Monday, July 03, 2006
One of the things that the reich-wingers do, when you accuse them of fascist tendencies, is say "No we're not, you are! Because Nazi Germany was socialist!".
Just for those out there who confuse Nazism with socialism: I am one of those historians of the period who did read Albert Speer's memoirs. For those of you who don't know, Speer was the last armaments minister of Nazi Germany. When he became minister in 1942, Germany's war industries were similar to the way the current U.S. war industries operate -- i.e., they were private businesses selling arms to the government via lowest bidder. Speers' accomplishment was in substantially regulating the operations of these businesses, directing other businesses to switch to war production, and putting them all on a war footing, to the point where German production of munitions increased every year until the final collapse in 1945. This was similar to FDR's War Production Board.
Needless to say, if Nazi Germany had been socialist, Speers' job wouldn't have been necessary because these industries would have already been nationalized and could have simply been told "switch", the way that happened in the Soviet Union that allowed the much smaller economy of the Soviet Union to out-produce Nazi Germany over the course of the war. The reality was that the German government was rather uneasy about even heavily regulating the large industrialists who had brought it to power -- Speer recounts that he had a very hard time convincing Hitler that it was necessary to go on a full war footing. Hitler was convinced that if he did so, the industrialists would remove him from power. But the disasters of 1942 and the need to equip new armies to replace those destroyed got Speer all the authority he needed.
So to call Nazism "socialist" is ridiculous. Even Hitler's own armaments minister never made such a statement. In truth, as with in the United States during WWII, businesses were heavily regulated by the central government and told what arms to produce -- but the businesses remained in private hands. And until 1942, Germany's economy wasn't even that heavily regulated -- it wasn't until Speer put the German economy on a war footing in 1942 that even the slightest hint of socialism arrived.
So who should I believe -- Hitler's arms minister, or a bunch of right wing historical revisionists? Hmm...
- Badtux the History Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 7/03/2006 10:25:00 PM
Did you read this too? Arms of Krupp 1587-1968
I thought it was interesting.
# posted by nunya : 4/7/06 12:19 AM
Another good retort is, "So was Albert Einstein. Gonna tell me he wore leaderhozen, too?!?"
Shuts 'em down fast.
# posted by Sizemore : 4/7/06 10:57 PM
- Name: BadTux
- Location: Some iceberg, South Pacific, Antarctica
I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.
View my complete profile
April 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 /
Bill Richardson: Because what America needs is a competent fat man with bad hair as President (haven't we had enough incompetent pretty faces?)
Cost of the War in Iraq