Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History Origins of World War II in Europe  CSPAN  June 22, 2019 8:01pm-9:26pm EDT

8:01 pm
that the fascists in germany and italy. he argues that some leaders' touctance to end a war led military unpreparedness. to see all of you here tonight. we had one burning question before class. individual --f an if the individual has the courage, who asked that question. is that possible? that? want to do >> ok. >> all right. that picture was you. >> well, it's part of me. maurice jacob wiener, my father. and this lecture is in honor of him. grandmother, his mother, was illiterate inl english. spoke yiddish. never really learned the
8:02 pm
language. he graduated third in his class a high school and won scholarship to law school where he also boxed and ran track. he was drafted at age 35 when my mom was pregnant, came home. the war.dn't mind now, he was a nifty guy. i think one of the main reasons i'm doing this tonight is because of him, because he used to have me sit while he shaved every morning, which was a scene. and he would quote the gettysburg address or quote from shakespeare but above all, he war ii.lk about world so i knew about the battle of about -- when i was the bulge when i was five years old. i know the differences in the airplanes, all of that stuff. and most of all, i had a passion learning, as a result of his
8:03 pm
influence. newy time i brought home a book of 300 pages, he would before read it overnight i could even open it up. and what i've had the privilege to do for the rest 50 years at lafayette college is what he have done himself, thosegh one did not do things 70 years ago. if you were a new immigrant in the united states. people who taught and did colleges andajor universities were largely from the old elites. was even partly true when i came here, in 1969. so tonight, we're gonna be discussion of europe, in this case in the 1930's. and i know that a number of you did get here in the ice to see
8:04 pm
the films from the lawrence nazis.ollection on the and given what you've been doing journals and given the i'm going to give back to you the level of, and their quality, i know you're ready for tonight's lecture also. and you can interrupt and ask questions and we'll have plenty time also for our normal process and questions afterwards. and because of that, i'm going the topic somewhat normallyly than is frenchore in a sort of pattern. the french -- in the beginning, diplomatic scholars often studied the underlying of society, the deep context forset the
8:05 pm
particulars in any age. 1930'sdiplomacy in the is a story of a perfect storm, largely because of those underlying structures. to deal with them rather analytically and then stop along the way and give you some additional detail with respect to crises in the way book.s done in the now i brought along some of my toys as i usually do. have to buy this and read it all immediately, but we're really lucky to have "the of modern europe." this is a new edition, 2018. merriman received the award for lifetime achievement from historicaln
8:06 pm
association last year. that oncequote from today. torry,have another ofnard wassersteen, author about 10, 12 books or so. we may be reading this, or the our finalt of it, as book. i got into it enough to realize that it's a brilliant read just like ian kershaw's materials. follow-up fromhy ian kershaw's work. so diplomacy in the 1930's, and to give you a whole series of categories of things about them not in any order of more important or less important but interacting policy, so in foreign
8:07 pm
the following general themes in mind for the 1930's. domestic and international were inextricably combined. ad the great depression casts shadow over everything and over so many of the choices that people made. it doesn't mean they couldn't have made other choices. they could have made other choices. human agency during this decade important, just look at the career of adolf choices he made in the middle of the depression. but many other political leaders depression couldn't
8:08 pm
make radical or clear decisions the depression touched thoughtng that they about. great depression, there was a tremendous amount of instability all over. instabilityestic came from the enduring the russian revolution, the fear of fearlism and even more the europe,nism all over not just in the neighbor states to the soviet union but all the way to the west, indeed all the way to the united states, because the soviets had an communistnal
8:09 pm
organization. tern that sent agents all over the world to find out to encourageg on, domestic radicalism. ad it was like the c.i.a. in sense, as an international organization. although the functions were what different. they were real, even though over-exaggerated them. so that also created a lot of domestic radicalization, fragmentation, a little bit like what we experience today in the people toward one another, in the sense of politicians toward one another difficulty of working together and the assumptions theye had and the fears had and the suspicions they had stereotypes they had.
