September 30th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

World War I to finally end for Germany this weekend

A French machine gun crew mans a Hotchkiss gun on August 1, 1915.

Germany and the Allies can call it even on World War I this weekend.

On Sunday - the 20th anniversary of East and West Germany unifying about a year after the Berlin Wall fell - Deutschland will make the last in a series of reparation payments that has spanned more than nine decades.

The final payment is £59.5 million, about $93.8 million
, reported London's Telegraph newspaper. Germany had to pay Belgium and France for material damages and the rest of the Allies the costs of fighting the war.

The initial tally in 1919, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel, was 96,000 tons of gold but was slashed by 40 to 60 percent (sources vary) a few years later. The debt was crippling, just as French Premier Georges Clemenceau intended.
Germany went bankrupt in the 1920s, Der Spiegel explained, and issued bonds between 1924 and 1930 to pay off the towering debt laid on it by the Allied powers in 1919's Treaty of Versailles.

Under the treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Trianon, other Central Powers, namely the Austro-Hungarian empire, were forced to cede significant territory to Poland, Italy, Romania, then-Czechoslovakia and various other Slavic nations.

Germany thought U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" would provide the foundation for a future peace treaty, but Great Britain, France and Italy were still bitter, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

French run from an explosion during WWI.

France had been the most devastated by the war, and Clemenceau feared Germany might attack France again if it recovered, so he and other European leaders sought to stifle the nation's economic recovery, and in effect, its ability to rearm, the museum said. Restrictions were placed on its army and navy, and it was forbidden to have an air force.

The Treaty of Versailles not only forced Germany to give up territories to France, Belgium, Poland, the Czechs and the League of Nations, but it also included a "War Guilt Clause" forcing Germany to accept responsibility for the war, thereby making it liable for the damages.

Britain's John Maynard Keynes felt the treaty's demands were too steep and resigned in 1919 after warning, "Germany will not be able to formulate correct policy if it cannot finance itself."

As Keynes predicted, the plan backfired. While Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria all violated the terms of their accords, mainstream voters flocked to Germany's right-wing parties and Adolf Hitler's Nazis rode to power on a wave of resentment over the Treaty of Versailles' terms, according to the Holocaust museum.

World War I historian Gerd Krumeich told Der Spiegel that Hitler's message of tearing up the treaty and restoring Germany to greatness resonated with the country.

"There was tremendous frustration in Germany in the 1920s - this conflict that cost 2 million lives and left 4 or 5 million wounded is supposed to have been in vain, and it was all our fault?" Krumeich told the magazine. "The reparations payments compounded everything. Not only was Germany given the moral blame, it was also supposed to pay an outlandish sum that most people had never even heard of."

Germany discontinued reparations in 1931 because of the global financial crisis, and Hitler declined to resume them when he took the nation's helm in 1933, Der Spiegel reported.

After reaching an accord in London in 1953, West Germany paid off the principal on its bonds but was allowed to wait until Germany unified to pay about 125 million euros ($171 million) in interest it accrued on its foreign debt between 1945 and 1952, the magazine said.

In 1990, Germany began paying off that interest in annual installments, the last of which will be distributed Sunday.

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Filed under: Belgium • France • Germany • Italy • Poland • Romania • War
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Duane W

    Wow who knew almost 100 years to pay a debt off, feels like my credit cards

    September 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jerry

      lol thats funny credit cards yuk

      September 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • UchihaMadara

      hah that was funny. That is pretty amazing though....

