Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guardian - Nazis "help democracy"

Fair do's to the old Guardian - they're digitising their archives and offering some free tasters.

So historian Ian Kershaw gets to look at what they thought of Hitler.

A week later, the newspaper dismissed Hitler as "dramatic, violent and shallow", and "a lightweight", seeing him as "not a man, but a megaphone" of the prevailing discontent, fronting a militarist reaction, which would mean the destruction of peace.

Wrong. Far from being the front man for the miltarists, Hitler frightened the Reichswehr to death with his risk-taking in foreign policy. They, well aware of their military weakness, were a drag on Hitler's ambitions right up until Munich convinced them of Western decadence.

The newspaper went on to claim, remarkably, that Hitler was "definitely Christian in his ideals".

No comment.

The Guardian thought on September 25 1930 that the exclusion of the Nazi party from Reich government, given its electoral success, was not in the best interests of German democracy and that their involvement would "in the long run ... help to perpetuate this democracy".

Just like Hamas, really.

They're so wrong so often it's a pleasure to read - were it not for the fact that their mistakes helped to almost disarm Britain during those crucial years.

"dramatic, violent and shallow", and "a lightweight", seeing him as "not a man, but a megaphone"
- isn't that what they're saying now about the President of Iran ?

UPDATE - on reflection, we weren't completely disarmed despite the best efforts of the Peace Pledge Union. We still had a Navy and (poorly funded) Air Force, although the Luftwaffe overtook it in quantity, if not in quality. It was the Army who suffered most. While Germany developed the Panzer and Tiger tanks, we did very little development in armour and guns. Most Brit weapons between machine guns and howitzers were outclassed by their German equivalents, and many were to die because of this failing.