8:10 pm
so let me give you just an of that might all work out in a particular crisis. 1936, hitler the rhine land, the borderline, as a result of a resulty, but also as of the 1925 treaty that germany to --llingingly agreed willingly agreed to, had that land remained demilitarized, meant that the french would have access of 50 demilitarized german territory should a conflict take place. extremelyextremely, important development and the responded very poorly to
8:11 pm
it. one reason was the depression. the military indicated that in that they would prevail over the germans, if into the rhine land and attacked, they needed to have a general mobilization. a general mobilization in the middle of a depression. but it would not only have been a general mobilization in the depression, it occurred when in fact there was a cabinet change in if process. had a government, but it caretaker government. and that happened a number of times. it was a disastrous decision. into it a little more later. but the same thing occurred in
8:12 pm
germans 1938 when the annexed austria, the so-called annexation of austria by eight,, adding another nine million people to the reich. caretakerain, had a government, which means it did support.full national in that particular kind of structure, it's very, very difficult to make choices. and there were near civil wars in many of the countries of europe and states were afraid of doing anything that could lead couldivil war or that lead to an international conflict. things arese functioning at the same time
8:13 pm
constantly. in order to survive, in fact, most states used some kind of emergency decrees, including like belgium. theike france, during popular front. were for short periods of time. was very, very difficult as well. front,der of the popular bloom, in order to carry out reforms, asked for emergency decree power over the economy from the french senate. of like what has been happening in the united states recently. the power to govern in extra-constitutional ways. senate refused
8:14 pm
him the power, because he was a socialist. the next government is more moderate and they're given the reform the economy further. about this atalk greater length in a minute. this kind of, in environment, with the continued continuedon, the unemployment, the continued instability, the kind have anany easier time really making and getting things than liberal democratic leaders who are always looking their shoulders to see what are the political implications decision that they might make.
8:15 pm
globally, and you can't study studying thet globe either. was divided,world the haves and the have-not states. with the haves trying to keep what they had, and the biggest haves are britain and the unitedalso states. and the have-not states trying getevise the situation to more. byl, you might be surprised some of the states that were revisionist. germany obviously is revisionist, wants to get rid of the treaty. revisionist.also had.ontent with what it
8:16 pm
hungary is revisionist, not content with what it had. japan is somewhat revisionist, although it did very well in war i. but japan also is going through its depression, getting worse by leading to the fall of the closest thing the japanese had ever had in the 1920's of the liberal constitutional government by the early 1930's, it was a militarily dominated which, in many cases, the military undertakes aggression even, without any civilian control whatsoever, as the japanese did in 1932.a was somewhat revisionist, moreugh it was far
8:17 pm
defensive than aggressive. or soviets expected sooner later that the western capitalist powers would find a to attack them. west feared that somehow would be successful in trying to undermine our as well,f government each stereotyped the other and to look at the map. ok. all the times we've talked about impact of geography. extremelys extremely, important. the powers were divided, as i implied, constitutionally as as ideologically. so constitutionally, what form you happen tot do
8:18 pm
have? in many, many cases, that was less important than the ideological divisions. conservatives in england, for no difficulty with forms of dictatorship in other long as those dictatorships were not hostile interests of the british empire. and here again, the british empire was overextended and had all over the globe. and you would think that overwhelmingly, the first and thing on their mind would be the growing power on the of adolf hitler, but their military spent almost as much time, especially until the late 1930's, fearing the expansion of the japanese and their capacity to undermine the empire in asia.
8:19 pm
overextended, especially during the depression. and their vision was divided. and areas of their empire were to rebel and gain more autonomy or even independence. kindrench faced the same of problem on a less intense level. there were colonial rebelians. deeply concerned about that. was so british associated with empire. and even the defense was empire because of the role the empire had played in world war i, especially australia, new zealand, canada. and these independent countries part ofr wanted to be going to war again in europe. yes? >> i have a question.