      September 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      Learn your history Ben. Nazi worked hand-in-hand with mega coporations. They were right wing. Why do you think communits and facists hated each other? They were on extreme ends of the idological sphere. Thats why most liberals are baffled when you call Obama a nazi. Socialist= Stalinist Facist= Nazi.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Ben: Hitler was a Facist. That's quite different from Socialism. Look it up.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Ben – Actually fascism was considered far right wing, on the opposite spectrum from communism, which is far left wing. In essence, fascism was supposed to be the polar opposite of communism, but ended up being the farther apart you got on the political spectrum, the closer together you got in the end. Get YOUR facts straight my friend.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      Sorry Ben,
      the nazis were not socialists, the party was at the extreme right. Look it up in the enciclopedia.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • davec.0121

      For Ben - set aside the idealogy for a little while. History shows that "National Socialism" (i.e., the Nazis) was socialist in name only. Although there were some true radicals who wanted to re-draw society, they were purged soon after Hitler took power. Once the Depression started and Germany went into a major fiscal crisis, the electorate became sharply polarized between extreme right-wing parties and the left (Communists and Socialists). The Nazis soon became the dominant right wing party (with significant financial assistance from German industrialists, who were afraid of the left's agenda), and were the largest party in the Reichstag when Hitler came to power.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Buck

      How long will it takw to pay off the debt from the Bush Wars?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      @Ben

      Right – except you're completely wrong. The Nazi party campaigned on the failures of communism and left-wing policies in general. They actively persecuted communists and leftists in Germany. Try wikipedia, stupid.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      Ouch, Ben just got schooled. I wish CNN could notify fools about their schooling so they can take it like a man and never try to sound like an intellectual again.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      about 1/3 as much time as it will take to pay off the Obama Stimulas package. He managed to spend more money in 2 years with less tax base than Bush did in 7.5 years of war.... Wow what a bad idea both were....

      September 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • marxst

      Hey Ben don't look at things so directly The National Socialist German Workers' Party or the Nazi party is just a name that does not really express the party's ideology. They were "national socialist" which is just a variation they created on fascism which included biological racism and antisemitism and had absolutely nothing to do with the left or socialism or communism for that matter.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Now you know why Hitler went after the bankers.They pulled the same scam they've always been pulling. Put people in debt, will make you rich, but putting entire countries in debt....

      September 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • paddy

      @Ben

      The word "Socialist" in "National Socialist" is one of the greatest ironies of 20th Century history. Home schooling let you down.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Ben, I'm wondering what other nonsense you believe. That post of yours has to be the most pathetic of all time. Please tell us you did NOT graduate from a public school.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      We have to realize that people like Ben are basically looking for any opportunity to bash Obama. What's funny is that they don't mind putting their own stupidity and ignorance on display to do it.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeBee

      I feel sorry for Ben. He is only doing what the Tea Party and Republicans have taught him...make up facts and call anyone that knows better an idiot.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vector

      @Ben You're either a troll or you watch too much Glen Beck & Faux News. Repeating it a million times doesn't make it factual... Repeating it a million times doesn't make it factual... Repeating it a million times doesn't make it factual... Repeating it a million times doesn't make it factual...

      Otherwise Funny comment Duane W. 🙂

      September 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kriss greenn

      I feel you with the credit cards and student loans!
      And thank you, folks for correcting Ben so i wouldn't have to.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave44

      ok.... i mean yes ben had it completely wrong but does it really take 17 people to tell him? you really aren't adding anything useful to the conversation after the second or third time someone points out how wrong he was

      unless it is just to make you feel better

      September 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • paddy

      @dave44

      Yes. It takes 17, 117 or 1017. This Nazi = Left Wing = Socialist = Obama stuff is so off base it is ridiculous. It plays on peoples' ignorance and skews their perspective. An ignorant electorate is one of the greatest dangers to Democracy.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      I think Ben is a graduate of Glenn Beck University.

      September 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Hitler and his Nazis may or may not have been socialists, but they DID call themselves socialists! (National Socialists!) All of you who constantly attack Christianity for crimes committed by Non-Christians within the Church had better remember that when a person or group of people commit crimes in the name of a religious or political philosophy they're not really what they pretend to be. If you still insist that the Crusades and the Inquisition were Christian crimes just because the perpetrators called themselves Christians, then I am free to assume that Socialists are also murderers like Stalin, Pol Pot, et al. who took the name of Socialists to kill and destroy

      September 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnK

      All,

      Ben is correct. Fascists and Nazis are both statist parties and very far left, not right. Mussolini was a socialist all his life; he only led the Fascist party when he was denied leadership of the Italian socialists in 1922, but it was a socialist party, too. The idea that the Nazis were far right is left over Soviet propaganda from 1941

      October 1, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Es kommt entlich zu ende!

