help contrasting between America and WWII Germany

skizzerflake

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
2,141
Baltimore, Maryland
I've read a lot of books about WWII in the past year, spanning from the end of WWI, the economic troubles, the war itself, and the aftermath. I unfortunately do not know anyone who has any interest in history, so I have no way of bouncing my thoughts off other people. The more I've read about the third reich, the more it seems to me that they tried, but failed to do what America did with its westward expansion and killing of the indians.....
Uh...no. The Nazis tried to expand their country by marching into others, killing or reducing the inhabitants to peons, selecting certain groups that they didn't like, especially Jews, and reducing them to slave labor or fuel for ovens. The US expansion left a lot to be desired in regard to how we treated Natives, but nothing we did came close to being an industrialized infrastructure of death. World history is full of awful events, but the Nazis are special.
 
Jan 2012
193
Land of 10,000 lakes
I see you touched a nerve OP. I also have looked upon the systematic seizure of the land of American Indians and slavery, with all the torture, murder and dehumanization that went with it, as not all that different from what the Germans did in World War 2. Yes the Germans were more systematic and thorough but isn't that a German characteristic?
The Germans killed people they considered racially inferior to create libestraume. The Americans pushed the Indians, who they considered racially inferior, further and further inland and then into the deserts and onto reservations to create living space for "settlers". By the way what is the difference between a settler and an invader when someone else is already living on the land?
If the Indians didn't want to leave their land they were killed. Blacks, like Slavs, Gypsies and Jews were worked to death in camps and plantations.
The arguments that I see postulated here are in regards to the severity of European treatment to blacks and American Indians vs. German treatment of the people they considered inferior. I would argue that the actions in the America's were worse because they lasted 400 years.In Germany it was what 15 years? I'm sure the American experience, America to include all of the America's, was not lost on the Third Reich.
 
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Sargon of Akkad

Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
6,987
Glorious England
I see you touched a nerve OP. I also have looked upon the systematic seizure of the land of American Indians and slavery, with all the torture, murder and dehumanization that went with it, as not all that different from what the Germans did in World War 2. Yes the Germans were more systematic and thorough but isn't that a German characteristic?
The Germans killed people they considered racially inferior to create libestraume. The Americans pushed the Indians, who they considered racially inferior, further and further inland and then into the deserts and onto reservations to create living space for "settlers". By the way what is the difference between a settler and an invader when someone else is already living on the land?
If the Indians didn't want to leave their land they were killed. Blacks, like Slavs, Gypsies and Jews were worked to death in camps and plantations.
The arguments that I see postulated here are in regards to the severity of European treatment to blacks and American Indians vs. German treatment of the people they considered inferior. I would argue that the actions in the America's were worse because they lasted 400 years.In Germany it was what 15 years? I'm sure the American experience, America to include all of the America's, was not lost on the Third Reich.
Thank you. I was worried that I'd have to post this, after all the apologist nonsense in this thread so far.

"The Comanches killed the Iroqois so that makes it okay" rationale is naturally bullcrap. Genocides occurred, the Americans were responsible. This is entirely analogous to Nazi Germany - a systematic program of extermination that resulted in the annihilation of whole peoples for lebensraum for American colonists in the name of 'Manifest Destiny'. How one can claim that this is not exactly the same as what the Nazis did is utterly beyond me.
 
Jan 2012
193
Land of 10,000 lakes
Thank you. I was worried that I'd have to post this, after all the apologist nonsense in this thread so far.