8:20 pm
>> sure. >> so were there any, like, on throughout the time thathat the --ed the rise up of like the small countries wanting be independent from those -- >> oh, absolutely. many, many. areaname the geographical and you're gonna get things that the important and one of other things that shadows this whole time period, which i'm later is ofl with course the enduring impact of world war i. ok. so many tens of thousands of europe,oldiers come to serve in the allied armies, forct to be compensated their loyalty in some way, in as same way african-americans in the united states, risking their lives, lives.their
8:21 pm
and they go home and nothing's changed. down aer things settle bit, it's as though they didn't do anything at all, when they risked their lives. thede that, just the act of bloodbath of europe. genocidal nature of world over the people all world to question what many of accepted as the superiority of european culture. culture,s a superior what is it doing? t wholeon their minds nature of -- the whole nature of european empire as well. undermines the nature of people's attitudes toward life orwell, toward defense toward offense as well. dictatorships, the are far more able to canalize feelings and act upon
8:22 pm
them. to recognizetant that the german people supported when hetler the most brought home gains with peace, such as after the munich crisis of 1938.ber now, yes, when he went into poland and slaughtered the pols in six weeks, they loved it also, even though there were larger lossesd, than most people recognize. the pols fought bravely. still, that was a gain, after hitler conquers france in summer, june of 1940, of course. a tremendous wealth of german pride. they feltlly where most proud and happy and secure is when hitler was destroying treaty of resigh, step by everyeacefully, and after
8:23 pm
single event, he said that's my last concession that i need, after the land in czechoslovakia, 1938. peace.'s talk about he always offered the possibility of peace, especially in the west, and he also took the position that he was the defender of western christian atheisticon against bolshevisn. any other questions while we stopped? if you want, your call. ok. so the powers are divided this way. and fascism, interestingly, to consider in
8:24 pm
some ways the greatest of all evil, later was among the inopean elites, especially the west, considered less and dangerous than communism. in the fascist country, socialisttional germany, if you were not one of designated groups, if you didn't rebel, if you disagreed your mouth shut, life went on. and in some ways, conditions even improved for the majority of people and overwhelmingly, property was respected. people's right to go to church was respected, even though both germany were undermining the meaning of get-go,nity from the
8:25 pm
signing aagreements with the pain -- agreements with the their ownen going on way, doing what they wanted to propagandize their populations, the youth, male and female even. but they were left of the theat, even in the case of united states. mussolini, until he attacked of thought ofkind as a good old boy. italian-americans were pretty proud, for the most part, he had accomplished, because he brought back pride to the italian people, who always that, feeling in world war ii that they didn't get their fair share and that do well and didn't they were an immigrant neededion also that reinforcement just as i do with i'm doing allugh i'ming
8:26 pm
right for now. russia was consigned as the ultimate enemy in the minds of every power in the west, structure that reminds me war of the 17th where protestants killed catholics and catholics protestants in ultimate acts of slaughter. jews caught in the middle. while, they a realized that this is mindless and can't continue but it was a while. it took 100 years. and if you look at the 20th century, it also took about a through alls to get
8:27 pm
of this. but, again, how did france survive in world war i? was the most important thing that allowed france to survive in world war i? russia.lliance with >> it's the russian alliance, which forces the german army to forces, and the second would be the impact of the brits. the russians in the beginning even more so, right? well, it hant changed. here's russia -- it hadn't changed. here's russia still. pragmatic french diplomats understood that so that they even formed a non aggression pact with the russians in 1935, which is ratified by the french chamber in february of 1936. fact, hitler used that as the
