Germany must be destroyed . A collection of quotes
Published: 1998-05-25


Introduction

"Germany must be destroyed" is a collection of quotes made by various political leaders, scholars, and opinion makers in the West over a period stretching back to the 19th century. It gives a feel for the "problem" that Germany has represented to other nations since Bismarck achieved unity in 1870 and the German people burst into world politics and economics with a vigor and efficiency that frightened many nations, and alienated not a few of her competitors and neighbors. In less politically correct eras it was common for the cognoscenti to express their opinions in fairly raw form. This may allow the modern reader to better appreciate the conduct of other nations toward Germany in times of both war and peace. It is useful in demonstrating how readily foes accepted or voiced accusations of German misconduct without overmuch concern for their legitimacy. For some, no claim was unbelievable when Germans were involved, a state of affairs that was to work against them mightily in the aftermaths of WWI and WWII. This is not to suggest that Germany was or is without problems and misdeeds, only that the fields of global politics and economics are not remarkable for their devotion to either altruism or truth, and that running with the big dogs can be a hazardous undertaking if you don't stay on your feet.

David Thomas, 5/25/98

Excerpts from Die Erzbischofsschrift: Antwort eines Deutschen, by Hans Grimm (1950). page numbers in [brackets] after the quote. Please, note some of the dates, especially of the first three paragraphs below.

"The biological view of foreign policy is plain. First, federate our colonies and prevent geographical isolation turning the Anglo-Saxon race against itself. Second, be ready to fight Germany, as Germania est delenda; (Germany must be destroyed) third, be ready to fight America when the time comes. Lastly, engage in no wasting wars against peoples from whom we have nothing to fear."Saturday Review, Feb. 1, 1896, "A Biological View of Our Foreign Policy".)[p. 15]

* * *

"Our chief rival in trade and commerce today is not France but Germany. In case of a war with Germany, we should stand to win much and lose nothing; whereas, in case of a war with France, no matter what the outcome might be, we are sure to loose heavily."Saturday Review, August 24, 1895, "Our True Foreign Policy". [p. 17]

* * *

"Three years ago when the Saturday Review began to write against the traditional pro-German policy of England, its point of view made it isolated among leading organs of opinion. When, in February 1896, one of our writers, discussing the European Situation, declared Germany the first and immediate enemy of England, the opinion passed as an individual eccentricity."...

"What Bismarck realized, and what we too may soon come to see, is that not only is there the most real conflict of interests between England and Germany, but that England is the only Great Power who could fight Germany without tremendous risk and without doubt of the issue."...

"Our work over, we need not even be at the pains to alter Bismarck's words, and to say to France and Russia: Seek some compensation. Take inside Germany whatever you like: you can have it."Saturday Review, 11, 1897, "England and Germany". [p. 17]

* * *

"The transition from the apparent harmony to the transparent clash of interests may be placed about the turn of the century. Appropriately enough, it found its first expression in colonial policies. In the British mind it was primarily associated with events in South Africa."—W. Churchill, World Crisis. [p. 22]

* * *

"It is a moral, physical and strategic impossibility to bottle up an elemental force such as that which the German people incarnate. It simply cannot be done."— E. D. Morel, Truth and the War. [p. 26]

* * *

"Unfortunately Germany was almost wholly deficient for 15 years after the war in that power which is, as we have seen, a necessary motive force in political change; and this deficiency prevented effect being given, except on a minor scale, to the widespread consensus of opinion that parts of the Versailles Treaty ought to be modified. By the time Germany regained her power, she had become -not without reason- almost wholly disillusioned about the role of morality in international politics. There was not even as late as 1936 any reasonable prospect of obtaining major modifications of the Versailles Treaty by peaceful negotiation unsupported by the ultimatum or the fait accompli. Even though she continued to base her claims on grounds of justice, Germany expressed them more and more clearly in terms of naked force; and this reacted on the opinion of the status quo countries, which became more and more inclined to forget earlier admissions of the injustices of the Versailles Treaty and to consider the issue as exclusively one of power."—Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis 1919 - 1939. [p. 33]

* * *

"Hitler, like Napoleon, has performed the perhaps indispensable function of sweeping away the litter of the old order. The new order must be built by other hands and by other methods."—Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis 1919 - 1939. [p. 37]

* * *

"I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations ..."—Churchill's speech in London Times, November 7, 1938. [p. 38]

