Can someone explain how this happened? Specifically, the whole roman legion-esque, po-faced orderliness of nazi germany?
I find it really hard to fathom that this existed in the same reality.
Is it because it's been both mocked and used as a prime example of evil and today's societies strive to not be like that? Did the Nazis look 'evil' when they came about?
Was Germany just crazy zimbabwe-tier at that time and the Nazis were just more wackiness?
Well, it is a long story, but there are tons of factors which played into the whole thing.
Believe it or not, but Germany always has been extremely militaristic before WWII, coming from the Holy Roman Empire, being a broken mess of a country for as long as everyone remembered before WWI, being involved in territorial struggles between landlords for way longer than any other European state. That was interconnected with the small man in Germany being extremely small on the grand scale, always suppressed and Germany being probably the only progressive European country which got its shit pushed in horribly when the people spoke out for a democratic system. As all already know even WWI, which was still hyped up by the ordinary people, ended in a terrible failure for the German people and left them stripped of even more than they already were. Hitlers uprising was mostly driven by the German peoples inferiority complex developed after being the butt of all Europe for a seeming eternity.
Well and after Hitler came to power he basically went all out with his propaganda and did not spare any historical merit Germany had in his rise to power. The word fascism itself and the ideology came from Italy originally and the fascis was a roman symbol of unity, as Mussolini started to dig up Italys roman heritage to boost morale, Hitler basically used the assets for the same purpose with the same claims of roman heritage. The jump from this to full legionary sentiment was not too far and so the nat-soc party slaughtered out every last bit of legionary symbolism. You could obviously see that the people went nuts over this and it is no surprise considering their heavily damaged self-esteem. Also after the party rised in influence they established schooling which enforced this symbols and mindsets, trying to make them a significant part of German culture.
Communist also had a hard-on for banners and parades (modern Russia still does) and no one makes a deal out of it.
> Did the Nazis look 'evil' when they came about?
For a lot of people. A lot of people can't even accept today that something as horrible happen, just like there was a lot of people doubting what the Red Khmer did truly could have happen.
(Justified) butthurt over the Versailles treaty, economic decline rampant antisemitic conspiracy theories and the feeling of being part of something greater, a movement that will lead to a better future.
Also go and read this:
After WW1 Germany was humiliated, they'd gone into a war they thought they could win quickly and ended up getting millions of their own people killed, their ruling classes exiled, and huge tracks of lands lost, not to mention they had agreed to keep the military at an incredibly small number. The Weimar Republic was what today we would consider to be pretty liberal and basically took all the attacks from the rest of Europe in order to avoid another national embarrassment in global conflict.
Even without the rest of Europe and the Treaty of Versailles putting huge pressure on the Germany, they also had a weak government due to the more proportional system of voting. The government also figured that if they were to pay off all the debts they had from WW1 it would be better off to simply print the extra money and pay back people in worthless Marks, this lead to people's life savings being wiped out over night as suddenly a loaf of bread equalled the lives work of the average working class man.
When you have an entire generation raised in conditions like this, you quickly see a demand for a strong government that will take things back to the 'good old days', and then Adolf Hitler comes along, not only saying that he knows how to fix this, but he also knows who caused this situation, and that he can reclaim Germany's former glory. For both the young, who have been raised in a failed system, and the old, who had nostalgia for pre war Germany, saw Hitler as exactly what the best chance for a better life.
Despite this, Hitler didn't manage to secure a majority in the elections, and only managed to secure power through some scheming and bullying representatives from opposing parties, when he took power he only had around 40% of the vote. After this the propaganda machine could properly get going, a new generation was raised to view Hitler as the saviour of Germany, and a period in which Hitler captured a lot of small German territories secured him full support
If I were forced to give away some of my key mining and steel areas to France and was told that I couldn't take them back because I now have to keep my military at an incredibly small size, I would be pretty pissed off too.
