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    Robert Linford
    Researcher Extraordinaire

  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Hi Curry

    Hitler claimed it had been a mistake for a young country like Germany to shackle itself to the old, decrepit Austrian Empire, and when war came in 1914 he chose to enlist in the German, not the Austrian, army.

    During the 1930s/early 40s the US government commissioned a psychoanalytic report on Hitler. According to the docs, while everyone else was referring to Germany as the Fatherland, Hitler called Germany the Motherland. Their conclusion was that Hitler identified young, fresh Germany with his mother, and old Austria with his father (Hitler's father had been a fair bit older than his mother). I cannot remember what they made of the Anschluss, when Germany absorbed Austria, but I imagine it was deeply Freudian.

    Hitler seems to have loved his mother (who died while he was in his teens) but to have had a bad relationship with his father, so I guess you could make out a case for Mussolini being a substitute father (even though he was only 6 years older than Hitler). Hitler seems to have refused to see any weakness in Mussolini, instead blaming the Italian people for letting him down. When Mussolini OKd the Anschluss, Hitler wrote an incredible message to him, vowing to stick by him through thick and thin, and this was one of the few promises that he kept.

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    There was certainly a long history between Prussia/Germany and tit for tat reactions, usually after military conflicts which France lost. The harsh indemnities forced on France during the Prussian occupation 1870-73, (Treaty of Frankfort) for example. All those stories of patriotic Frenchwomen popping their wedding rings for money to put in the general pot to pay it all off. Then of course, there was Versailles in 1919!

    I've always thought there was a personal as well as a ideological element to Hitler insisting on Austria becoming part of a greater German state. All the humiliations perhaps; his inability to be admitted to the art school, the years of grinding poverty making a living painting scenes on furniture for Jewish furniture dealers etc. plus perhaps a need to show, writ large, that he was 'a local boy made good!'

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  • Robert Linford
    Researcher Extraordinaire

  • Robert Linford
    replied
    I seem to remember the Prussians were particularly tough on France at the Congress of Vienna. Afterwards, they organized a customs union among the various German states and deliberately excluded Austria.

    Hitler felt that Germany's alliance with Austria in the years before World War One had held Germany back, but his solution was, of course, for Germany to swallow Austria whole.

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    And then Blucher and his men charged in at the ready at Waterloo in 1815!

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  • Robert Linford
    Researcher Extraordinaire

  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Hi Roy

    Nice find!

    I had in mind the disastrous defeat of 1806. After this crippling smash, the Prussians set about modernising the country, especially the army.

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  • Roy Corduroy
    Researcher

  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Prussia was the major power that got really smashed by Napoleon, and the Prussians never forgot it.
    "For this Parish Fought in Year ..."

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    Plaque in church in the Masurian Lakes district of former East Prussia, today Poland

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  • Robert Linford
    Researcher Extraordinaire

  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Hi Curry

    I think the thing was that Prussia was the major power that got really smashed by Napoleon, and the Prussians never forgot it. The country was given a complete makeover, and passed to triumph followed by non-existence. History plays strange tricks.

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    Prussia was always a militaristic State though, going back to Frederick the Great and earlier. The bonding of Germany into an empire with Prussia at its head was largely achieved as a result of Bismarck's machinations. Did snatching Austria's lead away in 1866 do Prussia any good in the end, for all its military ambitions? The much vaunted German Empire only lasted for 48 years.

    Poor old Austria on the other hand was left as this poverty-stricken little rump of a country, (with a large and cosmopolitan capital city,) as a result of Hungary deciding in 1919 that it didn't want to be shackled in tandem any more with a country which had largely precipitated World War One!

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  • Robert Linford
    Researcher Extraordinaire

  • Robert Linford
    replied
    In the 19th century the Kingdom of Prussia vied with the ailing Austrian Empire for leadership of the Germanic lands. The Prussians defeated the Austrians in a war and shortly afterwards set up a new country - Germany. Prussia was part of that country.

    It is ironic that today, Austria still exists as a country, while the name 'Prussia' seems hardly to be mentioned, except in history books.

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    What is the proportion of ethnic Germans there today, I wonder? Was that part of the population subject to all that ethnic cleansing of Germans that occurred in other countries/states the minute World War Two ended? Off to look it up!

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  • Roy Corduroy
    Researcher

  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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    Vilkyskiai, Lithuania celebrates the town charter

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    Note their coat of arms represents the Salzburg refugees who arrived in the 1700's when this was Willkischken, East Prussia.

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  • Roy Corduroy
    Researcher

  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Originally posted by Curryong View Post
    Looks like the not so Roaring Thirties to me, judging by the length of the women's skirts and their hats!
    Thanks Curryong, yes you could be right. Photo was interwar, when Memel Land was reclaimed by Lithuania. The old railway station (banhof) is a private residence today.

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
    [ATTACH]14013[/ATTACH]

    This (photo set) blends the old and new.
    Very interesting photos. Thanks for posting!

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  • Curryong
    Registered User

  • Curryong
    replied
    Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
    [ATTACH]14112[/ATTACH]

    The Roaring Twenties in the borderlands. Sign in Lithuanian and German
    Looks like the not so Roaring Thirties to me, judging by the length of the women's skirts and their hats!

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  • Roy Corduroy
    Researcher

  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    East Prussia at top far right. Konigsberg was the provincial capital.

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    The German Empire at its fullest extent before the First World War.

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