* * *

"It is not of England or France or Germany I am thinking. Not of this war or another, they are all put away from me. But of an aristocracy of mankind that has the will and courage to rule, to breed a tradition and preserve it. Revenge on England? I do not think in those terms. The flowers of the two great peoples of the world have choked each other; that is all. We shall pay for it. The great peoples will be ruled by their own degenerates. But some day, if civilization does not perish, the world will begin to think again."—Charles Morgan, The Fountain. [p. 78]

* * *

"They may be summed up in four words: annexation, expulsion spoliation and economic enslavement, all of which, it may be remembered, are among the main counts of the Nuremberg indictment. Germany's historic eastern lands, where her people have lived and toiled for generations, and which had been her richest food producing areas, were torn from her and placed under alien domination."—Victor Gollancz, Our Threatened Values, p. 95. [p. 104]

* * *

"The existence of large masses of uprooted propertyless, unemployed and embittered people in Europe is a social danger of the first order and a direct invitation to Communism. The policy of expulsion practiced by the Allies, since the close of the second world war, has enormously aggravated this danger."Men Without the Rights of Man, p. 28. [p. 105]

* * *

"The deterioration in Anglo-German relations is alarming. The Germans accuse us of a determination to keep them in a position of permanent helotry: we, who only recently were patting their backs for their conduct in Berlin, accuse them of arrogance, unreasonableness, resurgent nationalism, and "gross impropriety' in their attitude to the occupying Power."

"They play with the idea of noncooperation: whereupon we remind them of their past sins and their potentiality for future evil -which is the surest way of stiffening resistance. So once again the chance of reconciliation is being lost and another nail is being driven into the coffin of European peace "

"Take the Ruhr agreement. I do not wish to discuss whether, given all the circumstances, it is or is not the best agreement that could be expected. But bear in mind that it is announced, not in the atmosphere of Morgenthau or even of Potsdam, but when we are proclaiming the ideal of a united Europe which dropping sectional interests, would work harmoniously on a common plan for the benefit of all. Can the German reaction, then be regarded as surprising?"

"Six-Power control of the Ruhr, they say, is not a step to European unity but a stabilization of the statures of conqueror and conquered: an earnest of the new spirit, they add, would be internationalization of the whole industrial complex of which the Ruhr is part. I said as much myself years ago, and so have others far more experienced. Why, then, "rebuke" the Germans for agreeing with many quite sane Englishmen?"

"... As to nationalism, there can be no doubt that a dangerous complex of emotions is rapidly developing among certain sections of the German people: I mean a determination to win for Germany, as quickly as possible, an equality of power and status, combined with a preoccupation with the part played by others in making postwar Germany a hell."

"The trouble is that we are poised midway between two policies that of regarding the Germans as former and potential enemies and that of regarding them as friends. We, particularly the French and ourselves, must make up our minds-little time is left- and in the second policy alone is the way to health."Weekly Times, June 12, 1949, Victor Gollancz. [p. 141]

* * *

"This is not precisely a new idea. Mr. Cats wrote it in the seventeenth century. Frenchmen living in 1870, 1914 and 1939 had good reason to believe it. Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George based the Versailles Treaty on it. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin wrote it into the Yalta Agreement. President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee verified it at Potsdam."

"... On one thing, however, there seems to be general agreement, not only in Washington and in western Europe, but in the Soviet Union: The Germans are always either at your feet or at your throat, and while they are at your feet plans must be made to discourage their persistent habit of revenge."New York Times, Jan. 1949. James Reston. [p. 144]

* * *

"The Military Security Board will be divided into three divisions military, industrial and scientific research. Of the three the last will assume the greatest importance for the vengeful Germans will turn to a perverted science for weapons to compensate for their inferiority in manpower should they ever try again for world domination."

"... These three formidable barriers against the resurgence of German militarism - the Military Security Board, Ruhr Authority and Occupation Statute - will be countered on the part of at least some Germans by growing nationalism That can only be eliminated by education. The Allies resemble policemen who have taken matches away from a firebug and intend to see he doesn't get any more. They have not yet conquered the firebug's love of fires however."New York Times, Jan. 1949, Drew Middleton. [p. 145]

* * *

"... Control of Germany is the key to European politics..." "The presence of American and British troops in Germany is a very big factor in the thinking of the peoples of West Europe. In France, Belgium, the Netherlands and in Italy, the fact that American and British troops are between them and the Russians means a lot."

"... It is fear which is holding back the recovery of West Europe, and the withdrawal of American and British troops from West Germany would surely cause a great increase in the fears of West Europe and perhaps ruin all prospects of the fruition of the Atlantic Pact plan and of the Marshall Plan."