8:28 pm
remilitarize the rhind land. perfect for the brits. they loved it. look, they are making an bolsheviks,h the judeo-boll krzyzewskis. is -- he said, we must be able to defend ourselves. that's why we have to remilitarize the rhine land. the french go to the brits and say we don't want any part of this. don't go further with this. us.ou cannot count on so they actually have a military do nothing to strengthen for three whole years hitler is making his gains all across central europe. the russiannd
8:29 pm
military never gets together after germany in march of 1939, timeg for the first non-german territory and therefore making it clear that a policyy is not just of germanic expansion, pan-germanism, but of domination of europe. meanwhile, the russians are out in the cold. and when the french and british begin to negotiate with such ahey do so in dittering and incompetent way that the russians can no longer take them seriously. theact, until that time,
8:30 pm
russian foreign minister, who believed in collective action against hitler, didn't trust the buttalist countries, against something like hitler, you got to unite. name was maxime litvinov. was jewish. stalin fires him at that point, substituteides to anything with the west with a temporary alliance with german, which approaches him and can more.him molotov becomes the russian because he canr, negotiate. and then you get this bombshell surprise of the nazi-soviet pact. that's the groan light for war -- green light for war. or british cannot swallow
8:31 pm
stomach a real agreement with it.ia and act upon but hitler can, because he has no intention of continuing it he he'll break it whenever wants. the british and the french forgot whatever partial lessons of history they should have learned. they forgot how to read a map. the russians had an alliance the czechs. they were committed to helping if theect the czechs french engaged. nobody wanted to be a dupe of powers.r the russians feared that all the to fighted is for them germany while they sit back and enjoy the two destroying each other. and there was enough evidence of make that a reality in ameone's mind and not just fantasy, even though what the
8:32 pm
british and french really wanted ofa peaceful settlement everything and not a war between russia and german, which could have gotten out of control and being brought in itself. deeply peoplew thought about this, the head of 1939, smidleyy in said if rids smidley, defeated by germany, we lose our honor. if defeated by russia, we lose our soul. so they were totally unwilling to allow russian soldiers to pass through poland to go to be to fight germany because
8:33 pm
they were afraid they would never leave. and indeed, after the war, they didn't leave for a long time, right? french british and the did not press the pols to make that agreement with the russians even though that's the only way the soviet power could have been manifested, against germany in the beginning of the war. to the germans were willing greatly,raciously and giving russian control of half of poland and most of the baltic states, except lithuania. russians paid the back with all kinds of supplies and materiel and good will for the next two years, until hitler the soviet union, his
8:34 pm
of 1941.take, in june thiser example of how ideological struggle was so deeply important in undermining the capability of the states to a reasonable way, creating what i call a perfect storm. you know that the spanish civil 1936.oke out in july of it lasted for three years. it was covered in the newspapers and daily you could read about it. it was a prelude in its ideology that would occur three years later between germany and the rest of europe. so you would think that the british and the french would maintain the power and
8:35 pm
the legalnce of republic, even though the republic was a little bit more they would normally have countenanced. the powers signed a non treaty in november of 1936, which hitler and mussolini, now drawn together, radically. war was ah civil experiencedgermany the use of its army and learned from it. war was ah civil place where they learned dive-bombing tactics and how effective they would be, destruction of civilian hundreds of use of planes, training of pilots.