    September 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Inga in Texas

      Gott sei Dank

      September 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • NDGINLA

      Zumindest für jetzt.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skibo

      Das ist sehr gut!

      September 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • paddy

      Ich gratuliere die Deutschen!

      September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin H

      Laß uns nie mehr greifen!

      September 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeofLA

      starten Sie keine Kriege mehr

      September 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • zero

      Du Hast Misch!

      September 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enrique

      Hola!!

      September 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi

      Yahoo.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • hylundr

      Wir haben weder den ersten noch den zweiten Weltkrieg angefangen! Euer KauderwelchDeutsch ist ganz schoen lustig hier LOLOLOLOL

      September 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fritz

      ICH HABE EIN SCHUPFEN!

      September 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • @hylundr

      Selbstverständlich haben wir den Zweiten Weltkrieg angefangen, Du Experte. Oder wurde die deutsche Armee von einem Orkan nach Polen geblasen und konnte sich nicht wehren?
      Der Erste Weltkrieg ist natürlich ein anderes Thema.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Edgar Friendly

    It's worth pointing out that the poverty imposed on the Germans after the Treaty of Versailles is generally recognized as being a major contributing factor to the rise of the Nazis. Something that should be relevant to a country as cash strapped as ours. People are willing to do crazy things when money's tight.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      ...like join the Tea Party.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Yes, join the Tea Party...and thank the Dumbocrats for the herding people into it.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yup, like electing an idiot. That's why we are having the Tea Party's

      September 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Don't forget the predecessor idiot we elected in 2000 and 2004..........

      September 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • UchihaMadara

      Hey he may be an idiot, but George Bush honestly got us to the point we are right now. Every political party is at fault nowadays...

      September 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom J

      ...and the idiot before him, too.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John M

      You left out the tens of millions of idiots who voted for those idiots. Quit blaming the Presidents. You buffoons voted for them. Next time quit being sheep and consider all candidates, not just the mainstream ones...

      September 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • SFC Mike

      There's no comparison to 1920s to early 1930s Weimar Republic Germany and the US, at any point in its hystery. The German people experienced MASSIVE unemployment, food shortages, bread and potato riots, and record hyperinflation to such an extreme that any German in that era would have considered current US economic conditions to be heaven on earth in comparison to what Germany endured over a much longer timespan.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pig Spotter

      What are the odds that the Tea Party has its own private police (security) force?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Poster wrote: "That's why we have the tea party's":::::THE TEA PARTY'S WHAT?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      @PigSpotter: Actually, probably very good. They do a great job of cleansing their ranks of those who are not ideologically pure, or who may be a liability in their efforts to seize power. Machiavelli would be proud.

      Someone in the TP is playing the enforcer, we just don't know who.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Yawn, here we go, more leftist government conspiracy scare tactics....

      September 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi

      Probably aggravated the issues of the Depression as well.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl_UK

      forgive my ignorance (I'm not based in the USA), but what exactly is a Tea Party! I thought it was an upper middle-class version of the Dinner For Schmucks game – or am I way off base there?

      September 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Yeah like ranting against illgal aliens (When do we start building concentration camps?)

      October 1, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Taylor

    RWAR!

    September 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Inga in Texas

    The cost of a war as it relates to human suffering can never be truly "repaid", However, in terms of the financial commitment it is good to know that Germany has fulfilled its obligation.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Now More Than Ever

      It's funny that Germany finally paid off its debt to England and France, but the debt to the US was called off because it was deemed unreasonable...Why then did the Brits and Frogs accept that money that has nothing to do with the past half century of diplomatic relations?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      @now more than ever

      I believe the US never received reparations from Germany from WW 1 because Congress didnt ratify the Treaty of Versailles.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chemack56

    What about WW2? Are they paying reparations for that? I would imagine that would be a considerably larger debt.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      They did.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      I'd also add that the Allies were saner the next time around with their demands. We were more interested in getting Germany's economy going, to avoid repeating the mistakes of Versailles.