We did not cause WW1 and yet we got the blame (for the record, it was the fucking Austrians). The treaty didn't even impose an upper limit on the reparations. France basically went full "gib money ploz" and Germany had to pay up. We were completely cucked by the treaty, because as always, history is written by the victors.
it really can't be considered a peace treaty. the allies intended for it to ensure Germany could never again be a threat but they were also greedy as fuck and failed to consider the consequences. people knew damn well the treaty would never last and they knew it would most likely just result in another war which of course it did
>did the Nazi's look 'evil' when they came about?
actually no. They looked authoritative, organized, and militaristic, but the symbolism and iconography used by the NSDAP was uncommon but still people knew where it came from. The banners and legion-like formations were an homage of Napoleon's army and the Roman's before that, the Swastika was used in German antiquity for a number of reasons through history, from nordic designs on viking ships to decorations in churches, the swastiska wasn't a symbol that was fucking everywhere, but people knew what it was at the time and it didn't have the connotation it holds today.
the more sinister plans of the Third Reich were a closely guarded secret and weren't common knowledge until late 1944-45, People knew that the government was anti-semetic and called for German prosperity, but most people were ignorant to the existence of the camps and just how many slavs and jews were being worked to death until the Red Army discovered the first camps.
There was a Nazi strategy to continue a guerrilla resistance if they ever lost the war by still holding popular support, but once people learned of the camps and everything that was hidden from them, all popular support for the NSDAP evaporated almost overnight.
When you look behind the illusion, you find astonishing stories of corruption, incompetence, and stupidity.
Remaking a state is more than fancy uniforms and parades. I read this passage in the book Cambodian Odyssey, which is about the Khmer Rouge, but applies just as well to Nazi Germany
>Sometimes, as I stood by the canal, hoe in hand, I had to admit that Angka, the Organization, had indeed reorganized the countryside. Before the takeover, nobody could have thought that the land would look as it did now, with thousands of people marching to work in orderly single-file lines...With loudspeakers attached to poles near the common kitchens, our new leaders blared a new music that carried far across the rice fields. And when I listened to that music, with its strong and vigorous beat, and when I saw the huge red flags flapping in the breeze and didn't look too closely at the lines of people, I found myself believing, for a least a few moments at a time, that the Khmer Rouge had done it.
>But when I looked more closely, the illusion fell apart. The people working in the canal were tired and malnourished and their clothes were torn. Just like me. Their hoes rose and fell slowly, without energy, and their faces expressed a terrible futility and sorrow.
>That's all it took, a moment's glance, to know the country had turned in the wrong direction.
>Krauts still angry about Versailles to this day
Honestly, it didn't went far enough.
The fact Krauts could start another World War goes to show how lenient Versailles really was.
>Specifically, the whole roman legion-esque, po-faced orderliness of nazi germany?
Do you assume everything you see on tv and in movies is true? A couple of carefully shot and edited pieces of literal propaganda do not a 24/7 real society make.
So a totalitarian regime draws the entire world into the most destructive war in history, with unpresidented genocide to boot, and you are wondering about their flag waving skills?
the whole militarism and the legionary fascism image and style was taken from the italian blackshirts. however germany was not the only country that had such nationalistic parties, you had them all over Europe, in wealthy countries that had a strong monarchy they never came to that much power.
>The treaty didn't even impose an upper limit on the reparations. France basically went full "gib money ploz" and Germany had to pay up. We were completely cucked by the treaty, because as always, history is written by the victors.
No Mehmet, you got the same treatment you gave France after the Franco-Prussian wars. Talk shit get shit. WW1 and WW2 are entirely on the Germans and their bloodlust.
>By that token you could assume North Korea isn't a destitute failed state based solely on its propaganda and its very organized military parades.
That's a very superficial application of the principle. We can certainly conclude that the ruling elites value projecting an image of strength and prosperity. From this we might speculate that this is a culture in which martial prowess is highly lionised, deference to hierarchical structures praised, and in which emphasis is placed on the validity of statutory authority and the importance of the rule of law.
tl;dr drawing conclusions from a nation's propaganda doesn't entail taking that propaganda at face value and believing it to reflect actual truths.
>completely c-u-c-k-i-n-g a nation
that's the seed for new conflict, retard
WW2 did it in moderation
the Allies didn't exterminate Japan or Germany
but instead helped them re-build
alliances is far more effective in long-term subjugation than simply disarming them
It doesn't seem that unreal, when this was the state Germany was in before
It doesn't seem infathomable to me. If you think about it, it's a pretty common theme in history that when a large nation/ethnicity/other community with a common old historical-cultural heritage of which they are really proud gets prolongedly humiliated and economically ruined etc. they resort to a very radical approach that is aimed at "restoring" their perceived former glories, "punishing" their supposed oppressors and so on. These movements are often quite similar in nature and they draw their aesthetics and superficial elements from an overromanticised image of the glorious past. Hitler's Germany is pretty much the epitome example of all that.