"... The French fear, of course, the rebirth of strength in Germany. They also fear with a dreadful fear the power of the Russian Army, which they know could march to the Atlantic in less than a month."

"... Yet it is plain that eventually there must be a central German Government if a peace treaty is to be made with Germany as a whole. A united Germany, politically and economically, is further off than at any time since the end of hostilities."New York Times, Feb. 1949, Edwin L. James. [p. 145]

* * *

"It is not Germany alone that people fear but the use Germany could make of a strong central position to manipulate the European balance of power in its own interests. A Western Germany which was strong enough to offer any real increase in security to Western Europe would also be strong enough to negotiate with Russia on its own terms. And nothing in Germany's past - neither the Treaty of Rapallo nor the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact- suggests that German loyalty to 'Western ideals' is such that it excludes separate arrangements with the enemies of the West."—'The Economist of London', quoted by James Reston in New York Times, Jan. 1949. [p. 146]

* * *

"The truth is, that we have got our way. We have got most of the things we set out to get. The German navy has been handed over, the German merchant shipping has been handed over, and the German colonies have been given up. One of our chief trade competitors has been seriously crippled,..."—Lloyd George in Versailles to Lord Riddell, quoted by Gollancz: Our Threatened Values. [p. 151]

* * *

"The main lines of Vansittartism will be familiar. Going back to a remote period of history, Lord Vansittart tells us, in effect that it is overwhelmingly "the Germans" who have been the curse of the world. For with the exception of a very small and ineffective minority, "the Germans" in general have always been butchers or willing acquiescers in butchery: it is always "the Germans", you are led to infer, who have been the aggressors - Black Record, in a review of 'history" from Julius Caesar to Hitler, makes no single mention of aggressors other than German, except for a passing reference to the Mongols of the thirteenth century: and the European wars of 1864, 1866 and 1870, the near-wars of 1905 and 1911, the war of 1914-1918, and the present war, are simply the culmination of a consistent German aggressiveness that goes back beyond the Christian area. Any differentiation between the German Government and the German people, or between Nazis and Germans, is, therefore, disastrous.

"He (Hitler) is the natural and continuous product of a breed which from the dawn of history has been predatory and bellicose". It is in the innate evil of the "German ' character-the character of the German people as a whole -that the world's problem is to be found".—Gollancz: Shall Our Children Live or Die? 1942, S. 7 [p. 167]

* * *

"The Nazi was not the animal to stay at home. He was not and that was the fundamental trouble, not only with the Nazis but with the Germans. It was part of their creed that they would not stay at home. The essence of the creed and the essence of the last hundred years was that they were aggressive animals".—Eden, in House of Commons, Jan., 9, 1942 [p. 168]

* * *

[Joachim von Ribbentrop in his diary:] " . . . England and her Prime Minister, after the Halifax visit, in my opinion, see no possible basis for an agreement with Germany ... England is preparing by political and military measures for a conflict with Germany. We must draw the following conclusions.

"Outwardly, continued understanding with England while simultaneously protecting the interests of our friends.

"Quiet but determined establishment of alliances against England, that is in practice strengthening our friendship with Italy and Japan and in addition winning over all countries whose interests conform directly or indirectly with ours.

"I have worked for friendship with England for years, and nothing would make me happier than the possibility of its achievement. When I asked the Fuhrer to send me to London I was skeptical about the likelihood of success but, because of Edward VIII, it seemed that a final attempt should be made. Today I no longer have any faith in any understanding. England does not desire in close proximity a paramount Germany, which would be a constant menace to the British Isles. On this she will fight.

"National Socialism, however, is thought capable of anything. Baldwin already apprehended this, and Edward VIII had to abdicate, since it was not certain whether, because of his views, he would cooperate in an anti-German policy.

"Chamberlain has now appointed Vansittart, our most important and toughest foe, to a position where he can play a leading role in the diplomatic game against Germany. Henceforth -regardless of what tactical interludes of conciliation may be attempted with regard to us- every day that our political calculations are not actuated by the fundamental idea that England is our most dangerous enemy, would be a gain for our enemies."—"Documents on Nazi Foreign Policy", in Weekly Times, July 20, 1949 [p. 171]

* * *

"For France the separation of the Saar from Germany is an essential condition of his security, and the German Government would be wise to accept it in this light."—"Signs of Nationalism", in Weekly Times, Feb. 1, 1950 [p. 176]

