Date: 2017-04-11 07:20 am (UTC)
selenak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selenak
Here via Network; very interesting reviews. But I have one question:

it never had large parties fully committed to the democratic experiment

Well, excuse me, but what does Mr. Evans call the SPD then? Which was founded in Bismarck's era, and despite the WWI triggered split which ultimately led to the formation of the KPD definitely remained one of the big German parties (to this day). During the Weimar Republic, it controlled on avarage 25% of the votes. At the point when Hitler came to power, it still had 18% of the German votes in the last sort of democratic elections. Now there's a lot you can critisize about various Social Democrats in the Weimar era (and before, and after), but they were a) committed to the republic, b) the only party to speak up against Ermächtigungsgesetz in 1933 in March 1933 (both in the sense of voting against it and in the sense of an SPD MP holding a speech - Otto Wels, c) by June 1933 were declared illegal, with members still regarding themselves as members forced to go into exile, underground or end up in prison.

Now I don't have a problem with the central "not enough believers in democracy in Germany between 1918 - 1933" argument per se. But "no large party truly committed to democracy in the Weimar era" immediatley makes me protest. It would certainly have been an incredibly offensive statement to the late Otto Wels. ("At this historic hour, we German Social Democrats pledge ourselves to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and Socialism. No Enabling Law can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible ... "You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless but not honourless.")

Mind you: re: parallels to the current day - here's one disquieting one for you. During the last Weimar years, there was so much left and liberal infighting, and certainly the KPD went out of its way to declare the SPD "just as bad" as the Nazis. Sounds familiar?
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