      We can argue all day about whether or not this was just or fair; I imagine there are plenty of Poles, Czechs, and Jews who would like to. But in the end, economies are for maximizing well-being, not dispensing justice.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sinks In

      What's in YOUR wallet???

      September 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Devin

      @Reality Sinks In

      There's nothing in my wallet. It keeps finding it's way to China, via Wal Mart and our national debt...

      September 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Reparations were negotiated with many countries; among them France, Italy, Greece, Israel, Denmark etc.
      However, the Iron Curtain prevented negotations with some eastern European countries, and especially the eastern european Jews who were used as labour slaves during the war. Some of them receive compensation now, but most of them died without ever getting a penny.

      October 1, 2010 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    The USA will be paying the debt off for the "Remake the Middle East" boondogle for generations too come also. We are too stupid to see what is staring us right in the face, Ike warned us and so did the Founders, yet we chose to remain blind to the facts. Hubris before the fall, with interest.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Yawn...another lefty guffaws...

      September 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John M

      How is that lefty? I'm very conservative and that's right on...

      September 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Scoff much?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      The really sick thing is that our misadventures could have the same consequence as Versailles: fomenting discontent, and opening the door for a rabid dog of a dictator. Iraq is looking about as stable as the Weimar Republic every day, and guess who's next door to the east?

      September 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • scranton

      So are you comparing the United States as a Nazi regime? Wow you really are stretching to make a huffington post comment.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Nope, just saying that actions have consequences. And actions that look like past mistakes usually have the same consequences.
      I wasn't comparing the US to the Nazis at all (now, come on..). But our naivete about creating new democracies in the Middle East and hoping they'll just suddenly flourish looks a lot like that of the allied European diplomats of 1919.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nkelly

      Remember that France tried to bludgeon a first world country into third world status after they LOST. Bad idea. Won't work. They'll always come back to bite you.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeizeNN

      I guess fiscal conservatism is the new left. This comment would then place Ron Paul to the extreme far left of Obama.

      Scranton, you do realize that 1) comparisons can be made without claiming the things being compared are identical and 2) the comparison to the economics of the time not politics.

      September 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fred

    The connection between the Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Nazi Germany is also something that should be kept in mind when defining punitive economic sanctions against countries such as Iran and North Korea – such approaches to foreign policy can backfire badly.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      There's just a slight difference between war reparations AFTER a war and sanctions on a country to prevent it from gaining war making technology and abilities.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • helion

      The difference is academic. Discontent arose in Germany because of the lack of capitol flowing into their people. Sanctions may not be the same as a War Debt on paper, but they have the same net effect, less money for the people of that country, higher prices for goods, and a lack of imported goods to make up for what is missing. Just as much discontent can be generated by sanctioning a country as can be through slapping that same country with debt. All it takes is one strong leader and a lot of men with guns to make the general populace fall in line.

      Riddle me this, exactly how many times has sanctioning a government worked, so far as making that country back down militarily?

      September 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RBIE

    At this slow rate of pay Germany will pay off its WW2 debt in the year 3021.. They must owe the Jews big time.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Randy M in MN

    Interesting that Germany went bankrupt in 1920. That may have helped fuel the start of Hitler and the Nazi regime. I agree with Inga in Texas that human suffering from a war is NEVER repaid as there is no monetary value on a human life. Instead of war, countries should play a game of chess, best two out of three wins.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabby

      We'd all be good little Soviet comrades if it were decided by chess....

      September 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MrEee

    Yep, Germany was certainly guilty of industrializing and aspiring to the same things that its neighbors already had. Nice job to the rulers of England & France making sure it would be even worse next time around. :/

    September 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Yeah, and we should just ignore the little details, like the invasion of Poland and the holocaust, right?