* * *

"... I cannot accept the view that the arrangements which have to be proposed about the frontiers of the new Poland are not solid and satisfactory... The Poles are free, so far as Russia and Great Britain are concerned, to extend their territory, at the expense of Germany, to the West... The transference of several millions of people would have to be effected from the East to the West or North, as well as the expulsion of the Germans -because that is what is proposed: the total expulsion of the Germans- from the area to be acquired by Poland in the West and North. For expulsion is the method which, so far as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. Nor do I see why there should not be room in Germany for the German populations of East Prussia and of the other territories I have mentioned."—Churchill in House of Commons, Dec. 15, 1944 [p. 186]

* * *

"... The policy of concession has been tried throughout the century under various names-"appeasement" was the last -and has so far cost 50.000.000 lives. It takes two to make "full reconciliation", indeed it takes more. Britain has been ruined by Germany, but even so is a minor sufferer compared with invaded countries. Our unreciprocated appeasement has therefore cost us confidence and affection in quarters where peace required both. More caution and concerted thinking are therefore advisable this time."—Vansittart in Manchester Guardian Weekly, Sept. 8, 1949 [p. 189]

* * *

"Over all, despite the war destruction and reparations, West Germany has plants enough to produce at least a fourth more goods than the same region turned out in 1936. The labor force, swelled by refugees from the East, is 20 or 25 per cent larger than it was before the e war. The birth rate is rising rapidly. European statisticians say that, if Germany were rearmed, there would be no country in Europe except Russia that could match her in manpower.

"These facts, plus Germany's pressure for political independence, are prompting some Western Europeans to look upon Germany as the winner, not the loser, of World War II. They also have prompted the US. to take another look at Germany and to warn German leaders against trying to make the same sort of recovery Germany made after defeat in World War I."US. News and World Report, Feb. 17, 1950 [p. 204]

* * *

"(US. Sees Rise of New Hitler. Reported from Frankfurt.) "Lack of a leader like Hitler also handicaps the [Right-Wing] movement, the report points out, adding:

"While many leaders of the nationalist groups act as apologists for most of the Nazi beliefs, it is doubtful whether a future Hitler is to be found among the ranks of the present leadership."

"Despite these handicaps however, the Nazi-style political parties are growing and gaining strength in Germany. Their presence is causing the US. to change its ideas about the occupation, to slow down a bit the rush to set Germany up as an independent country in West Europe, and to keep a closer eye on Germany's internal politics in the months ahead."U. S. News and World Report, March 3, 1950 [p. 204]


Additional quotes of anti-Germanism

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate [1986]:

"There is a time to love and a time to hate; whoever does not hate when he should does not deserve to love when he should, does not deserve to love when he is able."

"Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate—healthy, virile hate—for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead."Legends of Our Time, Schocken Books, 1982. page 142)

* * *

Eugene V. Rostow in Plain Truth September 1987, Page 25:

"It is difficult to imagine any reason why America would want to have an independent European nuclear deterrent operating as a third force. That is a risk the United States should never have to contemplate. Considering that such a force could fall into the hands of the Soviet Union, or of some future Hitler or Mussolini, why would it be in the American national interest to do so? America fought two wars to prevent the unification of Europe under German control."

* * *

Germany and the Future of Europe by Henry Morgenthau, 1951, Preface [v]:

"Since Bismarck unified Germany in 1870, Germany has presented a problem to the rest of the world. Germany is the most populous and the most disciplined nation in Europe and has at her disposal an industrial potential inferior only to that of the United States and of the Soviet Union. In one word, Germany, by her natural equipment, is the most powerful nation in Europe and, if nature is allowed to take its course, is bound to gain control over all Europe. Yet it is this control which the nations of Europe refuse to accept; to forestall it, they have fought two devastating wars.

"The problem which confronts us, then, is how to reconcile the natural superiority of Germany with the political interests of the rest of the world. This problem is at present complicated by the conflict between the Soviet Union and the Western world, of which Germany is one of the main theaters and at the same time the principal prize; for who controls the manpower and industrial resources of all Germany is likely to have gained a decisive advantage in the struggle for the domination of the world. Yet the control of Germany means first of all control of the minds of the Germans. Thus the German problem presents itself to the Western world in three different facets: to prevent a resurgence of German imperialism, to restore Germany to political and economic health, and to deny German resources and allegiance to the Soviet Union. To accomplish any of these three tasks separately would tax the wisdom of any statesman. To accomplish them simultaneously is indeed a task of gigantic proportions..."


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Author(s): David Thomas
Title: Germany must be destroyed . A collection of quotes
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Published: 1998-05-25
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