Jihadism and ISIS are very similar phenomena to Nazi Germany in that regard. To me it looks like that there's similar stuff brewing up in Russia f.e. as well, although I hope it doesn't get much worse than that. But you can find these patterns to a certain extent in countless communities that are in the shit right now. They just usually don't escalate to this level in extremism/relevance.
Being in a military structure you learn to listen and follow, especially when your leader is actually good at his job and fixed the fucking economy and everything and now wants to help you exact revenge on the ones who put you into a depression.
It was legitimate admiration paired with a culturally homogenous nation to a single person who was pretty good at what he did.
>I find it really hard to fathom that this existed in the same reality.
Why? This currently exists in the same reality.
Invading France was also on the list of "things the Germans did wrong".
They invaded a country, so they could more effectively invade a country that was pulling it's military units away from the border.
I talked to my dad about this not long ago since he traveled in West Germany in the early 70s. He told me that all people born after the war said the same thing, that they were sure they wouldn't have been nazis.
All leaders besides AH and Black Hand were equally responsible for ww1.
Even ww2, Germany wasnt the real bad guy, the USSR partitioned Poland and killed a fuck ton more than Germany ever could have.
>a feeling of not really being beaten
>unfair treatment from peace agreement
>nationalism (I'd say outside of of economic woes this is probably the biggest)
I mean the Nazis used a lot of mythology to stir up people.
>Nobody ever says that the USSR were the good guys.
How is North Korea a failed state? It's a medium developed state stuck in the 1950s to be sure, but its in no way a failed state, there are poorer more destitute countries in Asia alone than North Korea, much of Pakistan, lots of parts of India, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Timor, Afganistan etc and lets not even get started on Africa with states like Swaziland.
OP, you need to remember that Hitler literally attempted a fucking coup, went to prison, and then got elected after he was released.
The West was weak and burnt out from our collective over-exertion in WW1.
What happened in Germany could have happened anywhere. The ideas Uncle Adolfo used to get to power were not unique. They were timeless. Their rules still apply today.
Of course a healthy dose of propoganda has convinced everyone the Germans were pure evil and at the same time retarded.
Instead it is better to think of Germany in terms of an Atilla the Hun or Ghengis Khan. It was a conquest state more in the mode of Napoleon or Alexander the Great.
(Poorly paraphrased from a book I once read)
People have turned Nazi Germany into a fetish and project their own ideas/ideology/world view on to something not all that complicated.
>USSR were the good guys
Russians, Belorussians, Central Asians, Ukrainians and others who bled to stop Nazism were the good guys. Not the state.
Soviet Union under Stalin was a totalitarian state which was very similar to Nazi Germany. It's only redeeming quality was absence of racial politics, and formal internationalism. They were better, but only slightly.
>the allies intended for it to ensure Germany could never again be a threat but they were also greedy as fuck and failed to consider the consequences.
What were the consequences? Germany's handling of their own economy and spending prior and during WW1 set them up for failure in the following years. The Treaty of Versailles did not have nearly as much impact on their economy as people believe.
Germany lost 50% of its imports when the war started simply due to who they traded with. The Mark lost 70%+ of its value through the entire term of the war due to poor German management. There's a slew of policies they could have implemented and others they could have avoided.
When the global depression hit Germany was fucked. The Treaty of Versailles was not the catalyst for the rise of the Nazi party. It wasn't even enforced fully. There's about a dozen more important reasons other than the Treaty of Versailles.
Idk but my grandmas home village was connected up with electricity, running water, a small train connection, and got a secondary education school all for the first time because of national socialism.
No one will ever truly understand the Third Reich. Despite the historical background that casued its appearence, cultural that enabled its fanatism, acceptence and order and economical/reformative model that enabled its rise and recovery of entire Germany, 3rd Reich also had a cult-like component and bunch of religious-like ideas about purity, racial status and so on that weren't a part of German history, culture or anything else but Hitler's personal inventions. Through Germany he wanted to reform the entire European society in the image of caste societies that exist in India. Germany in that society would've been a center of power inhabited by the dominant Aryan rulling race/caste living on expense and work of indoctrinated Slavic, Romance and other nations.