8:36 pm
supply, materiel, and everything else. army ended being for more and far strongerment and they would -- far stronger and take those lessons later into world war ii. the soviets matched them on some level but not too much. to they came because of that control the forces of the in spain. and it was an example, again, of pathetic infighting between on the left.es dominatenists came to over the anarchists and other socialist groups, because russia was giving them weapons and money and training and soldiers and tanks just as germany did, evenugh germany did it and italy did it, in far greater
8:37 pm
quantities. but that undermined the domestic over europe and especially in britain and france. a running sore. elites favored franco. whether he was fascist or just a dictator, he was aligned with the church and they favored franco. french elite favored franco. talked about,ve and whose speech you may have read about, at the congress of tour, moderate socialist leader governmentlar front time, has a that blockage of guilt in his gut because he's watching with open
8:38 pm
eyes, the right wing and fascists, defeating republican forces and all he can do is support the republican forces for a while. why? said tothe british have him, do not get involved in this mess. you do.n your own if was soally so, france divided ideologically that the that if the french sent of equipment, on the one hand it could lead to a but on thermany other hand, it could have led to a civil war in france. and that was a possibility took very, very seriously. 1930's camee in the to hate and fear each other. of hisas dragged out
8:39 pm
vehicle and beaten, to an inch sent to the and hospital by radical right wing found his way at the wrong place, at the wrong time. and the right wing radical forces all said, good for him. he got what he deserved. it was appalling. but it happened. again, of because, that ideological radicalization. world itself was an unstable place. and especially in britain and france. than britain.re although britain struggled to its unwieldy empire. and france struggled just to hold together the republic theng the depths of
8:40 pm
when did world war ii actually begin? anyway? was it well, let's see. across this. john merriman. jan is about 6-foot-4, little guy, brilliant. how many people do you think died during the japanese attack on china f.m? anyone have any idea? we're talking about a world war right? >> maybe 15 million. million. >> 50? theillion people died in japanese war against china, began in 1932, leading league ofeave the
8:41 pm
nations. the western powers all protested nothing.did the league of nations was basically dead after that point, although italy put the final straw in it in 1935 when they whenked anthony, so the -- they attacked ethiopia. so the league had no respect and no power. went into a, japan full-scale war against china, leading to this. why don't we know it? why isn't it in most of our books? it's not in either of the other texts. nothing like that. here's a new book coming out in the spring. the second world wars, plural. ok? so what we're really talking thet in greater detail is origins of the second world war europe. but maybe the second world war man manchuria.n
8:42 pm
maybe it really began, and i think you have to consider this seriously, in 1937 when attacked china and that really caused a great threat to powers in asia, including very much the united states, which was trying to restrain japan with various of embargo, and the japanese military made the choice to run the gauntlet. they saw themselves as the people ofuperior asia, in the same way as the german and in militarily superior and did not think that we would have the and tenacity to really, militarily.them and that's why they took the led to theirnally
8:43 pm
radical destruction and also to entrance into world war ii because hitler, declared war on the united states after japan attacked the evend states, before we were ready to declare war on germany. the world globally is deeply ouout of whack. disjointed. another example. germany, well, ideologically, aren't they more alike? italiansrically, the didn't like the germans very much. them in smashed by world war i and the germans italians atct the all. hitler happened to respect mussolini, the elder states person. but until 1935, italy was a more hard-core opponent
8:44 pm
of german expansion than either france.or and she did this by trying to protect the independence of austria, so there would be space germany.taly and would you want germany on your border? but at the same time, mussolini for empire. and he was jealous of what waser was doing and he jealous of the british empire of the french empire and wanted equivalent status for italianand for the people. so when he goes into ethiopia thinking, well, the british and done nothing about german expansionism, why should doing?pose what i'm airplanes, poison gas, against people with primitive weapons. newsreels. it turns the stomach of people in britain and france. wereyou can say they
8:45 pm
somewhat hypothetical. they were doing some of the same to their own people in their right?s, but it turns their stomach and they start embargoing certain things. italy gets extremely upset. they leave the league of nations. pushes mussolini toward hitler. warthe spanish civil finalizes that. hitler wants to , he now istria fairly certain italy will allow it. in 1934, when there was an an austriann of dictator by national socialists, mobilized his army. and hitler backed away. are so close that says it'sbasically ok. says -- mussolini's
8:46 pm
son-in-law, who mussolini later executed, he says, tell the the deuce, i-- will never forget it, never, never, never! austria.the key to austria, he's annexed look at poor czechoslovakia in right?dle, right in the middle. in the middle of all of this, the french have different conceptions of the the war. foreign policy, the nature of what should be treaty,e meaning of the and even the role of germany in europe. at least until 1936, france was
8:47 pm
more independent. and it attempted to have an all europe policy. to stay in line with the states of germany in some germany's able to cut freedom of movement. so too the french. existence and independence of the czech state with whom veryhad an alliance was important. and the soviets also had an mentioned before, with the czechs. alliances also had yeug slafians -- romanians.s and
8:48 pm
but the british didn't view that as significant. western system of defense. england's defense begins on the rhine. france itself. the british were not against the revision of the portions of the treaty of versailles that were abhorrent to germany. moreme cases, they were sympathetic to the germans, who were viewed as having been mistreated at versailles. and not guilty of starting world alone. andjealous in some cases angry at the french's attachmentdness and to legalities. elites, who actually came into government, stanley
8:49 pm
baldwin, and chamberlain, appeasement as a policy. to have as come horrendous meaning, after world war i. appeasement equals munich. munich equals appeasement. and sometimes that takes on a stereotype, an ideology, and a life of its own that can be blinding against the needs of a particular time period. baldwin's sense of appeasement was passive. one of thee read speeches he gave in which, in says, the bomber will always get through. that for about stiffening up your spine? the bomber will always get through. we have another war, we may
8:50 pm
is goingar, but london to be bombed, right? industrial england is going to be bombed. no matter what we do. well, if you really believe that, i would think you would, despite the depression, enlarge air force. but they didn't make that decision to radically do it until very, very late. so it was late. it was 1938. onmany was spending more military expansion than both britain and france together. what's in your head? appeasement goes basically like this. rhine militarizes the land. it's something we knew would happen, right? earlier,nounces that in 1935, that germany has an air that it's going to build an army of 500,000 men.
