Consequences of Hate
In his post below David Beito quotes Franklin Roosevelt as saying "We have got to be tough with Germany and I mean the German people not just the Nazis. We either have to castrate the German people or you have to treat them in such a manner so they can't go on reproducing." This quotation has elicited two comments of defense from Craig J. Bolton. In the first he recalls “only two recorded incidents of opposition by the German people” and he ends the second one with the adage; “Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas have bad consequences.” I agree with this line and the notion expressed in the above Roosevelt comment was a bad idea with bad consequences for both Germans and Americans.
I am now in the process of reading The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II by Thomas J. Fleming. This book is doing something I would have thought impossible, it is lowering my opinion of FDR even further.
While Craig Bolton may or may not be correct about there being only two overt incidents of opposition to the Nazis there certainly was a great deal of high level covert support for internal regime change including a very famous assassination attempt in East Prussia. According to Fleming Admiral Wilheim Canaris head of the German Military intelligence organization, the Abwehr, met secretly in Spain, during the summer of 1943, with the heads of American and British intelligence. They hammered out a peace plan which included a cease fire and the elimination of Hitler. Roosevelt rejected this offer refusing to negotiate with “these East German Junkers” and all other overtures from Germans yearning for the Nazis’ downfall.
In fact, when Roosevelt unexpectedly announced, against the opposition of Churchill and his own military commanders, that unconditional surrender was the only acceptable end to the war, he created a great obstacle for those Germans who wished Hitler gone and the carnage over. The policy proved to be a big unifier of the Hitler’s people. We can never know if some Allied encouragement and a different set of demands might have been enough for the success of Admiral Canaris and like minded Germans in their goal of ending the war sooner. However it is not unreasonable to say that FDR’s hatred and determination to punish may very well have cost tens of thousands of Americans their lives.
- AND German AND British AND.... by Sudha Shenoy (July 3, 2006 at 4:38 AM)
- Re: AND German AND British AND.... by Jonathan Dresner (July 3, 2006 at 4:49 AM)
- Re: AND German AND British AND.... by Robert Higgs (July 3, 2006 at 12:47 PM)
- Re: AND German AND British AND.... by Keith Halderman (July 3, 2006 at 12:20 PM)
- Welllll [Part 2] by Craig J. Bolton (July 3, 2006 at 5:44 PM)
- Conditional surrender by Robert Higgs (July 4, 2006 at 7:50 PM)
- What about Italy? by Paul Noonan (July 5, 2006 at 4:52 PM)
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FDR's attitude would be strategically critical for the Oder Neisse line, the destruction of Prussia and the expulsion of its peoples.
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