[lit-ideas] Aren't you glad you no longer have a Hitler problem?

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 22:28:31 -0700

The military historian, Bevin Alexander wrote How Hitler could have Won
World War II, the fatal errors that led to the Nazi defeat.  One of Hitler's
errors was to assume that Britain was relying upon the USSR for aid.
"Hitler concluded that the only way to overcome Britain would be to destroy
the Soviet Union.  Hitler decided that Russia was Britain's chief remaining
hope for assistance, its 'continental dagger,' and once the Soviet Union was
destroyed, the British would see reason and give in.


"This, of course, was entirely wrong.  The British were relying on the
United States, not Russia, for their salvation.  'I shall drag the United
States in,' British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told his son after
France fell.  And the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was doing
everything he could to help.  But Roosevelt had to play a cagey game.  A
majority of the American electorate was deathly afraid of getting into
another war in Europe, and wanted to isolate the country behind its two
oceans.  Only a minority recognized the terrible danger of Adolf Hitler and
realized the United States would have to enter the war if Nazi Germany was
to be defeated."


Comment:  When I read this it occurred to me that nearly all of the American
Lit-Ideas, could they have been transported back in time, would have been in
the majority that opposed "another war in Europe."  The "majority" didn't
study foreign affairs in 1933-39 any more than the majority does today.
They didn't know that Hitler was a monster.  He hadn't done anything very
monstrous as far as Americans knew.  Sure, some things were said about him
and his Nazis but things were being said about Roosevelt as well.  Why
should America risk the lives of its young men to bail Britain out of its
European troubles?  


Question:  I think Eric and I have enough bone fides to indicate that we
would have been in the American minority that "recognized the terrible
danger of Adolf Hitler."  After all we now "recognize the terrible danger
of" Islamism and so would very likely be of a mind to recognize the danger
of Hitler.  But what of the rest of you American Lit-Idears?  Is there any
evidence that you would have been in the minority that "recognized the
terrible danger of Adolf Hitler"?  I tend to think that there isn't.  






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