdered him. It was just over 30 years beyond the end of WWII. I had relatives in both Austria and Germany and friends too in various parts – still, in fact! I was last in Germany two years ago – visiting Munich – and Berlin. Ich kann jetzt nur ein Bißchen Deutsch sprechen. I always fascinates me how languages learnt so long ago remain within the brain waiting for the “in situ” opportunity for reactivation. Germany has had its ups and downs in terms of political turmoil and racist ideologies (in some ways Australia is now facing its own dark days of government-engineered corruption and racist treatment of First Nations peoples, asylum-seekers and demeaning controls of those without work.or other needed assistance. I think back with fondness of my time in Germany – and of contemporary Germany, too – in the safe and decent hands of Angela Merkel (out of the DDR it must be remembered)… When last in Germany/Munich two years ago as I have just written we stayed in a Japanese friend’s apartment in Bogenhausen – around the corner from where the great German writer Thomas Mann lived – and wrote his famous novella (log short story or short novel) “A Man and His Dog” – we took similar walks – a century on. A land of writers and painters, philosophy and music – civilisation – just like Australia – but with darker historic undercurrents – just like Australia – though our own are now on the rise – as Germany’s have settled back down. One of my first cousins in the US married a chap whose family name was GOERING. Is he related to Hermann – I asked? Yes, his grand-father was a first cousin to Hermann GOERING. My father’s twin (a sister) married a chap from Germany (they lived many years in Petaling Jaya) – who was a boy of 14, 15 when WWII came to a close – his father was the Air Safety Director at Hitler’s Tempelhof Aerodrome in Berlin – a close friend to Hitler’s pilot – Hans BAUR… We are all just a close connection away from what we think of as “History” Jeff.

    And I was once – almost 50 years ago – in the Villa Huegel – the Krupp Family mansion in Essen – one of Hitler’s supporters – the great Krupp Industrial Family… and many of the old German nobility were complicit in giving their imprimatur of approval to Hitler – it has to be said. And his terrible murders of the Disabled, the Trade Unionists, the Socialists, the Roma, the Jews…picking them off – having already demonised them – each in turn – but also inflicting such punishment on those Germans who spoke up such that people put their heads down – anxious for themselves and their families. I doubt whether Hitler ever had a majority of Germans who supported him. My uncle’s mother was one of those who spoke up in fact – she ended her days after around seven years of slave labour in Auschwitz-Birkenau on February 16, 1944 – dying “of exhaustion” her death certificate stated – found by my uncle in 1980 after the death of his father amongst his father’s papers – not killed from Allied bombing of Darmstadt as his Hitler Youth School Head had told him when he was just 14… Enough. No one can truly point fingers – here in Australia the massacres and dispossession of First Nations Australians – the missions, the Stolen Generations (again the stories are in my own extended family experiences) – our own NAZI-like era – some say not yet ver…I tend to agree! Jim

    • comasters1
      Posted at 17:00h, 03 July Reply

      Jim

      I looked up Hanns Martic Schleyer. He was president of two main German commercial organisations, and was killed at age 62 by extreme communists. He is extensively honoured in Germany today.

      After World War Two, millions of German women were raped by Russian soldiers, but they were stoic and this is not commonly reported (the Russians considered them the spoils of war).

      West Germany progressed more quickly and in 1990, after a few years of stagnation (incorporating East Germany), the country as a whole then progressed quickly. I read some part biographies of Angela Merkel. Yes, she is from East Germany. Sixteen years in power, Angela Merkel’s strong hand, mild mannerism, consistent nature and love for her country (without personal gain) has made Germany the country with the highest soft power in the world today (Germany heads the EU).

      I met some Germans in Australia. No matter what their links are to past Nazis, they are good and effective people.

      I visited a few cities in Germany. The cities in the West look more advanced than Berlin. Berlin’s new railway station is nice and modern though.

      Jeff

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