8:51 pm
well, the treaty of versailles 100,000, 500,000. that's a lot of people. but the french army was that large. so hitler said basically we don't need 500,000 men if the french disarm. but the french wouldn't disarm. besides, we need that army to protect ourselves against the soviets, especially now that has reached an alliance with the soviets. sense, as longme as you do not remember what the person is doing domestically to own people. my favoritef documents. not really. sickening dom. sickening -- sickening document the great war leader of the world war i for britain goes
8:52 pm
to see hitler in november of 1936, and he has a very nice him.with hitler knew how to schmooze, how older people. when chamberlain would go see hitler, chamberlain ran down the steps -- hitler ran down the steps of chamberlain and he said, oh! older than i am, i should have gone to see you. i'm so sorry. how to play it. so lloyd george says, whatever of his methods, and they are certainly not the a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has received the marvelous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their other, andward each their social and economic outlook. and later he says the germans the death every
8:53 pm
invader of their own country, thethey have no longer desire themselves to invade any land. this is 1936. they have broken the military clauses of versailles. they have introduced the nuremberg racial laws in 1936. the prisons and concentration politicalfull of appointments and people are running to leave germany, who willing to bee or part of a national socialist state. rhine landene in the in 1936 and send tanks and planes and soldiers to spain. wonderfulrt of the public spirit that had been in germany? separateou possibly
8:54 pm
what is going on in germany from what germany is externally? the whole sense of the society was being militarized. ad yet david george, brilliant statesman, was taken in. baldwin retires in may of 1937. replaced by chamberlain. in passivebelieve resistance. believes in active appeasement. not enough to wait until trydictator moves and then to soften up the impact of it and prevent a war. to anticipate what he may be doing. so you send lord halifax, the
8:55 pm
head of your council, to talk to in 1937 and halifax ofurns with the same ideas lloyd george. germany does not want war. i understand hitler. bet on it. that's not what they want. want the legitimacy of getting back the things that were taken away from them after war i and we can work with these people. 1938,in roosevelt, in offers to be part of an conference.l to talk to the dictators havetly and see what they in mind, publicly, make them up. and chamberlain says i don't want to be any part. get that man out of here. we don't need american intervention. this is 1938. american help
8:56 pm
because they're gonna mess it up. i know what my policy is and i'm gonna carry it out. i believe in it. and i'm going to keep out of with people who disagree me, like winston churchill, who just want to rearm and take the risk of going to war. munichberlain goes to finally after the third meeting, as part of the third meeting in the fall of 1938, czech crisis, and he that hitlerelieving further oncego any he gets the land in western czechoslovakia where the german. of people are hitler says i have no further territory demands.
8:57 pm
the french prime minister is sick to his stomach. the french signed a treaty with the czechs. the czechs were the only democratic state left in all of central europe. chamberlain says they're a far away country and a people of which we know very little. risks ond we take their behalf? knows that what they've done is cut the throat of an ally willing to fight and tossed them into hitler's hand. think france is ready, especially since britain support active opposition to hitler at that time. comes home. gets out of the airport. comes down the steps. and holds up a piece of paper
8:58 pm
literally. believe it'si peace with honor. i believe it's peace in our time. iay goes home and looks at at thewds waiting airport and he discusses whether or not they should go somewhere else, because they're afraid the might lynch them for their betrayal of an ally. land, the crowds are joyous. vladiay says to the person next him -- [speaking foreign language] >> but these people are mad. vladiay goes home and says, why fight?you i could have fought. his father says, you will fought fight.will be a long but we just weren't ready yet.
8:59 pm
the cardinal archbishop of paris refuses to ring the church bells vladiay's return and he's castigated by the papacy so.not doing so you can see how this is playing out. so what about the only other power that really could have done something? serious, in all of this, that we to time,t from time our country. my first college, my second research paper was on the rhine land crisis. myeally wanted to write ph.d. on it. but when that time came, somebody else had just published it.ok on
9:00 pm
but i did some very deep research on this crisis, when i was your age. point was that the simply unwilling, unable to conceive about what they had gotten him into. in some ways, there was a prelude to this, and that prelude was french military philosophy after world war i. it centered around the building of the national line. idea, 1930's, not a bad but it cost a fortune, so most of their funds went into the line. , defensible work,
9:01 pm
because they learned in world war i that more people died when they attacked then when they defended. since the french law so many people, they could not afford to attack anymore. can you win a basketball game or football game with a great defense if you are not willing to attack? if you are not willing to go to the rim? a tennis game waiting and standing behind the line? that is basic common sense. total military elite with the exception of one very important person, believed that had to be the way france protected itself in the future. france also had these alliances on germany's borders. how can you protect the french
9:02 pm
if you only have a defensive military posture? it means your alliances are nonsense, non-sense. there were people in france who .ealize this the most loved military leader verdun?time, remember dedicated to him. alled a professional armor. foralks about the need mobile tank units to function independently. that is what the germans were learning in the spanish civil war and what they were learning
9:03 pm
when they read the books written by british generals as well. there is a french leader who takes an interest in to call -- charles de gaulle. , theame is paul renaud minister before the marshal comes into power in the spring of 1940 and will sue for peace with germany. he is a conservative, respected by almost everybody, a good, nationalist conservative, economic conservative, long-term .olitician, respected they take it into the chamber of
9:04 pm
deputies in 1934. course the of national line has to be maintained. it is important. it is very significant and brilliant, brilliant. the eiffel tower, right? but not sufficient. an army has to be able to attack as well as to defend. elite goese military andnst charles de gaulle's reynaud's ideas, and the minister of defense and the debates in 1935 gets up and says when we have spent so many millions on our fortifications who would believe us, foolish enough to sally out in front of
9:05 pm
him in search of heaven knows what adventure. cool. is that a pacifist talking or a general? and they do to de gaulle in france with the british did to churchill, make him an outsider, keep them out of power. they do nothing. a year and a half later if they had had part of what de gaulle wanted, they would not have needed general mobilization, which the germans used in the rhineland. they would use these ideas in their attacks on poland and france. have not that they did not alternatives placed in front of acceptt they did not these alternatives.
