If you were an Eastern European in the early 1940s, would you have preferred a compromise peace with Germany or (unconditional surrender + USSR rule)?

If you were an Eastern European in the early 1940s, which of these two options would you pick?

  • A compromise peace with Germany & having your country remain capitalist (but also possibly smaller)

  • Unconditional surrender for Germany and decades of subsequent Communist rule for your country


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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
If you were an Eastern European in the early 1940s, would you have preferred a compromise peace with Germany (so, instead of pushing for unconditional surrender, the Allies will offer a compromise peace to Germany if/after the Nazis are overthrown in an internal coup where Germany will keep some of its territorial gains from the war--or at the very least be allowed to keep its 1937 borders while losing all of its post-1937 territorial acquisitions--while the rest of Eastern Europe will reacquire its independence and remain capitalist) or unconditional surrender for Germany followed by decades of Soviet Communist rule in your (Eastern European) country?

It's an interesting question, isn't it? After all, while the slogan of unconditional surrender helped rally people in the Allied countries behind their countries' war efforts in WWII, it also ironically resulted in a slightly more deadly Holocaust than would have otherwise been the case (between 1943 and 1945, something like an additional million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust) and also resulted in Eastern Europe falling under Communist rule for almost half a century. The reason for this is that the unconditional surrender demand might have very possibly discouraged some German officers and officials who weren't fans of Hitler or even Nazi rule in general from engaging in any anti-Nazi coup attempts--thus making these coup attempts have fewer participants and thus making these coup attempts more likely to fail. Indeed, in real life, Hitler avoided ever being overthrown--thus allowing him to inflict maximum damage on Europe's Jewish population while also causing Eastern Europe (and eastern Germany as well) to fall under Communist rule due to the fact that Soviet troops had to occupy Eastern Europe before they could actually get to Berlin--and once the Soviets were in Eastern Europe, they weren't very inclined to leave Eastern Europe for a very long time. However, maybe history would have taken a different turn had the Allies not insisted on their unconditional surrender demand.

In turn, this raises an interesting question--if you were an Eastern European in the early 1940s, would you have preferred a compromise peace with Germany (even if this results in your country being smaller than it would have been in an unconditional surrender scenario) and having your country remain capitalist after WWII (thus very possibly allowing you to profit from this and also possibly have to better healthcare and to live longer) or insisting on unconditional surrender for Germany and thus having your country fall under Soviet Communist rule for several decades?

As for me, I might get a lot of criticism and cynicism for this, but if I was an Eastern European in the early 1940s, then I would have probably preferred the first option in spite of it being extremely emotionally unpleasant to me due to the fact that I would not have wanted to spend half a century of my own life under Communist rule. Even if I would have been 20 years old back then, I would have already been a senior citizen by the time that Communism would have collapsed--with me spending the majority of my life under Communism. Even if I was a Pole or a Czechoslovak, I would probably selfishly prefer to preserve my own quality of life even if that means having a smaller--albeit capitalist--country after the end of WWII.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
Should this thread be moved to a different section of this forum? For instance, to the European History section?
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,503
here
Maybe I’m missing something, but the answer to this question, given the options, seems like a no-brainer. The benefits seem to all be in favor of the first option, what if any advantages come with the second “decades of communist rule,” option?
 
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Jul 2019
1,078
New Jersey
Maybe I’m missing something, but the answer to this question, given the options, seems like a no-brainer. The benefits seem to all be in favor of the first option, what if any advantages come with the second “decades of communist rule,” option?
Well, our very own Reds on this forum may well think that's a good thing.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
Maybe I’m missing something, but the answer to this question, given the options, seems like a no-brainer. The benefits seem to all be in favor of the first option, what if any advantages come with the second “decades of communist rule,” option?
The benefits of the second option would be enjoying a larger (and nevertheless virtually German-free country) if one is either a Pole or a Czech (or perhaps a Romanian as well).
 
Dec 2017
357
Florida
Give me the first option. What are the terms of the surrender? Do Germans come into our country with death squads? I'm not a nationalist so I don't really care about the "country"
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
Give me the first option. What are the terms of the surrender? Do Germans come into our country with death squads? I'm not a nationalist so I don't really care about the "country"
No; rather, Germany keeps some of its territorial gains or at the very least returns to its 1937 or 1938 borders but otherwise disarms, demilitarizes, returns to democracy, and forced to pay reparations and to respect minority rights. Also, there's no partition of Germany--so it's essentially a Weimar Republic 2.0.