Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier":
Yellow! Gilt! GOLD!
1. "The Treaty of Versailles"
"In the Road to War by Richard Overy and Andrew Wheatcroft"
"The reality faced by the German delegation in France exceeded even the most pessimistic expectations. The envoys were placed in an isolated hotel surrounded by barbed wire
. . . .
"the German government should undertake to pay in reparation . . . 132 billion gold marks, the schedule of payments drawn up in 1921 would have burdened the German economy until 1988."
That peace treat not really a negotiated settlement as the word negotiated normally, ordinarily and commonly understood.
German diplomats treated shabbily, in violation of common, ordinary, and normal diplomatic protocols!
War reparations, the indemnity as the German was required to pay enormous. In contrast, the French made to pay and indemnity of three billion gold Francs in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Understandably, that war of 1870 not global and not lasting for over four years!
Those victorious allied powers of course insisting that the German pay with GOLD marks and not Weimar Republic funny printed money!
2. The Nazi movement.
In the 1930's, few outside of Germany understood the source of Nazi power and the danger it posed, and so the rest of Europe and the United States were unprepared for war. But as Robert Boothby, and adviser to British prime minister Winston Churchill wrote in March 1940, the Nazis were not merely a political party but a 'movement - - young, virile, dynamic, and violent - - which is advancing irresistibly to overthrow a decaying old world . . . . [I]t is a the source of the Nazi strength and power.'"
YES, the fascists not seen as necessary reactionary but as a movement almost revolutionary. And properly understood as such. Reactionaries want to return to the old ways which the Nazi regime certainly did not!
Fascism seen as an alternative in the aftermath of the Great War to the decaying, decadent capitalist, democratic and Christian old Europe.
3. The fanatic!
"Simply maintaining a decent level of morale and knowing how to handle a weapon will no longer be enough. You will also require a very great deal of courage, of perseverance and endurance and of resistance in any situation . . . We need men, and not pitiful specimens like you. I must warn you that everything here is hard, nothing is forgiven, and that everyone in consequence must have quick reflexes . . . " - - Captain Fink lecturing recruits of the Grossdeutschland Division.
Here one of those pitiful specimens as described by Captain Fink. Looks about as I did in 1966!
The Panzer-Grenadier-Division Grossdeutschland . . . was an elite combat unit of the Heer that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The Großdeutschland was considered to be the premier unit of the German Army and as such it was one of the best-equipped units of the Heer, receiving equipment before almost all other units.
Heer not only demanding a soldier that was adequate in all task, marching, wearing the uniform correctly, firing the rifle with a degree of accuracy, but a troop that was superior to the allied counter-part. NOT necessarily a FANATIC but a troop able to perform his mission faster, better, and more ably than any adversary.
Of Grossdeutschland I know little. Was Heer [army] but an elite so the expectations as demanded of the recruit were not indicative of other army units as a whole?
GOOD was no longer GOOD enough!!