      September 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • bandit109

      Well groovy, Poland was invaded to retake territory lost after WWI and a main cause of the Holocaust was the scapegoating of the jews for the loss of the war. So yeah, they do both have direct ties to the Treaty of Versailles.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John W. Booth

      Wrong war, Goober. Try again. Unless, that is, you're blaming the Weimar Republic for Nazism, and if so, I blame the Clinton Administration for Bush.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CBenji

    Wow, can you imagine if they hadn't have given them this crushing debt? Maybe Hitler would have stayed an artist, the Jews would have lived, we wouldn't have had WWII, and the world would be a much different place. Or they could have just taken over the world anyway... Who knows???

    September 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      And if Eve hadn't eaten the apple we'd all still be living in paradise....

      "If" and "might" are the war cries of liberals. We can't change the past, it's done. We can only learn from the mistakes and move forward.

      get out of your dream worlds and face reality.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      Interesting thought.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonnienc

      groovygoober: Analyzing 'what-if' scenarios of past events is really the only way we CAN learn from the past, to improve our reasoning moving forward. It's called critical thought. What you do, on the other hand, is formulate an opinion, and then look for facts to back it up. You are defective.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • scranton

      Good point. Really does make one wonder.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Hardly jonnienc, you don't live in a dream world and worry about if or might and try to legislate stupid laws on it like the liberals want to do, especially more so if there is no precedent for it. You don't dream about the what ifs and might haves from the past as "if" it had only been different. You take the facts of the past and you apply that knowledge and experience to the future and avoid the situations that brought it about to begin with. You don't wonder "if" a party tries to seize power like the nazis did what are we to do, you take action to stop it before they make it that far.

      Nice of you to post your opinion though and try to inject BS, I mean "facts'.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Critical Thought – determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. taerds

    Why was the debt continued after Germany smashed France in WWII? Didn't that reset the clock on any old obligations?

    September 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. timbo

    Let us all remember that the Germans did not flock to right wing parties as we term them today. In today's terms they flocked to Left wing parties, to the Nazi party. Nice little spin of words. Who wrote this article???

    September 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thom

      Ummm the Nazis were not a Left wing group. They were Fascists. I'm pretty sure that's about as far to the Right as is humanly possible.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josefius

      Nazi's were National Socialists, Italy's black shirts were Fascist. And yes, Nazi's were very right wing.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The Nazi party can be appropriately classified as right wing by todays political definitions. Although the economic model of the Nazis was not consistent with todays right wing parties, it was not "socialist" in the purest sense. Nazis were right wing to the extent that they are extremely conservative and nationalist. They had an ultra-agressive foreign policy (quite obviously) and sought national power and prestige. They also despised communism, soviets and "lower classes" of people who were unwilling or unable to work. They further despised the redistribution of wealth to the "lower classes" which is a staple of todays left wing politics. Although comparing politics between now and 70 years ago can result in some overlapping of classifications, the Nazis were undoubtedly a right wing party by 1930s standards and by 2010 standards.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thom

      Josefius: The Italians were the first to call it "facism" in 1922, but the German model fits the bill:

      (1) One party government, (2) forcible suppression of opposition groups, (3) retention of private ownership as means of production under government control, (4) belligerent nationalism, (5) racism, (6) glorification of war, and (7) disregard for human rights.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Let us all remember that historical revisionism is terrible, and you should be ashamed at your attempts to rewrite history.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thomas

    Oh, I get it: the Nazis were right-wingers. That's why they called themselves the National *Socialists*, because they were, you know, right-wingers. Got it! For those of you do not know, Nazi is an acronym. It stands for National Socialist German Workers' Party. Through the magic of dipshiat CNN doublespeak this makes them right-wingers. Your J-School education is really showing its value here folks!

    September 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thom

      No.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sprout

      Oh, I see! So, the DDR (German Democratic Republic – aka EAST GERMANY) was therefore Democratic, as is the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea – aka NORTH KOREA). Keep drinking that tea!

