[Marxism] The British Nazi Obsession

Jack Cade jack.cade at btinternet.com
Thu May 12 07:01:11 MDT 2005

"Don't mention the war!" --Basil Fawlty

	To me Matthias Matussek seems to be discussing current
European conflicts under the guise of supposedly considering
'British' attitudes to the Victory in Europe. The UK has a direct
interest in the US new world order. Its armed forces are
integrated with the Americans and its overseas commitments, which
far exceed any other European power, could not be sustained
without US support. If it ever opposed the US it would be also
far more vulnerable than any other European state. The UK was
brought into the EU in the early 70s with the support of the USA.
Ever since WWII Britain has sought to retain its pre-eminence by
being a junior partner of the USA, the so-called 'special
relationship'. The Germans and French naturally have problems
with this and that is what his article is really about in my

> We Germans confront the guilt and shame of our past daily, and
> thoroughly and obsessively than probably any other nation on 
> earth has done. 
> Even 60 years after the end of the horrors, we are still
> perhaps even more so now than before. In the heart of the
capital a 
> Holocaust memorial in the shape of a forest of grey cement 
> posts has just 
> been inaugurated.
> Every German schoolchild knows the tales of German atrocities.
But in 
> England, Prince Harry parties with a swastika arm band. 
> Eighty per cent of 
> youngsters don't know what Auschwitz was about, but each one
will be 
> familiar enough with heroic films about the "Battle of 
> Britain" to believe 
> they had personally kicked the Hun up the backside.

	Do they now? It was not that long ago that the then West
German politics were dominated by revanchist politicians, who
refused to recognise the post-war boundaries of Europe and even
the existence of the GDR. Kurt Kiesinger, the Chancellor was an
ex-nazi. Franz Josef Strauss of the Bavarian CSU had his 'Grand
Design for Europe'. Some of these people openly wanted Germany
restored to its 1937 frontiers, which included much of present
day Poland and the old East Prussia enclave. The West Germans
(and now) always used the old anthem 'Deutschland Uber Alles'
with its 'Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit' (Unity and Right and
Freedom) and there was no doubt what the 'unity' entailed. The
GDR actually gave up the aim of a united Germany in 1968 and no
longer sang the words to its anthem, which included the phrase
'Deutschland einig vaterland' (Germany one fatherland).
> The Russians in the meantime consider us friends, even though 
> they lost 25 
> million people in the fight against the Nazi horde. They 
> respect us as a 
> hard-working, peace-loving people who have emerged renewed from
> devastation.

	So he thinks. This has not been my impression with the
Russians I've met and many European peoples, especially the
various Slavs, are always suspicious of the 'Nemetz'.

> The British, who only survived thanks to the Russians and 
> Americans, behave 
> as if they had conquered Hitler's hordes single-handedly. And 
> they continue 
> to see us as Nazis, as if they had to refight the battles 
> every evening. 
> They are positively enchanted by this Nazi dimension.

	The role of the Soviet Union was appreciated by British
people at the time, especially servicemen. But thanks to our
education system and media their role has been forgotten and
covered up. British people are scornful of the Americans for
dating the start of WWII as Pearl Harbour, rather than 1939, and
those alive at the time deeply resented the terms of 'Lend

 The British 
> policy of appeasement handed Hitler a victory over
Czechoslovakia. By 
> delaying the war, it made it worse. Nazi Germany enjoyed 
> great sympathy, 
> above all from the British aristocracy. Israel's prime minister
> rightly pointed this out during the recent Auschwitz 
> ceremonies: the British 
> did nothing to stop the Holocaust.

	This is true: the appeasement faction of the British
ruling class were in the ascendant until 1940, when Churchill
replaced Chamberlain. Churchill was not an anti-fascist but, like
Vansittart at the Foreign Office, saw that once Hitler had the
Czech mountains and arms factories there would be no stopping
him. The appeasers were too short-sighted to see that he would
turn west first. The Hess landing showed that Hitler still
believed at that date that a deal could be done.

> Meanwhile the British have no shortage of good subjects for
debate. I 
> suggested to the panel that my British friends should occupy 
> themselves with 
> the problems of Britain's past, with the massacres of the 
> Boer war, with the 
> infamous Opium Wars, with the concentration camps of Kenya in 
> the 1950s.

	Yes, we know the British set up the first concentration
camps in the Boer War. Beyond living memory now and nothing on
the scale and intent of the German ones.

> I believe the official British triumphalism has to do with 
> the Iraq war. If 
> you continuously inflate your self importance with memories 
> of grandeur in 
> the Second World War, if you endlessly replay your "finest 
> hour", you will 
> have a distorted view of the moral problems of today.

	So we get down to the hub of Mattusek's argument: Iraq
and British imperialism (although he doesn't use the term).

> We all must learn, losers as well as victors, British and 
> Germans together. 
> Only then will this VE day be one for mankind.

	It is quite natural what character celebrations like VE
will take given our social system, government and media. The real
story of VE day and what led up to it plus VJ day and the rest is
still to be written. The effort and ingenuity displayed by
British workers and servicemen in defeating the Nazi war machine
e.g. the bouncing bomb; the work of Post Office Engineers in
developing the Enigma computer (all destroyed by Churchill after
the war setting computer science back decades). One of the things
that all the VE Day bullshit cannot explain is why Churchill, the
so-called great war leader, was overwhelmingly defeated in the
1945 General Election. The truth was the people hated him as a
Tory and for his past with the Gallipoli decision (as Secretary
for War) and suppression of the miners at Tonypandy.

	We should remember Kim Philby, who ingratiated himself
with the British establishment  and got himself a job in MI6 by
writing for trade magazines (with Nazi Germany) and his
colleagues who sent Enigma information from Germany about the
Russian Front to the Soviet Union and saved many Red Army lives
and shortened the war. British reactionaries still hate them for
this. Why?

	As it is much of the treatment of WWII does not really do
any justice to London in the Blitz and the struggle of its
people. There is a tendency to glorify (for example) those
horrible ships: Bismarck; Graf Spee; Scheer; Tirpitz;
Scharnhorst; Prinz Eugen and others. All built for the sole
purpose of preying on merchant shipping. Have at look at the site
www.kbismarck.com "Dedicated to the memory of all those brave
German sailors who served and ultimately gave their lives aboard
the battleship "Bismarck" during the course of Operation
"Rheinübung"." to see how contrite some Germans are about their
war effort. Even the old film 'Sink the Bismarck' doesn't really
show the desperation of the Royal Navy in ensuring that the
bloody thing was sunk. The fear was that it would reach Brest, be
repaired and get out with the Scharnhorst and wreak havoc
throughout the Atlantic.

	Actually the English hate the French more, because of the
years of the 'Norman Yoke' and it being the historical enemy of
England (the Scots are a different story). Later this year there
will be a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Nelson's
victory at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Doubtless there will be
some differing perspectives on that as well, as there should be.

Jack Cade

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