Posted by Vita on August 01, 2000 at 09:53:39:
In Reply to: Do Reparations Work? (a devil's advocate inquiry) posted by Zapata on August 01, 2000 at 09:28:35:
Interestingly, This Devil's Advocate brought up quite a provocative, in fact, excellent point and a springbboard for a new debate. Indeed Hitler was a product of the reparations... quite wretched in their totality upon the German folk... deeply eating away at the national psyche ... By the way, yesterday's posts made me realize that I do not know enough about Mussolini, not nearly enough as Stalin. I do not know enough of his persona, his personal habits, did he commit the type of acts of hands-on violence Stalin did... etc. As I've said, Hitler seems to have had schizophrenia, more the handmaiden/servant/puppet, whatever, of the evil that was destined to descend upon Europe and Russia... while Stalin seems to have a clearer awareness and pleasure of his role... but what about Mussolini? Caucaescu, I had a lot of material and eyewitness accounts to study from, Caecaescu seems to be a bonafide sadist, no split personality there... but what about Mussolini?
Got to surf this wonderful wellspring of information called the worldwide web!
And you, Zapata, perhaps you tried to be facetious, only half joking, whatever, but your point is a good one. I believe the aftermath of First World War Germany shows the lengths the damage of compensation, applied without consideration to the payor, can lead to.
After all, if you want to milk the cow without poisoning its milk and then turning the animal into a beast maddened by hunger... if you know what I mean.
Vita brought up a good point. She noted that Hitler was a product of his generation, a German generation that saw the impact that imposed reparations had on their country's economy and morale. Regardless of what else may have made Hitler do the things he did, we cannot avoid the fact that HE saw what the Treaty of Versailles, especially on the part of France, did to Germany. Therefore, in this case, we must say that the imposition of war reparations on Germany was one of the key reasons not only for the rise of Hitler, who played up all the bad things that happened to Germany as a result of the treaty, but also for the start of WWII. I say this because the Treaty was out to punish Germany. I think that this is important since someone also pointed out to Vita that there is a need to make a distinction between compensation and punishment. What are we looking for when we say that reparations are to be made. Are we righting a wrong (i.e. giving back what was taken) or are we out to punish. The TOV apparently did both with disastrous results as France felt the fury of Die Furor not many years after the signing of the treaty. Ironically, Hitler had France sign articles of surrender in the same location where the Germans had to sign article for THEIR surrender after WWI.
: So the question now is, do reparations work. It seems that in this case, they did not.
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