9:06 pm
finally, we have march 1939. hitler goes into the rest of czechoslovakia. bernard wasserstein gets really after hitler's took most of the rest of czechoslovakia, the maggots came out. what is a maggot? when do maggots come out? maybe this is too much on his part, but the maggots are the poles and hungarians. hitler's uses them to say it is not just that fagan's czechoslovakia, which never should have existed, but they take little pieces of czechoslovakia also. they are now, that
9:07 pm
on the germans borders. they would have been there anyway if the germans kept everything, but when you destabilize the state of chuckles that are cap, pushing , do youfurther eastward really believe that it will have no effect on you in hungary or poland? this is the moment when the reality of hitler's allies became blatantly obvious to everyone. because in that part of chuckles czechoslovakia he attacked in 1939 there were almost no ethnic that is even when chamberlain said, my god, the
9:08 pm
guy has been lying to me all the time. how could he do that? how dare he do that. bulk of thewhen the population come even france and great britain, come to take the -- in hebrew, enough is enough. no more. you have just broken your word. everything you have been saying has been based on assumptions. you are not a pan-german. you are the coming attila. you want to dominate all of europe. , while the british and france her dillydallying with rearmament's, hitler's is
9:09 pm
pushing on. in 1937 he tells the generals within annex couple of years we are going to war, so prepare yourselves, because there will be a war soon. if a civil war breaks out in france, that is time to go. if a civil war breaks out somewhere else, that is the time to attack. if the japanese do something stabilizing, that is the time to march. and it has to happen because i don't think i am going to live for more than another 10 years. it has to happen while i am still alive, and the generals get the picture. it is not what most of them wanted, not even the national socialist generals, but every single time he took a risk, and they said don't do it, and even some of his national socialist
9:10 pm
don't do that. that is too risky. every time he took a risk, it worked. it worked. hitler's said after the rhineland crisis, 48 hours after the rhineland crisis with the most terrifying time in my life. if the french had moved on us, we would have had to retreat with our tails between our legs. but the french didn't move 's were because de gaulle not there. germany was939, still building more than france and britain combined. , the single most is thatt denominator the british and the french knew want, andthey did not
9:11 pm
there you see the massive trauma of world war i viscerally invading the mentality in the common sense of people who were ordinarily fairly capable people. yes, the french leadership in the 1930's was not great. or renaud,de gaulle so even accident has a role. the person assassinating him was killing the king of yugoslavia. what are the accidents of history? he is gone. suppose somebody would have assassinated hitler. that would have changed things
9:12 pm
greatly. the french and british new only what they didn't want because they were traumatized culturally and psychologically, mentally, by the impact of world war i. .ost germans for the same way most italians actually felt the same way, but there were strong minorities in their countries who felt differently. hitler, will or one was the peak experience. it gave meaning to his life. he believed it was a natural part of the state of nature, general in 1911 in his book in which you said i must try to prove to you that war is not only necessary, but essential for cultural advancement. war is essential to the species
9:13 pm
improving itself. buter's believed in that, in totally racial terms. space,dation of race and and he was willing to risk thatthing on behalf of .deological belief a racial empire dominating europe in which each race had its place and germany was on top was a heap, and there subordinate place for every ,ther group, except the jews who had to be removed. if removal was not possible, murder was possible. avs made great workers.