"The Comanches killed the Iroqois so that makes it okay" rationale is naturally bullcrap. Genocides occurred, the Americans were responsible. This is entirely analogous to Nazi Germany - a systematic program of extermination that resulted in the annihilation of whole peoples for lebensraum for American colonists in the name of 'Manifest Destiny'. How one can claim that this is not exactly the same as what the Nazis did is utterly beyond me.
It is easier to judge others honestly than to look at oneself and pass an honest judgement. I am glad to say that though those things occurred in America's past we are still a miracle nation where 310 million people from every conceivable corner of the world live in relative peace and respect for one another. That is our redemption for our past.
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
We've are at a point as a society where we judge the actions of our ancestors by our own 21st century morals, at which point it is easy for certain people to sling around words such as racist, barbaric and then throw the burden of guilt upon the decedents. I study history to understand the past, for my own selfish purposes, not to advance a political or social agenda. How someone without a political or social agenda can so easily categorize "good" and "evil" in this situation just don't make sense.

The Native Americans weren't the benevolent mass of stoicism and earthly innocence they are portrayed as. They raided, murdered, enslaved, kidnapped, tortured and cannibalized white settlers. Understanding the realities of the time I can understand how a 17th through 19th Christian European/American mindset could use dehumanizing terms such as savages and heathens to describe the Native American and I could understand the aggressive policies towards them. On the other hand, it was their land. So I can also understand without passing judgement, why the Indians, raided, murdered, enslaved, kidnapped, tortured and cannibalized white settlers.

What happened to the Native Americans is tragic, and unfortunate part of our history, but even more unfortunate is the inevitability of it. If it wasn't us it would have been someone else.

I cannot make such justifications towards the Nazi's. I cannot make sense of what they did.
This. Very well said.
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
I see you touched a nerve OP. I also have looked upon the systematic seizure of the land of American Indians and slavery, with all the torture, murder and dehumanization that went with it, as not all that different from what the Germans did in World War 2. Yes the Germans were more systematic and thorough but isn't that a German characteristic?
The Germans killed people they considered racially inferior to create libestraume. The Americans pushed the Indians, who they considered racially inferior, further and further inland and then into the deserts and onto reservations to create living space for "settlers". By the way what is the difference between a settler and an invader when someone else is already living on the land?
If the Indians didn't want to leave their land they were killed. Blacks, like Slavs, Gypsies and Jews were worked to death in camps and plantations.
The arguments that I see postulated here are in regards to the severity of European treatment to blacks and American Indians vs. German treatment of the people they considered inferior. I would argue that the actions in the America's were worse because they lasted 400 years.In Germany it was what 15 years? I'm sure the American experience, America to include all of the America's, was not lost on the Third Reich.
Methinks your namesake is rolling over in his grave. :)
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
"The Comanches killed the Iroqois so that makes it okay" rationale is naturally bullcrap.
You're right about that. And I haven't seen anyone here make that claim. What people have said is that there's a difference between fighting a war in which both sides engage in vicious acts, and systematically rounding up innocent people and murdering them in the gas chamber.
 
Jan 2012
193
Land of 10,000 lakes
You're right about that. And I haven't seen anyone here say that it was "okay". What people have said is that there's a difference between fighting a war in which both sides engage in vicious acts, and systematically rounding up innocent people and murdering them in the gas chamber.
What about systematically rounding up innocent people up and murdering them on plantation's for generations? Or lynching them? What about systematically rounding up innocent people up and forcing them onto a Bataan like March of Tears across half a continent in winter? What vicious acts did the blacks enslaved in America commit? What vicious act did the Cherokee commit other than owning land coveted by Andrew Jackson's supporters?
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are 4.5 million Native Americans and Native Alaskans living in the United States today. How many Jews do you suppose would be living in Germany today if the Third Reich had lasted 400 years?
 
Mar 2012
256
Pataligram, Pataliputra, Palibothra, Kusumpur, Pus
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are 4.5 million Native Americans and Native Alaskans living in the United States today. How many Jews do you suppose would be living in Germany today if the Third Reich had lasted 400 years?
That would depend on a lot of factors. How third reich had managed to survive, what form will it take in future? and so on.
Then, do you really think USA today is exactly the same USA as it was many years ago?

Also, this debate is more about systematic extermination of slavic people for lebensraum and I am sure you will agree that a lot of them would had survived the carnage to make a presence 400 years later.