      September 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      No. The acronym is NSDAP, Nazi is a shortened form of the German word "Nationalsozialist", based on its pronunciation. And there is a distinct difference between National Socialism and Socialism, as evidenced by the fact that the Socialists and National Socialists of the era were bitter enemies. There is a memorial outside the Reichstag today to all the members of the German parliament the Nazis murdered when they came to power.. mostly communists and socialists. Some friends, eh?

      September 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I know Glenn Beck hasn't told you, but socialism does not necessarily = liberal, or left wing. Look up the ACTUAL definition for socialism.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Sounds like you got your history lesson from Fox News or Rush Limbaugh; both of which used the same argument to further a political (historically inaccurate) point.
      The German Nazi party were socialists in name ONLY, NOT in their political beliefs or doctrines. Much like the current right-wing movement, they used their supposed love of the working class to veil their true autocratic intentions. It was widely known that their actual doctrines had nothing to do with protecting the people but more about world domination.
      If you actually had the education that pertain to have, you'd also know that the Nazis fought the Russian communists on the eastern front and that although the Nazis and communist Russians (Bolshevics) had the same type of autocratic leaders, they were politically at opposite ends of the spectrum.
      So, in your logic, that probably means that the Russians were right-wingers!

      September 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • kishg

      Go read up some more on Nazi history before you post. The word socialist in the name has nothing to do with their political ideology. Nazis as well as the Mussolini camp are/were ultra right wing fascists. read more about fascism here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

      September 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • realistic85

      It's easy to confuse because Republicans are a lot like Nazi's. Hate filled, facist, racist, hypocrictical, irresponsible... The list just keeps going and going. Keep goose stepping Republicans, you aren't fooling anyone.

      September 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • groovygoober

      Maybe Phil, but let's not leave out the current left-wingers who claim to be for the poor people, but rather fend for themselves, getting fat and rich off of emotion, bluster and hubris. Using poverty and children as a hew and cry and taking advantage of it to the fullest. Making mockery of one's office and lying about it to congress and so forth. Charlie Rangel and Bill Clinton are shining examples.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arciel

      WOW Thomas, I was going to say something . . . but you already got some free education from other people.
      Now go back to your tea bagger friends and explain what you learned.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • John M

      Wow, a thread full of clueless people on both ends... Fascism is both anti-liberal and anti-conservative at the same time. Conservatism by definition means less government and more freedom. That certainly is not fascism nor is it really a reflection of what most in America define as conservatism, which is why the ORIGINAL Tea Party movement was started in late 2007 by Ron Paul supporters(but not Ron Paul). the movement was hijacked more or less in April 2009 by many Republicans but fortunately still has an active contingent with Libertarian ideals...

      Bash the Tea Party all you want, but if you do you are bashing the idea of less government and more freedom. The people who started the movement are a bit different than the ones who hijacked the movement, but we haven't gone away. We aren't racist, we aren't all white(by a long shot), and most importantly we believe in limited government in all aspect of our personal lives.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Buck

      Yes doubting Thomas, the NAZIS were a right wing fascist party.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Actually, John, the idea of less government is a liberal one. Look up Adam Smith, The Wealth of the Nations and his thoughts on what he defined as the "invisible hand" (the economy would regulate itself without any goverment intervention).

      September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Folks, calm down now. You should all be well aware that extremists use language only for their benefit, not to convey meaning. Hitler used the label of "socialism" to appeal to the middle and working classes. Stalin had some of his countrymen murdered after mock trials accused his victims of being "rotten liberals". And none of this makes any sense in the context of 21st century America, no matter how hard the partisans here wish it.
      The bottom line? If you need labels to explain how others think, you're not thinking.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • CBenji

      Obviously Thomas just because they have "socialist" in their name did not make them "socialist" you big genius. Perhaps you majored in auto shop I am guessing.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arciel

      John M. . . . .so ,you call people clueless and say that ?!? Whats wrong with you man ? Tea bagger ?

      September 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
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