9:14 pm
they didn't need to read and write. they didn't need teachers. they didn't need priests. they didn't need art. they needed to work for germans. he was inspired , the history of the united states, we know more about that now. for some people in the united states, that was vision. for some people in the united states, that is still the vision. the impact of world war i dominating this whole period. knownbritain is not historically for stupidity in diplomacy. yeah, they often start late and have to make up, start off losing their wars, then dig in, step-by-step, they crawl out
9:15 pm
usuallye, and win, but the brits are able to get other people to fight for them for payment historically. i. after world war appeasement. the french have a glorious history of military success. we don't think about that as americans because most of our lives they have not been very strong, but their history was 200 years of dominating europe militarily, producing great generals, thoughtful generals, brilliant generals. resistor, french before he was tortured to death wrote a book cold strange defeat strange he --called defeat in which he criticized every group in france, but the
9:16 pm
bottom criticism was the french defeat was a mental defeat. just like in 1870, the germans were smarter. every group in france did what it should not have been doing during the entire time and just could not come together. even though we had the lead, it is our mistakes of the elites, economic and military elites, because they are the ones who had power and could have changed the course of history. they are the ones who made the decisions. that is the perfect storm. a france in which the only person who has ideas that make any sense is pushed aside and
9:17 pm
ostracized, then tried and hung and became a traitor to the vichy government. faceritish, they did not deeply severe internal dislocation on the level of the french. why didn't they rearm? ther industrial capacity in beginning was greater than the german industrial capacity. why didn't they rearm? by 1940, they were producing as much or more than the germans because they put women in the factories. women in thet put factories until the end of the war. with the use more was slave labor, which cause dislocation. why didn't they produce the planes and tanks that were needed?
9:18 pm
because to produce it is to give voice to the fact that a war might take place, and that is camus comes into this course. what we learn from some of it on some level, although we will ins up probably is that politics and military affairs, there is aeral, when plague, you need to name it. you need to recognize it. it,ou name it and recognize you may be able to rationally say what do you have to do next, , ifif they had named this they had named this, what does that mean? to accept aave had process of getting ready and going to war before they
9:19 pm
themselves were attacked. they did not have the stomach for it. this gave adolf hitler an incredible advantage. he and the soviets could choose the time and place, in the british and the french would andcally, simply wait respond, but this is also incredible because while they were waiting for germany to attack, the french military was considering how to aid the finish against the bolsheviks. why would you want to aid the finish against the bolsheviks when germany is right next to you? that is part of the ideological fear,ion, confusion,
9:20 pm
confusion, criminal negligence of the highest kind on the part of people who had plenty of reason to fear, but who really should have known better, and the price they paid and all of andaid for their stupidity mistakes and lack of courage and lack of foresight was great indeed, and is still part of the world we live in. for your attention and we will have more questions later. thank you. announcer: you can watch lectures in history every weekend on american history tv. we take you inside college classrooms to learn about topics tom the american revolution 9/11 at 8:00 and midnight eastern on c-span three.
9:21 pm
announcer: june 6 was the second anniversary of the d-day invasion of nazi-occupied france. this weekend, a world war ii veteran talks about his experience parachuting into normandy after his plane was hit by enemy fire. here is a preview. a beech tree and had a good view of the german strong points. down and got two or three more i could find and place them near the tree so i could climb the tree and give them corrections and adjust on the strong point. delivered fire effect on a strong point of the germans put down their weapons and came out with white flags. i gave the command cease-fire,
9:22 pm
end of mission. a lieutenant countermanded the order and announced, countermand the order. repeat range, repeat for effect. i argued with him. i said come up and see they are coming out. he repeated his command. again,ey started firing the germans took up their weapons and got back in their holes and resume the conflict and i was externally perturbed because we had 10 or 15 men killed before we overcame the and that was not necessary. when i criticize the lieutenant
9:23 pm
he said, we had no choice. we knew we needed the bridge. we didn't know how much resistance we would have getting there. todidn't have any way control the prisoners once they were captured. my argument was these 10 or 15 people killed could have guarded the prisoners in live to fight another day. >> watch the entire interview oral histories. explore our nation's pass here on american history tv. afterwords, an former cia and intelligence analyst offers her insights into the workings of the agency and her work in tracking terrorists. she is interviewed by
9:24 pm
congressman andre carson of indiana. >> most people know who osama bin laden is. there was another figure you had a connection to with your service. tell us about your experience tracking him and those around him. >>, was charged initially with looking at and evaluating whether or not iraq had anything to do with 9/11 and al qaeda. as an analyst, we have been writing policymakers and briefing them in our bottom line was iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and al qaeda, so that was not the connection there. after the invasion when i became a targeting officer, kelly had rose to prominence because he had been attacking targets inside of iraq, then eventually joined al qaeda. my job was to dismantle his network, organization, and leadership. onouncer: watch afterwords
9:25 pm
book tv on c-span2. announcer: the mayo clinic is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals in america. brothers william and charlie mayo found at the clinic in 1889. next on american artifacts, we visit rochester, minnesota, to learn about the origins of the mayo clinic and its role in the community today. >> the mayo clinic is an american institution. it is the heart of our country in many respects. it is the world's first and largest private multispecialty group practice in medicine. that is a big, formal term.

20 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on